Thursday, April 29, 2010

Marvel Chronology - Journey Into Mystery #83

And now, to Norway!

When Marvel unleashed the Fantastic Four onto an unsuspecting world they had already been publishing several monster/sci-fi comics for some years. These included such titles as Journey Into Mystery, Strange Tales and Tales To Astonish. After the success of the Fantastic Four it simply made sense to publish more super-hero stories, and so the focus of the monster books gradually started to shift to include super heroes. The first title to get this treatment was Journey Into Mystery, which, with issue eighty-three, gave us the debut of Thor!

Well, I have to confess that I’ve not read very many Thor comics, and as far as I was aware he’s actually supposed to be the genuine Norse god of thunder, Thor. Not here though, here he’s Doctor Donald Blake who discovers a gnarled stick while hiding from stone men from the planet Saturn when holidaying in Norway. When he strikes the stick against a rock the stick turns into the hammer of Thor and he gains the appearance and powers of the Norse thunder god. He’s still got the mind of Dr Blake though. He’s not talking in Shakespearean English, he doesn’t actually think he’s Thor…he just looks like him, and has his powers.

I’m pretty sure that Stan Lee changes this over time, but I’m starting to get the feeling that Stan is just making stuff up as he goes along…to meet some kind of publishing schedule… Surely not?!
There’s not really much I have to say about this, it’s a fun little story, but most of its fourteen pages are taken up with Dr Blake figuring out what’s happened to him and what his powers are.

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