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Journey into Mystery #652 - Seeds of Destruction Review

5

The All-Mother is stricken with an unknown ailment and rushed to the strangest quarantine of them all just in time for an old friend from Sif's past to make an appearance.

The Good

Kathryn Immonen is one of the unsung greats of comic writing. Her all-too brief Runaways stories were too late to save the title from cancellation, but they at least put the characters back into a position to be followed and cared about again, she wrote one of the most dynamic teamings of Wolverine and Jubilee and, most recently, she took over a dangerous, potentially directionless title Journey Into Mystery and set it on-course, focusing on another underused great: Sif (after a great run focusing on Kid Loki). Last issue was pure comics fun, but this issue brings things back into sharp, dramatic focus as Gaea the All-Mother suddenly faints and no one in Asgardia seems to know what is ailing her. Attempts to have her diagnosed by a mortal doctor, Jane Foster naturally, lead to the question of a quarantine, a question answered by the ever-ready Tony Stark with a base on the moon of Jupiter. Of course. I really want to highlight what an absolute joy it is to see Sif and Foster interact, and while they do briefly bring up their mutual love interest, it’s the concern for Gaea that truly brings them together. Immonen has a way of writing naturalistic dialog for unnatural characters, making the Asgardians as relatable as if they were regular people, but not QUITE to the extent that you ever forget their supernatural origins.

Valerio Schiti wasn’t a penciller I’d ever heard of, and with a name like that it is a surprise. Far more surprising is that I’d never heard of a talent like this one as I’ve scarcely seen characters THIS expressive. It’s common praise, but I really want to point out the sheer range of emotion that these characters have on display. One panel in particular just screams, “Surprised, confused and annoyed” all at once and without any words. These two creators are absolutely perfect for eachother. Jordie Bellaire’s colors likewise demand attention, and they’re put to a test in this issue as no fewer than three COMPLETELY different settings are traversed (mythical garden, urban city, space station) and each one is given a beautiful amount of care and character.

The Bad

Beta Ray Bill, one of my favorite B-listers with one of the silliest names in comics, appears on the cover, but doesn’t burst onto the scene until the last few pages. That’s not even REALLY a complaint as much as it is a personal gripe, I just wanted him to appear as soon as possible because of my irrational, fanboy love.

The Verdict

This series deserves a great deal more love than it gets. I think it’s great how much Marvel promotes it, and I’m hoping it’s selling well because these stories have yet to disappoint. If you’re looking for a fun comic with a strong female lead that doesn’t skimp on dramatic beats, this is the perfect book for you. Even if you just want an interesting story with some characters who are too often in the shadow of the A-listers, I can’t recommend this one enough.

20 Comments
Edited by dreamfall31

Been wanting to pick this series up and I just couldn't help buying this issue with it's kickass Beta Ray Bill cover!

Edited by NathanXplosion

I remember the first time I heard the name Beta Ray Bill I thought he was a cowboy superhero.

Posted by Dabee

Love Beta Ray Bill!!!!

Edited by Celestialseed

It's been a long time since I last seen Bill in action.

Edited by akbogert

I've been seeing a few scans from this issue pop in my dash today and I loved the exchange between Sif and Foster. A lot.

Posted by sparty-dbq

I think I'm going to start picking this one up more after hearing that Red She-Hulk is getting cancelled. We gotta show out ladies more love, Marvelites!

Posted by Zeeguy91

This issue was so good. The art and the writing were both incredible.

Posted by Undeadpool

I remember the first time I heard the name Beta Ray Bill I thought he was a cowboy superhero.

Likewise. I thought he was going to be a cosmic cowboy.

Staff
Posted by BlueLantern1995

@undeadpool @nathanxplosion

@nathanxplosion said:

I remember the first time I heard the name Beta Ray Bill I thought he was a cowboy superhero.

Likewise. I thought he was going to be a cosmic cowboy.

You guys aren't that far off, he was a cosmic donkeyboy :).

Posted by lykopis

Can't wait to get my hands on this although I could do without Beta Ray Bill. Won't pass judgement until I see how he fits into this whole thing but there is nothing but good to say about this series. Absolutely adore it -- great art -- great stories -- great over-all everything.

Nice write up on not just the issue, but the series itself.

Posted by Pyrogram

@lykopis said:

Can't wait to get my hands on this although I could do without Beta Ray Bill.

Why? 0-0 He deserves some comic praise, any true Thor/Sif/Asgard fan knows this!

Posted by NathanXplosion
Edited by Owie

I was a little underwhelmed by the end of the last arc, and the last issue was kind of cheesy, so I was getting ready to drop this, but I feel like the story and art both jumped up a notch. The art has been getting better every issue actually. She seems like she's been subtly influenced by Amanda Conner's approach to drawing facial expressions. And her take on Sif's costume especially is great. The boots alone are awesome. I think she's really become the definitive Sif artist. I'm staying on for the next arc at least.

Posted by lykopis

@pyrogram said:

@lykopis said:

Can't wait to get my hands on this although I could do without Beta Ray Bill.

Why? 0-0 He deserves some comic praise, any true Thor/Sif/Asgard fan knows this!

In that case, I am a mottled, semi-false Thor/Sif/Asgard fan. Not saying I don't like the character, just saying having him in a story-line with Sif I can do without.

Edited by Fuchsia_Nightingale

@lykopis said:

@pyrogram said:

semi-false Thor/Sif/Asgard fan.

Your a babe in the woods, you have much to learn

hehe

Edited by ShadowSwordmaster

Beta Ray Bill

Online
Posted by lykopis
Edited by Fuchsia_Nightingale
Posted by lykopis

@lykopis: Best not be in a red hood

OMG --- How I loved that mini-series, especially the introduction of Helen (Skadihr)! That's who they should bring into the next JIM arc.

Posted by Pyrogram