Written Eric M. Esquivel
Drawn by Jerry Gaylord
Colored by Gabriel Cassata
Published by Boom! Studios
While I was underwhelmed by Eric M. Esquivel’s BLACKEST TERROR, I was more more impressed with his THOR: UNKILLABLE THUNDER CHRIST, and had hoped for further adventures of his version of Thor. This isn’t that sequel, but once again Esquivel is tackling the Norse Gods, this time focusing on Loki.
The thrust of this story is that Loki and Thor are the sons of Odin, and Odin favors Thor because Thor is the more aggressive and masculine one. We begin with Loki set to travel to the land of the Frost Giants on a diplomatic mission for Odin, who insists that Loki take Thor along, against Loki’s objections. Sure enough, Thor provokes a fight and ends up slaughtering the Frost Giants. Loki returns to Asgard to tell Odin, but Thor lies and blames Loki, so Odin banishes Loki to Earth. Loki lands in Hollywood where he goes to a rock club and falls in with a bunch of Vegan Satanist Goth kids, who treat him like a rock star. To be continued.
It’s a very good first issue. Esquivel peppers it with with tons of humorous dialog and captions. The Asgardians are described as “A family of night-omnipotent thoughtforms who believe themselves to be the Norse Gods of myth. For obvious reasons – namely, the fact they’ll bludgeon to death anyone who says otherwise – this claim is rarely disputed.” Odin is “King of The Norse Gods. Not a big fan of small talk.” While Thor is “God of lightning and blunt force trauma.” And so on. I also enjoyed Loki and Thor’s brotherly banter as the fight the Frost Giants, as Thor mocks Loki for using a shield instead of a more “manly” weapon, while Loki just wants his “walking shampoo-commerical of a brother” to shut-up. When Loki and Thor return to Asgard after their mission, Odin is in the middle of hosting a huge banquet that features Gods from all other mythologies, from Hercules, to Anansi, to even the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The key is that no matter how absurd the story gets it’s still played straight, which is what makes it work. And Jerry Gaylord’s art here is beautiful. Whether he’s drawing the aforementioned banquet with it’s dozens of deities (some of whom are in the form of various animals or other creatures) or in the nightclub on Earth, he lays out the scenery perfectly, with his cartoon-ish style. It’s a good story that’s fun to read and to look at the pretty pictures.