I’ll admit; I probably should have been reading Kieron Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery to have a better understanding of what was going on. This volume collects the series’ final arc, which was a cross over with The Mighty Thor. It’s up to Kid Loki and Thor to save everyone, and tie up the loose ends of Gillen’s run on Journey and Matt Fraction’s on The Mighty Thor.
Unfortunately, I picked this up completely cold. There is a lot of stuff going on that required tons and tons of Googleing to figure out. What happened–or at least what I think happened–was that Kid Loki has been feuding with the spirit of his older self all this time. And as a result, he’s somehow freed the fire demon Surtur. So it is up to him and his older brother Thor to save the universe.
There’s a lot of deception, trickery and flat-out lying between all the characters, as well as allusions to some of the previous plot lines in Journey Into Mystery. All of this really confused me to the point that I still don’t have a clue as to what exactly happened. So I’m going to ask you my reader pals what happened.
What I do feel comfortable talking about was how much I liked Alan Davis’ art on the Thor parts of this. He’s such a great–and underutilized–artist.
But getting back to this, I’m going to say that it’s pretty forgettable unless you have been following the Journey series. If you were a faithful reader of that series, I will give it a hearty recommendation. And if you knew what happened in this, please let me know!
Journey Into Mystery found a new Asgardian lead character in issue #646, as longtime supporting character Sif finally gets an adventure of her own. The series also features a new writer in Kathryn Immonen. So how does Sif make out in her maiden voyage?
The story starts out with Sif rescuing one of the many children of everyone’s favorite rotund Asgardian, Volstagg the Voluminous. Sif returns the child to his family only to find something that disgusts her: the Asgardian children know very little of their people’s heroes and legend. Immonen fund a unique way that is a nod to the title’s history; the Volstagg children are proudly showing Sif issues of Journey Into Mystery from the early 1960’s giant alien monster era! To the kids’ defense, that what happens when you pretty much live in the middle of Oklahoma.
By the second half of the issue, the series’ new direction is pretty much set. Sif is on a quest to find out what had happened to some of the forgotten mythological characters of Asgard’s past, but also seems to want to establish her own place in the hierarchy of the Asgardian pantheon. The first issue ends with her seemingly beheading Aerndis, some sort of mythological teacher who might have been an enemy of the Asgardians. The last page has Sif sitting at an Oklahoma bar having a beer or two, with what appears to be Aerndis’ bloody head in a bag next to her.
On the art end, Valerio Schiti just knocks one out of the park. The Italy-based artist just knocks it out of the park on this. It’s just amazing to look at it. His style skews toward the thinner linework side but is great. In the opening story you can see that he’s more than just your average comics artist; he can draw children and women very well, something that many a comic artist can’t master.
Some of the dialogue was a little rough (with the Asgardian/old English vocabulary) to get through at points, but Journey Into Mystery was a pretty good first issue for a new direction. I do want to see where this story goes but I’m not sure if this is going to be a monthly purchase. I think I’ll be talking more about this in April when the first collected volume comes out.