When Loki began his quest in this latest ongoing series, most fans expected a fun romp through the Marvel Universe. What no one expected was a story that adds some great lore and tense horror. That’s exactly what we got, as this issue gives us more of the series’ mission statement.
Daniel Kibblesmith, Oscar Bazaldua, David Curiel, and Clayton Cowles throw Loki into an unexpected new situation.
Loki has found himself in the House of Ideas, a multiversal library curated by Now and Then, the Children of Eternity. Here they write the stories of all of the world’s inhabitants, especially its heroes. However, if Loki makes it through the challenge given by the Children of Eternity, Nightmare is waiting for him…
This continues to be a strong outing by the entire creative team. Kibblesmith’s script sparkles with wit, but he also puts Loki so far out of his element that it offers him a fantastic challenge he’s never faced before. Bazaldua’s line art is sharp, and improves more with every issue, while Curiel makes it pop off the page with his colors. Even Cowles’ always solid work on letters is better than normal, with small choices that make it standout.
There are two highlights of the issue in particular that need to be called out though. Kibblesmith adds a massive piece of lore to the Marvel Universe, explaining how characters like Wolverine and Spider-Man can fit in all of their appearances and stories, even in the compressed timeline of the universe. Even if no one else ever uses it, Now and Then have become a perfect explanation for how all of these stories really could fit in. Bazaldua and Curiel find some unique ways to depict it as well, turning a bookcases full of Thor, Spidey and Wolverine stories into a mind bending cosmic concept.
Then for the second issue in a row, Nightmare is bumped up to the next level. Kibblesmith follows up on his horrifying act messing with an ordinary woman, while Bazaldua depicts her growing desperation, while Curiel surrounds her with greys, blacks and blues that add to the horror. Then those some tricks are applied when the dream demon confronts Loki himself at the end of the issue, which has an even greater impact thanks to the groundwork the entire team has already laid.
Loki is in for the greatest fight of his life next issue, and I can’t wait to see it.
Loki #3 is available now from Marvel Comics.