As the battle for Asgardia begins in earnest, Journey Into Mystery seems to be going full-on "Game of Thrones." Political machinations are abound here as Loki tried to keep his head attached, but figuratively and literally.
Things I liked:
- Seeing Volstagg in his current compromised position threw a little bit of depth into the largest member of the Warriors Three. While he's probably been given the most amount of development in the past couple of years, this allows us to see him as something more than just a funnyman. He's serious, unsure of himself and desperate - while we don't need heroes like that all the time, we need to see them challenged.
- This issue is very Loki-centric, and I like how Mystery has kind of become "his book." While his arc is a bit confusing, it's nice to see Marvel trying to get readers to empathise with him a little bit. Hopefully fans of the Avengers film will latch on and realize that there's more to him than Hiddleston. The way he solves some problems in this issue are to be admired, and working his "trickster" nature into things interests me greatly.
- I'm a big fan of full-page spreads like this issue's all-black page that just says "Doom" in simple text. It gave me the impression that the issue was over at first, but then I realized that it was a great use of dramatic pause to "reset" the readers' way of thinking before the final pages. With such a huge shift in mood, it was needed.
- Anything with Bill of Broxton in it gets my stamp of approval.
Things I didn't:
- A betrayal of Loki kind of comes off as out of left field and kind of lame. The pages that take place after have some pretty atrocious dialog, and really serve as a speedbump in an otherwise great issue. I don't care if they're foul-mouthed hellhounds: they should not be talking like that.
- Thor's absence from most of this issue is really noted, as him coming in in the final pages feels rushed. With one issue left in this "Everything Burns" storyline, how will they wrap it up?
Journey Into Mystery #664
The Verdict: A good issue in many regards, but man, do the bad things stick out. It earns four swords out of five, but it's definitely on the low end of that scale.