DIS/MEMBER - ALMOST DONE DIS/SECTING

[BOOK REVIEW] ‘LOKI: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY” IS A POWERFULLY CHEEKY ADAPTION OF A MODERN CLASSIC

Read Time:4 Minute, 35 Second

Loki: Journey Into Mystery

Written by: Katherine Locke

Published by: Titan Books

Copy Provided for Review

“You know,” Ikol cawed to him. “We magpies have a saying for making promises that are hard to keep.”

Loki was not interested in the saying. But he knew Ikol would share it anyways. So he kept trudging up the mountain, trying to catch his breath, trying not to let his face foreshadow what was coming.

“Flap around and find out,” said the magpie to the silence.

Loki snorted. “You forget. I have one of those Stark-Tech phones. That’s not how the phrase goes.”

“It’s how it goes for magpies,” said Ikol, a little primly.

Journey Into Mystery from Kieron Gillen, Doug Braithwaite, and Stephanie Hans is my favorite Kieron Gillen comic.

Sure, I love Young Avengers too (my faking it is, indeed, total) and a recent full read of DIE has revealed it to be a damn fine examination of gaming and the weirdoes that partake in it. But for my money, Journey Into Mystery is a near-perfect amalgamation of script and art as well as a mighty example of Gillen’s plotting and command of scripting. It’s monstrously clever, gut-wrenching in its execution, and contains arguably the best modern depiction of Loki to date. (I would also argue for Al Ewing‘s Loki: Agent of Asgard, but that’s a whole other scroll, my friends).

So, imagine my delight in finding out that that same comic is also a fiendishly funny, wonderfully adapted, and totally engrossing prose novel! Enter Loki: Journey Into Mystery by Katherine Locke and Titan Books. A stridently moving, wholly impressive take on the 2009 comic, presented and repackaged for a whole new audience of readers. Picking up from the game-changing events of Fear Itself (a comic event I totally stump for) and adapting the lion’s share of the series’ issues, author Locke takes Gillen’s scripts and the art teams’ splash pages and gives them an entirely new life on the written page. Taking the tragicomic first introduction of Kid Loki to the masses and breaking it down to the brassest of tacks in prose.

In short, a more than worthy transition between mediums and a stellar read all around. For old fans and new Loki fanatics alike.

But let’s back up a touch. To talk about what the novel actually does and how it does right by the 2009 series. For the uninitiated, a quick “previously on”, I think. After his “glorious” sacrifice in the pages of Siege, Loki was then resurrected in the pages of Matt Fraction’s Thor run, taking on the body of a young French orphan. This run was then later co-written by Gillen, who then parlayed it into a revamp of the classic Marvel title, Journey Into Mystery. Which subsequently followed Kid Loki and his new quest to turn over a new leaf to become a hero after lifetimes of villainy.

Thankfully, Locke picks up Kid Loki’s epic thread at the tail end of Fear Itself. Easing non-comic readers through the harrowing and often cluttered battleground of event comics to focus directly on Kid Loki and the unseen hand he played in the resolution of that massive crossover. From there, Locke hits all the major beats of the core series. Leah of Hel, who once more threatens to steal the entire affair with her icy stare and brutal verbal takedowns, Thori, the Goodest of All Dogs, and even The Teller themselves all get their time on the stage. The latter actually providing a wonderful stylistic choice for the novel too, as their recounting is given an entirely different typeface than the rest of the story.

But even with Locke’s laser focus on Loki and the delicate weave of his and Leah’s plans, the Marvel Universe cannot help but thread through as well. Thor, The Warriors Three, Daimon Hellstrom, Captain Britain Brian Braddock, and many, many more Marvel mainstays float in and out of Kid Loki’s tale. Just like they did on shelves all those years ago. Providing the novel, much like it did the comic, the full scope of the tapestry that is Marvel. Though, I was slightly disappointed my beloved New Mutants and the vastly underrated (and out of print) eXiled crossover was not represented here, I understood the omission. Part of making a good adaptation is knowing what all to actually adapt and thankfully, author Katherine Locke really seems to understand what (and who) works on the page.

Because ultimately that’s what Loki: Journey Into Mystery really does. Work.

It works as a single novel experience. Allowing readers a constantly funny and then emotionally arresting story experience. It works as an adaption of a comic that a lot of people really love. Both by retaining the core appeal of the characters and story. While at the same time, streamlining and honing the narrative to the sharpest possible point for prose readers. And it works just as a great Loki story. Taking the mercurial, immensely irascible energy of the character and replicating that throughout. Either by a wicked turn of phrase or a neat stylistic choice (like a certain devil hijacking the POV from time to time).

In the end, even if Journey Into Mystery isn’t your favorite Gillen joint, Loki: Journey Into Mystery is a wonderful representation of it that also manages to stand on its own. Please do flap around and find out.

Loki: Journey Into Mystery by Katherine Locke is available now from Titan Books.

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

0.00
9.2

The Comic You Love In a Whole New Format

9.0/10

Kid Loki + Leah of Hel = BFFS

10.0/10

Hard To Put Down For Long

9.0/10

Marvellous Cameos Throughout

9.0/10

Aimed at Fans and New Readers

9.0/10
Justin Partridge
justin@betweenthepanels.com
Lover of table top RPGs, prog rock, and anything with Walton Goggins in it. Find his other blathering at THE COLLINSPORT HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Previous post [EXOSPECTIVE] THE EXORCIST SEASON 1: “BEFORE SHE WAS EVER LOST”
Next post [EXOSPECTIVE] THE EXORCIST SEASON 1: “ROGUE ANGELS”

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply