This issue is odd. It seems clear that Ewing wrote himself into some sort of corner and somehow even arming the Norse gods with machine guns couldn't help him escape it.
To start, I want to say, in Ewing's defense, that one of the problems with this issue is that Ewing is telling a story that takes place before "Secret Wars" began. It was OK for the first issue or so of the story, but, at this stage, we're getting pretty deep into the event for us to be stuck in the past.
But, the main problem is admittedly that the Asgard sequence really just makes no sense. I'm not sure why Odin and Freya thought that human guns would somehow defeat the armies of Hel. Freya herself even notes that the bullets will be exhausted well before the armies, so it doesn't really seem like a strategic play. I had thought that they were maybe enchanted by the dwarves of Nidavellir, but no one actually says that. Plus, I'm still not really sure that I understand King Loki's plans. How does destroying the other Norse gods make it possible for him to survive the destruction of the two universes? It seemed last issue like he was just settling old scores, and I was cool with that. But, in this issue, Hel, in a conversation with Tyr, implies that they might have some sort of larger scheme for survival afoot. But, we're never given a glimpse of that plan, even with all King Loki's ranting.
Finally, I have no idea why young Loki was able to steal Verity's soul (if he does that, exactly) simply by her telling him (er, her) her story. I'm also not sure how it ties into the Asgard story.
Honestly, Ewing has to give us a little more than we get here. It would be one thing if we knew that this confusion came from the events in "Secret Wars," but they don't. Instead, it just feels like a lot of random events with no real point. To make matters worse, we're essentially being asked to hang in there despite knowing that the reality where this story is happening is already destroyed. It's not all that inspiring, needless to say.
** (two of five stars)