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Journey Into Mystery (1952) #110

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #110

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We start to see, why Marvel has revolving door prisons: No matter what crime one has committed, one can always leave prison on bail. It's just the bail is higher than for some other crimes. Also: You can always take your costume and gear with you.

Loki bails out Hyde and Cobra, and doubles their power, which means: First Hyde and Cobra battled Thor seperately and were presented as a thread. Than Stan made it better by letting them team up and pose as a bigger threat. And now he threw Loki in the mix, making them more powerful in the process, finally hoping, they really ARE a threat now. And they probably are - but not really for Thor.

Odin bans Thor from Asgard after the Thunderer let the two villains go, since they got Jane Foster. Thor thinks: "Well, never again to Asgard, to Balder, to Loki...LOKI! Of course, it's him! Up to Asgard!" He fights Heimdall, who manages to stall him for about one page, then all the other fighters of Asgard, who're only seen in one panel (score one Heimdall, but overall a weak performance of Asgard), and then approaches Loki, who uses the very effective strategy of...not fighting.

Seriously: This is the first time, I see the cunning, Loki will later be famous for. Thor charged through the warriors, unwilling, but thinking he has to do it. But Loki didn't raise a fist, didn't conjure any magic, he just stands there and drinks something. Attacking him would be dishonorable. And after Thor threatens him, he could lose his patience, Loki just calmly says, he notices that too, and gives him the location of Jane Foster, knowing full well his lackeys already booby-trapped everything - so we might as well assume, this was part of the plan.

The battle in the house was short, but has a nice twist of Thor and Hyde accidentally managing to create a gas explosion, that fatally wounds Jane. And for a moment, I thought this would be a big issue: Jane is dying, Thor is helpless...but then he uses abother Deus ex Machina-Power and STOPS TIME. Moreover: He stops time around the house, so Janes's life is preserved for the moment, but it somehow doesn't effect himself, Cobra and Hyde. A very annoying ending of a great part 1!

Tales of Asgard tries to be wise. It really does. But what's the story? "All-Powerfull deity fights against the more cowardly son of a former rebell to his kingdom. He purposely uses the worst battle plan ever, retreats at the first sign of trouble, and counts this as a victory, because all he wanted is to give people courage, that rebels can win victories, that even this deity can lose battles." So..either he helped a fraction, that quite clearly works against his own rule, possibly endangering multiple asgardian lives by prolonging the battle, or he had a very bad day at the office, and just showed, he can fast-talk everything into a victory (notice, how only Thor says, he begins to understand that logic). Weakest Tales of Asgard, yet.