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Journey Into Mystery #114: Review

Mar 1965
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

The Stronger I Am, the Sooner I Die!

Review & Comments

5 stars

Journey Into Mystery #114 Review by (June 3, 2012)
Review: Whoa, the Absorbing Man! One of the coolest villains in the Marvel Universe and he gets his start in this issue! Jack’s Kirby’s art makes him look quite sinister and creepy and provides several epic battle scenes building up to a climactic one next issue. We also meet Harris Hobbs, who will go on to be a recurring figure in the title for some years, a reporter with a keen interest in the God of Thunder; is he friend or foe? Only time (and anyone who reads ahead in the ESSENTIAL THOR) will tell! One interesting aspect: anticipating the recent Thor movie’s recasting of Asgardean magic as an alien science, this issue shows us Loki spying on Thor with a “four-dimensional molecule screen” and shooting at him with a “hand-held space-distorter,” both clearly more sci-fi than fantasy! One bigger question: why did Loki kidnap Jane Foster? His earlier plan was to have the Absorbing Man defeat Thor, and now he’s pulled Thor away from that battle to fight him himself? What a maroon.

Comments: 1. First appearance/origin of the Absorbing Man. First appearance of reporter Harris Hobbs, though his first name will not be given until the next issue. For some reason, Thor’s hammer now gives him Spider-Sense, complete with tingly feeling. 2. Yes, it’s an early version of Little Red Riding Hood, as Stan Lee notes in the final panel. First appearance of Fenris in Marvel Comics.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Journey Into Mystery #114 Synopsis by Arcturus Jackson

The story opens in the middle of some action as Thor is pursuing a criminal fleeing in a souped-up racing getaway car. The Thunder God simply yanks the crook from the driver’s seat and smashes the rock he hides behind. When the baddie prepares a grenade, Loki, watching from Asgard, uses an enchanted element to slow Thor’s reflexes making him vulnerable to the explosive. But it has no effect on Thor who merely dissipates the shockwaves of the grenade then pins the criminal to the ground with a tree branch to wait for the police. Seeing he cannot cause Thor to lose his powers, a frustrated Loki casts about for a suitable agent on Earth to give powers to. He finds a suitable candidate in a brutal prisoner named Crusher Creel; slipping a drug into Creel’s drink gives him sudden strength and a determination to escape. Guards fire at Creel who shocks them by turning into the steel the bullets are made from. Creel then crashes through the prison wall to freedom….

In his New York office, Dr. Don Blake is patching up reporter Harris Hobbs, who hurt his arm while running for a train to investigate reports of an escaped convict with super powers. Don begs off of dinner with Jane Foster to change into Thor and head to the scene as well. In the mountain swamp area, Thor encounter Creel and deflects the convict’s ball and chain with his hammer—suddenly, Creel takes on the power of the Uru hammer, revealing himself to be an Absorbing Man. Fighting to a standstill, Thor creates a whirlwind which is matched by his foe. Harris Hobbs arrives on the scene and threatens to use dynamite to stop the villain—who sweeps the explosive from his hand and hurls it at Thor, who pulls Hobbs into his own whirlwind for his safety. The Thunder God pursues the fleeing villain who steals a car and wrecks a gas station, all the while dreaming of wealth and power, even becoming a Latin American dictator. Thor catches up to him and rips the car apart; they again battle but Creel is Thor’s equal in every way. Suddenly a mist envelops the combatants and Thor is transported to the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, leaving a confused Absorbing Man to seek refuge and make some plans. In Asgard, Balder informs Thor that Loki has captured Jane Foster and is making a stand on his home grounds. The God of Thunder heads forth alone to face his enemy….

Story #2

The Golden Apples!

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

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

As the goddess Iduna travels to Asgard to give the Golden Apples of Immortality to Odin, she must pass through a dark enchanted forest. She is met by the evil Wolf God Fenris, who has disguised himself in human form. Fenris offers the beautiful Iduna his protection on the journey but she is wary of his animal-like appearance and sinister manner. Fenris reveals himself in his true form but Haakun the Hunter arrives to rescue Iduna. He hurls his battle-axe at the villain, who dodges but the enchanted axe follows him until it finds its target, sending Fenris to Varinheim, the shadowy land of the lost. Iduna safely completes her journey to Asgard.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Jack Kirby
Chic Stone
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Chic Stone (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Absorbing Man
Absorbing Man

(Crusher Creel)

(Balder the Brave)

(Loki Laufeyson)


Plus: Harris Hobbs.

> Journey Into Mystery: Book info and issue index

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