In the double-digits now of ‘comic books read’, but I’m a far cry from being a Marvel guru like some of our fellow Cartridge Club members. But this run helped fill a gaping hole in my rolodex, introducing The Mighty Thor! And not just one, but 2 back to back issues, followed by a healthy dose of Hulk and the Fantastic Four. Excited to share – but first:


 

 

Last Time on DRMU: Dean dived deeper into Hulk’s lore, with Issue #2  of The Incredible Hulk, learning about the nefarious Toad Men. This was complemented by 3 MAJOR introductions, including Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15, Dr. Doom in The Fantastic Four #5 and…if you look really close…the X-Men as well with Issue #14  of Amazing Adult Fantasy.  It was an awesome lineup, and Dean was ready to grow the roster with even more Marvel staples. 

 

 


Journey Into Mystery #83 Image

Title: The Stonemen from Saturn
Date:
 August 1962
Writers: 
Stan Lee
Pencillers: Jack Kirby

Thor is a character I knew very little about outside of the MCU. I had no idea what his origin story was, or what comic lineup he was born from. Turns out, 83 issues into Journey Into Mystery is where it all began.

Let’s start off by saying that this origins tale isn’t far off from the usual bizarre antics of Marvel’s early Silver Age comics. In fact, the story title is “The Stone Men from Saturn!” – if that gives you any indication of what you’ll be reading about. Was especially surprised to find Thor’s alter ego is actually just (another) doctor – Dr. Don Blake. I think we can safely assume that anyone with a doctorate or higher than average IQ in the Marvel Universe will eventually become a superhero (villain).

Worth the read for the novelty aspect, but don’t expect greatness from the introduction of “The Most Exciting Super Hero of All Time!!”.

 


Journey Into Mystery #84 

ImageTitle: The Mighty Thor vs. The Executioner
Date:
 September 1962
Writers: 
Stan Lee
Pencillers: Jack Kirby

Decided to hop into more Thor. I was intrigued by the ‘transformation’ factor; Dr. Don Blake’s ability to become the Norse god, only as long as he wields Mjolnir. Otherwise, he’s got a 60-second timer before returning to his frail form. It was an interesting concept, but one I’m guessing will be used time and time again throughout these journeys.

Issue #84 of Journey Into Mystery made a natural detour, moving from Stone Men From Saturn right over to militaristic Communist dictators. It chronicles Thor’s exploits in the fictional country of San Diablo and the tyrannical plans of its evil leaders.

Overall this mini-comic was better than its previous entry, but had a pretty weak antagonist. Known as the deadly Executioner, he’s the leader of the Communist faction…and honestly, he’s really not that threatening. Also worth noting that Jane Foster makes her first appearance in this issue – although much different than Natalie Portman’s portrayal in the original Thor movie.

 


The Incredible Hulk #3

Title: Banished to Outer SpaceImage
Date:
 September 1962
Writers: 
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Pencillers: Jack Kirby

It had been a while since I last saw the Hulk in “The Terror of the Toad Men”, so hopped into Issue #3. And with the title of “Banished to Outer Space”, I knew what I was getting into.

The villain in this one is known as The Ringmaster, but he doesn’t come in until after Hulk’s journey into space. Also, some mind-control sprinkled in there for no reason whatsoever. The whole issue seems to be filled with unfinished ideas, and I didn’t really enjoy it. Worth noting though that this issue explains how Bruce can remain in his “Hulk” form in the sunlight – an ability that was previously not possible. So far, Hulk has the weakest inaugural issues in my opinion.

 



The Fantastic Four 
#6 

Fantastic Four #6 (v1)Title: Captives of the Deadly Duo!
Date:
 September 1962
Writers: 
Stan Lee
Pencillers: Jack Kirby

After reading about Thor and Hulk galavanting through space, figured it was time to bring things back down to Earth. The Fantastic Four was just what I needed.

I’m liking Dr. Doom as a character – so seeing him on the cover of this one along with Namor was pretty cool. And the subtitle “Captives of the Deadly Duo!” was enough for me to give it a read.

In this issue, Dr. Doom teams up with the prince of the ocean, Namor, the Sub-Mariner, to take care of the Fantastic Four once and for all. And what better way than to use a magnet…to lift the Baxter Building into space….and launch it into the sun? Ughh….. can’t we just stay on the planet for one issue…. please!

This issue is full of plot holes – but I guess that’s expected with these earlier entries. The ending though is by far the most ridiculous. The only reason this issue is worth reading is to learn a bit more about Mr. Fantastic’s suit made of “unstable molecules” which explains its elasticity – and, in turn, explains the material used for Ant-Man’s upcoming suit.

 

 


 

That about wraps up this set of my reads. Would LOVE to hear what you guys think of these issues, or if you have any suggestions on other lineups I should read. Let’s chat about all that and more right here, or over in the Cartridge Club forums.

 

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