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Journey Into Mystery #87: Review

Dec 1962
Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

Prisoner of the Reds!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Journey Into Mystery #87 Review by (May 28, 2011)
Review: I have a special fondness for this tale: it was the first Thor story I had ever read, in a reprint mag in the late 60s. Again, the Cold War background dates it a bit but the story is perfect for kids with its non-stop displays of power by the hero.

Comments: For the first time it’s Don Blake who “volunteers” Thor for a dangerous mission, and Don who rescues Thor from captivity. Jane seems to have forgotten what she ever saw in Don and she still has no last name. Thor creates a thunderstorm indoors.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Journey Into Mystery #87 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Five American scientists vanish, leaving notes that they are defecting to Russia. Dr. Don Blake decides to look into the matter so plans to head to Washington to confer with Colonel Harrison. Jane Foster fusses over him, while dreaming of Thor. In DC, Don proposes that he use himself as bait in a trap to learn how the Reds are making the scientists defect. He then flies back to New York as Thor (presumably having bought only a one-way plane ticket and abandoning his luggage in Washington). When the news reports that Dr. Donald Blake has developed a new biological weapon, the Commies take notice. A Red agent posing as a news photographer doses Don with hypnotic gas and manipulates him into writing a farewell note and accompanying him to an awaiting plane. When Don comes around he is in a dungeon in Moscow with the other missing scientists, who are being pressured into serving the Russians. The captives are then sent into separate cells to break their wills but once away from witnesses, Don taps his cane on the ground and becomes Thor. Crashing through the walls with a shock wave, he blinds the guards with sparks from his hammer, and then falls into a trap: a section of the floor drops away and Thor plunges into a shark pool. The Thunder God generates a whirlpool to occupy the sharks while he escapes. An enemy scientist threatens to blow up the castle unless Thor surrenders, so out hero allows himself to be chained up. Left alone and separated from his hammer for sixty seconds, Thor reverts to the form of Don Blake. His smaller figure allows him to easily slip through his bonds and he returns to Thor when he recovers the hammer. Thor then frees the American prisoners and digs an escape tunnel for them, then returns to the prison to call up an indoor thunderstorm which brings the building crashing down around the enemy. Don joins his countrymen as they make their way out of the country and on to a ship. Back in the States, Jane swoons over Don’s account of Thor’s heroics, while he silently worships her from afar.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Jack Kirby
Dick Ayers
Plot: . Letterer: Art Simek.


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