At long last, here comes Verity to save the day! But I’m getting ahead of myself; last you all heard in #12, Loki was still tied up and on fire as Future Loki explained the immutability of fate. That condition persists, but now with the understanding that said fire is metaphorical fire, and in the conflagration, Loki is confronting the specters of eir former selves as future Loki goes right on cackling, like he do. In the dreary headspace Loki finds emself in, Original Loki and Kid Loki both wait, swathed in an eerie green glow, to give em life advice.
Original Loki—bitter about the fact that he doesn’t actually exist anymore—encourages Current Loki to take the comfortable path of predictability, living up to his name and telling the same old stories. Kid Loki’s advice, essentially, is that it would be better for Current Loki to allow emself to be destroyed and in doing so hold onto eir identity, rather than to let Future Loki mold em into something ey abhors. Loki is weighing eir myriad of tempting options when eir cell phone rings.
And now we’ve looped back to Verity coming to save the day! Though wisely not prepared to entirely excuse the many crimes that Future Loki brought up, she determinedly tells Loki that based on the little she knows about time travel, nothing is fixed. Loki gets mopey and defeatist, but Verity continues to insist that Future Loki is bullshitting and that the Loki she knows has the power to change eir fate. Bolstered by Verity’s confidence, and not exactly seduced by eir other two options, Loki considers this whole “god of lies” business, recalling how Verity’s superhuman mind reacts to an unverifiable story the same way it reacts to a lie. Loki is, after all, a product of story, just like all the other Asgardians. It’s here that the god of lies finds eir loophole.
Back in the literal apartment full of metaphorical fire, an explosion erupts that seems to destroy Current Loki. Future Loki throws a fit, thinking for a moment that Loki has taken the Kid Loki path and committed suicide, but then he realizes that some kind of time warp has happened. Weird stuff is going on. Loki’s apartment disintegrates; outside, the moon gets very big and scary-looking. Somewhere in the distant past, a storyteller announces that he has a new tale to tell, and for the next eight months Verity sees neither hide nor hair of Loki, but she reads up on Norse myth, in spite of the way fiction gives her the squicks. Finally, a slightly frightening, bedraggled-looking stranger shows up at her door, claiming to be Loki, the “god of stories”. And that “apparently we’re friends”. What intrigue.
Happy day for me, in some respects, as many of my predictions have proven correct. Future Loki was indeed full of crap and trying to disguise manipulation as fate, and Verity being on Loki’s side was critical to em making a move to take control of eir own life. The troubling development now is this: is Loki’s life even eir own anymore? Who is this “god of stories” Loki? Is it the same Loki? Has ey destroyed and remade emself again? Why doesn’t ey seem to have any personal memory of Verity? Why is ey missing a tooth, barefoot, and looking like a gremlin? What became of Future Loki in these last eight months? Has Current Loki also been time-traveling? Has ey accidentally ruined stuff for emself all over again by mucking around with the past? Most importantly: when will Verity get to give Loki a good punch in the jaw for being such a jerk to her on so many occasions?
Nothing has been resolved and I have so many questions! Such uncertainty! Very Marvel, such plot. Wow. Stick around for next issue and what will undoubtedly be a series of increasingly frantic and emphatic question marks.