Fun and whimsy define this book.
Loki: Agent of Asgard has a lot to live up to. Kieron Gillen’s recent use of the character in the cult-favorite Journey into Mystery run is one shadow that looms large over this new book. A significantly larger shadow looming over this series, at least from a mainstream perspective, is that of Tom Hiddleston, the actor who wonderfully portrayed the villain in three Marvel movies.
Luckily, Al Ewing and Lee Garbett are more than up for the task. What’s so impressive about the first issue is the way that these creators take the best aspects of past incarnations of Loki and make them into something completely different. This Loki has the devilish charm of Hiddleston and the winking humor of Gillen’s interpretation. But there’s also a uniquely new aspect from Ewing and Garbett.
The story and art of this issue converge to tell a silly story in the same manner as some Saturday morning cartoons. Fun and whimsy define this book. The characters Garbett draws are defined by exaggerated expressions, the narration that Ewing writes is equally exaggerated for comedic effect.
Like any good “funny” book, the laughs are well timed and paced well within a story that swerves between Hulk-sized laughs (in a scene that excellently mirrors some of the Loki/Hulk interactions from the film) and some deeper questions about whether it’s even possible to atone for some sins.
Loki has quite literally gone through some changes of late as he sets about clearing his name of past crimes. There is not a lot to the story yet, but there’ll be a smile on your face through each page and there’s quite a bit of future drama hinted at throughout. If nothing else, the last page twist should have you coming back for issue 2.
Al Ewing (W), Lee Garbett (A) • Marvel Comics, $2.99, February 5, 2014