The last few years have been a momentous one for Loki. After having been launched to a higher profile by Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of him in The Avengers film along with both Thor films, you’d have thought that Marvel would have been quick to capitalize upon that popularity like they have with Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, and Hulk as an Avenger. Instead seemingly the opposite occurred. While Loki did indeed return, it was in the body of the Kid Loki whom readers had grown familiar with in the well-regarded Journey Into Mystery, this extended further into Gillen’s Young Avengers run which dealt directly with the aftermath of that development, and muddying the waters further by giving Loki a Tom Hiddleston-inspired look. When Loki: Agent of Asgard came out, it embraced the last few years of story, as opposed to shying away from it, which as anyone who’s read Al Ewing’s other book at Marvel: Mighty Avengers, is something that’s a staple of his work.
Indeed, the last 9 issues of the series have setup, teased, and taunted at Loki’s past crimes and future ones yet to come in the form of King Loki. King Loki, who as opposed to being the smooth and suave Loki we’ve come to enjoy with Tom Hiddleston and Kieron Gillen, is a return to the sneering psychotic Loki of old. While Ewing and Garbett have had to deal with events such as Original Sin and AXIS steering control of the ship from time to time, the events have been deftly grafted onto the larger plot of the series as part of the life of a former supervillain, In addition, turning the focus upon a healthier relationship with Thor, and a supporting cast helped humanize Loki beyond either familiar portrayal of his character. Which is what makes the events of this issue so powerful as Loki’s life continues to unravel beneath the burden of his sins.
Ewing has for the past couple years done a spectacular job of weaving events based on prior continuity, but using it as grist for the mill as opposed to simply showing he’d done his homework, and it works best with someone like Loki who has ages of history and more to come. Lee Garbett has from the start defined the look of the series, taken what Stephanie Hans and Jamie McKelvie built and made it his own. Actions scenes and “talky” scenes alike are both given equal resonance, and for a book that’s built on human relationships as Loki, it only helps to have someone who can bring the wham, as well as the sad. I don’t want to give away the events of the series as they occur, that’s what reading is for, but either way your 3.99 is well-deserved with Loki.
5 out of 5 Kid Lokis