Thor tackles two powerful foes for the very first time!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Coming up with villains who could give a powerhouse like Thor a run for his money had to have been a challenge for Jack Kirby and Stan Lee as they shepherded the character along from his first appearance in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83. With 1964’s JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #105106, they teamed up an unlikely duo who nearly defeated the Odinson!

In that story, Mr. Hyde and Cobra—who first appeared in issues #99 and #98 of the series respectively—met only after the serpentine villain fought Thor effectively with his Serpent’s Sting and Cobra Cable equipment. Knowing he shouldn’t press his luck, though, the thief ducked into a window that belonged to none other than Dr. Calvin Zabo. Sensing an intruder, the mild-mannered scientist downed a formula and quickly turned into Mr. Hyde! During the ensuing and inevitable fight between the two rogues, they came to realize they shared an enemy in a certain Thunder God and decided to team up against him!

First, the bad guys realized they needed to find Thor, so Hyde whipped up an invention called The Time Reversal Ray. After zapping someone with it, the device projected the individual’s past up on the wall for all to see. They then staged a crime that Thor responded to and soon discovered a connection between the Avenger and Dr. Donald Blake! The depraved duo then smashed their way into Blake’s office where he stood without mighty Mjolnir disguised as his humble cane. They also grabbed Jane Foster, returning to the office after ditching her date. Blake tricked them into averting their eyes and tapping the cane, which transformed him into Thor while they weren’t looking.

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #105

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #105

  • Published: June 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: January 01, 2000
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Surprised by their foe’s quick appearance, the villains made a break for it, enacting a plan B that saw Cobra slither to safety while Hyde led his quarry into the Colosseum where people flooded in and out for the Heavy Machinery Show. Unable to throw his hammer for fear of hurting innocents, Thor did his best to stop the brute’s rampage. Taking advantage of the Thunderer’s divided attention and a nearby Atomic-Powered Hydraulic Hoist, Cobra snatched Mjolnir right out of the air and deposited it into the machine’s steel-lined storage compartment!

With Thor separated from his hammer, our hero only had 60 seconds before reverting to Don Blake, and found himself facing two oncoming attackers with hatred in their eyes. With less than a minute to go, the Mighty Avenger flipped the villains on their ears and took advantage of the fleeing crowd to cover his transformation back to human form. As the police arrived outside, Blake realized that he could not get into the hoister’s storage container alone, so he tricked Hyde and Cobra into liberating it for him. He then made off into the crowd to once again change into his alter ego.

Returned to his full strength and none-too-pleased at how he’d been treated previously, Thor quickly engaged in fisticuffs with his foes, knocking Cobra for a loop and then exploding a machine near Hyde. The latter took the time to turn into Zabo, thinking it would facilitate his escape while the cops seized Cobra, but he just couldn’t let his grudge go and transformed back into Hyde to attack Thor. However, without his slippery partner around to distract the Thunder God, our hero made short work of the miscreant.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

Thor first meets Hercules in a battle for the ages!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby established one of the most powerful friendships of the Marvel Universe back in 1965’s JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY ANNUAL #1 when Thor and Hercules first met one another.  The tale began with the Odinson and his half-brother Loki riding through Jotunheim, home of the Storm Giants. As it happened, they stumbled upon a few of the locals trying to find a hidden path to Olympus. Legend had it that these behemoths earned expulsion from that other fabled city eons prior and intended to return to exact some vengeance. In his zeal to protect another god-filled place, Thor smashed his hammer into the ground, which did the trick of dispersing the Storm Giants, but also sent him tumbling into Olympus itself!

Though he only intended to find a way back to Asgard, Thor could not stifle his arrogance for long. Intending to cross a bridge and speak to a figure we would soon know as Hercules, the Asgardian forged ahead even though Herc also wanted to cross, a strange choice considering he could have simply flown or jumped over the water. Not one to back down himself, the Olympian Prince of Power simply flipped the bridge over with his own might, sending the Thunder God into the stream below. Both warriors quickly demonstrated their incredible strength to one another, wondering to themselves why the other didn’t seem impressed or concerned!

Journey Into Mystery Annual (1965) #1

Journey Into Mystery Annual (1965) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

It didn’t take long for the weapons to come out as Mjolnir and the Golden Mace proved equal to one another as well. Back and forth, the titans tussled with neither gaining an upper hand over the other until an outside force finally stopped the scuffle as Zeus himself appeared before the combatants. Recognizing this presence as the equal to his own father, Odin, Thor kneeled before this new entrant. After expressing the valor of both men, Herc’s father called for peace and the two shook hands, entering into a friendship of legendary proportions. The ruler of Olympus then returned the wayward Asgardian to his homeland, though his memory of the encounter grew dim upon arrival. As Loki greeted his recently returned brother, he and Thor witnessed the amazing amassing of a mountain over the Olympus entrance!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

Thor and Absorbing Man clash in a fight spanning NYC to Asgard and back!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby put Marvel’s mighty Thunder God through more than a few epic battles during their time as collaborators first on JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY and then the THOR ongoing series. One of wildest came in the pages of JIM #121123 from 1965. The first part of the story kicked off with a splash of Thor just barely dodging Absorbing Man’s enchanted wrecking ball. The pair battled fiercely, with Crusher Creel constantly reminding everyone within earshot that he could absorb everything from the uru metal of Mjolnir to Thor’s very own strength upon contact.

Meanwhile, Loki watched on, having set Absorbing Man up to take on his half-brother. With the warlock Ularic assigned to watch over Loki as punishment, the son of Odin had usurped his intended master and hidden him in the floor unbeknownst to the other Asgardians. On Earth, Creel used every trick from turning into a massive colossus of steel and concrete to taking advantage of Thor saving a small child from the melee to finally knock him out in front of a huge crowd!

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #121

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #121

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Of course, the blow simply stunned our hero who soon popped back up and showed Absorbing Man exactly how much he appreciated the sucker punch method of battle by pounding his foe. Just as Thor neared a complete victory, Loki used the Attractor Beam to bring Creel to Asgard in an attempt to take over. Still on Earth, the Thunderer checked on Jane Foster, held captive by a masked man. When Thor turned into Don Blake to see her, the mystery fiend snapped a picture, revealing himself as photographer Harris Hobbs.

After quickly demonstrating his complete power over Absorbing Man, Loki revealed his freedom to the skeleton crew of Asgardians still around and set Creel to attack those who opposed him. On his rampage he even managed to take on some of Odin’s own cosmic energy! Back on Earth, Thor showed Hobbs just how powerful of an enemy he had made by quickly taking him to both the ancient past and the far future. Understanding what little leverage he had, Hobbs asked a boon: for the Avenger to take him to Asgard. Thor made good on his deal, but the pair had no idea the trouble they walked into.

Witnessing the battle between Absorbing Man and his father, Thor intended to jump right in, but Odin surprised everyone by simply offering Loki his scepter of power. Almost immediately, Creel tried taking that very object from the god of lies, but after witnessing their petty squabbles, the Allfather banished them both from Asgard with a wave of his hand! Upon returning to Earth, Hobbs discovered that he would never remember the amazing things he just saw. Luckily for us, we live in a world where a master like Kirby put all of those moments on pages that we can continue looking at over and over!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

Jack Kirby helps bring the God of Thunder down to Earth!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

We all know that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby changed the world when FANTASTIC FOUR #1 debuted in 1961 by kick starting the Silver Age of super hero comics. However, the full shift back to costumed gladiators didn’t come right away. When Thor debuted the next year, Kirby had, as usual, a number of books out that month including three horror anthologies and a RAWHIDE KID! No offense to STRANGE TALES #99 or TALES TO ASTONISH #34, but it’s pretty easy to see that JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83 stands as Jack’s most important comic that month!

“The King” had been contributing stories, mostly of the monstrous variety written by Lee, to JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY since 1959’s issue #52 and would stick around through to that series’ completion and on into the THOR ongoing that launched with #126.

Back to that first appearance, though, Stan and Jack started with a near-splash page of this new character wielding his hammer and claiming immortality before jumping back and showing Dr. Donald Blake vacationing in Norway. Unbeknownst to anyone, a group of aliens seemingly made out of stone landed nearby, witnessed only by a fisherman whom no one believed. No one except Blake who overheard the story and investigated the next day. To his surprise, the fisherman’s story proved a reality! He would have snuck away, but he stepped on a snapping stick and made a break for it, hiding in a nearby cave.

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #83

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #83

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Before long, Blake witnessed the opening of a huge stone door and decided to scope out the newly opened room. Inside he discovered a stick that he used to move another obstructing rock. When it didn’t budge, Don slammed the boulder with the stick. A flurry of lightning zapped the meek doctor, seemingly disintegrating the man, but instead turning him into Thor!

Shocked to find himself transformed, Blake looked down to read the inscription on the mystic hammer: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of…Thor.” With that, he easily freed himself from the cave and discovered some of the intricacies of his new abilities like how letting go of the hammer for a time resulted in him turning back into his mortal form. He then threw the mighty mallet and saw it return to him. He even brought about a huge thunderstorm with the yet-to-be-named Mjolnir!

While Blake played around, the Stone Men continued their plans for taking over the Earth, which partially revolved around projecting images of giant dragons into the sky to confuse approaching jet fighters. Witnessing the destruction caused when the planes hit a force field, Thor flew into action and easily bested the Stone Men at every turn, using his hammer to take out their weapons and even destroying their Mechano-Monster with a swing of Mjolnir!

Seeing that Earth played home to denizens such as Thor, the Stone Men retreated, hopped back in their spaceships and took off for other planets to conquer more easily. Not wanting to become an “international curiosity,” Blake turned back into his normal self and wandered off before the military could question him.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

Two of the Fantastic Four tie the knot, Hulk fights Thor, plus more!

In celebration of Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday, we’re reviewing the man’s legendary creations with a year-by-year examination of his unparalleled career at Marvel Comics. Read on and witness the work that made him comic book royalty.

Even a casual Marvel reader in 1965 might’ve believed that Jack Kirby worked on every single issue of every single title the House of Ideas published that year. The truth of it stands as something less than that, but Marvel editor and writer Stan Lee knew a good thing and ensured Jack’s presence across the line in varied ways, and with a concentration where the Kirby touch would bring comic book gold.

First and foremost, Lee and Kirby’s flagship book remained Jack’s true focus at the midpoint of the 1960s. In FANTASTIC FOUR #32, after a battle with the strange android Dragon Man, Reed Richards received the answer he’d hoped for from his marriage proposal to Sue Storm, setting up one of the true monumental moments in comic history: the wedding of Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Girl in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3 that summer.

Not to rest on their laurels, Stan and Jack also introduced the Frightful Four in FANTASTIC FOUR #36, brought Daredevil in for a guest-spot in FANTASTIC FOUR #39, and following Gorgon’s introduction in FANTASTIC FOUR #44, unveiled their next big idea, the incredible Inhumans, in FANTASTIC FOUR #45 to round out the year.

Over in Thor’s universe, Jack illustrated one of the greatest clashes of comics, the Thor-Hulk match fans clamored for, in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #112, as well as designing a villain for the ages, Absorbing Man, for JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #114. In addition, Jack’s images of the robotic Destroyer impressed fans in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #118, but perhaps the real stand-out moment of the year in Thor’s world came in the introduction of Greek demi-god Hercules into the ongoing drama in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY ANNUAL #1.

Jack’s penciling duties for 1965 also extended into Captain America’s solo series in TALES OF SUSPENSE. For the first part of the year he produced covers and simple layouts for others to follow, but for his and Stan’s powerful team-up between Cap and Nick Fury in TALES OF SUSPENSE #78, he provided full interior art. From there, the duo planted dynamite under Cap’s world with the return of The Red Skull in TALES OF SUSPENSE #79, and the amazing Cosmic Cube saga beginning in TALES OF SUSPENSE #80.

Speaking of Nick Fury, Jack’s visions of technological wonders expanded exponentially when he and Stan promoted the sergeant into their newest concept, S.H.I.E.L.D., in the landmark STRANGE TALES #135. For the next several issues of the mag, Jack would do layouts and covers, helping guide his former World War II star into the Swingin’ Sixties.

Jack relinquished penciling chores on AVENGERS in 1965, but also helped out with layouts and covers, same as with SGT. FURY and TALES TO ASTONISH. Over in UNCANNY X-MEN he worked to illustrate the memorable meeting of the young mutants and the Avengers to fruition in X-MEN #9, and introduce the savage Ka-Zar in X-MEN #10.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

Mark Waid looks back upon a classic Thor/Hercules tussle from The King!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

A few days ago, we talked about how it can take some time to get used to an artist as dynamic and bold as Jack Kirby. By his own admission, AVENGERS writer Mark Waid didn’t take to “The King” when he first experienced some of his comics at the Distinguished Competition as a kid. If you’re wondering what made him change his mind about the artist, it came in the pages of JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #125 and THOR #126130.

“One of my all-time favorite Kirby stories is the ‘Verdict of Zeus’ epic, which I read at age 12 and was my introduction to Marvel Kirby,” Waid said. “The sheer drama in that Thor/Hercules saga, with all its grandeur and all its humanity, was an education for me.”

These issues contain many amazing moments bound to convert anyone to Camp Kirby. The first issue kicks off with a battle between Thor and a Norn Stone-enhanced Witch Doctor for several pages before shifting focus to a napping Hercules who helped move a downed tree from the train tracks.

After returning the Norn Stone to his father on Asgard, Thor attempts to tell his father that he revealed his secret identity to Jane Foster, but the elder god already knew! In his rage, Odin demands the other warriors present attack his son in “the Ritual of Steel.” The Odinson fights valiantly and earns his trip across the Rainbow Bridge back to Midgard where he finds his beloved at a soda parlor with Hercules!

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #125

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #125

What is Marvel Unlimited?

A wonderfully epic, titanic battle erupts between the two gods in the very first issue of THOR! How epic, you wonder? Well in addition to wielding enchanted uru hammers and Power Staffs, the two use trailer trucks, streets, heavy machinery, buildings, and bare fists to knock each other silly.

Hercules not only wins that battle, but also parlays the victory into a gig working on a gorgeous movie set overseen by mysterious supernatural figures disguised as humans. Meanwhile, Thor returns to Asgard where he stops an interloper from stealing Odin’s power, but nearly at the cost of his own life.

Eventually, Thor heals up, which gives him the strength to help Hercules get out of a boneheaded deal he made to become ruler of the Netherworld, thus cementing a camaraderie that continues to this day.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

Another classic horror anthology revisited!

Every day this month a new supernatural character or story from the Marvel Universe gets the spooky spotlight leading up to Halloween!

Another Atlas era horror anthology comic when it launched in 1952, JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY features some of the more original and eerie stories to earn the Spooklight this season.

“One Foot in the Grave” takes an interesting turn on grave robbing as a florist hires hoodlums to steal the flowers he just sold off of graves so he can pawn them the next day. The scam works pretty well until those with naked graves demand restitution.

In “The Clutching Hands,” author Ted Wayne murders his fellow writer Ellis so he can steal the dead man’s manuscript and pass it off as his own. After realizing their styles don’t match, Ted gives up only to find a mysterious pair of disembodied hands typing the work themselves. However, instead of helping, these hands wind up framing Ted for murder and leading directly to his death.

Ghost stories go through a bit of switch in perspective with “Haunted!” a story that introduces the reader to a person wandering through an old shack soon invaded by a young couple and a realtor who wants to sell it to them. What’s the first individual do? Reveal himself as a ghost and scare away the living competition!

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #1

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #1

  • Published: June 01, 1952
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: February 12, 2009
  • Penciller: Vic Carrabotta
  • Cover Artist: Russ Heath
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The message behind the second-to-last tale, “It Can’t Miss,” seems to be that bad guys never prosper. Thief Frankie needs to get away so his pal Pete kills a guy named Raymond who looks just like Frankie. After Pete serves his purpose, Frankie shoots him in the face and then goes out into the world as Raymond. The plan could have been a home run had Pete been aware of one simple detail: Raymond belonged in an insane asylum. In the end, Frankie wound up behind a very different set of bars.

Finally, in “Iron-Head” lifetime criminal Bronson decides to start diving for treasure with a crew he plans to murder. After blowing up his one-time associates, he walks off underwater with the booty only to appear on an island with natives who referred to him as Iron-Head. Bronson soon realizes that, while the suit kept the tribesman from killing him, it also fully prevents him from avoiding the heat and even eating. In the end, the choice means nothing because an axe-wielding local decides his fate for him.

These stories feature a delightful line-up of criminals, ghouls and killers who can still send chills down your spine even from more than a half century in the past. 

FRIGHT FACT: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY shifted from a horror comic to one featuring giant monsters and other sci-fi stories before a young upstart named Thor debuted in #83. The Asgardian eventually took over the book’s numbering, but JOURNEY returned in the early-to-mid-70’s with all new spooky stories by the likes of Roy Thomas, Jim Starlin, Gil Kane, Stan Lee, Gene Colan, and many more talented folks.

Come back tomorrow for another Halloween Spooklight on Union Jack!

Read More

Explore the bridge between the Golden Age of Timely and the explosion of the Marvel Universe!

After its golden 1940’s as Timely Comics, but before its silvery 1960’s debut as Marvel, Atlas Comics forged a path through the 1950’s with a diverse output of experimentation and exciting concepts. In this way, the company and its creators proved their staying power at a time when super heroes took a back seat to a multitude of other themes.


The Atlas Comics logo

The Atlas Comics logo

The Power of a Name

Timely founder Martin Goodman adopted the name Atlas late in 1951 for the creation of his own distribution company to conquer the comic book field. The Atlas logo began to appear on Timely covers and the name, while never official for the books, stuck. One year later, Atlas sat at the top of the heap with nearly 400 publications.

Virtually no topic remained off-limits to Goodman. Atlas offered horror, romance, crime, Western, humor, science fiction, jungle, war, and even sports comics, and if a title underperformed, it made way for another and another, until perfected.

Outstanding in Their Field

Several legendary artists made names for themselves at Atlas in the 1950’s, including John Romita, Steve Ditko, John Severin, and one of the great workhorses of the industry, Joe Maneely. Maneely soon illustrated his worth to the company as an all-around artist, drawing thrilling issues of SUSPENSE, the medieval saga of THE BLACK KNIGHT, and shoot-em-ups in TWO-GUN KID.

Tales of Suspense (1959) #4

Tales of Suspense (1959) #4

  • Published: July 01, 1959
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2004
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Jack Kirby, who co-created Captain America at Timely in 1940, returned to the fold in 1956. Atlas editor Stan Lee wisely placed Kirby on such titles as YELLOW CLAW, where the artist’s ideas flowed freely and presaged his later grandiose concepts of the 1960s. Kirby would also excel on Atlas’ entry into the giant monster field on such books as JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY and TALES OF SUSPENSE. Together, Lee and Kirby would also inaugurate the so-called “Marvel method” of plotting and drawing stories at this time.

Characters Wanted

Though much of Atlas’ line embraced anthologies with done-in-one stories, a few distinct individual characters rose above the rest to make their mark in the era. These included the Black Knight, the Rawhide Kid, the Two-Gun Kid, Patsy Walker, Millie the Model, the Yellow Claw, Fin Fang Foom, and Irving Forbush himself.

For a brief moment, the super heroes that dominated the previous decade tried to make a comeback in the Atlas Era.

Young Men (1953) #24

Young Men (1953) #24

  • Published: December 01, 1953
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The Human Torch led the charge in 1953 in a title called YOUNG MEN, and Goodman followed up his flight with revivals of both the Sub-Mariner and Captain America. Alas, their true triumphant return would not come until a few years later in the 1960’s.

The Code Cometh

In the middle of its reign over the comics industry, Atlas felt the pinch of the debut of the Comics Code Authority in 1955. After a scathing attack on the field by a noted psychologist, comic book companies banded together to adopt a self-policing code of standards, so as to assure parents that the books remained suitable for impressionable young minds.

Some thriving companies went under from the Code’s strictures, sending top talent to Atlas, much to Martin Goodman’s satisfaction. Overall, he toned down some of his titles’ more graphic content and emphasized mystery over horror and teenage antics over full-blown romance. Ultimately, Atlas continued at the top of its game despite the restrictions.

Rawhide Kid (1955) #17

Rawhide Kid (1955) #17

  • Published: August 01, 1960
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Writer: Stan Lee
  • Penciler: Don Heck
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Dropping the Ball

With a new distributor in 1957, Atlas cut back on many of its books until only 16 remained by the end of that year. Stan Lee gathered his few remaining artists around him and continued to produce new material, but the writing on the wall spoke of the end of an era. By 1959, the recognizable globe symbol of Atlas disappeared and a different mind-set arose from the ashes of the old. As the 1960’s dawned, a marvelous new experience awaited both fans of Atlas and Timely and a fresh crop of young readers.

Continue to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Marvel all year-long on marvel.com/75 and share your thoughts with us on Twitter using the hash tag #Marvel75

Read More

The Asgardian warrior made her big debut way back in 1964!

Not every Marvel character gets a sweet guest spot on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” coinciding with their birthday, but that’s exactly what’s happened for Lady Sif! After debuting way back in 1964, the fierce Asgardian will finally make her live action television debut. The character’s recent prominence follows decades as a loyal member of Thor’s supporting cast, fighting alongside the Thunder God and the Warriors Three across all nine realms – but the Sif we first met 50 years ago made a much different impression upon readers.

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #102

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #102

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Sif debuted 50 years ago in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #102, where she played a small role in that issue’s “Tales of Asgard” back-up story. Taking place hundreds of years ago when Thor himself was only 18 years old, the Sif found within those few pages bears little resemblance to the fighting female that exists today. In that story, Sif’s brother Balder begged Thor to rescue Sif from Hela’s clutches.

Art from Journey Into Mystery #102

Art from Journey Into Mystery #102

Thor fights his way into Hela’s domain, where he rescues a blonde maiden named Sif by offering up his life in exchange for hers. Hela, surprisingly touched by this offer, released Sif from captivity. Thor didn’t know it at the time, but that selfless deed made the young god worthy of lifting Mjolnir for the first time.

Art from Journey Into Mystery #102

Art from Journey Into Mystery #102

The modern Sif didn’t make her debut until a few years later.

Thor (1966) #136

Thor (1966) #136

  • Published: January 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

While fighting the dreaded Unknown with his back up against the wall, Thor nearly succumbed to defeat. Only Sif’s intervention and bravado gave him the strength to jump back into the fight.

Art from Thor #136

Art from Thor #136

After defeating the Unknown, Thor recognized Sif from his youth and immediately fell in love with her once more.

Art from Thor #136

Art from Thor #136

Creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made a few non-hair color-related tweaks to the character – most notably changing Sif’s brother from Balder to Heimdall. This new Sif stood bravely by Thor’s side, fighting foe after foe with the warrior’s heart that has gone on to define the character. Now, 50 years later, Sif’s fighting spirit can be seen in cartoons, movies, and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”!

For more of Sif, watch “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on March 11th at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, and check out JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY!

Read More

The dangerously alluring Asgardian first set her sights on Thor way back in 1964!

Thanks to co-creator Jack Kirby’s gorgeous pencils, the cunning Enchantress has lived up to her name from day one! The Asgardian femme fatale named Amora has many tricks up her green sleeve, namely her sorcerous powers and breathtaking good looks. But to get distracted by Enchantress’ stunning beauty would be to fall into another one of her traps, for few characters in the Marvel Universe have proven as skillful in mastery over the art of deception as this villain. Even the god of mischief himself, Loki, acknowledges her commendable manipulation skills – which makes sense considering he’s fallen for her charms a few times over the past five decades!

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #103

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #103

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Enchantress made her debut 50 years ago this month in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #103. Angry that his son had fallen in love with someone from the wrong side of the Bifrost, Odin allowed Loki to meddle in Thor’s love life. Knowing that Thor’s carousing past could get the better of him, Loki hired Enchantress to travel to Midgard and use her feminine wiles to break up Don Blake (Thor’s alter-ego) and Jane Foster. With Amora’s luxuriously fur-covered digs as the backdrop to this backstabbing plot, this issue could also be called “The Real Housewives of Asgard.”

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

Enchantress traveled to Earth and took on the appearance of a blonde bombshell, thus allowing Jack Kirby draw more than just muscle-bound do-gooders. Enchantress then breezed into Dr. Blake’s office and began seducing him.

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

The classic “my hand itches” pick-up line – works every time!

After Thor/Blake somehow avoided Amora’s flirtatious skin allergy plan, the Enchantress traveled back to Asgard to hire more muscle. Yes, Odin hired Loki, who then hired Enchantress, who then hired Executioner. Seriously, there’s more hiring going on in this one issue than in all of America right now (topical zing!).

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

But the newly hired Executioner proved to be no match for Thor and Mjolnir’s might. As punishment, Enchantress turned Executioner’s hands and feet into wood and stone. Fingers crossed that this version of Executioner finds its way into the Marvel Super Hero Mashers toy line.

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

With Thor undefeated and Executioner down for the count, Enchantress found herself on the losing end of a super hero throwdown for the first time. Like any good villain, though, she kept at it! She enlisted in the Masters of Evil and gave the Avengers a run for their money, and she’s currently aiding Lady Deathstrike in her evil exploits in X-MEN!

For more of Enchantress, check out X-MEN!

Read More