With Journey Into Mystery #90 Thor is set to face the “Carbon Copy Man” whom is in actuality Lord Zano. Son of Lord Ugarth, alien leader of a race known as Xartans from the Zugano star system.
Wow that’s a mouth full for the start of today’s comic book review. does this shape changing alien race with the goal of earthly conquest live up to some of the others? or are they like the toad-men, and not worth a moment of my time?
it all begins on a distant planet, so far away that it’s in another galaxy, as they prepare to set off on another conquest, this time with the plan to be for Ugarth to hand down the lordship and rule to his son Xano, and retire.
Upon reaching earth, they use there shapeshifting powers to replace other human’s and cause general trouble by changing laws and rules. such as driving on sidewalk’s and walking on the roads.
Dr. Don Blake quickly realizes things are not as they should be, and becomes Thor to investigate. when he gets the source of the problem, he is unfortunately separated from his hammer and becomes Dr. Blake again.
can he reunite with his hammer? can he stop a race of shapeshifter’s? is it worth reading to find out?
The stores dialog was a little corny at times, perhaps due to the situation’s that are transpiring being so corny in them selves. you have to take reading this in the light of it being a bit comical.
that all said, it is still a super-hero story, and it does offer us the action we so desire, as well as a few points of suspense with hope for our hero. as such I did find the story to be quite acceptable.
I did not like it, I feel that neither Thor, nor Don Blake was portrayed well or like what we have seen consistently with what we have seen up until now. Don looking mush more frail then he has in the past, and Thor having way too much chin and a pushed out chest.
I feel a lot of this could be the artistic style of Al Hartley, and that it was better served with books like Archie then Thor. Al Hartley would later in his carer do Archie and be known more for it. But I do not feel his work served Thor well. I suspect others felt the same, as near as I could tell marvel would not put him on another super-hero tale until 1965 for Tales of Suspense #68. Instead he would do most of his work with the non super-hero books.
Originality & Continuity
This story read a lot like a different take on Fantastic Four #2. while all alien invasion stories will have things in common, these two both seemed to share a lot. The Xartans seemed to have powers quite like the Skrull. they both where shapeshifters and used their powers to impersonate humans. They both uses a small force at first with plans to start the full invasion as soon as an ok was given. They both where ultimate defeated and to remain on earth were forced to take a different form, that they would be ‘stuck’ in.
Characters & Development
At the start of this story, we had some good development beginning, with Don Blake about to tell Jane how he feel’s and whom he is. Odin makes an appearance just in time to stop him, telling him that he can not reveal his identity. Dr. Blake the backs out of telling Jane anything. for a hero who fears nothing, the good Doctor sure seems to have a strong fear of rejection.