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Journey Into Mystery #89: Review

Feb 1963
Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

The Thunder God and The Thug!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Journey Into Mystery #89 Review by (June 8, 2011)
Review: Another fond memory from my childhood, this issue thrilled me as a kid. See, what is the point of having a hero with godlike powers, when all you throw at him are standard crooks? DC had the same trouble with Green Lantern in his early days. When pitting the Thunder God against a thug, Stan had the brilliant idea to put Thor into a position where his powers were a liability, hence Don Blake is separated from his cane, and then Thor is held at bay (twice) when the bad guy takes hostages. This struck me as genius when my age was a single digit and stuff you like in childhood stays with you a loooong time. And we won’t concern ourselves with questions such as, “When did Thor become a ventriloquist?” and, “Where exactly did Thatcher read that Thor and Don Blake are always in the same place at the same time (and when did he learn Don’s name and the address of his office)?”

Comments: Includes a recap of Thor’s origin. First appearances of Thug Thatcher and Ruby, who would return nearly 25 years later in Thor #368-372. It’s established that Odin is aware of Don Blake.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Journey Into Mystery #89 Synopsis by Arcturus Jackson

Thor heads back to the office of Dr. Don Blake to resume his normal life but as he flies toward the window he is spotted by the patients in Don’s waiting room. Quickly detouring to a higher window, the Thunder God enters the storeroom of a mannequin shop where he hastily rigs up a Thor dummy and hurls it into the distance. While the patients are distracted, he enters his private office and changes into his Don Blake guise to begin his working day. (And Jane Foster daydreams about Thor—polishing his hammer, ironing his cloak, and giving him a shorter haircut for the summer.)

Meanwhile, mobster Thug Thatcher, sentenced to prison for selling substandard steel in the construction racket, is being taken away to serve his sentence. His gang has arranged an escape, however, right in front of Don’s office. Don is unable to change into Thor while Jane is present so he must watch and wait. A furious gun battle erupts in the street and Thatcher is hit. Spotting Don Blake’s office sign, two of his henchmen force Don to accompany them at gunpoint to treat their wounded leader. Don is taken to a cabin in the country where he meets Thatcher and his concerned girlfriend Ruby. After removing the bullet and bandaging Thatcher’s shoulder, the gangster orders his men to silence Don. Separated from his cane, he establishes mental contact with Odin who sends down a small bolt of lightning to shock the hood holding the cane; Don grabs it and strikes it on the floor, becoming Thor. Explaining that he came in the window and tossed the doctor to safety while they were blinded, Thor easily takes care of the gang by blowing a tablecloth on them and wrapping them up. He fells some trees with his thrown hammer to stop the rest of the punks from escaping by car. Thatcher and Ruby have made it safely to the woods. Remembering from the papers that Thor and Don Blake are frequently seen in the same places, the gangster heads to Don’s office and takes Jane hostage. When Thor arrives he is forced to drop his hammer. As the seconds tick down, the Thunder God distracts the thug by throwing his voice and recovers the hammer which he spins to carry Jane on an updraft out of the window to safety. Returning to the office, Thor finds that Thatcher has holed up atop a construction site while Ruby pleads for him to surrender. Thor casts lightning bolts to melt the girders around Thatcher, who seizes a bucket of red-hot rivets, threatening to dump them on the crowd unless Thor promises not to capture him. The girder the crook is standing on collapses under his weight as it is a piece of substandard steel he had sold the company. Thor catches him and turns him over to the police, and calls on Odin to erase Ruby’s memory of ever having loved a criminal.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Jack Kirby
Dick Ayers


Listed in Alphabetical Order.



Plus: Thug Thatcher.

> Journey Into Mystery: Book info and issue index

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