Today, Patrick and Suzanne are discussing Loki: Agent of Asgard 4, originally released May 7th, 2014.
Patrick: This issue borrows its title from one of our favorite / least favorite entries from TV Tropes. The trope is known as “Let’s You and Him Fight” and refers to the all-too-common occurrence in superhero comics that forces heroes to fight each other. Presumably, this stems from our desire to see our hypothetical “who would win in a fight?” conversations played out on the page. But it’s not like we ever really get an answer to that question — those hero-fights always end in ties — and the brawl is just prelude to a team-up. We may be watching Batman vs. Superman in 2015, but they’ll be chumming it up in Justice League of America in 2016. This is Loki we’re talking about here, so it’s not quite so simple. Take a look at that title again: it’s “Lets You and Him Fight,” conspicuously leaving the apostrophe out of “Let’s.” (Someday, I won’t care about the absence of apostrophes in titles, but that’ll have to be next week.) Al Ewing takes our understanding and expectations of this trope and subverts them by applying a handful of others, creating a truly innovative piece of fiction made up of all old pieces. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Loki: Agent of Asgard 3, originally released April 2, 2014.
Patrick: I remember seeing a featurette on Kill Bill, Vol. 1 in anticipation of Vol. 2. In it, Quentin Tarantino mentioned a few of the storytelling accomplishments of the first movie. For the most part, Vol. 1 is an emotionally satisfying episode in and of itself: an emotionally and physically devastated woman finds the means, the will and strength to fight back. But Tarantino points out the importance of establishing the mythology of a Hattori Hanzo sword. By the time the second flick rolls around, they’re legendary, and their legacy adds an almost supernatural element to the fight between The Bride and Elle. I mean, it’s Hanzo Sword vs. Hanzo Sword for crying out loud! The thing is, the only way to communicate how powerful these blades are is to tell us stories about them. Al Ewing continues to explore the power of myth by having his antagonist craft his own mythical sword, not by forging the blade, but by forging the story of the blade. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Spencer are discussing Loki: Agent of Asgard 2, originally released March 5, 2014.
Scott: The world is built on lies. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that anyone who’s achieved great success wouldn’t have gotten there without at least a little bit of dishonesty. We’re encouraged to lie on our resumes. It’s practically a requirement during job interviews. Can you imagine if politicians couldn’t make any false promises while campaigning? They wouldn’t be able to say anything. And it’s not always such a bad thing. We lie to be polite. We tell our waiters that everything tastes great even though we’ve only taken one bite. They smile and life goes on. It’s harmless. In Loki: Agent of Asgard 2, writer Al Ewing and artist Lee Garbett point out just how common lying really is. It may not be possibly for two people to converse for ten minutes without one of them lying. Now what if Loki, the God of Mischief, is put in a situation where he can’t lie? The outcome might surprise you…
Today, Patrick and (guest writer) Arielle are discussing Loki: Agent of Asgard 1, originally released February , 2014.
Patrick: You guys, we live in a post Avengers world. Generally, that movie changed the way the world viewed superhero movie franchises and it changed the way we viewed shared cinematic universes (everyone’s trying to ape that shit now). But very specifically – it changed Loki profoundly. Throughout the Thor flicks and Avengers itself, Tom Hiddleston’s take on the character proved to be more charismatic and nuanced than the casts he was supporting, and the zeitgeist changed around this character. He’s not just a compelling villain, he’s a frustrated anti-hero with sex appeal and a undeniably attractive ability to work the room. Between that, and Kieron Gillen’s excellent run with Kid Loki on Young Avengers, it’s hard to deny that the meta-narrative is one of a discovering that Loki is someone we love, more than someone we love to hate. Writer Al Ewing is right on board with that assessment, but is quick to acknowledge that this version of Loki is just another story, and if we start looking at all of the Loki stories, well, me might not like what we see. Continue reading →