by Drew Baumgartner
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Loki stories are fun — and have been for literal millennia — because of the dynamic way storytellers let us in on his tricks. Sometimes, we’re only tipped off to the trick after the fact, allowing us to be fooled along with his audience. In other cases, we get to be “in” on the trick, effectively seeing it from his perspective. Or our perspective can shift at any point, allowing us to be fooled for a time before revealing the trick to us halfway through, introducing that bit of dramatic irony that makes trickster stories so fun. Ryan North and Erica Henderson understand the fun of all of those approaches, and mix and match them to glorious effect in Squirrel Girl 28.
We start out with some classic decoy illusions as Loki and Squirrel Girl face off against Dormammu. Each deception is revealed by the end of their respective pages (though never until after the decoys are “killed”), setting up some clear rules for how these deceptions work. But by the time Drax shows up, we’re privy to Loki’s illusions before he deploys them. Indeed, he’s basically calling them like he’s Babe Ruth:
So when we finally catch up with Nancy and Tippy-Toe on the Squirrel Planet, we’re ready for the “Silver Surfer’s” story to be undone (not that there weren’t obvious holes in their story last month). It’s a straightforward protection racket, complicated by the specter of Galactus, but it’s easy enough to see through once they start putting the pieces together.
So what other solution could they come up with but another deception? This is the currency of the issue, and the thought of giving these bros their comeuppance via Galactus is to poetic to resist…only our team can’t quite pull it off. Their scam falls flat, even as the bros double-down on their story. With all of that deception and revelation swirling around, we can’t really blame Doreen for not believing her eyes when the real Silver Surfer shows up. It’s a classic case of mistaken identity, justified about seven different ways after an issue almost entirely built on characters deceiving each other in one way or another. There’s probably a lesson here in the value of always telling the truth, but we’ll have to wait until next month to see how it all plays out.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?