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Journey Into Mystery #104: Review

May 1964
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

Giants Walk the Earth!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Journey Into Mystery #104 Review by (August 17, 2011)
Review: “Possibly one of the ten all-time epics you will never forget!!” Anything’s possible! It’s Lee and Kirby! An issue-long super battle scene, with gods and monsters (but no Ian McKellen)! That’s all I wanted. And that’s what I got!

Comments: First appearance of the magic sword Raven's Eye which will return after a very long wait in THOR #498-502 in 1996. 

Comments: 1. Odin visits Earth for the first time in the series. First appearance of Balder in the main series. First appearance of Odin’s winged steed in the main series. First appearance of Surtur in the main series. Thor wields the sword of Odin for the first time. 2. First in a series of biographies of Asgard’s heroes: the “origin” of Heimdall.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Journey Into Mystery #104 Synopsis by Arcturus Jackson

After last issue’s fiasco, the Enchantress and the Executioner report back to a disgusted Loki, who quickly conceives a back-up plan to destroy Thor. When summoned by Odin for advice in breaking the bond of love between Thor and Jane Foster, the trickster suggests Odin visit Earth to assert his authority in person. The All-Father agrees and names Loki ruler of Asgard until he returns, investing him with a portion of his divine power….

On Earth, Don Blake sends an exhausted Jane home to recover from her ordeal (last issue). A sense of foreboding leads him to transform into Thor to search the city for signs of danger. Meanwhile, Odin has come to New York in the guise of a dignified old man and while he is dispatching some luckless muggers, Loki is in Asgard taking advantage of his new powers to release Skagg the Storm Giant and Surtur the Fire Demon from the places where Odin had imprisoned them (in the "Tales of Asgard" back-up stories in issues #97 and #98 respectively—though Skagg was named Ymir then) and sending them to Earth to defeat Odin and Thor. Heimdall, Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge, witnesses the monsters’ escapes and sends Balder on Odin’s winged steed to Earth to warn the All-Father. Balder is spotted by Thor, who, learning that Odin is on Earth, rushes to Don Blake’s office to meet him. Informed of the danger to Earth, Odin transports all the inhabitants of the planet to a safe alternate dimension, while he and his two heroes deal with the enemy. Balder rides out to confront the Strom Giant, using his sword to shatter Skagg’s club, but the Giant responds with a massive waterspout that unhorses Balder. Thor heads into battle but a fireball from Surtur likewise plunges him into the water. Odin softens the ground beneath Skagg’s feet causing him to sink beneath the ocean’s waves but Surtur generates enough heat to solidify it once more. The Demon King then creates a massive fireball and launches it to the Arctic to melt the ice caps and flood the Earth while Skagg calls up a storm to lay waste the city. Thor channels the lightning into a weapon against the Storm Giant, weakening and stunning him. Odin, meanwhile, has enclosed New York in a protective shield and then rides to challenge Skagg. Odin drains the power from the giant faster than the unseen Loki can replenish it, until the giant collapses. Thor takes up Odin’s sword and uses it to send the giant fireball—and Surtur—into space where the Demon will remain trapped on an asteroid for eternity. Odin orders his two heroes to return to Asgard but Thor requests to stay on Earth, the home of the woman he loves. Odin returns the population and only Don Blake knows what transpired this day….

Meanwhile, back in Asgard, Loki is sentences to be slave of the Trolls for his treachery….

Story #2

Heimdall, Guardian of the Mystic Rainbow Bridge!

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

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The warrior Heimdall is summoned to appear before Odin, who tells him that the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard needs a sentry and he has chosen Heimdall to be one of the three candidates for the honor. Odin assembles the three warriors and asks them to tell why they think they should be chosen as the guardian of the Bridge. The first, Agnar the Fierce, claims his massive chest gives him the power to blow the loudest warning on the enchanted Dragon Horn to summon aid. The second, Gotron the Agile, cites his ability to fight off a multitude of foes. And Heimdall the Faithful mentions his sensitive hearing—which detects the tiniest plant growing in the heart of the Hidden Hills. Scouts dispatched to that area do indeed find a small plant sprouting in that desolate land. Heimdall then mentions his sharp eyesight which even now spies a band of Storm Giants two days away and heading for the Rainbow Bridge. A war party is sent out and finds the enemy where Heimdall said they were and defeats them and Heimdall is named guardian of the Rainbow Bridge.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Jack Kirby
Chic Stone


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)


(Loki Laufeyson)


Plus: Surtur (Surtur the Fire Demon), Ymir (Frost Giant King).

> Journey Into Mystery: Book info and issue index

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