The Mighty Thor! “When Magneto Strikes!”
Written by: Stan Lee, the monarch of the Marvel Age, at the peak of his power! Illustrated by Jack Kirby, the prince of pageantry, at the height of his titanic talent Inked by: Chic Stone, the dean of line design, at the peak of his prowess! Lettered by S. Rosen, the sultan of spelling, at the little table in his studio!
One of the concepts established in the larger Marvel Comics shared universe is that of the “mutant.” In the fictional world in which Thor stories take place, there is a genetic offshoot of humanity who develop random superpowers at the onset of puberty. These people are referred to a “mutants” or “homo superior”. Merlin is a mutant. Sandu, Master of the Supernatural was probably one also.
The larger cultural issues of a world with mutants are primarily explored in the pages of a comic magazine entitled X-Men. The titular team in this book consists of a group of teenagers indoctrinated into becoming paramilitary mutant rights radicals by the charismatic leader of their private school, a secret mutant with mind altering powers.
The X-Men’s greatest enemy is a man by the name of Magneto. He is a powerful mutant with the the power to control and alter magnetic fields, and the leader of a team quizzically named the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Magneto believes that mutants should use their natural powers to overthrow the human race.
In this issue Magneto causes a ruckus in New York looking for the X-Men and Thor comes to investigate, even though that means Don has to break a dinner date with Jane. Magneto mistakes Thor for a mutant and tries to recruit the Norseman to his cause, offering to share wealth, art, and treasure with Thor. Thor hears him out, but is unimpressed, considering such beauty to be mere irrelevancies. When Magneto gets to the conquer-the-human-race part of the pitch, Thor condemns the mutant as a villain, and the two of them fight.
The two have a protracted fight, ending undecisively when the (off-panel) X-Men arrive to fight Magneto. The villain retreats in fear and Thor leaves, having accomplished nothing of import.
After the battle, Blake seeks out Nurse Foster, asking her forgiveness, which she grants. The two flirt and banter and it is delightful. At one point, Jane calls Blake a “silly goop.” For the first time in 26 issues, these two are actually shown to act like a young couple in love with each other. This brief exchange is the warmest and most human the book has been to date.