Loki has gone from villain to hero and back again, and no one is sure where he stands now in Loki: Agent of Asgard #1.
Loki: Agent of Asgard #1
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: Feb
Collected in: Loki: Agent of Asgard v1: Trust Me
Kid Loki’s all grown up – and the God of Mischief is stronger, smarter, sexier and just plain sneakier than ever before. As Asgardia’s one-man secret service, he’s ready to lie, cheat, steal, bluff and snog his way through the twistiest, turniest and most treacherous missions the All-Mother can throw at him… starting with a heart-stopping heist on Avengers Tower – and the death of Thor! And that’s just the beginning!
Over the last few years Loki’s star has grown rather rapidly, thanks in no small part to his prominent role in the blockbuster Avengers movie. It must be a bit of a shock, then, to see a character so markedly different from his film persona in this book which is otherwise directed at his movie-going audience. There is a certain identity crisis to this book regarding exactly what continuity this is supposed to be in, not unlike the recent Avengers: Endless Wartime graphic novel, which can be kind of disconcerting at times. References to the movie are liberally thrown about in ways that only just skirt the edges of breaking the barrier between the movie continuity and the comics. At the same time, though, this is definitely the Loki of the comics who has been something of an almost-hero in Journey into Mystery and Young Avengers.
In fairness, the history of the character is laid out in this first issue, so people coming in only knowing the Tom Hiddleston version of the character from the movies will be up to speed (in a refreshing change of pace from most newly-launched comics these days, which seem to assume you already know the full continuity). His recent history is too convoluted to go into too much detail about, but the broad strokes are covered and it is enough for now. The voice of the character is a bit more awkward, though, as if writer Al Ewing is trying to reconcile Tom Hiddleston’s Loki with the Kieron Gillen written Loki of recent years. It is just off enough that I felt aware of his mannerisms rather than absorbing them. I think this will change in time as Mr. Ewing gets a grasp of the character, but it does knock against the first issue a small amount.
The story itself is pretty decent with Loki infiltrating the Avengers tower on a secret mission given to him by the All-Mother (in place of Odin, who is presently missing), which is conveniently populated only by Avengers who were in the movie. The Avengers do not trust Loki (for obvious reasons) and things go badly, which results in a pretty nice twist ending — though it does seem to be twisting around some important elements from Journey into Mystery that were kind of central to that book’s hook. We will have to wait and see where the book is going with this before drawing conclusions, though.
All told this is a decent start to Loki’s new solo title in the Marvel Universe. It is not great, and it does seem to be unable to determine where the balance is between comic and movie, but overall there is a lot here to like. There is a lot of potential here, and with the character’s growing popularity this may well be the right time for this book to appear. It would not be entirely out of place if Marvel were to bundle a digital copy of it with Thor: The Dark World DVDs or Blu-Rays, and could potentially serve as a gateway for people to learn about Comixology or their local comic store. I doubt that will happen, but we can hope.