Civil war has erupted between the pro-democratic rebels and the communist dictatorship of the Executioner in the country of San Diablo. Due to the fighting the country is need of volunteer doctors to treat the citizens, which Dr. Blake volunteers for of course. Unfortunately, the Executioner is determined to prevent the doctors from treating anyone for fear of more of the population rising up. It is thus up to Thor to make sure the doctors reach their destination safely.
While the story is very much a product of the Cold War, it is still a fun read even today. In addition, Kirby’s artwork is fantastic in this issue, especially with all the plane and tank smashing. The downside it the Executioner doesn’t really come off as a credible threat and the use of Jane as a hostage to prevent the hero from continuing to fight is definitely a trope Lee uses way too much. Also, Dr. Blake basically turns into Thor in front of a bunch of people and no one makes the connection? I mean sure there was the flash of light, but still. There is also some writing inconsistencies, such as Jane calling Dr. Blake a coward after basically standing up to a dictator.
In the end, the issue is a fun read, with some fun fighting panels and displays of Thor’s powers. In addition it’s also the first appearance of Thor’s main squeeze, Jane Foster.
- Editor: Stan Lee
- Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott
- Writers: Larry Lieber
- Pencilers: Jack Kirby
- Inkers: Dick Ayers
- Letterers: Artie Simek