War of the Realms: Journey into Mystery #1
From MAJK’s Coffee Corner:
Journey into Mystery #1 is one of those rare comics that I can’t decide if I love or hate it.
It’s like a tie-in to War of the Realms and yet, it’s not.
The tone and atmosphere of the comic are completely different than any of the War of the Realms books to date. It’s not that it’s bad, and it appears to be playing to the West Coast Avengers crowd, which is good because that series ended recently. But it has a vastly different storytelling tone from all the other tie-ins. It feels almost Army of Darkness in its approach.
Journey into Mystery #1 is the first series to follow up The War of The Realms #1.
The event exploded into the Marvel Universe, laying the groundwork for a high-stakes, intensely violent storyline, pulling in a massive number of Marvel’s heroes. Marvel’s most ambitious, and emotionally intense crossover event set a tone and Journey into Mystery #1 seems to have driven off (literally) in the opposite direction.
Kate’s at the wheel.
Spoiler Warning: If you have not read Journey into Mystery #1 There May Be Spoilers Below
Writer: The McElroys Artist: Andre Lima Araujo Color: Chris O’Halloran
Lettering: VC’s Clayton Cowles Cover Artist: Valerio Schiti and David Curiel
Cover of Journey into Mystery #1
The detail work on the Journey into Mystery #1 cover is great. Rebecca Ryker, Kate Bishop, Wonder Man, and Thori, are highlighted against a background of assorted enemies, with the eye-catching rainbow dead center of the cover,
It’s a packed design without being too crowded. The star of this cover is Miles Morales a.k.a Spider-Man. He is fiercely adorable while holding baby Laussa. He looks like he’s about to tickle her belly. Laussa is more adorable than the Gerber baby ever was.
Marvel’s Summary of Journey into Mystery #1
Earth is at war, besieged by an army of Frost Giants, Trolls and Fire Goblins — and the mighty Thor is nowhere to be found! But could it be that the key to turning the tide is…Thor’s baby sister? Journey into Mystery with Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Wonder Man, and Balder the Brave as they go on an epic quest to save Earth’s only hope! (And, yes, deal with diaper duty.)
This summary clues us in right away that this is going to be a different type of series. The playful parenthesis emphasizes that it doesn’t take itself seriously. Thor and Balder just discovered four weeks ago that Odin and Freyja had sex. Imagine that parental sex revelation! The product of that union is a conveniently timed baby sister.
Odin might be a terrible father but Balder is the best kind of big brother as he devotes himself immediately to his baby sister’s protection. Yo, Thor, he’s showing you up man!
Not So Serious
The McElroys, well-known brothers, authors, and podcast prodigies, are charged with writing this five-issue mini-series. They’ve undertaken this duty with exactly the same level of somber seriousness that their fans have come to expect. That is to say, not much. To be fair, the premise alone is funny. Magical baby Asgardian shows up and becomes the McGuffin that may determine the fate of Midgard and thus requires a team of unconventional heroes to protect her.
Wait, Wasn’t there a movie similar to this?
From Freya confirming that she and Odin had sex, to Thor comforting a shocked Balder, to Wonder Man’s remarks about being a pacifist, to Miles explanation of the Spider-Verse and his admonition to the Silent (not-so-silent) Norn “You know I’m not made of spiders, right? That’s another guy,” each moment of levity serves to contrast the dire circumstances Earth is facing.
There is sure to be a lot of back and forth over whether this series is any good. I’m reserving judgment but I’ll be buying the next issue.
Meet the New Kids
The best thing about this series is it introduces many of newer / lesser known heroes, and throws them together under duress. While Kate Bishop and Miles Morales are the new kids that are fairly well-known, Rebecca Ryker and Sebastian Druid are less recognized by mainstream Marvel fans.
Simon Williams has a long and weird history (what Marvel hero doesn’t) but it’s going to be fun to see how his pacifist tendencies will play out when facing the annihilation of all life on Earth.
The McElroys play up the new kids origins with a bit of tongue in cheek humor. There’s some goofiness and I’m not sure how to feel about capable characters like Balder, Miles Morales, Wonder Man and Kate Bishop acting mildly moronic at different points. But when a baby is involved that can happen. Don’t take my word for it. Instead, spend a couple of hours with an infant around an otherwise mature adult.
Unless they flat out hate children, they get goofy.
On the whole, this issue appears to be setting a tone for a lighter series that might be meant to be a bit of comic relief in the intensity of this enormous crossover event.
The fact that we are getting to know these new kids might indicate a future placement on more established teams. It may also be a precursor to them becoming a solid team of their own.
Art of Journey into Mystery #1
Araujo’s art is overall good. Close-ups with the characters are good and the expressiveness fits the tone of the panel in which they appear. Unfortunately, large-scale panels need more detail work. They feel half-done to me. It might be that it just seems too bare bones and minimal lined up against the rest of the War of the Realms books. It may be a stylistic choice but, either way, it feels like something is lacking. Still, there is no doubting that Araujo’s got talent and it’s all on display in the full-page splash of the Silent Norn telling Balder which heroes to seek out. That page is one of my two favorites in this issue. My second favorite is the last page that includes a surprise entry into the War Of The Realms, a fellow who really understands the meaning of war.
MAJK’s Age Recommendation:
This series so far is a lot of fun. As with Asgardians of the Galaxy #8, there’s cartoon level violence, nothing gory. I feel comfortable recommending this to a twelve and up audience, as Marvel does. In fact, It’s a great jumping on point for readers looking to meet some of the more intriguing new recruits in the Marvel Comic Universe.
Miles defending a Wolverine cosplayer and his boyfriend. He’s slinging webs and commentary all at once. Really you need to see this.