In every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a suggestion for a future installment!
Today, we look at the bonkers first appearance of Loki in Journey Into Mystery #85 by Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber, Stan Lee and Dick Ayers.
Jack Kirby was a big fan of the Norse myths and so it makes sense that Loki’s debut would include a bit more nods to the Norse myths that we would get in this series once Kirby was no longer working on the book (and do note that when Kirby returned to become the regular plotter/penciler on the series, that is when the book FULLY embraced the Norse mythology backdrop of the characters).
It opened with Loki being trapped in a tree, but causing a leaf to fall and poke Hemidall in the eye, allowing Loki the cover to escape. He arrived on Earth and discovered that Thor is being a do-gooder among the humans, so Loki quickly puts some humans in danger by turning them into NEGATIVES!
I love how absurd this display of his power is. Dude just turned people into NEGATIVES! This was clearly during that period where the limit of everyone’s power was just whatever crazy thing Jack Kirby was thinking of at that moment.
As a counter to Loki‘s actions, we discover that Thor’s hammer can emit anti-matter, which, of course, can turn a negative person into a normal person…
I am not a scientist, but I am pretty sure that that is 100% scientifically accurate. You can quote me on that. “Brian Cronin told me that it is 100% accurate that if a magic hammer were to emit anti-matter particles at a group of people who were magically transformed into negative versions of themselves, they would revert to their normal selves.”
Loki then makes his public showing and Jane Foster, of course, instantly thinks that he is hot. Loki then quickly hypnotizes Thor…
Loki is dismayed that Thor’s hammer keeps returning to him, so Loki comes up with the obvious plan of creating a duplicate of Thor and having Thor give the hammer to “Thor” and that somehow keeps the hammer from returning to Thor. Once again, I can certify that this is 100% accurate…
After Don Blake haphazardly decides to try to lift the hammer, he becomes Thor and chases after Loki who has, for some reason, decided to take control of a flock of pigeons under the theory that this will somehow keep Thor from him? “No, not pigeons! Anything but pigeons!”
We then learn Loki has a major weakness, exploited when Thor knocks him into the water. Loki’s spells can’t work while he’s wet. Once again, I certify that that is 100% accurate and logical. Thor ties the wet Loki to his hammer and throws him back to Asgard, as you do…
That was one wild ride for a new character, right? But you can already see why Loki would become such a great character, even in this bonkers, pigeon-riding debut.
If anyone else has a suggestion for a future I Love Ya But You’re Strange, drop me a line at email@example.com! Again, we’re going to have a whole month of these, so, well, more suggestions would be great!
In their spotlight on bizarrely awesome comics, CSBG shows the really weird first fight between Thor and Loki in Journey Into Mystery.