JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #89 February 1963
Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers original artists
They made this one into a tee shirt. Remember those? After introducing their M.M.M.S. fan club, Marvel's next big merchandising move was to offer their fans casual wear. Most of the garish garments sported specially prepared artwork--my favorite was always Kirby's Fantastic Four design--but a few utilized already existing illustrations. I guess Stan Lee remembered this cover from little over a year prior to the release of the Marvel fashion line and decided that it's iconic image of the Mighty Thor, Norse God of Thunder, Lightning, and the kind of mid-afternoon Downpours that ruin carefully planned picnics, well, I guess he decided that he just wasn't gonna improve on its power, its grace, its...its very icon-ness? Either that or he realized he was overworking poor Jack Kirby, and wanted to give the King a few minutes off in order to reacquaint himself with his family ("…you say your name is "Roz"?..)!?! Whatever the deal, it makes for a striking cover and a nifty tee shirt!
A couple words about those clothing items: boy, did I ever want them when I was a kid!! Unfortunately, my folks had this thing about using checks--cash or money orders, that was all, thank you very much--so at my then tender age, ordering things through the mail was virtually impossible. (Can you believe because of this peculiar policy I never managed to join the M.M.M.S.?? Me…as big a Marvel fan as you were gonna find in 1964? It boggles my mind now--brrr!) So it wasn't until about thirty years later, when Graffitti Designs began issuing their replicas, that I ever even had the chance to slip a Ditko or a Kirby over my head! I was overjoyed when they announced their plans to reissue the series, and made it a point to purchase each and every one of them! (Although the Sgt. Fury, Western Kids, and green Captain Marvel shirts were never reissued as best as I could determine. Nothing is perfect.) The Graffitti brain trust must've gotten a little TOO enthusiastic at one point, however, as they began cobbling up any number of classic illos from the nascent days of the Marvel Age of Comics and slapping 'em on 100% cotton garments! In a frenzy of latter day Marvelitis, I found myself eagerly grabbing up all of those, too! Then one day I rolled out of bed, looked up and saw before me a closet full of Kirby and Ditko!? Geez, how OLD was I anyway? I'd had my fill. Coincidentally, Graffitti moved on, and began concentrating on other, mostly more modern subjects. Oh, I'm happy I purchased my four-color wardrobe, and wear them proudly in a loose rotation--hey, I have my favorites, y'know-- at our weekly volleyball get together as well as throughout the summer months, but c'mon. Maybe I'm just a little too OLD to pull off the Dr Strange fashion statement, hmm? Shouldn't I be seen in something a bit more... adult? Like, oh, I don't know?...a Budweiser shirt maybe?? (...But if they ever do come out with that Fury shirt, brother, I'm there!!…)