Sunday, January 25, 2015

Loki: Agent of Axis #9 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Ewing's challenge here is that he's already telling a much better tale about inversion in this series than Remender is in "Axis."  Loki already inverted himself on his own, making this issue's focus on his "sudden" inversion during "Axis" difficult to explain.  In fact, if Loki really is trying to become a better man, wouldn't his inversion remove that impulse?  Or, are we saying that he isn't really trying to become a better man and, therefore, the inversion turning him into a hero revealed the truth?

Ewing tries to side step those problematic questions, since answering them now would essentially close the shop on this series.  The problem is that this issue makes little sense as a result.  We're distracted by Amora taking a page from "Incorruptible's" Max Damage's book, becoming unflinchingly good to the point of absurdity.  But, it's really about Odin and Thor not believing Loki has become nobler (again distracting us from the question of whether it's true or not).  One challenge I always face with Odin is that he's such a spectacularly hypocritical asshole that I have no idea why anyone cares about his opinion.  Peter Quill told his condescendingly imperious oaf of a father to go *$&% himself.  I think that it's about time for Loki to do the same.  But, he doesn't, and we instead get an overwrought sequence where Loki seeks to proving his nobility by wielding Mjolnir.  He does, but, again, it's unclear if it's just because of the spell or if it's because he's really changed.  Ewing even seems to imply that it's a former, with the narrative box seeming to imply the inversion was his only chance to be a hero.

At any rate, this issue is sort of the opposite of those issues that excel by using the event to further an ongoing plot in the series.  Ewing is forced to awkwardly handle the "Axis" event without undermining the larger story that he's telling in this series.  It's also complicated by the fact that, in just nine issues of this series, it's the second event to intrude, after the series was suspended for the "Original Sin" story.  God only knows what horror "Secret Wars" will wreck.

** (two of five stars)

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