Comics · Queer

Review: “Loki: Agent of Asgard #1”

Loki Agent of Asgard #1 cover

Everybody and their uncle said I should read Loki: Agent of Asgard, so I finally started, and yes, it is awesome!

This one was a little borderline for me in terms of monthly buying. I can’t afford to buy many comics on a monthly basis, and if I’m actually going to buy something at all instead of waiting for the library to buy collected editions, it’s because I want to support the endeavour. I buy Ms. Marvel every month because it’s awesome, but also because it’s an extremely rare example of diversity and I want it to do well. Loki is about, well, Loki, and a bunch of other Scandinavian-appearing characters.

Loki, generally drawn as a creepy old man, has been youthified for this series in a pretty blatant appeal to Tom Hiddleston fangirls, and I don’t really think the series is going to struggle like Ms. Marvel might. However, I’m a sucker for stories about stories and the magic of storytelling, and Loki has this in spades — he was locked into his role as a villain and couldn’t escape. Now he’s trying to rewrite his own story and be able to play a new role. More importantly, the internet believes Loki is being written as LGBT+, probably somewhere in the “+” part — a good bet is genderfluid and bisexual. I’d seen some panels here and there, and decided it was a legit possibility and I want to get in on that in real time.

Everybody and their uncle has also already reviewed this comic, so I’m going to try a new format, basically liveblogging through the comics (with limited panel shots, of course). I’ve got a lot of issues to catch up on over the next couple months, so these will come pretty regularly until I’m caught up. Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Spoilers ahead, mostly minor — feel free to skip to the final thoughts at the end to avoid them.

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The title, and the first words, are Loki saying “Trust me, and the same scene happens again a few times. That really sets the tone. If you know Loki, you know never trust Loki. But in this comic, Loki is our hero. We’re set up to trust him over all these strangers who are out to get him. In a story about the power of storytelling, I think that’s significant. We’ll have to find out if Loki’s tricking us. I love it when the reader is part of the story like this, I freaking love it.

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Natasha: Clint.
Clint: I know–
Natasha: You have the army after you and no health and you’re falling out of a crashing plane.
Clint: I know, Nat–
Natasha: It’s a bass fishing simulator, Clint.
Clint: I know! It just– It just happens!

Hah! If you haven’t read Hawkeye Vol. 1, YOU NEED TO. It’s worth the hype.

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Magic is telling the universe a story. Tricking it into believing something. But we quickly find out that Loki is limiting himself in the stories he can tell — they have to be good stories, for one, and if he goes too far and uses too much magic, he’ll start to burn like he did before and get trapped in the villain’s story. We also learn that he refers to Loki as someone else, but also himself.

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loki 1

Doesn’t he look like Matt Smith?

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I did terrible things to be Loki–things that haunt me, crimes that cannot be forgiven–but I am Loki. And more than that– I am myself.

loki 2

Gave me chills. And again with the trust me motif, this time coming from someone else.

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Thor’s bullying was handled really well. He comes off as a creep, but I liked the way he was motivated by lies he was telling himself, and how it moves from Thor trying to kill Loki (and telling his mother THE QUEEN she belongs in the kitchen) to Thor and Loki having a drink together and Thor apologizing to him (and I certainly hope he goes home and apologizes to his mother, too). And I like how he wonders if the distance he’s come is another lie he’s telling himself, and how that mirrors what Loki’s feeling.
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loki 3

Long pause… BAHAHAHA!

Also, this serves as hint #1.

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Final Thoughts:

Wow. I’m really impressed. The series starts off with a bang and doesn’t pull any punches in terms of relationship complexity, but it’s not hard to follow either. If you’re a fan of the movies and want to try some comics, this is an excellent choice. You’ll be able to recognize characters and relationships and not be confused.

In the last-page letter from writer Al Ewing, he says this is a comic about being For Yourself. When your self is a thing you have to fight the cosmos to decide, it’s not funny. It’s heroic. I really get that. I think a lot of people get that. It can play into a possible LGBT+ theme, but it’s for everyone. It kind of reminds me of Elsa in that way, but kind of inside-out and turned around, because Loki and Elsa are very similar but also completely different.

I’m hooked!

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