No Really, Trust Me: Pan’s Review of Loki: Agent of Asgard #4

It’s that time of the month again, friends: time to be irritated, aroused, and emotionally compromised. By which I mean it’s time for Agent of Asgard.

When last we left our dashing not-hero, he was in possession of a magical sword that didn’t belong to him and his evil adult self was gallivanting through Asgard’s past, shooting fish with bazookas and otherwise messing junk up. The consequences of Old Man Loki’s prying and meddling are yet to be revealed, but the consequence of stealing Sigurd’s sword is pretty straightforward: a pissed-off Sigurd. Thereby follows the plot of Agent of Asgard #4, wherein Sigurd climbs many vertical surfaces, Loki wears tight pants and has ulterior motives, and Verity has had just about enough of all this.

*aspirates heavily*

*aspirates heavily*

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No Really, Trust Me: Pan’s Review of Loki: Agent of Asgard #3

Well, ladies and gents, I hope you weren’t too desperate for teen eye candy this month, because Loki is conspicuously absent from his own title. That is to say: New Loki is absent and Old Man Loki is back and more devious than ever, so if you’re into old man, this is your kind of issue.

“But wait,” you exclaim, in the hypothetical conversation I imagine we are having, “isn’t Old Loki gone forever? Wasn’t he killed”—and here I imagine you count pensively on your fingers—“like… a ton of issues ago and reincarnated into a totally new body?”

All of these hypothetical observations you have (or possibly haven’t) made are very astute and very correct, but you have failed to account for the fact that this is Marvel and, by virtue of Comic Book Logic, nobody ever actually dies. I’m still waiting with bated breath for the giant otter Loki killed to make a comeback and be given its own series.

Otter: Agent of Asgard

Otter: Agent of Asgard

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No Really, Trust Me: Pan’s Review of Loki: Agent of Asgard

After a confusing series of deaths, reincarnations, and redesigns, Marvel’s Loki is now starring in his own solo series: Loki: Agent of Asgard, and interestingly, the ill-gotten body he’s inhabiting these days happens to be late adolescent and devastatingly attractive.

Mark me down as scared AND horny

Mark me down as scared and horny.

In what seems to be an unapologetic attempt to cash in on Tom Hiddleston’s glorious face, the pert-nosed, bright-eyed, twelve-year-old Loki of Kieron Gillen’s Journey into Mystery has been overtaken by the shadow of his old self, and has grown into quite the swarthy, chiseled specimen to boot. Though Loki has never before been deliberately framed as an object of attraction in the comics, it’s no secret that Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki in the Thor and Avengers films has earned him an overwhelmingly female fandom.

Marvel, it seems, is more than happy to give the people what they want, and in a laudable attempt at embracing diversity, Agent of Asgard writer Al Ewing has officially stated that Loki is canonically bisexual and “will shift between genders occasionally”. If this can be taken to mean that Loki is actually gender fluid (as opposed to, say, using female form simply for deceit, which he has done before) he is the first significant Marvel character to identify as such.

*raucous fanfare*

*raucous fanfare*

Unfortunately, Marvel does have a history of floundering in their attempts to write male protagonists for a female audience. A solo series starring Wolverine’s son Daken as a sexy, edgy anti-hero crashed pretty hard when readers realized that its only hook was “debauched bisexual quotes Nietzsche, hates father, and is occasionally shirtless”. Ewing and Garbett are now tasked with maintaining interest in a series that could very easily dissolve into “debauched bisexual quotes lolcats, hated father, and is occasionally shirtless”.

The question, of course, is: are they succeeding? Are Ewing and artist Lee Garbett (two straight men; an interesting choice, in my opinion) giving readers what they want and deserve in a female-targeted nontraditional comic, or have they set out with good intentions only to miss the mark entirely? Continue reading