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Siege: Loki

Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010
By: Paul Brian McCoy

Kieron Gillen
Jamie McKelvie
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Siege: Loki arrives in stores tomorrow, April 14.

There are three Siege One-Shots out this week, and this is, without question, the most interesting and essential of them all. Essential, that is, if you're reading Gillen's current stay on Thor instead of, or along with Siege.

This issue begins well before the current assault on Asgard, giving us a behind-the-scenes look at just how Loki has been influencing events to achieve the outcome that he wants, rather than that which Osborn wants. And a big part of those wants involves the destruction of Asgard.

And, just as I predicted all those months ago, we discover (as you can see in the preview pages, below) that it was Loki speaking to Osborn in his best Green Goblin voice, pushing him closer and closer to the edge. Sure, Osborn was always borderline insane, but his meds were keeping him in check. It's Loki who's been fiddling with his head lately, particularly in those creepy scenes in Dark Avengers where he's been talking to his Goblin mask.

But that was really just to set up the attack on Asgard.

And the attack on Asgard is really just to set up Loki's endgame, and we discover what that is as this issue concludes.

I'm not sure how it's going to affect Siege (though I have some ideas), but it should have some major repercussions on Thor as Gillen hands over the title to Matt Fraction.

The most interesting part of this book is the realization that with the cycle of Ragnarok broken and the possibility for true freedom to be had, nothing has really changed for the Asgardians. Well, that's not really true. With no more Hel as a destination for the dead gods, where do all these dead Asgardians go? And what happens to them when they get there?

Aside from that question, though, everyone is still basically the same, personality-wise, and Loki is looking for a way out of that little psychological trap. And that's where the book gets really interesting.

Gillen is joined by his Phonogram partner, Jamie McKelvie, who provides a very clean visual style to the story. If you're a fan of Phonogram, then this should come as a treat, but I had a different reaction.

Don't get me wrong. This book looks good, no doubt. But I just didn't really find it suitable to the story being told. We're dealing with some serious fantasy elements, particularly when we get to the magical realm of this issue's surprise guest-star, and everything is just too down-to-earth for my tastes.

And clean. That's the most apt descriptive term I can come up with to describe McKelvie's work. He's not playing with light and shadow. He's not intricately designing sets or costumes. His work is barely expressionistic at all, and for a comic that moves between two mythic realms and involves horrifying mythological monsters, that's a negative for me.

Again, it looks good, it's just not the aesthetic approach I would prefer with a story like this. When there is violence, I want it to be bloody, Viking violence, and it's not. It's cartoon violence. When there is megalomaniacal ranting, I want the visuals to be as over-the-top as the dialog, and this just doesn't cut it.

But I don't have any sentimental attachments to the Gillen/McKelvie team, so take my reaction with that grain of salt.

Still, this is the best of the Siege Tie-ins this week, and is a must-read if you're following Thor, regardless of whether or not you're paying attention to the Big Event. Honestly, though, I can't imagine someone reading Thor and not being at least slightly interested in what Bendis is doing over in Siege.








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