This comic features a child protagonist and talking animals.
Right there. Thatís where I, Comics Bulletin reviewer Jamil Scalese, would stop reading this review and conclude that this story was not for me. Damn, Iím stupid. Kieron Gillenís Journey Into Mystery is a delightful, intense journey that compliments Fear Itself in a way that makes it feel like itís part of a Director's Cut.
Somehow, Loki is our hero. Granted, itís a child version of the Trickster God, and Gillen even uses Volstagg to point out that itís pretty hard to hate on a kid, but itís kind of guilty pleasure rooting for him. Loki is oddly noble here, and his justification to want to aid his Asgardian brothers out of some form of guilt -- and a natural childlike glee -- is believable. The story roots itself in the fantasy aspects of the world of Thor, from hel-wolves to Hela, and utilizes some fun ideas and excellent visuals to give scope to Marvelís summer event.
Iím in no way a sword and/or sorcery fan, if you havenít picked that up yet, but the current incarnation of Journey reaffirms my belief that any genre can be good if written with dynamic characters and snappy dialogue. The banter is superb and doesnít range too far into the serious tone that I think makes a lot of fantasy very hard to delve into. I canít help but smile a little when a god makes a poop joke.
The art team of Braithwaite and Arreloa offer a majestic perspective on the nine realms and its many creatures. Braithwaite has a pretty standard style overall, but his choice of very subtle inking mixed with the colors of Arreloa give the entire book a chalky, painted feel that speaks to the fantastic nature of Marvelís mystical world.
The appearance of Mephisto is the cake topper. I love that Gillen brings in a known power player, especially one with plenty of history with our hero, instead of creating one out of a talking hippo or something. The Satan lookalike gives us some of the most charged, interesting moments in this story that so far has had plenty of momentum.
It is equal parts meaningful and a blast to read. If you are enjoying the story of Fear Itself and want more or just really love Loki in all his incarnations, then Journey Into Mystery is worth a look.
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