Journey Into Mystery 1: Fear Itself

journey into mystery volume 1 fear itself cover loki
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

It feels like Gillen is trying something new

Heavier than a lot of series and sometimes hard to see the big picture

Comic Info

Comic Name: Journey Into Mystery (Volume 4)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Doug Braithwaite

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2010

journey into mystery #622 cover thor loki

Journey Into Mystery (4) #622

Reprints Journey Into Mystery (4) #622-626 (June 2011-October 2011).  After the fall of Asgard, Loki finds himself reduced to a child, but even a child-Loki is a dangerous Loki.  Odin’s decision to rebuild Asgard, the imprisonment of Thor, and the upcoming battle with the Serpent sets Loki in motion.  Travelling upon the Hel-Wolf, Loki needs allies and he might have to go to Hell to get them.  The danger is growing for Asgard and Midgard could be collateral damage…what’s Loki’s game?

Written by Kieron Gillen, Journey Into Mystery Volume 1:  Fear Itself is a Marvel Comics superhero series that spun-off the Thor series and the events of Siege while tying into Fear Itself.  The collection continues the number of the original Thor series and features art by Doug Braithwaite.  A companion book to The Might Thor, the issues were also collected in Journey Into Mystery by Kieron Gillen:  The Complete Collection—Volume 1 and Loki:  Journey Into Mystery by Kieron Gillen Omnibus.  The collection also contains of Thor Spotlight and Fear Itself Spotlight.

Growing up, I never was that into the Thor comics.  It was heavy and loaded with cliché “say thee nay” and “Odin’s beard” type talk that felt cheesy instead of impressive…plus, Thor was just too strong for other characters.  I started to look back on Thor and rereading the series and the spin-off series.  The Loki character in all the runs is generally interesting, but he is far more interesting in the context like here where he is living up to his monikers of the “God of Mischief” and Trickster.

journey into mystery #625 cover loki leah

Journey Into Mystery (4) #625

The series has Loki not necessarily being evil (you don’t really know his true motivation in general), and it focuses on Loki trying to win the big game.  This leads to lots of wheeling and dealing, secret meeting, and the character having to stay one step ahead of everyone else.  This includes the reader for the most part, and the book is a little tricky in trying to keep a hold of the big picture to understand what is going on…Loki has a plan, but I don’t know if you can piecemeal it out very easily.

The series is a companion piece so it sometimes feels like you are missing parts of the story.  The events in Mighty Thor are big here and serve as the trigger for much of what is occurring in Journey Into Mystery.  I don’t know that it is 100% necessary to read Mighty Thor, but it does help to know the set-up, what occurred in Siege, and the Fear Itself story (neither of which were great).  For this reason, I don’t know that this book is for the casual Thor reader (someone probably would need to go online to get some background for some parts of the story).

Regardless of the accessibility of the series, Gillen shows some potential for trying something new with Thor and Loki.  Loki as the antihero is an interesting idea and the fact that Gillen is setting the whole series up as a big grift compels you to keep reading to see what Loki is up to…has he turned over a new leaf?  Only time will tell…  Journey Into Mystery 1:  Fear Itself is followed by Journey Into Mystery 2:  Fear Itself Fallout.

Related Links:

Journey Into Mystery 2:  Fear Itself Fallout

Journey Into Mystery/New Mutants:  Exiled

Journey Into Mystery Featuring Sif 1:  Stronger Than Monsters


Fear Itself

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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