Monday, December 19, 2011

Journey Into Mystery #632

I would never have expected this title to stick around as long as it has.

It's not that Journey Into Mystery isn't a good comic - in fact, it's quite good. But a comic starring Thor's brother Loki? Go figure.

It succeeds because of excellent work by the creative team. Writer Kieron Gillen constantly takes the book in clever, unexpected directions.

During the Fear Itself event, we saw Loki working around the edges of the event, scheming to draw together some incredibly powerful forces and allies to play a crucial role in the event.

Now, in the aftermath of that series, we get the most unexpected story yet: a Christmas tale.

Yep, apparently the Norce Gods have decided to observe the holiday as part of an outreach to their mortal neighbors - and Loki finds himself receiving and giving some unusual (and often funny) presents.

It's the kind of series that you can pick up and read cold, but if you've been following along, you get even more out of the series. It's clever, well written and deals with some smart characters.

The art by Mitch Breitweiser (with colors by Bettie Breitweiser) is quite good - often comical, sometimes deadly serious - it has a painted look and it's reminiscent of the excellent Chris Samnee.

The question is, of course - is this newer, younger version of Loki still evil - or can he find redemption? What mischief can he conjure up to make life in Asgard interesting? And is the "old" Loki really gone?

It's entertaining to watch these scenarios play out, especially in a comic loaded with smart, conniving characters. Lots of fun and highly recommended!

Grade: A-


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