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Journey Into Mystery #623: Review

May 2011
Kieron Gillen, Doug Braithwaite

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Journey Into Mystery #623 Review by (March 26, 2013)
Review: A brilliant series keeps its focus on the sly and entertaining young Loki, one of the most interesting characters to appear in Thor’s titles of late and Kieron Gillen is solely responsible. As he goes about spinning the threads of his devious plot to protect Asgard from The Serpent using the only weapon he has—trickery—this Loki is always a delight to watch. And we find that Thor has a sense of humor as well, albeit very dry. Braithewaite’s art brings the tale to life to life. This issue’s highlights include Loki’s sparring with the Hel-Wolf, who is not only scary but more cunning than one might expect. Another nice bit is the interplay between Loki and Volstagg, with the story of Thor’s pet goats.

Comments: FEAR ITSELF tie-in: the opening of this issue coincides with the first few pages of FEAR ITSELF #2.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Journey Into Mystery #623 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Odin leads the Aesir to a new Asgard where they begin preparations to fight the Serpent, even if it means destroying Earth. Thor balks at this plan and rebels against the All-Father and is imprisoned in the dungeons. The vicious Hel-Wolf is also locked away to be released when the time is right. Embittered warrior Galinn attempts to murder Loki but he is overpowered by Volstagg who is pledged to protect Thor’s young brother—though he dislikes him greatly. The voluminous warrior sets Loki to an important task: cleaning out the stables of the Thunder God’s pet goats, Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder. As the boy labors at his shovel, Volstagg recounts how Thor came to have these vicious goats…. When Thor and Loki were young, the former envied the elves and their horses; Loki, ever on the lookout for mischief, persuaded his brother that goats would make more impressive steeds. So Thor, after several attempts to tame the goats the traditional way had failed (painfully), had the dwarves create the Breed-Thrall, a magic bridle, which allowed the hero to tame the beasts and ride them back to Asgard. Later, Loki asks his pet magpie (containing the spirit of the old Loki) for advice; the bird suggests he seek wisdom from the Nornish women at the base of the World Tree. The boy plunges down into the pit at the end of a cord, and returns muttering insanely—but now he has a plan and a path (we will discover what he learned in issue #625). For counsel on whether he should take this route, he sneaks into the dungeon and consults Thor, keeping the details in the dark. The Thunder God advises him to do what he knows is right even if it costs him everything. So Loki goes about enlisting allies….

Loki approaches the captive Hel-Wolf and has the monster promise on his soul to serve Loki before unlocking the cage. Once out, the Hel-Wolf reveals he has no soul and attacks the boy—who dives out of a window and drops on the creature’s back, pulling the Breed-Thrall into his mouth. Once the monster’s helpless rage is quieted, Loki extracts its promise to serve him for life, before announcing they are about to visit Hel….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Doug Braithwaite
Doug Braithwaite
Ulises Arreola
Stephanie Hans (Cover Penciler)
Stephanie Hans (Cover Inker)
Stephanie Hans (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Loki Laufeyson)


Plus: Hel-Wolf.

> Journey Into Mystery: Book info and issue index

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