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Journey Into Mystery #101: Review

Feb 1964
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

The Return of Zarrko, the Tomorrow Man!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Journey Into Mystery #101 Review by (August 6, 2011)
Review: A pretty solid, entertaining story even though it centers on Zarrko, a mad scientist who can build a time machine but can’t figure out how to make a bomb. A weakened Thor versus a giant robot actually seems like an even match. The oddest moment is the discovery that the Big Z has trouble foreseeing the consequences of his action, a strange limitation for a time traveler: he threatens the 20th century world with a rampage of destruction? So what will that do to Zarrko’s 23rd century society? Good thing Thor surrenders or the baddie would have been in for a big surprise when he got home.

Comments: 1. First appearances of Giant Man, Wasp, Iron Man in the title. Thor’s powers are halved and he loses his control over the weather, due to Odin’s judgment but, aside from a reference to it in a flashback in the next issue, the incident is never mentioned again. Is he permanently weakened? Jane Foster appears only in a flashback to last issue. First brief appearance of the Norn Hag. Story continues in next issue. 2. First appearances of Skoll and Geirrodur. Second appearance of the Norn Hag; that was fast. First appearance of Heimdall in this backup series.

Journey Into Mystery #101 Review by (August 10, 2011)
In publication date order this is the 2nd appearance of the Avengers group outside their own comic, lying between Avengers #3 and #4, hence no Captain America. The only earlier one is Tales of Suspense #49, published in the same month as Avengers #3. That one had only cameos of the individual members. So this is the 1st outside issue with Avengers in action. However the Official Indexes relegate the events of this issue to after Avengers #6. (Cap must have been too busy to appear here.) Hence it gets beaten for 2nd place by the 2-part story in Fantastic Four #25-26, situated more conventionally between Avengers #4 and #5.



My hammer knows naught of mercy!!

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Journey Into Mystery #101 Synopsis by Arcturus Jackson

Bitter over Odin’s refusal to let him marry Jane Foster, the mighty Thor angrily heads through the streets of Manhattan, blindly wrecking everything that get in his path. His Avengers teammates, Iron Man, Wasp, and Giant-Man (Captain America won’t be revived until next month) intercept him to try to talk him out of his violent rampage but the Thunder God tells them to mind their own business—so they leave him to deal with his personal problems. In Asgard, Loki shows Thor’s antics to Odin and persuades the All-Father that Thor’s brooding constitutes disobedience to his father’s command. As a punishment, Odin halves Thor’s strength and takes away his control of the elements. When Thor reaches the Rainbow Bridge and is halted by Heimdall, he no longer has the power to force his way past the guardian. He calls out to his father not to spurn him, but Odin remains silent. Loki seizes the opportunity to destroy Thor; he visits the Norn Hag and searches the Well of Centuries to find the perfect pawn to carry out his wicked scheme. Gazing into the future, Loki discovers Zarrko, the Tomorrow Man (see issue #86) and magically restores his erased memory. The would-be conqueror immediately hatches a scheme to return to the 20th century to hijack another superweapon….

In modern New York, a cube-shaped craft suddenly appears in the skies. From it come Zarrko and a huge mining robot. The villain uses his machine servitor to destroy the policemen’s guns and uproot entire buildings in order to attract his enemy Thor. And it works: Don Blake hears the news on television, changes to the Thunder God and flies out to confront his futuristic foe. With his strength limited however, he finds fighting the giant robot a miserable task. Thor diverts the magnetic forces of the galaxy and focuses them on the robot but he still cannot overcome the massive machine. Zarrko makes a deal with Thor: unless the Thunder God promises to become the mad scientist’s slave, he will order the robot to go on a rampage of destruction. Thor is forced to pledge allegiance to Zarrko and they return to the 23rd century, as Odin is overwhelmed by his son’s surrender to a mortal. Meanwhile, Loki gloats….

Story #2

The Invasion of Asgard!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: George Roussos. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hearing that the forces of evil are about to attack Asgard, young Thor volunteers to stand at the Rainbow Bridge alongside Heimdall in defense. The guardian sends him away as too young. Loki suggests that Thor can earn honor by guarding a hole he discovered in a remote part of Asgard’s defenses. What Loki does not mention is that he made the hole—and alerted the enemy to its existence in order to destroy Thor. As Thor stands guard alone, he suddenly faces a cabal of enemies: the Norn Hag riding Ulfrin the Dragon, the Wolf Gods Skoll and Hati, the Rime Giants, the last of the Ice Giants, and Geirrodur the Troll. Thor battles valiantly but is eventually overwhelmed by the superior forces A Rime Giant casts a spells slowly turning Thor into a tree but quickly Odin and his warriors arrive and drive off the enemy. Thor confesses that he failed, in that he would have been defeated. The other warriors hail him as a hero for holding the breach long enough for reinforcements to come. Thor is rewarded with additional strength and is able to lift the Uru hammer a little higher, while Loki stands in the shadows, plotting vengeance….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Jack Kirby
George Bell


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Hank Pym)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Loki Laufeyson)


(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Zarrko (Tomorrow Man).

> Journey Into Mystery: Book info and issue index

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