Journey Into Mystery (1st series) #632

Issue Date: 
February 2012
Story Title: 

Kieron Gillen (writer), Mitch Breitweiser (artist), Bettie Breitweiser (color artist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Stephanie Hans (cover), John Denning (assistant editor), Lauren Sankovitch (editor), Tom Breevort (executive editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The Asgardians celebrate Yule and Loki gets an unexpected and unwelcome gift. Seven fire-breathing puppies born of the union between Garm and the Hel-Wolf, for which Loki is responsible. Hence, he is now charged by the All-Mother to find homes for the puppies. He and his friend Leah quickly succeed in finding owners for six of the Hel-pups, among them the naïve New Mutant Warlock. However, the last puppy can speak and has inherited his father’s aggressive nature, meaning nobody actually wants him. The All-Mother advises Loki to kill him, as some creatures are simply evil by nature. Loki refuses to believe that, as that comment strikes far too close to home. Instead, he decides to keep him, names the unwilling puppy “Thori” and decides he is going to be the best dog in the world…

Full Summary: 

Asgardia, near Broxton, Oklahoma. The All-Mother - Freyja, Idunn and Gaea, inform Volstagg that they have invited the people of Broxton to celebrate Yule with them, an idea Volstagg enthusiastically supports, provided there will be mead in bountiful qualities. They hope to recruit him for a part of the festivities.

Tending the fire and bringing the sacrificial meat to the proper boiling point? he presumes. When he is told no, he guesses he will have the Hlaut duty. To make sure everyone is properly anointed with seasonal blood. When it’s not that either, he assumes he is to carve the yule log or lead the wassailing or lead the wild hunt. However, his role is a different one, and so soon Volstagg plays Santa to the Asgardian children, gifting them with presents like computer games, whose use he sincerely doubts in the situation of trolls coming to attack their homes.

Little Loki stands nearby, watching him when some boys accost him, wishing him a merry Yule. They’ve brought him a present. The popular gift of a yuletide fist, Loki guesses correctly. The generosity of his peers is enough to move him to tears, he sighs to his familiar Ikol.

Nearby, in Leah’s cave, her mistress Hela materializes, carrying a box. Leah is surprised at being brought a gift. It is not for her, Hela informs her.

Leaving for the cave, Loki complains to Ikol that he consists solely of bruises. He can see why Ikol – his predecessor – turned evil. Ikol reminds him that Yule is when the sun reaches the furthest point away from Midgard and then starts to return. It is dark now as dark as it gets. Loki has no one to protect him. The rulers of Asgardia hold him to a secret debt and the only gifts he received are five-knuckled ones. But he must remember, the sun is returning…

For the malevolent spirit of the dead past-him, Ikol is an optimistic sort, Loki points out. Ikol admits he always like the season. Nothing can wreak as much mischief as a well chosen present…

He joins Leah in her cave, which she has tried to make homely. Loki offers her some cake. When he sees her handling a big present, he tells her she shouldn’t have. It’s not from her, she informs him coolly. Curious, he tears the box open and is thrown to the ground when seven fire-breathing puppies jump out. “Death to Asgard!” one of them barks and runs out of the cave.

Loki rushes outside after the little troublemaker who cries “murder murder murder. Death to Asgard! Death! Eat the Aesir’s hearts.” Loki jumps on the puppy and holds him tight while he keeps on swearing.

Loki finds the explanation for the mess in a letter by Garm, guardian dog of Hel. Recently Loki set his pet, the Hel-wolf, on her. First they fought, then they got busy in a different way. And now that she has the seven offspring, she has not time for as guardian of Hel. Since the Hel-wolf was Loki’s pet, the litter is his responsibility. Who would have thought the Hel-wolf to be such a ladies’ man? he mutters.

Soon he presents the problem to the All-Mother, who orders him to clean up the mess. He cannot keep seven Hel-hounds. “Foul hag queens!” the speaking puppy curses them. Freyja orders Loki to find suitable homes and, if there aren’t any, take the necessary measures. Does he understand? “Dungy womb-women! Death!” He’ll see what he can do, Loki promises, holding fast to the evil little puppy.

And so Loki and Leah get to work. First they go to hell and convince Mephisto to take the pup with a sullen look. Hela had been Mephisto’s lodger until recently and, in that time, he had taken a fancy to the idea of a nice big dog guarding his domain and leapt at the chance to acquire one with such a famous pedigree.

Next, Loki returns to Gaea, who adopts the most adorable and tricksy pup.

Leah disguises herself as her mistress Hela and presents the sweet runt of the litter to Warlock of the New Mutants as a gift for the Valkyrie Dani Moonstar. With Dani away, the question whether Leah’s disguise is any good is never raised and the sweet naïve Warlock takes the puppy in, believing the story entirely.

The next puppy is presented to the guardian Heimdall, and Tyr, god of battles, takes a dog with a keen eye to run for the hunt.

The cutest puppy is placed before a camera and money is gathered for his upkeep via the internet.

Soon Loki presents himself before the All-Mother again, announcing that he has already found homes for six puppies. Freyja commends him, though criticizes Gaea for showing poor judgment in taking a puppy. Freyja asks how the search for a home for the verbal part of the litter goes. “Bastard bastard bastard!” the puppy wears while Loki is at a loss for words, mentally going through possible candidates and not finding any. He admits that he lacks the winning nature of his siblings. The only people who would take him are those who would use him against Asgardia. Surely there is a way they could curb his urges…

Freyja rises, announcing that she takes no pleasure in saying this but there is no helping him; it’s in his blood. The other puppies were lucky. They have the traits of dutiful loyal Garm, their mother. This little dog is his father’s child. Touching Loki’s face, she explains that some creatures are just bad.

Loki leaves. A gift unwanted by all is perhaps best returned to the base of the tree, Ikol suggests. Throw him into the world tree. He is a soulless creature. He will return to the nothing whence he came. There will be no pain and the monster will trouble no one.

Loki is about to throw the puppy down, then hesitates. He’s not going to kill Thori, he decides and sets the struggling puppy down. His name is Thori, he announces to Ikol, and he is a good dog. Does he know how to fetch? he asks Thori. “Kill you!” is the reply. He’ll take that as a “no,” Loki sighs.

They enter Leah’s cave where she is cooking her dinner. “Eat,” the puppy cries while Loki informs her of the good news that she is now going to share her cave with Thori. A wonderful yuletide gift, she snarks. A miniature monster determined to grown into a full-sized one. The season has been so generous to her dirty great hole in the ground!

Loki announces he has a present for her. And it’s the best present of all, which they are often too swift to… If he says the gift of friendship, Leah interrupts him, she will pummel him fiercely. Of course not, he stutters. Then what is it? she asks impatiently. A yuletide fist! he shouts and elbows her. Her eyes begin to glow menacingly before she loosens a magic blast at Loki.

Loki and Thori run out, for once of the same opinion, namely that she is scary. See, now they are bonding! Loki announces happily. They are going to be B.F.F.s too! Loki and Thori, a boy and his dog! Not “Thori,” the puppy snarls. Deathripper! Thori! Loki insists. Entrail-gargler! the dog replies. Thori! The death that prowls on four legs! Thori! Loki decides and throws him a piece of meat that had landed on his tunic.

The puppy tears at the meat while promising he will kill Loki. No he is not, Loki replies with a raised finger. He is going to be a good boy. He is going to be the best of all the dogs! In response, Thori bites into his arm…

Characters Involved: 



Freyja, Gaea, Idunn (All-Mother)
Heimdall, Tyr, Volstagg (Asgardians)
Asgardian children


Warlock (New Mutant)


The other six Hel puppies

Story Notes: 

The Hel-puppy which Warlock adopted appears next in New Mutants (3rd series) #37.

Written By: