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Journey Into Mystery #109: Review

Oct 1964
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

When Magneto Strikes!

Review & Comments

2 stars

Journey Into Mystery #109 Review by (September 11, 2011)
Review: Another goofy episode begins with the discovery that Magneto camouflages a submarine by planting a tree on top of it! This issue, written long before Mags became the coolest villain in the Marvel Universe (which by coincidence is also when the X-Men were a bunch of second rate characters in a comic that didn’t sell as well as, say, Daredevil), has him taking on Thor. The Master of Magnetism versus a guy whose chief weapon is a metal hammer? The only way that could be worse is if he had a metal skeleton! (Snicker.) So Thor is easily disarmed and spends most of the issue hiding from his foe until the X-Men sort of appear. And that’s the punchline to the story (unless you count the silly romantic epilogue): the X-Men have to save Thor’s butt without even knowing he’s there—which is okay since he never finds out they are on the scene. And for some odd reason, the X-Men appear only just out of panel range, like Stan Lee couldn’t get the rights to show them—except Stan Lee created them and could put them anywhere he wanted (but no Millie the Model crossover? The world still waits). Goofy, goofy, goofy.

Comments: First meeting of Thor and Magneto. For some strange reason, the X-Men always appear just out of panel range, making this only loosely the first appearance of the X-Men in a Thor comic. Magneto can not control Thor’s Uru hammer but the hammer can control magnetic fields; that’s handy to know. The New York World’s Fair is establishing a Hall of Heroes display including statues of Thor, the Fantastic Four (minus Human Torch), Captain America, Iron Man, Wasp, Giant Man, and we’re told also Spider-Man, Daredevil and the X-Men (which is harder to believe, considering the dubious reputations of Spidey and the mutant team). The New York World’s Fair ran from April to October in both 1964 and 1965 . 2. First appearance of the Mountain Giants. First appearance of Loki’s pathetic cousin Arkin the Weak.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Journey Into Mystery #109 Synopsis by Arcturus Jackson

The mighty Thor is given a tour of the proposed Hall of Heroes for the upcoming New York World’s Fair, displaying statues of the current crop of costumed adventurers, including Thor himself. As he heads back to the office of Dr. Donald Blake he notices how quiet the city seems…

At that moment a disguised submarine enters the harbor. It is the craft of the evil mutant leader Magneto who has tracked the mental emanations of his enemies the X-Men to somewhere within a fifty-mile radius. He dispatches his henchmen (Toad, Mastermind, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver) to search for them while he remains behind to plan strategy for destroying the mutant hero team. Magneto experiments with his powers to instill fear in the populace of New York by causing all metal objects in the city to fly around erratically for a few seconds, causing panic. Don Blake excuses himself from his date with Jane Foster so he can investigate the mystery as Thor. As he flies over the city, the Thunder God detects the flow of magnetic force and traces it to the submarine. He breaks in and confronts Magneto who takes Thor for a mutant and tries to persuade him to join the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Thor refuses and they fight, as the villain causes the steel flooring to enwrap Thor, who breaks out of it easily. Magneto halts Thor’s hammer in midair and uses his powers to toss the Thunder God around, finally sealing him in a chamber. Deprived of his hammer, after sixty seconds, Thor turns back into Don Blake. Magneto, unaware his enemy has changed form on the other side of the sealed door, hurls rivets and the ceiling grill against his foe until Don ducks through a hole in the wall. Magneto tracks his quarry by instruments, triggering one trap after another, which Don barely manages to dodge until the villain is distracted by a call for help over the radio. His minions have returned—pursued by the X-Men. As Magneto tries to deal with this disaster, Don recovers his cane and transforms into Thor and beats Magneto, who escapes downs a shaft and arms a bomb as a surprise for the Thunder God. But the X-Men arrive, disable the bomb with ice, and force Magneto to escape in a one-man sub. Thor, confused about what just happened, destroys the submarine and heads over to Jane’s apartment to apologize and have a late supper.

Story #2

Banished From Asgard!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Vince Colletta. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

For fighting a duel without permission, Odin banishes Thor from Asgard. The other Aesir intercede for Thor in view of the war with the Mountain Giants but the All-Father is adamant. The traitor Arkin the Weak seizes the opportunity to bring this news to Knorda, normal-sized Queen of the Giants, hoping to win her love. She leads a band of giant warriors to ambush Thor on the mountain trail and they drive him into a closed canyon and seal up the cave he rides into. However, Thor emerges from the other end of the tunnel where Odin and the Asgardeans are waiting and they have the giants trapped in the canyon. Odin’s ruse has flushed out the traitor in Asgard as well. Knorda surrenders to Odin and father and son ride home together.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Jack Kirby
Chic Stone


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Jason Wyngarde)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


Plus: Toad (Mortimer Toynbee).

> Journey Into Mystery: Book info and issue index

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