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Journey Into Mystery #640: Review

Jun 2012
Kieron Gillen, Richard Elson

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

3 stars

Journey Into Mystery #640 Review by (November 11, 2013)
Review: Is Britain fundamentally rural or urban? The question seems a bit too esoteric for an American comic book about Norse gods but just go with it. I’ll admit I had to turn to Avengers Aficionado Rob Johnson for an assist in comprehending some plot subtleties. The cultural concerns make this story a cut below most others in the series—it’s one thing to learn about a new culture from a comic book, it’s quite another to have to research the answers yourself. But then some writers do ‘ave ‘em. The best part: a steampunk druid.

Comments: Part two of three. The other Northern places of power mentioned are the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Karl Marx’s tomb (“some guy with an awesome beard’s grave in Highgate”), the Cavern Club in Liverpool (where the Beatles became famous), and “some greenhouse in Northampton” (possibly a reference to Alan Moore’s home). Master Wilson’s quote “There is no future in England's dreaming” is from the song “God Save the Queen” by the Sex Pistols.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Journey Into Mystery #640 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

To carry out his new scheme of bringing peace between the old gods of Otherworld and the new, Loki meets with the Son of Satan, Daimon Hellstrom, in a pub; he asks Hellstrom to supply him with a map of the powerful symbolic sites of the upstart Manchester Gods….

King Arthur is leading the forces of faerie against the Manchester Gods in the Scottish Highlands when the northern god suddenly retreats. Loki appears and explains that he has blown up one of the enemy’s places of power, the home of industrialist Baron William Armstrong, the first house in England lit by hydroelectricity. Loki then reveals that he will be destroying more such sites to give the Old Gods an advantage in the war. The next target is the Hacienda, the notorious Manchester nightclub; after this Loki arranges a meeting with the upstart gods at Witton Park (station for the first commercial passenger railway in Britain). A fiery ghost train appears and takes Loki and Leah to an appointment with Master Wilson, leader of the Manchester Gods and a sort of steampunk druid. Wilson explains that the threat to Otherworld is of their own people deserting the tyrannical monarchy of old for the comfortable and progressive luxuries of the new city-gods; the true war is one of clashing cultures and ideas. Is Britain fundamentally rural or urban? Master Wilson wants a British pantheon that reflects the nation. Wilson leaves them alone, allowing them to stay as long as they like. Leah urges Loki to free the Red King (the being which powers the Manchester Gods) but Loki refuses, realizing they are on the wrong side….

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Richard Elson
Richard Elson
Ifansyah Noor
Stephanie Hans (Cover Penciler)
Stephanie Hans (Cover Inker)
Stephanie Hans (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Loki Laufeyson)
Son of Satan
Son of Satan

(Daimon Hellstrom)

Plus: Captain Britain (Brian Braddock), King Arthur, Leah of Hel, Manchester Gods, Merlin the Magician.

> Journey Into Mystery: Book info and issue index

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