As I wrote my review for the Tales of Asgard backup in Journey Into Mystery #103, I decided to start with praise and a warning. First, I will praise this tale from the start; it proves to be an enjoyable read that I will get to below. The reason for this high praise in the first paragraph is the warning: I won’t hold back after this paragraph, and there may be spoilers.
Ok, you have been warned, and now I choose to talk about something that I do not yet know. How important is this story to the overall universe? Taken as fact and pure cannon, it is in many ways the origin story of Man. But I don’t think you can take it that way in the context of Marvel, but then you need to ask yourself whether it happened. Is it the truth or legend? But then I only ponder this a bit because, in the end… Does it matter?
This tale claims to be a translation of Norse Legends, a bit of an Adam and Eve story or, in this case, Aske and Embla(External link to info about the myth). While I only did a little research, you can tell that Kirby and Lee took some liberties with the story to make Thor the primary protagonist, but it is, as it claimed, based on Norse mythology.
It is also quite good; the adventure seems like it could have been a long epic, an important mission, but told in just five pages, it is easy to imagine what happens in the gutters (between the panels), and the text goes a long way to helping inspire those images. One example is the battle between Gullin and Thor on page three. The image and descriptor leaves one to imagine that the battle could have spanned hours or even eons.
I talked a bit about how the Art moved the story around above, but the art itself is beautiful, the deep ‘grass’ Thor travels through, the battle, and the trees that become the first man and woman. It can be hard to choose what to share in this post, you will see just a few examples, but you should read this story and see all it has to offer right now.
I might typically talk about Character &Development, or Originally and Continuity, but this month I opted not to make them huge factors. It is questionable how much this impacts Continuity, and based on legend, it may not be Original. It is only a peace that offers much Development if you consider the Legend true in the Marvel universe.
But then, inside the marvel universe, we end up with many such legends and origins for Men and Earth over time, others may have more prominence in other eras of the comics, but does that make this one, even if it is short-lived and focused to Thor any less valuable?
We could get theological and discuss creation stories in the real world as part, but this then is also based on on and that I will let just stand for itself.
So, this be it a part of the Truth of Thor in the comics or a Legend told about him. It is a true living and breathing peace brought to life on the pages. Most of all, it is good. But please let me know what you think.