Thor’s story in Journey Into Mystery # 84 served as the perfect complement to his origin one issue before. In fact, it greatly surpassed it. don’t get me wrong, the origin was good; but this was better. It had action, It had suspense, it had irony. Most important of all, it had the character development we need to turn Thor from just some guy into the kind of hero we can relate to.
He is unlike the Fantastic Four, whom are for all purposes public, or Bruce Banner whom hates his Hulk half. Dr. Blake seems to embrace Thor, as well as hold a desire to keep his identity secret. This issue explores that idea, as well as the more human emotions of love with how he feel’s for Jane Foster.
The story is short like the last one, but this time, it was given more depth. We get into Dr. Blake’s mind and feeling’s now that he is home, as well as that of Jane Foster his Nurse. It turns out Dr. Blake is an MD.
In this story Dr. Blake and Jane volunteer to go to San Diablo as it has need of Doctor’s during its revolution. San Diablo is a fictional south american nation. The Communist faction of San Diablo’s revolution is led by a man called ‘ The Executioner’, and he has an interest in keeping the doctor’s out and the people sick.
I feel this conflict is strong, and the resulting action does it every bit of justice. He would prove an unstoppable warrior, if not for his heart and fear of Jane getting hurt. When she is captured he flea’s as Thor and turns back into Dr. Blake.
The story leads to a marriage, as well as Dr. Blake put to stand before the firing squad. but no more spoilers here, you will just have to read how he gets out of the predicament prophesied by the cover.
the action panels, showcased the action with a level of excellence that I loved. From smashing tanks to smashing jets, everything just looked so great.
I also loved how human the people looked. that may seem strange to say, but in all non crowed scenes, the poses and faces really talked for them. I could relate to them, and there poses where believable.
The faces, poses, and art also matched the text and the story real well. something that is sometimes missed in a story, but I feel they really pulled it off this time. Just look at the terror in the man’s eyes as the executioner is ordering his death. Also look at the Executioner, the anger But the detail does not end there, the other solder’s the room, this frame has so much of it. Frames like this I feel are echoed though this volume. Taking an already stellar story, and making it great.
Originality & Continuity
I won’t call a story about a Hero that takes out a bunch of communist and defends democracy original. But none the less, the story felt fresh and new even if the basics have its root’s in many other stories. Having Dr. Blake be on a medical mission but having it turn around also adds to the freshness. Making it much better then it would have been if he just decided Thor needs to go stop a dictator.
being still young there was not much for the continuity to mess up, I felt it recapped the first issue well, although the stone men were drawn differently (and better) This time around.
Characters & Development
There is an entire page early on that I feel is dedicated to Character development. this one page is packed with thoughts and dialog, making it a great start for building up the shallow shell that the last issue left us with. It also does a great job of introducing Jane Foster. this is not to mention all the development though the rest of the story.
Also a strong part of the development is that we the readers know that Jane and Don Blake share feelings for each other but do not know that there reciprocated. the thoughts of Jane also work to establish what may become something of a triangle between Jane, Blake and Thor. How ironic of a love triangle to only have two people in it.