Welcome back, friends (or whoever you people are). This month Agent of Asgard has taken a detour into a universe-wide Marvel event called Original Sin. To be honest, the Original Sin storyline has proven fairly bland overall, but it could potentially be bolstered by Thor and Loki forming flimsy brotherly bonds built on layers and layers of Loki’s lies and deceit. You know, really heartwarming stuff. With these high hopes begins Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm #1.
Back in the main storyline of Original Sin, a cosmic omniscient being called The Watcher has been mysteriously murdered and his giant alien eyeballs have been stolen. Apparently said eyeballs work like something like a cross between a thumb drive and a hand grenade, because when one eyeball was detonated during a battle with the Avengers, all the stuff The Watcher had ever seen went flying off like shrapnel into peoples’ brains. The practical outcome of this was that everyone in the immediate vicinity was immediately made aware of at least one dark, terrible secret that was relevant to their lives. This would have been a great opportunity to reveal to Thor the highly pertinent fact that Loki murdered a child and has been cruising around in that child’s meat suit, but no, the “big secret” was that Thor has an older sister and that there are ten realms instead of nine. Armed with this information—which Thor was positively hysterical over, even though Thor already has a bunch of siblings he barely acknowledges—Thor asks Loki to help him cross over into the “tenth realm” and find their long-lost, impractically-armored sibling, Aldrif (referred to as “Angela” in Guardians of the Galaxy).
Aldrif/Angela happens to be clad almost exclusively in my absolute favorite thing: metal boob cups. Seriously though, it’s a little bit difficult for me not to make a snap judgment on this character based on her metal bikini. I have discussed before why characterization and intent matter in costume design, and while it’s true that in some cases skimpy armor is fitting and fully justified, those cases are few and far between. It’s far more common for artists to create buxom beauties in stick-on armor solely as eye candy, rather than thinking realistically about what the character’s taste in costumes would be like. Although she has appeared briefly in Guardians of the Galaxy, we still know very little about this lost princess of Asgard, and those coming into the series from Thor: God of Thunder or Agent of Asgard know even less. The writers may yet make a good argument for her gilded push-up bra and the fact that her cleavage takes up most of the promo image, but until then I will continue to frown intensely with suspicion.
One interesting thing this issue reveals, however, is that before Thor came along Aldrif was officially next in line for the throne, meaning that female children apparently have equal inheritance rights in Asgard. There are, of course, women currently ruling Asgard, but one of them is Freyja, the wife of Odin, and the means by which she and her two co-rulers came to power is unusual and complicated to say the least. To my knowledge, the right of daughters to inherit rulership has not been discussed in the past, but a flashback scene in this comic refers to Aldrif specifically as Odin’s heir, meaning that apparently Thor was the backup child.
Unfortunately there is not much story progression or character development in this issue, as it works to hastily stitch together the storylines of Agent of Asgard, Thor: God of Thunder, and Original Sin, but as mashups go, it’s pretty smooth so far. I must admit that I’m not thrilled to take a detour from the life and times of whiny, tragically unhip, fanfiction-writing, apartment-trashing Ordinary Bad Neighbor Loki, and I miss Verity Willis already, but “The Tenth Realm” has some potential. At the very least, if it turns out terrible, the regular old Agent of Asgard will return to normal in a few months. And in the meantime, we have sky sharks.