Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Stephanie Hans
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy’s Clayton Cowles
Ok, I’m going to need a minute. Whilst I compose myself, have the recap from this issue instead of my usual ramble.
Previously, in Journey Into Mystery:
And so, the story ends. The mystery has been solved, and it’s time to throw away our tissues. This is the final issue of Kieron Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery, and whilst I am going to be sad that it has ended from now until the end of time, as I’ve been saying since the final storyline (Everything Burns) began, if it had to end, this is the way I’d want it to go out. This issue will have a lasting impact, not just on the reader, but the characters involved for a very long time to come.
It is very rare, in this age of constantly changing creative teams, for a creator to tell an entire story, with all of the plot lines solved and tied up in a neat little bow by the end of it. Since it began, Gillen has been quoted as saying that this series had a beginning, a middle, and an end, and it is rewarding to finally see everything come together and resolve, even if it means the series must end as a result. This issue tidies up the last few dangling plot threads, and revisits every character that has entered the series at some point to make sure that everything is completely sorted. It is made clear that this story is well and truly over, and then, in other respects, only just beginning. Apologies for the vagueness, but without spoiling basically the entire series, it’s hard to be specific with regards to this issue.
It is only now that the run is complete that the relevance of each individual arc and plot point in each finally comes to light. Even arcs that seemed to stand alone, like the Terrorism Myth or the Manchester Gods are now shown as part of a wider tapestry that comes together to form this entire storyline. Nothing is wasted, and everything is done for a reason. We revisit the first few pages of the first issue of the run in this final issue, and there are seeds in this story planted even before it began, starting with Siege: Loki #1 and throughout Gillen’s run on Thor that come into play here, which shows just how far ahead everything has been plotted; it all mixes together to produce this final product, and it is truly masterful storytelling.
And then there’s the meta aspect of this issue. I won’t even attempt to explain it, since there are others who have done it in better terms than I ever could, but as well as being entertaining and soul destroying, this issue manages to point a finger at comics as a whole and highlight an ever-present problem in storytelling, whilst doing it subtly enough that it doesn’t seem like social commentary on first glance. The final few scenes can and will be picked apart by the comic scholars for a long time to come.
Joining us for the final issue is series cover artist Stephanie Hans, whose painted work feels like the perfect way to bookend the series; Hans was the one to introduce us to the series, so it is only fitting that she be the one to finish it. Her style adds to the mystical atmosphere that the series has, and certain scenes wouldn’t look right drawn by almost anyone else. Emotion almost bleeds off of the page in this issue, and the colour selection is simply stunning.
So that’s it. Kid Loki’s story is over, at least in this incarnation, and it will be a long time before I recover. This series has been superb throughout, and this final issue is everything that it deserves and more. This is a perfect end to a flawless series, and I urge you to read it. If you don’t, you will be depriving yourself of one of the best books to hit the stands; this series will go down in history in the same breath as other epics like the Sandman, or Y: The Last Man, and rightfully so. What more of a recommendation do you need?
GO Rating: 5/5