Your Life Is A Story I’ve Already Written: by Al Ewing & Lee Garbett
Loki’s back! A character who has seemed to explode into everybody’s hearts after his film debut in Thor, his popularity with the fans growing to the point of a new solo series that old and new fans alike will love. This time he’s heading to the dawn of Asgard. Unlike the first two issues of this brand new series by Al Ewing and Lee Garbett, this one throws the reader back into the past with Old Loki, who is on a mission to rewrite his own history. Sounds like a pretty bad idea, right? You’re not wrong. This isn’t a story of redemption, it’s a story about a clean slate.
At the end of Loki: Agent of Asgard #1, we saw that the Loki of the past is still hel(l) bent on sticking around, while the new, young Loki is working hard to make everyone forget about him. An agreement between the All-Mother and Loki has him completing missions for Asgard in exchange for a bad deed erased from history. There’s some hijinx in Avengers Tower followed by some speeding dating mishaps during which Loki makes little to no real progress. Then issue #3 takes us all off guard with a story that involves Asgard’s first greatest hero, a quest for gold, defeating a dragon, a young Odin and an old Loki, and a plot point magical sword. All the makings for an epic tale, only the villain is made to be the hero of this story, and Loki’s cleverly designed it this way.
I like this series because writer Al Ewing does a faithful job of paying homage to Loki’s roots, while exploring brand new ones. There’s a lot of references that old readers will get and some characters featured in this issue that might not be familiar to people not familiar with the realm of Asgard, so a newer reader may feel left out (unless you’ve read Civil War, you probably won’t get some of the things that happen in issue #1). Young Loki’s story began in Kieron Gillen and Doug Braithwaite’s incredible Journey Into Mystery, and we followed him to Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s excellent and quirky Young Avengers, where the mystery of just what Loki is continues to unfold. I highly recommend both titles for new Loki readers picking up this comic, but the great thing about Agent of Asgard is that Ewing is supplying us the whole way with back story without committing information overload. Plus, Lee Garbett’s art and Nolan Woodard’s colors are incredible, and suits the image that Loki’s currently trying to convey. Seemingly harmless, yet dangerously seductive. You won’t know where the rug went until you’re already flat on your back.
Loki: Agent of Asgard is the story of a reincarnated boy wishing for a clean slate, but this is Loki we’re talking about. His slate is always going to be a little dirty. Now, I have to admit, I’m a fan of the traditional God of Evil. When it comes to the Asgardian side of Marvel, I’m a bit of a purist, so that’s why this issue was really good for me and might not be as good for someone who is not used to a story so rich in Asgardian lore. It gave me a taste of nostalgia for the Old Loki, who is much more of a trickster than the new Loki appears to be. Young Loki of Midgard is almost loveable in the way he worships breakfast meats and talks Game of Thrones, and he’s honestly trying to be good. He’s just really bad at it. The dichotomy between Old and Young Loki is what really pulls me to this comic, because the real struggle is always with yourself, isn’t it?