Journey Into Mystery #86:On the Trail of the Tomorrow Man

Review By:


He didn’t fly away he just faded from sight… as though moving into another segment of time! and since there was no time-travel in the past, he must have come from the future!!

If one quote from this issue, struck me it was this one. It says so much about the story, the writing of the time, and the logic behind it just makes me laugh. To me, this is what Journey into mystery #86 represents.


The story is well written, even if the dialog can be a bit corny at times.  Thor while in an exercise to help the U.S. Military stands witness to the theft of a Cobalt Bomb. the same bomb stolen during the test is taken by the thief to the future, whom uses it to conquer a world of peace where no weapons exist anymore.

As I said a couple of reviews ago, communistic and the cold war was at a point in this part of 1962 that leads me to expect the unbridled patriotism that we have been seeing. Thor, a defender of the world; a God.  He starts off helping the U.S. Military in test’s because he sees it as the right thing to do.

The issue truly spells out in its deeper meaning that a good defense is a good offence, in the future.  As the world with no offence is easily taken by Zarrko. Thus a 1962 comic book was addressing the real issues of the day with the need for a nuclear stand-off. In this the story echos ideas in its own simple way that is quite deep.

In this issue Thor and Odin also have their first conversation, our Hero seeking his father for assistance in tracking down the stolen C-bomb. There first conglomeration takes up much of one page,  as Odin reminds Thor of what he must have ‘forgotten’.  There is clearly a connection between the Asgard-bound Odin and the earthbound Thor, perhaps Dr. Blake is more than he realizes.

While the last issue may be significant for Loki having his first sighting, this one seems to have a greater depth of development for Thor, in talking to his father and lord of Asgard, but also for stating such.


I feel the art of this issue was quite well done,  there was a strong attention to detail just as the last issue though many of the panels in this issue.  it was well drawn, inked and colored. However there was also substantial sections where I thought  the artwork dropped back down to being just the base of my standards.

also in a few panels he seems to be flying without his hammer pulling him, given his source of flight is by throwing the hammer and letting it pull him behind, this has a bit of a lack of thought into what was being put to paper.

Originality & Continuity

The future stealing a weapon from the past to conquer the future. I can’t say I have seen that before. it seemed like quite an original idea to me as I read it. It does seem plausible, and possible for a future even if weapons exist that ones of such destruction may have vanished. At least that is an optimistic hope.

There still does need to be some explanation as to Thor’s mindset,  does he have some level of memory or realisation of his Asgard roots?  In this issue and last I would say it seems so, he even called his dad for help. However in the first two issues, I was more struck into thinking he was Dr. Blake with the power of Thor.  This is something that I feel they are waiting too long to truly address already.

I would also be interested to know how the government contact’s Thor. Does he have a toll-free number? or do they put out an advertisement “In need of Norse god for weapons test”. We have gotten ideas on how The Fantastic Four get contacted, and how Ant-Man knows whats going on. But how Thor can be contacted remain’s a mystery.

Characters & Development

Thor and Odin talking is a landmark Development, and that Thor knows how to call his dad an amazing realization. It is the strongest development of the issue, and therefore the first I will mention, but it’s not the only one.

Thor also, as a result of that conversation, seems to add the ability of time travel to his repertoire of powers. Or more accurately, powers he has though the use of his hammer. also the ability to blow strong enough to save himself from dimensional banishment.

This issue quite creatively reminds us of the 60 second rule.  Where without the hammer for 60 seconds he will turn back into Dr. Don Blake.  over  6 panels,s we have a ongoing countdown as Thor works hard to get his hammer back. it is quite suspenseful, although nothing new, it articulates the fact creatively.

Lastly, for all of two panels we see Jane Foster again, as she is reading the news paper and dreaming that she worked for Thor instead of Dr. Blake.  quite an ironic ending to the story. to quote Dr. Blake

I wonder if Jane will ever suspect that some of us read about the news while some of us are too busy making it!

Book Information:
Cover Date: Nov 1962
Read At:
  • Stan Lee
  • Larry Lieber
  • Jack Kirby
  • Dick Ayers
Review Ratings:
Originality And Continuity&#9733&#9733&#9733¼&#9734&#9734
Character And Development&#9733&#9733&#9733½&#9734&#9734
Timeless Villain&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9734&#9734&#9734
  • Thor
  • Tomorrow Man
  • Jane Forster
  • Odin
Locations And Things:
  • The 23rd Century
    • Zarrko’s Lab






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