Journey Into Mystery: The Birth of Krakoa #1
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Djibril Morissette-Phan
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Greg Smallwood
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Nico Sprezzatura
While the Marvel Universe is becoming more ubiquitous to the mainstream by the year, there are still many aspects of that world you may not be aware of, and Krakoa is surely one of them. This week’s Journey Into Mystery: The Birth of Krakoa #1 offers an introduction that you may be interested in.
Birth of Krakoa utilizes the classic Journey Into Mystery title, which originally ran horror-themed monster stories prior to Thor’s takeover of the magazine in 1962. It’s a clever throwback-y connection to the story here, which features —you guessed it— the origin story of the sentient island Krakoa, and how OG Nick Fury (and his Howling Commandos) tie into it.
The story of Birth of Krakoa is rather simple: Fury and the Howling Commandos crash down on a mysterious island, where they soon discover that it’s not a mere landmass somewhere in the ocean. It definitely feels like the kind of tale that would’ve run in the original Journey Into Mystery, and that enhances the reading experience quite a bit.
This isn’t writer Dennis Hopeless’ first foray into monster-centric horror (I recommend his 2011 — 2012 limited series Legion of Monsters), and you can tell. It’s very pulpy and “spooky” in the ways you’d expect, and it’s very much told in the vein of the radio serials that were popular in the 40s, where Birth of Krakoa itself is set. (Hopeless is also responsible for one of my favorite obscure Marvel characters, gay teen —and part-time kaiju— Cullen Bloodstone, so I’ll always have time for him.)
I first experienced artist Djibril Morissette-Phan’s work in Jim Zub’s Glitterbomb (itself another monster horror story), and his style is very much suited to the story being told here. Morissette-Phan’s art here is scruffier and heavier than what he did in Glitterbomb, but it seems intentional, approximating the kind of art you might see in some of the older Journey Into Mystery comics. Through and through, Birth of Krakoa does a great job of conveying what this story might of read and looked like back in the day.
The Verdict: Buy it.
With Halloween fast approaching, the brisk chills of Journey Into Mystery: The Birth of Krakoa #1 could be of interest to you.