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Journey Into Mystery #98: Review

Nov 1963
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

Challenged by the Human Cobra!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Journey Into Mystery #98 Review by (July 18, 2011)
Review: Yeah, I know the Cobra seems a bit silly—he gained snake powers from being bitten by a radioactive cobra. (Come on, everyone knows that only works with spiders.) And a guy with super-slithering powers is hardly a formidable foe for a Norse god. But everyone has to start somewhere, and Stan and Jack seem to have realized the character’s inherent limitations, so they quickly teamed him with Mister Hyde, for a classic brains-and-brawn duo and bedeviled Thor for quite some time. Later writers made him the head of the Serpent Society and he finally came into his own as a Captain America villain. So it all turned out well.

Comments: First appearance and origin of the Cobra. It is not revealed when Voorhees found the time to create the costume and weapons he uses. Dr. Andrews (Basil and Bruce in the previous issue) has no first name in this one. 2. The Ice Giants were called the Frost Giants last issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Journey Into Mystery #98 Synopsis by Arcturus Jackson

Having lost his love Jane Foster to another man, Thor reacts by beating the living crap out of a file cabinet. Angered at how his Thor identity is messing up his life, Dr. Don Blake longs to confess his secret to Jane but he has been forbidden to by Odin. The All-Father, who has been watching his son’s antics from on high, summons Thor to Asgard and advises him to put all thoughts of Jane Foster from his mind, but Thor cannot. Don Blake makes the decision to travel far away….

In a small village in India, Don’s old friend Professor Shecktor is close to discovering an antidote for snakebite. His jealous assistant Klaus Voorhees plots a way he can gain the credit for himself. He plans to let a deadly cobra bite them both—and to cure only himself….

When Don arrives in India he hears the news that Professor Shecktor is dying. Changing into Thor he hurries to his friend’s side. There, he learns the truth from Shecktor (who doesn’t seem surprised to see a Norse god walk into his bedroom). The Professor reveals that the snake in question was radioactive and that as a result of that and the antidote Voorhees has gained cobra powers. Heading to the airport, Thor learns that Voorhees has boarded a plane for New York; the Thunder God calls up a typhoon to blow himself across the Ocean and catch up with his quarry. Voorhees, having adopted the costumed identity of The Cobra, enters a chemical plant and slithers along the ceiling and demands the executives mass-produce the serum for him to create an army of serpent men. Thor crashes through the window and confronts the villain, who fires cobra dart and cobra gas bombs at the hero. While Thor swings his hammer to blow the deadly gas out the window, the Cobra entangles him in an unbreakable Cobra-Cord, causing him to drop his hammer and the villain hurls Thor out of the window. After sixty seconds with his hammer, Thor transforms back into Don Blake, whose smaller form can easily escape his bonds. He rushes back inside and reclaims the hammer and again confronts his foe. Cobra unleashes a high-pressured stream of acid from a lab tank which slows Thor down briefly. Attacking his foe, the hero accidentally smashes a tank of chemicals which blinds him long enough for the villain to get away. Cobra flees to a random doctor’s office—which just happens to belong to Dr. Andrews, Jane’s new employer. The villain demands access to Andrews’ lab and the terrified medico readily agrees. Disgusted with his cowardly performance, Jane spies Thor flying past the window and hurls a flask through to attract his attention. For this act, the Cobra fires deadly darts at her but Thor intervenes just in time. The villain seizes Jane as a hostage and climbs out the window slithering down the wall; Thor flies around the building and hits Cobra by surprise. Jane is rescued but the Cobra gets away. Jane returns to work for Don, and the Cobra is left plotting further mischief.

Story #2

Odin Battles Ymir, King of the Ice Giants

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Don Heck. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

In ancient days the Ice Giants attacked Asgard, and Odin joined the battle in his chariot drawn by winged stallions, hurling meteor bolts down on them. The giants responded with a titanic gust of frozen wind, blowing away the chariot and leaving Odin stranded on a mountain. Odin used his sword to cleave the mountain in two, dropping the Ice Giants into the chasm. Ymir, the last of the enemies, pursued Odin until the Master of the Gods lured him to a dormant volcano. Striking the ground with his sword, Odin unleashed a ring of fire, trapping the ice giant forever.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Don Heck
Don Heck
Letterer: Art Simek.


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Plus: Cobra (Klaus Voorhees), Frost Giants, Ymir (Frost Giant King).

> Journey Into Mystery: Book info and issue index

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