Writer: Daniel Kibblesmith
Artist: Oscar Bazaldva
Colors: David Curiel
Leters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Covers: Oscar Yildirim; Declan Shalvey; Andrea Sorrentino
Editors: Sarah Brunstad; Will Moss
Publisher: Marvel Comics
As anyone who knows me knows, I’m a huge fan of the character arc Loki has taken over the course of Journey Into Mystery, Young Avengers and Loki: Agent of Asgard. Kieron Gillen and Al Ewing, took Loki, both original recipe and Kid Loki, on a logical journey into becoming something other than what the character had become up until that point: a one note villain who was always the punching bag of Thor and the Avengers as well as the default scapegoat for all problems on Asgard and beyond. However, when AOA ended we got some really dodgy work with the character in A-Force (the less said about that mess the better), Thor: Goddess of Thunder and Infinity Countdown. Writers throwing out the character work that was done over the course of almost ten years in an effort to force Loki to be what was needed for the plot was disappointing, to put it mildly.
When Donny Cates took over writing the character in Doctor Strange it felt, somewhat, like a return to form but then War of the Realms happened and I honestly didn’t know what to think. The writing for everyone was all over the place, with characters seemingly not learning previous lessons or just plain behaving bizarrely.
All of that to say I went into Loki with trepidation. I’d been burned too many times by seemingly talented writers just going ‘screw it. It’s Loki’s fault.’ regardless of how other characters actions had played into their circumstances. However, these first two issues have given me hope. While this isn’t the Loki we saw at the end of AOA, one who’d made peace with themselves and fully embraced their earned title of God(dess) of Stories, it is one who is a true Chaotic Neutral, a rare thing in comics and writing in general. Loki just wants to rule Jotunheim, occasionally get up to some mischief and actually help people. Unfortunately they’re being stymied at every turn by well-meaning but utterly daft Thor (another characterization that’s problematic); their own reputation and the increasingly obsessed Nightmare who’s made it his mission to stalk Loki across all the realms.
Daniel Kibblesmith of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Black Panther VS Deadpool, captures Loki’s humor and wit, as well as their arrogance and sadness. There’s a great line: ‘I am too young and beautiful to retire’ that is the most Loki thing ever. The storyline that he’s building is intriguing as well, with someone trying to warn Loki, not Thor, that something very bad is about to happen and Nightmare’s abilities really coming into play.
Meanwhile, Oscar Bazaldva is having a field day drawing this slightly more grown up Loki. It’s hilarious how much of a thirst trap Loki is at all times but what makes the artwork really stand out are the facial expressions. Loki’s face when interacting with everyone is a story in itself, no words needed.
I’m still unsure if this is the Loki book we’ve been waiting for but I’m much more inclined to give it a chance than I have in a long time.
3.5 Birds out of 5
Writer: Daniel Kibblesmith