Review: Journey into Mystery #622

Published on April 15th, 2011

Sometimes, those guys at Marvel Comics can be pretty tricky. Thor originally got his start in Journey into Mystery #83 by the time the book reached its 126th, issue the book was officially retitled Thor. After several other renames and reboots the book is once again called Journey into Mystery with this latest issue. I tried looking into the history of the name changes and reboots, but after a while it becomes an unrecognizable mess.  Titles and numbering aside, the question is, is this book any good? No, not really.

journeyintomystery622Along with a new name, this book has a new creative team, or an older one. Kieron Gillen and Dougie Braithwaithe were doing the book right before Matt Fraction had taken over. Honestly, I wasn’t very fond of the book at that point either. Thor is probably one of the hardest characters to write, most likely because of all the history and mythology that goes along with the character.

This comic doesn’t focus so much on Thor. Instead, the main character is the recently brought back Loki (who is now about 12 years old). In this first issue, we join Loki trying to solve the mystery of who he is. It starts off with one clue that leads to another and another until Loki is eventually brought face to face with the older version of himself who sacrificed himself to stop the Void during the Siege story line. By the end it feels that we were just thrown a bunch of convenient and self-fulfilling answers as to why Loki ended his life as a hero.

There’s a few bright points to the book. I like the interaction between Li’l Loki and the Warriors Three who have promised Thor that they would watch over Loki and keep him safe. There’s a brief scene where Loki has purchased a cell phone and Thor has to figure out how Loki could even purchase a phone, which was somewhat amusing. The only real reason to purchase this comic is because of the tie-in to Fear Itself, but even that doesn’t seem all that necessary.

The biggest problem with this book is that it’s boring. The first four pages follows a group of magpies as they travel the nine realms. Eventually, the birds are tied into the book, but the whole thing felt dragged out and unnecessary. This book is also teeming with what Simon calls, “Thor Speak.” Normally, I don’t have much of a problem with the Norse speech, but with almost nothing going on, it didn’t help this book.

I understand that with the Thor movie coming out in a couple of weeks, Marvel is taking the opportunity to cash in and put out as much Thor-related material as possible, but does anybody really want this book? After reading this and Generation Hope, I don’t have high expectations for anything Gillen is writing. I’m more than a little skeptical of him taking over Uncanny X-Men. Maybe if I’m lucky it’ll be awesome, in that case, I will gladly eat my own words, but I don’t plan on continuing with this book. Especially, when there’s a perfectly good Thor book entitled: Mighty Thor to read, which is written by Matt Fraction with amazing art by Olivier Coipel.

Ken Zeider