Journey Into Mystery Volume 1: Fear Itself

Journey Into Mystery Volume 1: Fear Itself
Kieron Gillen, Doug Braithwaite, 2012 (Issues released 2011)

Premise: Loki brought destruction down on Asgard, then sacrificed himself to save the world. No one knows why. But Thor still cares for his brother, so he found him (reincarnated as a boy) and brought him home. Young Loki isn’t quite the god who died, but he’s not sure who he is, either. No one trusts him, but as war comes to the Marvel Universe, he will find his own path to walk.

This is fabulous. Beautiful, evocative art, clever, intriguing dialogue and narration, twisty, fascinating plots. Oh, this is everything I had heard and more.

I have always wanted to love Thor and his supporting cast, it seems it should be a great blend of superheroics, fantasy and high adventure. And I’ve read some that I liked, and some that I disliked, but this? This I loved.

This story is set during the Fear Itself crossover from 2011, and you can see the larger plot playing out around the edges. You don’t need to know what’s happening in the larger world to follow this story, just that something big and scary is going down, but Gillen does a decent job implying the danger and purpose of the war without getting bogged down in details. All the backstory I summed up in the premise section above is nicely spelled out on a prologue page before the actual story begins.

I don’t want to say much about the plot, but Loki travels to a few different realms to gather allies and make enemies and spin brand new plans. He’s adorable, tricky, too clever by half, untrustworthy and unsure of himself, so I kind of love him. There are parts that are terribly poignant and parts where I laughed out loud. There were parts that I thought more about later and then said: “Oh. Oh, I get it. That’s brilliant!”

This book deserves all the good press I’ve heard about it. It goes on the shelf snugly between great amoral heroes and great epic fantasy comics.

Right there.

5 Stars - An Awesome Book

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