WotR Damage Report: Will Loki Ever Really Die?
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mike Del Mundo
Publisher: Marvel Comics
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The last time we saw Loki he was getting eaten by his father, Laufey the Frost Giant King, in WotR #1. The events of this issue of Thor take place directly afterwards, and we instantly realize Loki’s part to the story is much larger than we originally anticipated. It’s hard to say for sure at this point if Loki is indeed dead, but I’m sure some version of him will still have some kind of role down the road based off of his otherworldly existences throughout this story. Lets get to that. Loki wakes up not knowing where he is, but is greeted by another version of himself. This younger, more viking-like version of Loki explains that he is in fact responsible for starting the war all as a distraction from another failed ploy against Thor. Just as Loki is admiring his growth as a version of himself who would never be that petty now, a young Dark Elf by the name of Malekith is rolling a wheel barrow of body parts into an inferno. Loki realizes that he is responsible for forming the horrific version of Malekith that we all know now. Through all of this there are time lines that seem to not be matching up, but that is explained away with the possibility of an unknown form of “time-travel nonsense.” As Loki goes to prevent a young Malekith from his destiny, he is unable to. The Viking-Loki reminds him that his father had just eaten him, thus making Loki realize that he is dead, and assumes this to be his Hel. His alternate version tells him that there will be several “visits” before his true end comes. Loki attacks, but it’s no use and Loki gets swept away to his next visit. Are you sensing a “Christmas Carol” vibe coming up here too? Because that’s almost exactly what’s happening. Loki now gets to visit the present, or rather, what should have been the present version of himself if he hadn’t of gone and stabbed Lady Freya back in the events of issue five of Thor. That version is none other than Kid Loki. His part seems to be to acknowledge one thing before he sends him on his next visit. That is that Loki admires himself so much that even before he goes to die he would plagiarize a Dickens scenario just to see himself again before he goes for good. Kid Loki then sends Loki off and we see the last, and future version, of Loki. This version of Loki has just finished slaying Ego and is off to finish the rest of the universe as the Necrogod/ All-Butcher. Our Loki immediately tries to stop him, but he’s just reminded of how much he’s incapable of at this point and is then tossed into an abyss. As he’s falling he realizes that if he is the one manifesting all of this somehow like Kid Loki mentioned earlier, maybe he can stop it. We get one last shot coming from the belly of King Laufey, and I have to say, Loki isn’t looking great. He is still alive though, despite his need to die to prevent the future version of himself from coming about. At least, that’s what I took in from all of that.
Jason Aaron took an unexpected route with this issue and completely ignored Thor altogether, despite this being a Thor title. We all wanted to know if Loki actually died after his dad ate him back in WotR #1, but I didn’t think that he would take an entire issue to explain that he’s not dead, but pretty messed up and still inside of Laufey. He used this opportunity to tie in some previous issues of Thor from this current run, which worked well, but overall I feel like he could have given us something besides a Loki story. I instantly started to recognize the Charles Dickens story telling and found it to be very odd of Aaron to do, but when he had Loki acknowledge this based off of his own vanity and self admiration, I found it to be clever. I don’t know what to take away from the “visits” that all occurred, but they all had their own moments of glory, despite how confusing they may have seemed at first.
Mike Del Mundo’s art is not necessarily for everyone just because of how unorthodox it is to the normal comic book style, but I have grown accustomed to the way he illustrates and colors “Thor.” The pastel colors bring a unique tone in comparison to Kirby’s neon colors, but I’ve definitely grown to appreciate it. This particular issue is Del Mundo doing his thing in no different manner than he usually does. A true master of digital art.
All in all, I was taken by surprise to get an entire issue explaining that we still don’t know if Loki is dead, and to not see Thor in any way in his own book. We did touch on the fact that some version of Loki is responsible for the big war in some distant way.The fact is Jason Aaron is not going to waste our time though, especially in the midst of his biggest project to date with WotR. In some form or another, this is all going to make a lot more sense. In the meantime, we can rest easy knowing that Loki is still kind of breathing.
I was taken by surprise to get an entire issue explaining that we still don’t know if Loki is dead, and to not see Thor in any way in his own book.