Review – Journey Into Mystery: The Birth of Krakoa #1 (Marvel Comics)

Image credit: Marvel Comics
Journey Into Mystery: The Birth of Krakoa #1
  • Writing - 7.8/10
  • Art - 8.5/10
  • Overall - 8.2/10


Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Djibril Morissette-Phan
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release: September 12, 2018

The Living Island Krakoa has been a staple of the Marvel Universe since 1975, now learn its origins!

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“Stranded” Journey Into Mystery: The Birth of Krakoa #1

“The Island that Walks Like a Man” or “The Living Island” whatever you want to call it Krakoa has been a staple of the Marvel Universe ever since its first appearance in Giant Sized X-Men #1 in 1975. Now in Journey Into Mystery: The Birth of Krakoa #1 Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos are going to be the first to discover “The Living Island” during WWII and how it came to be! What mysteries does it hold and how will they survive the monster island?

Old Person Talking

The Island of Krakoa holds a special place in my heart. Back in 1995, Marvel had these CD-ROMs which were basically digital comics before digital comics were a thing. They had ones for The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Spider-Man and Iron-Man. Specifically; I had The X-Men, Spider-Man and FF ones. They were great for a 7-8-year-old in 95! Stan Lee gave an introduction to what you were about to experience. It had classic issues of comic books that were read to you and had sound effects, trivia questions, and character bios breaking done powers, abilities and relationships. It is where a lot of my Marvel Comics knowledge came from initially. So, what does this have to do with Journey Into Mystery: The Birth of Krakoa #1?

Journey Into Mystery The Birth of Krakoa
Credit to Marvel Comics

Well, that X-Men CD-ROM featured Giant-Sized X-Men #1 from 1975 which was the first of appearance of Krakoa. I remember the comic narrator (which I want to believe was Stan Lee as well) vividly describing this monstrous island attempting to destroy the X-Men and the visual of this Island coming to life and the X-Men battling it was mesmerizing. So having Krakoa be the center point for this issue brought back a lot of good memories. 


All that is to say I was very interested to see what Dennis Hopeless was going to do with the origin of The Island. The WWII setting and having Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos involved is a great set up. Hopeless writes a good young Nick Fury.  A guy who is still hardened by war but not yet involved with all the superheroes and stranger parts of the Marvel Universe. Having these characters not used to all the weirder things they will come to see gives the issue a great sense of wonder and helps bring the reader into the story. 

It is an exciting little adventure story that Hopeless scripts. The story is full and complete, which is good for a one-shot issue. I am not really sure who this is for though? It is a good story but also kind of an odd one shot for Marvel to put out as well. It feels very random. Look, I just told you about my soft spot for Krakoa. So, I guess there a few of us out there. I can’t see too many people clamoring for this either.


I absolutely loved the art in Journey Into Mystery: The Birth of Krakoa #1. Djibril Morissette-Phan did a wonderful job with the visualization of this issue, Djibril reminds me a lot of David Aja with a minimalist styling to his characters. The layouts and facial expressions are not as tight as Aja’s but the similarities are there. There is one incredible page of Nick Fury trying to escape from underground of Krakoa and he is tumbling through caves and caverns. It is an exceptional piece of work from Djibril. 

Rachelle Rosenberg does a fantastic job coloring in this issue. The murkiness of the islands interiors are brought to life with some superb coloring work. The lighting effects are also exceptionally well done. The art team works extremely well together there is a great scene toward the end of the issue with Krakoa rising up with the sun in the background that is stunning!


I am not sure why or who decided to go ahead with Journey Into Mystery: The Birth of Krakoa #1 one-shot, but I am glad Marvel let the creators tell this story. It is a solid one-shot issue and nothing more which is fine by me. We get a young WWII era, Nick Fury, leading the Howling Commandos which is always fun to see and it let me reflect on some fun memories of my very own first encounter with Krakoa. It is probably not the most memorable issue I read this week but it was still a lot of fun.

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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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