Let me start off by simply stating that I (like every other person on this ball of rock– especially comic book lovers) obviously have my own tastes and proclivities. That said, this particular comic is not one of them. That’s not to say there is not a lot to like about this comic. Let’s dive right in!
So, quickly, while this is not a story under the bold Marvel label, this is a story about Loki, Thor, and the parallel world of Asgard. The story opens with Loki conversing with the All-Father, Odin, and being sent on a mission to Jotunheimr, domain of the Frost Giants, in an effort to keep those chilly bastards in line with the king’s rule. Basic, right? So it would seem. The catch is that Loki has to bring along his brother, Thor, the muscle match to Loki’s apparent diplomatic charm. This mis-matched pair work as well as a peanut butter and pickle sandwich, so obviously zaniness ensues. Sparing you from the details that you should read for yourself, the mission fails and blame is laid on Loki whereby he is banished from Asgard. Again, we’re not breaking any suspension of belief here with the dynamic between these two characters or the simple action they are presented with. The problem is in the details.
First, the story starts with the mission: go and put the Frost Giants in their place. Ok,… but why? Are they acting out? Is Odin just flexing his monarch muscles? Is this a test for his son(s)? Who knows? I get it, the Frost Giants are just an eternal thorn in the side that simply must be dealt with, but starting the story like this without any detail already gets my wheels turning. Then, the characterization of the brothers feels totally wrong; Loki is portrayed as a wimpy, helpless victim and Thor is a puffed-up hammerhead, young, dumb, and full of… well, you know the saying. (I’m not exaggerating, Thor is basically a muscle-bound jock looking to score in every sense of the word.) Again, I can see glimmers of the true characters here but the extremes to which they are portrayed in this story seem a bit much. Thor is unrelenting, a childish bully to Loki’s innocent, emasculated husk of a man who can’t seem to find his equal unless he’s partying with the mortals on Earth! Really?? It just doesn’t fit when the majority of titles depicting these brothers is more realistic, more nuanced, and less cartoonish. On the other hand, that’s what gives the comic its allure.
Indeed, it’s the playful nature of the comic that salvages it for me. Between the top-notch manga-like illustrations by Jerry Gaylord and funny, oft-times culture-referencing, writing by Eric M. Esquivel, the comic is a pure rush of psychedelic adrenaline for the title characters. It’s bold, brash, bright, and loose. It just feels like a good time! The story pops and speeds along with great energy and you can actually see the fun this team is having with their tale. I mean, come on– we go from Asgard to a tangle with Frost Giants to Loki’s eventual banishment and (assumed) rise while on Earth with us mere mortals. In a slim 25 pages– which reads even quicker than that– you get everything from a multi-religious god party hosted by the All-Father (honestly, the best part of the book) to a rock club on Earth, complete with drunken, rabid goth fans and a little bit of S&M T&A. What more could a fan boy ask for, right?!
Still, the story seemed a bit lacking and the characters seemed more-than-off for me. I definitely enjoyed the ride, but with a $4 price tag per issue on a very limited run, it just feels like the ride is going a bit too fast to really seem worth while. Give me more content, more depth.
Either that or more battles and boobies.
Rating – 6/10