One of the biggest pieces of news from NYCC would have to be the announcement of a Loki solo series from Al Ewing and Lee Garbett. Due in no small part to the critical successes of both Journey Into Mystery and Tom Hiddleston’s performance as the character in the Thor movies, Loki has made the unexpected leap from favoured villain to anti-hero and crush object.
With Loki: Agent of Asgard announced, I got to ask writer Al Ewing a few questions about the series, which follows the adult-bodied version of the character as he embarks on a new role in the Marvel Universe.
Steve: Loki: Agent of Asgard is the sort of unexpected idea which, when you think about it, really makes perfect sense. What can readers expect from the series, as it kicks off? What kind of tone are you setting?
Al: We’re hoping for that perfect fusion of fast-moving spy shenanigans and sexy grifting, with all sorts of hustles and stings and con-tricks going on – every issue will feature at least one big lie – and, of course, a taste of the kind of epic fantasy people associate with the Asgardians. Issue one is our utterly shameless issue, as Loki takes on The Avengers to introduce himself and the basic themes of the book, and it’ll only get more fun from there.
Steve: Loki’s been through several changes recently, physically, mentally – how are you planning on approaching him as a character, now he’s back in the adult body and working for Asgard?
Al: He’s gone through a lot of pain, and caused a lot of pain for others, in his attempt to get out of the ‘villain’ box, and he’s managed it. He’s his own person again, the playful trickster God who’s as likely to help as harm… but you can’t just commit the crimes he has and get away with it entirely. The gravity of the villain’s role is terrible, and Loki’s biggest fear is that one day he’ll succumb to it and return to being who he used to be, that all his hard-won evolution is just the illusion of change.
He’s not seeking redemption, exactly, but if a little redemption helps him escape his worst nightmare, he’ll take it.
Steve: And how will the rest of Asgard be reacting to Loki? Is he trusted, following Journey Into Mystery?
Al: Most people don’t know the truth of what happened at the end of Journey Into Mystery. So there’s some grudging trust there, albeit not much. The All-Mother certainly trust him to carry out their objectives – whether they should or not remains to be seen. Whether he should trust them remains to be seen.
The main Asgardian we’ll be seeing is Thor, Loki’s Big Jock Brother. They’re getting on very well these days – their relationship is better and more brotherly than it’s been in centuries. So obviously it’d be awful if Thor found out what happened to Kid Loki.
Steve: You’ve worked with artist Lee Garbett before, for 2000AD. What does he bring to a project like this?
Al: Lee’s great! I only ever did the one page with him for 2000AD, but I believe it was his first published page. That was a period when I was very hard up for work, and I managed to blag some one-page twist ending stories, just to keep myself in the mind of the editor – it’s a format I recommend to any writer who wants to toughen up their brevity muscles. Anyway, what Lee brings is a clean, clear, beautiful style and all the charm and humour a book like this needs. And his storytelling beats are great too.
Steve: There’s been some discussion of Loki as a sex symbol recently, especially after the portrayal of the character by Tom Hiddleston. What percentage of this book will be sexiness, roughly?
Al: 110%. Loki has a very nice bum and we want to show it off.
Many thanks to Al for his time! You can find him on Twitter here. Loki, Agent of Asgard will start next year.