Overview: Last issue Loki made his way to the Asgard of yore, and manipulated his future Father into giving him a legendary sword that wasn’t rightfully his. This issue his wicked ways catch up with him in the form of Sigurd The Ever-Glorious; the true owner of the (stolen?) sword. However, Sigurd doesn’t realize that when you engage in a physical fight with The God of Mischief, it’s only because he has already won the battle of wits.
Art: So far I’ve been very impressed with Lee Garbett’s artwork, and this issue he continues that streak. With a script full of witty one-liners and winks to the audience, facial expressions become even more important than usual, and Garbett does an excellent job of matching each character’s face with the words they’re speaking.
A perfect example is when Verity and Loki are eating dinner and discussing Loki’s plan; there’s three big close-up panels of verity’s face and her face changes from skeptically furrowed brow, to surprised approval, and finally ends with a “da fuck is that?” look–sorry it’s the only way I could think to describe it. Each expression matches her words and adds to the scene; it seems like a small thing, but it takes an average conversation and makes it more engaging. I’ve seen those expressions on others, and made them myself, the relatable nature of that really adds to our enjoyment as readers. The rest of the issue looks great, and Garbett and colorist Nolan Woodard are doing a wonderful job building the aesthetic world of Loki’s new adventures. I especially liked their version of a certain contract-signing guest star who appears near the end of the issue.
Story: Al Ewing has done a fantastic job of moving Loki’s story into its next phase. He had some big shoes to fill taking over after Kieron Gillen’s revitalizing time with the character, but he has filled those shoes with aplomb, and I’m happy to see one of my favorite characters continue to be written with such skill. Ewing has also done a good job adding new characters to the fold, Verity is the perfect foil for our ever-lying protagonist, and they work off of each other splendidly. Their relationship isn’t so much a budding romance as it is a growing friendship with romantic possibilities–similar to how Castle and Beckett started out. The potential is there, provided our boy Loki doesn’t screw it up.
This issue is peppered with funny and charming character moments; Sigurd’s attempt to woo Verity, Loki playing some version of an 8-bit video game(Space Invaders?) while receiving his instructions from the All-Mother; and the nod to The Princess Bride–which will ALWAYS score you points in my book–make for a delightful read. A book about Loki has become reliant on the writers ability to mix comedy with drama and not make it seem forced, while throwing in the right amount of twists to keep us guessing with the every turn of the page; Ewing is doing all that, and I’m super excited to continue following this title.
Conclusion: Another fun installment of a wonderful series, the creative team is working together to bring the goods, and anyone who was apprehensive of reading a Loki book not written by Kieron Gillen can rest assured. Everyone should do themselves a favor and start grabbing this book, it’s one of the only 2.99 Marvel titles so it won’t bust a budget, and I promise you’ll be happy you joined in on the fun. Smooth, skilled artwork, and a writer with a firm grasp of who Loki is and his potential, are two reasons to not miss out on Loki: Agent of Asgard.