Journey Into Mystery #646

by tskavlan on November 22, 2012


I’m not afraid to admit it – I cried at the end of Gillen’s run on Journey into Mystery last month.  I did not think this title could get much better than it had been lately.  I mean, Kid Loki, Thorgi?  What else could you want?  Kathryn Immonen answers that question, quite resoundingly I might add, with none other than the Lady Sif.


Yes, it is Lady Sif that we have all been missing; we just didn’t know it yet.  I think it is fairly safe and spoiler free to acknowledge the recap page the sets the tone for the rest of the issue.  Two diminutive Asgardian youths extol the virtues of our heroine and then ask if we the readers can dig it.  If you give Immonen and company the opportunity I promise you will join in with a hearty, “verily.”


I am telling you right now, Kathryn Immonen is about to blow up.  I know she’s been around for a while, but if this issue is a preview of what is to come then she is going to be everywhere soon.


The writing on this is solid to the core.  Dialogue is always tricky in Journey into Mystery or Thor.  Overplay the “thou” and the “by Odin’s Beard” cards and you risk alienating new readers, but without the “thorspeak” as I’ve heard it called, or the more Norse aspects of this universe, you lose a lot of the magic and uniqueness Journey into Mystery can invite.  But Immonen absolutely understands how to put these characters in conversation with one another.  She maintains the winking nature the book came to be known for during the last few years.  Without question however, this book is full of just sheer bad assery.  Swordplay and the praise of violence over tolerance and dialogue.  This is the stuff comics that deal with Asgard and its noble inhabitants are made of.  There is plenty of action in this issue, especially for new readers.  The beginning of Sif’s adventure takes her across the nine realms and puts her in contact with all sorts of creatures.


Valerio Schiti is not a name I have heard often before now, but again I’m willing to bet once again here that it’s a name going to be tossed around a lot more, especially if he can maintain a schedule with this kind of quality.  Everything in this book is sharp and smooth, so much so that every panel pops.  From giant beasts to dragons to Lady Sif herself, everything Schiti has put on paper looks absolutely stunning.  The clarity and cleanness on these pages just blows me away.  Hours after reading this issue I am still a little shocked at how wonderful the art was in this issue.  Detailed backgrounds, interesting angles, and fantastic panel work all add up to make this issues one of the best things I have read in quite some time.  I don’t think there is a single panel in this comic of just talking heads.  Schiti makes every panel unique and interesting, drawing from new and innovative angels at every opportunity. The love and craft put into this comic is tangible.  Mr. Schiti deserves much more praise than I can dole out here.  If I can add any more superlatives to my celebration of Schiti’s work on this book it is this:  he manages to give every character he draws a distinct, real personality.  The most impressive example of this is the dragon Nidhogg.  I challenge anyone to read the conversation between the Nidhogg and Sif and not have a complete understanding of Nidhogg’s voice and personality.  It takes an extreme amount of talent to personify a dragon so deftly and wonderfully that readers do not hesitate for a second in being enveloped in its dialogue.


If it isn’t apparent yet, I cannot say enough good things about this book.  It is exactly the beginning we needed to a new era in Journey into Mystery.  Not to be hyperbolic, but if you fail to give this first issue a chance, then you don’t like comic books.  It’s that simple.  This is story telling of the highest quality and art like you won’t see in any other Marvel titles to say the least.  Give it a shot.  For Asgard.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


stephengervais's picture

I've always heard such good things about this title but for one reason or another never picked it up. You say this is a good jumping on point so I think I'll finally take the plunge and check it out.

Sounds like I'll have to hunt down that Gillen run as well. It seems to generate nothing but praise.