Loki: Agent of Asgard #4

This series gives no french toast about telling the story consequetively: So we begin with Sigurd (the ever glorious) climbing a mountain to see Kaluu (Master of Black Magic). And He has Gram! The hero’s blade! But Loki is supposed to have that!

In the recent past, Loki is having dinner (baked salmon with lemon) with Verity Willis. Verity is one of my favorite new characters: a human lie detector. She’s a human. She can detect lies from gods, too. Which is how she sees Sigurd who has turned himself invisible with a Lightbender Invisibility Belt stolen from AIM. Sigurd is busting in to steal Gram. Duh. Once he’s busted, Sigurd tries to talk his way out it. But it turn out that the All-Mother has assigned Loki to have Sigurd returned to Asgard. The All-Mother is still displeased that Loki let Lorelei escape and they tell him that either Sigurd is returned or Loki himself will be. 

Sigurd and Loki duel and Sigurd is victorious. Duh. 

Back on the mountain: Kajuu is impressed, and when Sigurd requests that he be put onto the wheel of incarnation, so that when he dies he can be reborn instead of being tortured by Valkyries in Valhalla (a plotline that goes back to New Mutants #43 about 4 years ago). Kajuu agrees to help Sigurd with the sacrilegious deed and he gets Sigurd to sign it in blood.

It’s not Kajuu, it’s Mephisto. And he’s set to damn Sigurd to the torture pits. Only Loki’s gotten there first (and tripled up on invisibility cloaks) and switched the contract: he sends Sigurd back to Asgard and Mephisto back to Hell. Parting words from Mephisto, “It’s what I’d expect from the young punk. Not from you.” He knows that “kid Loki” is gone, and inside is his old pal.

Loki is getting anxious, not about Mephisto finding him out, but about the All-Mother locking up Asgardians for roaming free on Midgard, “In other words, today it’s him… tomorrow it’s one of us.” He asks Verity, Lorelei and Thor to help him on his mission.

“You don’t bring a sword to a Loki fight” is the name of the next issue. I wonder if Loki will come into contact with his alternate self that’s roaming about. But it’s still early in the series yet.

For Asgardia’s finest: Y.A.L.A. (you always live again) 

Not for Sigurd this time, but it’s working for Loki… thus far.

Lee Garbett’s art is well suited, fight scenes are crisp and the look matches the feel of the writing excellently. Something I don’t often acknowledge? The Lettering. Asgardian’s get their old school fancy font, Mephisto gets an odd one, scrolls appear here and there to announce random facts or times. It’s just good. It’s just so good. I have so much love for this series.

Loki: Agent of Asgard #3

This issue takes a break from the view of the new young (still kind of the old) Loki and follows the older (but possibly younger?) Loki. Loki is doing laps around the space/time continuum. We follow the aged trickster back in time to him greeting a young (and still prince) Odin. Loki gets the future king (and his adoptive father) into a heap of trouble after he takes out a shape changing man from a nearby town.

Side note: Odin’s all “That large beaver meant us no harm” but the both of them a clearly wearing leathers and eat meat. Both of these things involve killing animals that more than likely meant no one any harm. Loki just happened to kill a man in the form of a man-sized otter.

 

Jenny Frison cover = Old Man Loki +reflective riches Loki front and center conveying his self centeredness.

Jenny Frison cover = Old Man Loki +reflective riches Loki front and center conveying his self centeredness.

Anyway, they stop in to a pub and order some mead, but Odin picks up on that another patron is waiting for his son who was hunting supper. Dun dun… his son was the otter. One brother demands blood, the other demands retribution in the form of gold. Loki (the hardened old man Loki) shoots a fish with a bazooka to collect a treasure. Well, not exactly, he shoots a dwarf who can turn into a fish (his name is Andvari and this is a Norse folktale that is weaved in) The gold is cursed. And the character Regin behaves about the way he was written to traditionally. Andvari’ gold exemplifies the traits of each man who keeps it, Regin turns vengeful and Fafnir turns greedy (and into a dragon, he refused to leave the treasure and his body became deprived of food and water and survived off of spells and magic in the air and it transformed him… which is a very interesting idea). Sigurd, the first hero of Asgard, some years later, comes into the same tavern, he is served by Regin who has forged a mighty sword (Gram, the sword young Loki gets in Point NOW) to exact revenge, he gives it to Sigurd. IF Sigurd will slay (the now dragon) Fafnir and bring him his heart.

dragon

Sigurd, being a legendary hero, does this mightily and then returns to Regin (who tries to stab him in the back. Literally). Sigurd keeps Gram. And some years later discards it. King Bor dies later still, and the still prince Odin finds it. Old Loki arrives and tells Odin to hide the sword in a box with 5 keys and save it… for this young Loki…

What does that mean?!

And if that wasn’t crazy enough, Sigurd in the PRESENT goes in search of his sword, finds that Loki already got there and vows to steal it back.

This series is so utterly and consistently good. I can’t begin to imagine why the haggard old man Loki has set this all into motion, but when he looks in on his other self (with Verity!) and says, “What a precious little girl child I am.” it poked fun at the taunts that Loki looked like “he’s from Twilight” or whatever crazy crap my friends thought about this. It’s a great story, about wanting redeption but knowing that you don’t really deserve it, and that you won’t really get it. But striving on anyway. The older Loki still considers himself the God of Evil… so why has he lead this Loki that seeks redemption to the ultimate weapon? What’s the end game?!

Well, I’m unsure… but I am exorbitantly intrigued.

Lee Garbett’s drawing and Nolan Woodard’s art suit this tale perfectly shadowy but still crisp, undertones of red, gold and green illuminate the pages. The toothy dragon is larger than life, his heart is larger than a man. The fight scenes are detailed. Loki is hardened and wrinkled, a stark contrast next to the goofy young Odin.

And Sigurd: the first hero of Asgard is Black. I love Marvel.

Sigurd +(young appearing) Loki in #4!

Sigurd +(young appearing) Loki in #4!