Journey Into Mystery #653

Written by: Kathryn Immonen
Art by: Valerio Schitti

An absolute space oddity, Journey Into Mystery #653 is another strange, and engaging entry in the series. Immonen uses subtle comedy that suits the brash protagonist of the series, Sif, and creates an intriguing conflict and supporting character in Beta Ray Bill.

This is the kind of series that takes classic archetypes/stereotypes of mythology and incorporates modern themes to create a fun conflict. Both Sif and Beta Ray Bill could easily be written as stoic godlike characters fighting an intergalactic threat, but Immonen makes the core of this series intimate, as they both deal with the loss of loved ones they feel responsible for.

For moments like Sif making reference to feeling drunk, and the reaction panel of Beta Ray Bill in awe with the exclamation, “…” the humour of the series really comes out. Immonen shows that not within the context of battle, warriors like Sif and Beta Ray Bill are more awkward socially than most humans.

The artwork from Schitti is dynamic, as the artist creates a disorienting opening, that captures the momentum of falling spacecrafts through outer space. Colourist Jodie Bellaire stands out in this issue, creating a warm hue in the scene where Bill and Sif discuss their issues, juxtaposed with the next scene that shows Bill alone, under a blue, pale backdrop.

Journey Into Mystery #653 reminds me how much I’ll miss the series, and it’s unique way of humanizing the Asgardian gods. Immonen puts the characters in situations far from what you’d expect of them, and in doing so, creates novel humour and engaging story.

Score: 8.8/10