Probably the best thing that Marvel Comics has taken from the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been the journey of Loki from despicable villain to roguish anti-hero. In the wake of the War of the Realms, we get the next step in that evolution is Loki #1.
Daniel Kibblesmith, Oscar Bazaldua, David Curiel, and Clayton Cowles introduce us to Loki’s new reality.
Loki is the king of Jotunheim, the ruler at the dawn of a new era of collaboration and peace among the Ten Realms. However, while dealing with a belligerent Frost Giants and his angry brother, there’s another threat looming heralded by a mysterious ethereal visitor. However, Loki might be too busy conning Midgardian gambling halls to stop it…
Kibblesmith has been working on the outskirts of the Marvel Universe for a couple years now, and this is the series that should push him to the forefront of the universe. He shows a great grasp of the MU as a whole, but always from the perspective of his lead. Loki is equal parts charming, funny, competent and wholly untrustworthy, and the story makes that all work.
He also makes the main threat in the issue- the demon Nightmare- frightening without crossing the line into horror. The story is even better paired with Cowles’ letter work which uses the caption placement and use of varied fonts to help jokes land. The series is clearly going to be a great addition to the Marvel Universe, and I really hope to see it last.
Bazaldua’s line work shines, surpassing even his previous work on Spider-Man and Mr & Mrs X, despite a few moments of bumpy anatomy. Loki still feels slimy, but he’s attractive and alluring in a way that you can’t take your eyes off him. It’s not just Loki who shines though, as his Thor is a power player on the page, and the story’s first antagonist, the Armadillo, is literally a huge presence on the page, breaking borders and pages as he tries to drive Loki out of the underground casino he’s swindled. Add Curiel’s great colors (with a dominant green through the entire issue) and it’s a full package.
This is an incredibly fun first issue, and presents so much to keep readers coming back. I definitely recommend it.
Loki #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.