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Journey Into Mystery #117: Review

Jun 1965
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

Into the Blaze of Battle!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Journey Into Mystery #117 Review by (August 11, 2012)
Review: Thor goes to Vietnam in a story ripped from the headlines—and filtered through a 1960s Marvel comic book. I was complaining not long ago how odd it seemed that a Norse god was wasted catching bank robbers and Commie spies. Well, having taken a broader look at where the comic would be going—a greater emphasis on sci-fi plots (High Evolutionary, Galactus, Eternals, Beta Ray Bill) and then, starting in the 90s, one apocalyptic crisis after another (how many times are they going to do Ragnarok?), I see the error of my ways. Soon I will be longing for some human drama to take place in these tales as a break from the doings of demigods. The story here is a little corny, with its Cold War era anti-communism, but entertaining in a way that the more self-important creators have forgotten.

Comments: From this point on most “Tales of Asgard” will flow into one another, rather than being discrete stories. The main story too, more or less.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Journey Into Mystery #117 Synopsis by Arcturus Jackson

Thor leaps through the dimensional barrier to Asgard just seconds behind Loki, thus losing the Trial of the Gods (last issue). He catches up to his trickster brother and threatens to expose his cheating but Loki sends the magic Norn Stones to a place of concealment somewhere on Earth. Brought before Odin, Thor accuses Loki of treachery but in the absence of evidence, he requests twenty-four hours to return to Earth to recover the Stones. Odin grants his request and the Thunder God returns to his adopted world….

…where in New York, Balder is locked in combat with the Executioner and the Enchantress to rescue Jane Foster from their clutches. When Thor arrives, the two villains decide that this is too much trouble and flee, abandoning their captive. Balder wipes these dark memories from her (and the other witnesses) and Thor thanks him for his devotion. Thor then uses his Uru hammer to trace the Norn Stones to a battlefield in Vietnam, where he is blasted by a gigantic mortal shell and knocked unconscious…. He awakens in a hut, cared for by a peasant family, despite the terror caused by the guerillas. Thor vows to help them overthrow the tyrants once he has completed his quest, and he changes to his Don Blake form to better navigate the dense jungle….

Meanwhile in Asgard, Loki gloats and dreams of ruling the gods as an evil dictator. He then leads a band of guerillas to capture Don and tie his arms using his cane. Don is then taken to their underground lair and interrogated by the commander and forced to talk by the presence of the villagers, now taken hostage. Then the revelation comes that the family who rescued Don are the mother and siblings of the commander, Hu Sak! Don seizes the opportunity to escape and, once in the tunnels, he falls so that his cane strikes the ground, transforming him into Thor. He quickly discovers the bag of Norn Stones in the enemy ammunition stores and takes it. Meanwhile, Hu Sak, chafing under his brother's denunciations of him as a traitor to their people and a disgrace to the family, shoots down his brother and his mother who tries to save him. As his sister runs screaming into the tunnels, Thor flies into action, knocking all the guards out of the way to protect the girl. He tells the commander that he will return in wrath after he has taken the girl to safety. To redeem himself and strike back at the Communism that warped his values, the commander detonates all the ammunition, blowing up the entire guerilla camp along with him.

Story #2

The Sword in the Scabbard! (Tales of Asgard series)

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Vince Colletta. Letterer: Art Simek.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

It is a typical day in Asgard, as the bored warriors engage in some violent brawling to pass the time. Suddenly Odin enters and commands them to cease fighting, asking for Thor and Loki. When he finds them engaged in a private duel in a barren chamber he orders them to stop and to follow him, refusing to listen to any explanations or excuses. He shows his sons the grave problem facing Asgard: the awesome Oversword, which, drawn from its sheath, will signal the end of the world, now has a crack in the blade. The larger the crack grows the closer the universe will come to annihilation, so the All-Father orders his sons on an expedition to discover and stop the hidden foe responsible for the outrage….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Jack Kirby
Vince Colletta
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)


(Loki Laufeyson)


> Journey Into Mystery: Book info and issue index

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