With Journey Into Mystery #108, featuring The Might Thor in the story titled “Loci Prince Of Evil!” We have a story consisting of 3 grand scenes, starting off with Thor saving a young boy via a hammer strike from afar.. and then Thor / Don Blake working to save the life in the OR of another marvel hero, One Doctor Strange! Lastly we have Loki facing off against Thor in a scheme that is more direct than what has been attempted in the last 8 issues – where we had Loki working more behind the scenes manipulating other villains. But is this epic battle, everything it could be and should be? I will get into that down below.
some of the panels in this issue where awe inspiring, from the first with Thor’s hammer raised behind his back, and his body moving, ready to strike. To just a few short pages later, in the home of Doctor Strange, then yet again in the OR as Don Blake works to save a life. This issue, is filled with some fine works by Jack Kirby. Included here is the Panel of the Operating Room, as Don Blake rushes to save the life of Doctor Strange, the panel is powerful and important.
For starters it is one letting our hero’s alter ego shine, in a tension filled moment. Jack gives this panel a full two-thirds of the page, and with it spares no expense on any detail. From all the doctor’s and nurses assisting him, to the med students watching from behind the glass, it all add’s to the epic feeling, the tension of the moment, that makes you both need to stop and take it in, and rush to the next page to find out what will happen ( even more so if your also a Doctor Strange fan) .
But it’s not just this panel or the few I mentioned, this issue is filled with above standard artwork, and an attention to the story that, at times this story hardly seemed to deserve.
Characters & Development
In this issue, we develop what could likely be a lasting relationship and understanding between Doctor Don Blake and Doctor Strange, as they both help each other in a time of great need. This may be the first great – heroic union – between any two of our solo hero’s outside of the formation of the avengers. Yes it may be just a guest appearance. but Thor pays a good respect to Doctor strange, a stronger one then he does his own teammates in this same volume.
In fact, any pro’s I seen though the great level of teamwork we have between Thor and Doctor Strange is countermanded by how Thor brushes off the assistance of his fellow Avengers. They have worked with him against Loki before.. in Avengers #1 no less. But in this issue, Thor wants nothing of their help, feeling that they could not help him against Loki.
I can easily see how in the situation, he would not stop to seek out there help.. but when it’s offered, how can he turn it down? Jane Fosters life is on the line, the stakes are high, and every helping hand would be a good one. This is the feeling of a Cameo for Cameo’s sake, and the short part of the story that Iron Man, Giant Man, and Wasp join us for detracts from the greater whole tremendously.
Originality & Continuity
I really covered this above, but I will say it again, Having the Avengers and not accepting there help? In this issue, at this time? This is not acceptable, its happened before in other stories, but this tact of appearance is getting old. Becoming both un-original, and in this case, I feel work against the grain of the greater Continuity.
As stories go, this one was a grand balancing act. The first few pages, with the boy and the truck, almost fully broke my suspended disbelief, even for a comic book. Then those early events, seemed to be nothing more than page filler, as it has nothing to do with the story afterwords.
We instead move on to a much better scene with Thor, being summoned by a dying Doctor Strange. leading to him helping save the Dr. Strange’s life as Dr. Don Blake. this scene is epic, and life changing deep and strong, everything I could hope for.
then with the semi side story of the gods of Asgard going off to fight a battle, we have the escape of Loki to earth again. and this is when the story has the chance to get good an interesting. Loki’s plan starts off good, strong and scheming, masquerading as a old lame man so he can ‘accidentally’ swap out Don Blake’s walking stick. He then reveals himself, kidnaps Jane Foster and flee’s setting up what could be an epic story.
After that however is is a grand mix of disappointment with the avengers while a cool team up between Doctor Strange and Thor. One of the least favorite parts was how Thor tracked down Loki. Then the final battle, while action packed did not have the depth or cunningness that I have come to except from Loki, even in this issue alone; making the ending a bit anticlimactic.