The war in Otherworld comes to a close but not without the sacrifice of a Journey Into Mystery favorite.
Journey Into Mystery #641
Loki has switched sides in the war between the old gods and the new gods. He’s decided to use the information about the places of power for the old gods to destroy them, weakening Otherworld enough to force them into a treaty and preventing further death and suffering. With his task completed, it’s time for Loki to pay his debts. First, he earns the trust of Daimon Hellstrom by revealing his plans and being honest with him. He leads Hela to the Holy Grail to repair the wound she suffered at the hands of the Disir. By repaying his debt, Leah is sacrificed and fades into nothingness. Finally, he returns to Asgardia to face the All Mother’s wrath and makes it clear that if they don’t want him to save the day then they must stop asking him to do so. Lastly, we learn who is pulling the strings behind the new gods – a certain fire demon known as Surtur.
This issue works on a couple levels. First, it uses about half the comic to see Loki’s plans come to fruition. He’s going to allow the new gods to win to stop the death of the Otherworlders, but also because he is in no place to stop the forward march of progress. While he doesn’t do things the way the All Mother wanted, he does exactly what they tasked him to do which is a pretty clever twist on his mission and his conclusion. It’s just another example of exactly why Kieron Gillen is a brilliant writer. His work with Loki and Leah is some of the smartest writing at Marvel and we’re all lucky he’s been able to make this series his own.
What we don’t really expect from him is what we see in the second half of the book. As he settles his debt to Daimon, he finally has a quiet moment of reflection that he can’t avoid being Loki, but he can be different than what he was. He can be trustworthy and it pays off in the end as one of the hardest to earn trust from admits that he’s done what he set out to do. It’s a touching scene, but not as sad as what would come next. The end of this story brings about a large arc that started before Fear Itself. All the ledgers have been balanced. Loki is back to square one, but it’s not without some personal loss. His companion, best friend, and love, Leah leaves the book. In fact, she leaves existence all together. He learns that for all his good deeds, no matter how he reached that end, they don’t go unpunished and while Asgardia might not still trust him, he’s left with knowing he’s done his best to preserve good even though he is left alone all over again.
All said, this story ends with a great issue featuring fantastic art from Richard Elson, some great wit (that includes Loki and Leah wearing symbolic Guy Fawkes masks while they destroy the places of power for Otherworld), and a touching end. We now head into a crossover with The Mighty Thor that will likely feature a different tone as Surtur looks to be coming to burn everything!
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Great writing and art from Gillen and Elson. Touching end.||None, but it was sad to see Leah depart.|
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