Journey Into Mystery 4: The Manchester Gods

journey into mystery volume 4 the manchester gods cover trade paperback tpb
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Good looking

Wraps things up a bit too quickly, short collection

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Journey Into Mystery (Volume 4)/The Mighty Thor (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Kieron Gillen/J.M. DeMatteis

Artist:  Richard Elson

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  2012

journey into mystery #640 cover loki leah

Journey Into Mystery (4) #640

Reprints Journey Into Mystery (4) #639-641 and The Mighty Thor (1) Annual #1 (August 2012-September 2012).  A new batch of gods has risen in England and their arrival has threatened the balance of power surrounding Otherworld.  With a plea to All-Mother of Asgardia, the gods of Otherworld are seeking help…but they get Loki instead.  Covertly working for the All-Mothers, Loki is out to topple the Manchester Gods, but when Loki learns the plight of the Manchester Gods, Loki’s allegiance might waver.

Written by Kieron Gillen, Journey Into Mystery Volume 4:  The Manchester Gods is a Marvel Comics superhero comic book collection.  Following Journey Into Mystery 3:  The Terrorism Myth, the series features art by Richard Elson and also contains The Might Thor (1) Annual #1 (August 2012) illustrated by Elson and written by J.M. DeMatteis.  Issues in this collection were included as part of Journey Into Mystery by Kieron Gillen:  The Complete Collection—Volume 2 and Loki:  Journey Into Mystery by Kieron Gillen Omnibus among others.

This period of Thor is kind of interesting in that I’ve always loved Thor’s supporting characters.  While the series primarily focuses on Loki, it is nice to see some of the other Asgardians play a hand in events…but the good doesn’t outweigh the problems of this volume.

The biggest thing noticeable about this collection is the short length.  While it has four issues and one of them is an oversized annual, the collection just doesn’t have much substance.  This has been a bit of a problem with this run on Journey Into Mystery and The Mighty Thor, but here it feels like it isn’t giving much to readers.  If you like Journey Into Mystery, the story isn’t substantial, and you get thrown a Thor story within the Journey Into Mystery format…which I might just want to read Thor.

journey into mystery #641 cover leah hel

Journey Into Mystery (4) #641

The Journey Into Mystery:  The Manchester Gods storyline also feels a bit haphazard.  With plans to end Gillen’s run, he has to tie up storylines.  The core story (aka the old gods of England vs. the modern industrial gods of England) is good.  Unfortunately, you have a quick ending to Loki’s dealings with Hellstrom which started in the last volume and you also see the bitter end of Leah which feels like it deserved more time since Leah was the heart of Loki and Journey Into Mystery essentially.  The ending makes sense, but it also feels like it is sidelined by the Otherworld storyline.

I do like Richard Elson’s art.  It gives the gods weight and style which they need.  Thor has a few different approaches that can be taken like Kirby’s wild and crazy cosmic look, and Elson’s approach almost feels like what would have happened if Kirby could have kept evolving.  It has that wild look, but it also has more of the realism of today.

Journey Into Mystery is headed toward the ending, and it needs to wrap stuff up.  While the next storyline is the end of the series, a lot of Gillen’s work is tied up here to set-up for it…which isn’t the most satisfying.  I look forward to the next volume which has both of Gillen’s titles coming together into one storyline, but I also mourn the Thor and Asgardians it loses in the process.  Journey Into Mystery 4:  The Manchester Gods is followed by The Mighty Thor/Journey Into Mystery:  Everything Burns.

Related Links:

Journey Into Mystery 1:  Fear Itself

Journey Into Mystery 2:  Fear Itself Fallout

Journey Into Mystery/New Mutants:  Exiled

Journey Into Mystery Featuring Sif 1:  Stronger than Monsters

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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