The Brother’s Unite

Journey Into Marvel – Part I

The Story I Read: “Thor And Loki Attack The Human Race” (Journey Into Mystery#94 July 1963)

I have made it my mission to work through the collected world of Marvel. Marvel has always fascinated me because of its dedication to bringing superheroes into reality. Where as DC Comics has always written characters that exist in a kind of fantasy realm, with created names like Metropolis and Gotham City, Marvel wanted to spin the superhero as a reflection of reality; albeit a reality where flying humans are possible. They wanted to create a place where the super powered feel like tangible beings that can truly exist in real life New York or Los Angeles. I set off on this mission to understand Marvel but I didn’t know where to start.

Naturally, I chose to begin at the beginning. Sadly, I couldn’t begin truly at the beginning because I can’t get ahold of the issues that start the universe so I’ll begin with this issue as it is the first I can get ahold of. When I get those issues I will discuss them retroactively.

Let’s plunge in shall we?

Once again the trickster god attempts to beguile Thor. Interestingly, Loki’s usual motives  to unseat the Thunder God are changed to a want of companionship in his plans.

Though the science behind Thor’s loss of memory and personality change is quite hilarious it serves to point out the two dimensionality of the Early Silver Aged heroes. Thor’s character, unlike his Silver Age Marvel partners the Fantastic Four and Anthony Stark, still remains quite two dimensional and unexamined in that he is a god who wishes to protect humanity. Essentially he is the Jesus figure that DC had reveled upon for so long with Superman.  There is nothing to him other then valor and responsibility. Loki is the vice figure who wants chaos and revenge. Evil for the sake of evil and in this story he does his job admirably. He is quite wry in his sense of humour. This story begins to shine  light on the shear power of the Asgardians and that they are a frightening possible threat to Earth. If death was allowed in this comic period, bloody human corpses would litter the landscape. Alas, only tomfoolery occurs.

Even though the story is quite simple and light, it does a lot to set up Loki as something more then the ultimate foil to Thor. There is desperation and loneliness here. Loki needs a partner in crime. It could be read that Loki attempts to besmirch Thor and ruin his golden boy image but I, prefer to read it as a need to be vindicated by his own kind. Thor vindicates him in his confused amnesiac way as  being rightfully an equal. Something he has not done until this story. This is bittersweet in its own way.

As for Dr.Don Blake and the alter-ego I can see that Stan Lee may be getting tired of that. This has to be the least page time Thor’s alter-ego gets and Jane does not even appear. Perhaps he see’s his error in following the Superman model.

The inking is really quite entertaining and sleek in this one. The images of the landmarks being blasted into the sky and museum dinosaurs being animated are fantastic examples of the Silver Age melodramatic style.

All these positives aside, it is a shame that Odin wipes the action from the consciousness of Earth. If this were a later publication, something would be made of the disregard and threatening power of the Asgardians versus Midgardians.

Overall, out of 5 stars, Journey Into Mystery #94: “Thor and Loki attack the human race”  is a 3. It has a great sense of humour and begins to expand upon the relationship of Loki and Thor, but the ending is simple and ultimately empty.

—> Part II


About Julian Munds

I possess a degree in Theatre and Drama from the University of Toronto. I own my own theatre company called Snobbish Theatre. We focus our work on new versions of classics.

Posted on October 28, 2013, in Marvel, Thor and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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