Journey Into Mystery #96:The Mighty Thor! Defying The Magic Of… Mad Merlin!

Review By:


For Today’s Comic Book Review i Read the Thor Story from Journey Into Mystery #96. This story is titled “The Mighty Thor! Defying The Magic Of… Mad Merlin!”   and as we sit down to read and review it, we have to ask ourselves if it is truly a magical story, or if it is one that will just fizzle out.

to summarize the events of the comic, we have the crypt of Merlin being discovered, and his sarcophagus was transferred to New York to be opened at a museum.  After being opened though,  Merlin awakens and leaves having high hopes to become a modern seat of power.   In his first attempt to impress the modern world, he learns to achieve his goal, he must first stop Thor. 


I feel that this  comic book’s story flowed quite nicely.  it started as they often do with a bit of a lesser story, to lead us in,  in this case, this first bit is a great bit of character development that i will talk about later.

Then we get into the heart of the story, we meet Merlin,  become acquainted with his goal’s and thoughts, then watch as  the events unfold leading to the clash of the two legendary figures.


The artwork for this issue was top-notch, I feel that Joe Sinnott did a fine job with this issue. the action scenes are top-notch, and the use of color, and shadows work quite well.

The Design of Merlin the Mad, lets him both look  like a wonderful historic figure, as well as always carry a hint of the madness in his face. I have included a great close up panel to the right, in it you can see exactly what I am talking about when it comes to how clear his madness is.

but it’s not just the detail of this panel that I feel is done so well, but the detail in the whole issue.

Originality & Continuity

In its opening, this story reminded me of an iron man story that i read not to long ago, involving Cleopatra and the Mad Pharaoh.  ancient figure, found still alive in his tomb…

but the similarities with the story ends there,  where they each found themselves in 1963 after centuries of being asleep having feign death,  and awaking, they each take this new shot at life differently.

Characters & Development

Jane Foster & Don Blake

in this issue we see the growth of a tension between our hero’s alter ego and his nurse, with him vanishing from his office for the ‘millionth time’ into his lab for who knows what.

it shows that Jane is getting tired of covering for him, and it does make you wonder where this development will lead, if to anywhere.

Thor & Loki

Mad Merlin’s powers and methods early in the story make Thor suspect his brother, but upon going to Visit Loki he is informed quite truthfully by his brother who is responsible.

This gives us some level of cooperation we have not seen before from Loki,  and perhaps room for the two to grow as time goes on,  it seemed that Loki  wanted Thor to find Merlin, but why?

Book Information:
Cover Date: Sep 1963
Read At:
  • Stan Lee
  • R. Berns
  • Joe Sinnott
  • Art Simek
Review Ratings:
Originality And Continuity&#9733&#9733&#9733¼&#9734&#9734
Character And Development&#9734&#9734&#9734&#9734&#9734&#9734
Mystery Mutant Magic&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9733&#9734
Referenced In:
  • Thor
  • Jane Forster
  • Loki
  • Mad Merlin
  • Caroline Kennedy
  • John F. Kennedy
Locations And Things:
  • Cape D’or
  • White House, Washington DC






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