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Journey Into Mystery #120: Review

Sep 1965
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

With My Hammer In Hand...!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Journey Into Mystery #120 Review by (November 30, 2012)
Review: One story ends, another begins, and in-between Thor wanders around in near panic because Jane Foster is missing! Broken-backed tale is still fun even though there’s a hole in the center, filled by fledgling Avengers! The return of the Absorbing Man will be good for quite a few issues of excitement! Bonus: insight into the Norse gods’ tradition of jurisprudence. Next time you’re up before a judge, claim that you can’t help being evil; in Asgard that’s a free pass!

Comments: 1. Jack Kirby’s first use of photo-collage technique in the title. The “foreign film star” Thor spies is clearly based on Brigitte Bardot. Chronological comedy: the events of issues #114-120, p. 6 move so quickly that they occupy only about two days (with #117-120, p.6 occupying twenty-four hours!) yet several months go by in the final panel on page 6 of #120. Absorbing Man’s first appearance was issues #114-115.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Journey Into Mystery #120 Synopsis by Arcturus Jackson

Thor heads to a steel plant to reforge his damaged Uru hammer; before he leaves he takes the time to pay tribute to the Pittsburgh steel industry. Flying off, he stops in a remote area (later revealed to be in Southeast Asia), to check on the Norn Stones; bad move, since he loses one of them (this will come back to bite him in the behind later). Thor then returns to Asgard to present the Stones to Odin as proof that Loki cheated in the Trial of the Gods (issue #116); the noble Thunder God then intercedes for Loki that he can’t help being evil and Odin abandons all plans for further punishment.

Meanwhile, Loki, still not helping being evil, imprisons Ularic the warlock and helps himself to all the cool new toys with which to plot further mischief. Thor, hanging around Asgard for (apparently) months, requests of Odin that he may return to Earth to see his beloved Jane Foster. Arriving at Don Blake’s office, he finds the place shut up, the patients gone, and the rent overdue; Jane has not been seen for months. On the edge of panic he heads to Avengers Mansion to enlist the help of his old comrades in searching for her but he receives a shock: the place is occupied by heroes he has never seen before—Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver, who were recruited in AVENGERS #16 while Thor was undergoing the Trial of the Gods. Unwilling to trust a team of strangers, he goes off on his own and broods. Meanwhile, we see Jane a virtual prisoner in a dark room, told by a mystery man to forget Thor….

In Asgard, Loki, wielding the arcane devices of the Royal Warlock, has located a drifting cloud of helium in space—a cloud which was once a man! As Thor conceives a plan to contact Jane by television, he is distracted by a spheroid descending from the sky. It breaks open on the surface to reveal—the Absorbing Man! The villain turns himself into brick, ready for a rematch against the Thunder God!

Story #2

Set Sail! (Tales of Asgard series)

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

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The mighty Odin gives the order for the ship of heroes to set sail on the quest to learn who cracked the great Oversword of Asgard. The magical craft sails though the skies as the women of Asgard line the walls to see their men off. The randy Volstagg stands tall, flirting with each of them over the distance until a sight causes him to cower out of sight: the disapproving glare of his own wife. Loki gives the buffoonish Volstagg a kick in the rear ordering him to work but Thor rebukes him for treating a fellow warrior as a serf. Loki is offended that Thor would side with Volstagg against a Prince of Asgard, and while the two bicker, Magrat the Schemer persuades Kroda the Duelist to assassinate Thor. A thrown knife stays his treacherous hand though, as Hogun the Grim coldly warns against any such action. Kroda silently vows revenge against the dark-visaged warrior, as the ship sails off into the unknown. Back in Asgard, Odin ponders the wisdom of his recent (secret) decision….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Jack Kirby
Vince Colletta
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Vince Colletta (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Absorbing Man
Absorbing Man

(Crusher Creel)

(Clint Barton)

(Hogun the Grim)

(Loki Laufeyson)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


Plus: Harris Hobbs, Kroda the Duellist, Magrat the Schemer.

> Journey Into Mystery: Book info and issue index

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