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Classic Comic Cover Corner (Father’s Day Edition) – Journey into Mystery #88

Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Journey into Mystery #88 – January, 1963

Cover art by Jack Kirby

Journey into Mystery #88 – January, 1963
Journey into Mystery #88 – January, 1963

This Sunday is Father’s Day and while contemplating the perfect comic cover to celebrate the special day, the first thing that came to mind was the classic Creepshow scene where a living-dead Dad just wants his cake (you can check that video out HERE.) Unfortunately that particular scene isn’t on the cover of the graphic novel adaptation of the movie, so we had to run with Plan B instead.

When thinking comic-book fathers, of course there’s Reed Richards, always putting his children in grave danger while saving the universe as leader of the Fantastic Four; and family man “Buddy” Baker (AKA Animal Man) often seems to involve his kids in adventures more than your average super-being; but when it comes to a hero that can best represent all fathers, well, why not the “All-Father” himself? Odin.

The burly father of Thor and his evil half-brother, Loki, was first mentioned in Journey into Mystery #85, followed up by his first actual appearance in Journey into Mystery #86 (October & November, 1962, respectively); but the big “O” didn’t make his first cover appearance until Journey into Mystery #88.

Journey into Mystery #88 – January, 1963In a Stan Lee and Larry Lieber (Stan’s brother) story titled, “The Terrible Vengeance of Loki,” the prince of mischief seeks revenge against the God of Thunder after the “All-Dad” grounds him to Asgard for eternity. (We’ve all been there, haven’t we?) JIM #88 also marks the first cover appearance of Bifrost, the rainbow bridge that connects Asgard with Midgard (AKA Earth.)

If I may be bold (and self-indulgent) on this day, I’d like to share one of my best memories about my own father. Growing up in remote northern Arizona, comic book outlets were nearly non-existent, and I had to get my sequential-art fix when we would make family trips to the Valley (or the Phoenix Metro area for non-Arizonans out there.) But back in the late-sixties and early-seventies, shops that sold older back issues of comic books were a rarity (even in the big-city.)

On one particular trip to Phoenix, my Dad decided to make a special outing to show me the place where he had bought comic books as a kid growing up in the Valley, a magical place called “Al’s Family Bookstore” (which I believe was located around 16th Street and Van Buren.)

I thought I had died and gone to comic-book heaven, as Al’s had boxes and boxes of old comics with titles and stories that I had only vaguely heard of (if at all) or had only seen in an advertisement between the pages of an older book I had found or traded for at some point.

Al’s dusty old bounty of books opened up a whole new world of comics beyond what was currently at the newsstands, and Dad patiently gave me a couple of hours to pour over the stacks and find a handful of treasure to take with me, fostering a life-long fascination with classic comics. So if you happen to enjoy my humble scribblings here on the CCCC, then you can thank my Dad for that.

Happy Father’s Day!

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