Spotlight on Magneto
This issue features a battle between Thor and Magneto. Having reviewed most of the early appearances of the Master of Magnetism, I realized I had overlooked this one. I was pleasantly surprised to find some pretty impressive depictions of both combatants and their powers. Kirby even has a splash panel featuring Magneto's power influencing the entire New York metropolitan area.
But lets take a closer look at the story. The story opens with a rather cute scene, featuring a fictionalized version of the 1964 New York World's Fair. Thor is there to examime a statue of himself, part of an exhibit honoring various Marvel heroes. Statues of Captain America, Giant-Man, Invisible Girl, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, the Thing and Wasp are seen on the next panel. (No Human Torch for some reason). Those responsible for the Hall of Heroes exhibit inform us that statues of Daredevil, Spider-Man and the X-Men stand in the next room.
Thor has to cut his visit short. Needing to return to his office and attend to the patients of Dr. Donald Blake. Elsewhere, a camouflaged submarine is approaching New Yorl harbor. Inside are the members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. They have been tracking the X-Men for a while and estimate that their opponents live somewhere in the metropolitan area of New York. Magneto sends his minions out to search for the X-Men.
Magneto stays behind and decides to test his powers on the city. Dr. Blake and Jane Foster find every metalic object in their office floating on the air. A look outside their window reveals that it is happening all over NYC. Cars and motorcycles (with their passengers on board), lampposts and anything composed of metal rises to the skies. This only lasts for a couple of minutes. But certainly seems to be a hint at what Magneto can do.
Blake decides the situation calls for Thor to investigate. But to do so, Donald has to break a dinner date with Jane Foster. He gives her a flimsy excuse but feels guilty for hurting her feelings. Thor uses Mjolnir to track down Magneto. Magneto decides that the newcomer is another mutant and does his best to recruit him for the Brotherhood. When that fails, the battle begins.
Magneto effortlessly covers Thor with solid steel. Only to see Mjolnir easily pass through said steel. On the other hand, the flying Mjolnir can not even pass through the magnetic field of Magnus. An enraged Thor forgets about his hammer and tries to manhandle Magneto. To fight himself trappen in death traps and reverting back to Blake. Several pages of the crippled man tried to escape numerous traps follow. While Magneto briefly holds Mjolnir (transformed back to a walking stick) in his hands, wondering how did that object get there.
When Blake gets his hands back on the stick, Thor returns. To deliver a pretty impressive physical and verbal attack on Magneto. At this moment the X-Men arrive and Magneto barely manages to flee, abandoning his base. The story ends with Donald returning home to Jane, who is rather bitter that her lover ditched her. But she notes that her man is starving and the two share a private meal with each other. The final panel has Donald and Jane at each other's arms in a romantic finale. The artwork is once again lovely, reminding people that Kirby was a pioneer of romance comics.
The second tale of the issue isn't nearly so ambitious. It is another tale of Asgard, featuring tales from the teenage years of the Thunder God. In this case how he led Queen Knorda into a trap, winning a victory for Odin. Nice to see the Asgardians using their brains over their brawn. But this not one of their most memorable stories.
Knorda herself is is an early example of Asgardian warrior women. But doesn't really get to do much here, nor is her personality explored. She would get much more development in the "Domination Factor" crossover (November, 1989-February, 1990).