Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thank The gods Tis Thor's Day!- Journey Into Mystery # 84

As promised, Thor returns. And so does "Lame Doctor Donald Blake" America.

We get to see what things are like for Dr. Blake when he's not vacationing in Northern Europe. Seems like he's a kindly, caring physician who still makes house calls. Also his nurse, Jane Foster (In this issue, she's referred to as Jane Nelson- maybe they lost the notes from this issue going forward?) is desperately in love with him. Or, she wants to be, but thinks he's coldly indifferent to her. Oh Jane ! How wrong you are!

See, Don Blake is madly in love with Jane, but he's afraid she would reject him because he's "a cripple". Yeah, Don, what girl could possibly look past that limp of yours to see the handsome, young doctor who can afford a private practice in Manhattan?

Showing that Thor is not the only hero in this comic, Dr. Blake volunteers to go to the war-torn Central American nation of San Diablo (Saint Devil?? Yeah, THAT's likely) to provide medical relief. Before Don and Jane can even arrive, however, their ship is attacked by Commie jet fighters who want to stop the "Yankee doctors" from providing aid and comfort to the Democratic forces. If you were having any doubts, yes, this WAS scripted by Larry Lieber.

Don transforms into Thor and smashes the Commie jets. He then changes to his "rightful self " of Don Blake under water -See? I told you two weeks ago he wasn't supposed to really be Thor!- and calls for help from the ship. After Don is rescued, Jane begins to think about how handsome that Thor guy was.

When the medical team from the U.S. finally arrives in San Diablo, they are once again targeted by the Communist forces of "The Executioner".

Note: this Executioner is just a beret-wearing Che Guevara look-alike, not the Asgardian of the same name from later Thor comics.

Commie guerrillas attack the medical convoy, only to be stopped by a violent thunderstorm summoned by Dr. Blake and his magic stick. Once the weather clears and the convoy resumes, the commies send in tanks.

Blake once again changes to Thor and smashes up the entire tank squad, only to learn that Jane Foster was captured in the melee. Jane is taken back to Commie headquarters where Comrade Executioner tries to put the moves on her. He is interrupted by news that his men have caught another Yankee- Dr. Don Blake. The Executioner takes Blake's stick and orders him shot as a spy, but Jane says she'll do anything if Blake is set free. The Executioner says he will let Blake go if Jane will marry him (if that's not a euphemism, I don't know what is).

Blake challenges the Executioner to a one-on-0ne fight, then tricks him into tossing away the magic cane, which Don catches and immediately transforms to Thor.

Thor mops the floor with the Commies and the Executioner is caught by his own men trying to make off with all their funds (in big, Scrooge McDuck-style bags with "$" on them!) and meets his fate at the hands of his own death squad. All the Commies have an immediate conversion to Democratic ideals and Don and Jane get to treat the sick and injured.

We close with Jane asking Don where he went when Thor showed up. Don tells her he hid behind the execution wall, planting the seed in Jane's mind that she wishes Don was more like Thor. Dames!


  1. Aaron: That always struck me too - how the cane was somehow supposed to render this square-jawed blonde and blue eyed doctor unattractive to women. Hmmm. In realty, the cane would have been a romantic touch, elevating Doc Blake to near God-like status with the ladies. Hell, he would have had groupies. House calls? You bet!

    Marvel was quite the Commie-busting mag back in the day. - Mykal

  2. Well, once those commies got their hands on all that cash, of course they quickly converted to capital ... er ... "democracy". (Don't you just love the conflation of economics with political ideology?)

    In an odd coincidence, I've been working on a short story since yesterday that involves Che. I should have it posted to-night.