They say the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist and Loki appears to have taken that sentiment to heart in “Loki: Agent of Asgard”. “Agent of Asgard” is currently has four issues out but this review will tackle specifics of the first two issues so consider this a first impression if nothing else. The prologue of the first issue explains that Loki’s death, or rather the original Loki’s death, was a means to greater end. To gain a new youthful body, a mind and heart uncorrupted by the chaos that got him killed, and job working for the All-Mother to polish his “sparkling new reputation”.
“So, he died. Which was, of course, his greatest scheme of all.”
Admittedly this is a far different Loki than we’ve come to know in previous comics. Our first panel opens with our beloved God of mischief and evil singing a rendition of the “Wizard and I” from the broadway classic “Wicked”. But, thankfully, despite the blatant campiness in much of the humor Loki’s actual narration sets a much richer and darker tone to all the one-off hijinks and missions he goes on. We learn how he defines magic, “taking a lie and making it truth”, and how his new persona knows better than to mimic his previous self “The Loki that burned”. It’s explained that for every mission Loki completes the All-Mother will erase one of his previous schemes from history providing him with a new cleaner reputation. This Loki seems more ultimately mischievous than evil but the question of what he plans to do once there is no more red of his ledger remains to be seen. As a reader you get the sense that he’s just biding his time but what for hasn’t been made apparent. We see lots of reappearances from characters in previous Thor story lines involving Loki (the annotations are nice for new comic book readers like myself!) and of course the Avengers are always close at hand making “Agent of Asgard” feel more at home in the overarching Marvel verse.
Artistically, the issues are vibrant, colorful, and a balance between “old school” and “new school” sensibilities in my mind. I wouldn’t go so far to say the art is stunning like other comic book art I’ve seen but it has an undeniable “Loki-ness”, smart, cool, and a little bit sexy, that’s appealing. Al Ewing is behind the very impressive writing and Lee Garbett is the main artist for “Agent of Asgard”. If nothing else these guys understand the modern appeal of Loki and that was enough to keep my interest and want to run out to get the two issues I hadn’t read. If there are any MCU fans wanting a jumping off point into comics “Agent of Asgard” might be a good place to start. If you’re not absolutely married to pure traditional comic book aesthetics and story telling and don’t mind a little heavy handed humor then you will probably enjoy “Agent of Asgard” especially if Loki is your Marvel character of choice.