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Goat Heads and Sand Burrs, P. Kirby's Reading Blog

The good, bad, and fugly books I've read.
Journey into Mystery, Vol. 1: Fear Itself - Kieron Gillen Yep, even though I've been spoiled and know where the story's going, I "ship" Loki and Leah. Sigh.

So...previously in Marvel-Thor-verse, Loki made friends with the nicest people (Doom, Norman Osborn, etc.) and merrily wrecked havoc on Asgard and beyond, until, when things were at their direst, the world was a nose hair from becoming a rubble-filled parking lot, he seemingly had a change of heart and sacrificed himself, saving the day.

Loki, of course, is harder to eradicate than a case of clap in a whorehouse, so he was then reincarnated, as a younger, possibly less-evil version of himself; Thor found him and brought him home once again to try and play happy family. (Yeah, Thor's learning curve is really steep.)

Most of Asgard, of course, isn't happy to have Loki again in their midst, even a cuter, twee version, so the only thing keeping kid Loki alive is a vow, made by the Warriors Three, to keep Loki from harm. This detail being somewhat important, because events will transpire to make it so that Thor isn't around to do the protective big brother thing.

But first Loki, being a typical teen with too much time on his hands (when he's not discovering that the internet is made of porn), wanders off, solves a series of puzzles and finds his older, deader self. Young Loki asks ghostly Loki the question on everyone's mind. Why did Loki do it?

Senior Loki, like all old guys, blathers on for a while, but his answer can be summarized as: "I was bored." Or maybe, "I was worried that I was getting boring."

Dead Loki also observes that even without his chaos-loving self around, evil will still be hankering to kick puppies, eviscerate unicorns and cancel all rainbows for eternity. Following this encounter with his less-alive self, young Loki has a new sense of purpose -- to save Asgard from the latest threat -- and an avian "advisor" named Ikol.

Evil, in this story arc, is played by The Serpent, whose nefarious plans include using Earth to fuel a war against Asgard.

In the face of this adversary, Odin goes into, "Screw the mortals, we're saving our immortal bacon," mode, pretty much declaring he'll raze Earth to save Asgard. Thor objects because he's sort of fond of mortals. For which, Odin --whose time in Limbo playing Groundhog Day over and over, smiting Surtur the demon, has made him a touch grumpy -- chucks Thor into Asgard lockup. (Odin, like all father-figure gods, is a petty asshole, and none-too-bright, given that he's just decommissioned one of Asgard's greatest warriors.)

Hence, it's up to kid Loki to be the hero and this time he'd prefer a plan that didn't involve his inglorious death. But first he has to escape Volstagg's misguided attempt at babysitting (which involves putting Loki to work cleaning up after Thor's goats). Naturally, this doesn't stop resourceful Loki from sneaking about the realms, unleashing Hel hounds, and fomenting discord between Mephisto and Hela. (Also, getting kneed in the balls by a pretty girl.)

All in the service of protecting Asgard from itself.

Though he retains an insatiable desire to get into mischief, teen Loki is more inquisitive than malicious, his attempts at evil self-mocking: "I'm extraordinarily evil and I want to destroy Asgard or something like that." He's also amusingly squeamish, making "Ick" and "Gross" noises at the few gory moments in the story. Given Thor's convenient state of incarceration, interactions between this Loki and Thor are few, but totally adorable.

The sort of painterly look of the artwork adds to the story's mythical sensibilities.

Four stars to allow for what I hope is further awesomeness in later volumes. *Wanders off to dig change out of sofa cushions to buy the next book.*