Loki has been on one hell of a journey in comics, most recently in "War of the Realms," pulling off the rather epic feat of dying then returning, and finally making the rise to the status of hero in in the process. It was all a good bit of happily ever after for the God of Lies, but now what? That's what Loki #1 reveals, taking readers into Loki's new role as King of Jotunheim in what can only be described as a delightful, entertaining romp with hints of outright adventure to come, a perfect blend that will appeal to dedicated comic book fans, while also having a lot to offer for those seeking an entry point.
The premise of Loki #1 is pretty simple. Loki went from villain to hero and found himself rewarded for this evolution of his character in that he was installed on the throne of Jotunheim. This set him up to rule the land of the Frost Giants while his brother, Thor, rules Asgard. He's a king now, Loki made it, he has everything he's ever wanted. Except, being a king isn't always all it's cracked up to be and this is Loki we're talking about. The freshly minted king does as Loki does sometimes and gets bored, quickly getting himself into a bit of mischief on Earth, mischief that Thor has to come help clean up before giving his brother a bit of advice—and perhaps a gentle admonishment as well.
It's that dynamic and tone that makes the issue a genuinely pleasurable read. The characters are every bit themselves, so it's familiar, but it's also realistic. It allows Loki to be vulnerable and perhaps a bit off-center with his new normal in a way that doesn't weaken him. It would be so easy for Thor to be taking a bigger, more heavy-handed role with Loki. One could argue that Thor, despite both characters being kings, wields the greater power here. Instead of Thor leaning on that, writer Daniel Kibblesmith really digs into the supportive brother option and it's a refreshing one.
It's also a tone that Kibblesmith uses to sow the seeds of upcoming adventures. Pretty early in the issue we see Thor get a visit from a ghost or a spirit from the future, warning that a "brother" must be stopped. The vision, upon realizing he's talking to Thor says he's in the wrong room, but Thor reads that as Loki, messing with him. Except, Loki later claims to have sent no vision. The whole thing comes back around again when, near the end of the issue, we get a glimpse of the future where someone whose face we cannot see has crashed into the ground—presumably on Earth, perhaps somewhere else—muttering about having gone to the wrong room. Combine that with Thor offering his brother "The Books of Loki," and you've got both a mystery in wondering who the ghostly figure is and the makings of a major adventure to find out exactly where Loki's story is destined to go next.
All of these things—the way the characters are presented, the wit, the humor, the seed-sowing for future chaos—comes together in what might be one of the most well-executed first issues I've read in a long time. While many issues start strong by offering multiple elements to hook readers, Loki #1 does it in a way that is layered, nuanced, and feels as much like a comic book as it does a myth in the making. It's not flashy, but it's funny and has heart. There's plenty of exposition to bring readers into the story and enough action to make it interesting in the places where the story might otherwise hit a lull. There are no tricks or lies here: Loki #1 is a brilliant, practically perfect first issue and I can't wait to see where the story goes next.
Published by Marvel Comics
On July 17, 2019
Written by Daniel Kibblesmith
Art by Oscar Bazaldua
Colors by David Curiel0comments
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover by Ozgur Yildirim