Episode 35: Gods and the City (Journey Into Mystery #88) -- January 1963

  
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In this episode:

Mike and Ed discuss the return of Loki, and how New York City seems to be the central focus on superhuman activity.

In this issue:

The issue begins with Loki being punished by his father Odin with confinement to the paradise which is Asgard. While luxuriously imprisoned, Loki casts a spell and, through that magic, figures out that Thor has an alter ego, Dr. Donald Blake, and that he must hold his hammer to maintain his godly persona. Loki escapes Asgard and heads to Earth, whereupon he challenges Thor to a public battle. They meet, and Loki puts a magical force field around Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, which prevents Thor from touching it. Thor reverts to his Blake persona, and Loki then leaves to wreak mischievous havoc on the city. Blake finally figures out how to trick an eternal trickster god into removing the magical force field - he stations a plastic dummy that looks like Thor near the hammer, and Loki, believing this is the brother he has known for eons, removes the force field to see if the hammer is still where he left it. Once the force field is removed, Blake grabs Mjolnir and transforms into Thor, who thereafter soundly defeats Loki.

Assumed before the next episode:

People are buying into the idea that Norse gods have returned to Earth,and are spending most of their time in New York City.

This episode takes place:

After Loki has been captured again, and his destruction has been magically repaired.