Loki was my pick for “Gone to soon” as unfortunately, Daniel Kibblesmith’s five-issue series has come to an end. In a new beginning of sorts though, the trade paperback collecting the miniseries is out this week. It also contains material from War of the Realms: Omega, and a farewell letter from Kibblesmith that implicitly admits this series is ending even though he had more to bring. But worry not as this collection promises never-ending fun as long as you reread it from cover to cover till the end of the time. Given how good Kibblesmith and Oscar Bazaldua are, that’s not a bad thing!
This book solves the problem of feeling like a rehash of any Loki story that has come before it. Kibblesmith has a good handle on the character making him funny and of the personality type that has lived for eons. He’s decidedly human in his ability to appear not to care while caring all the same secretly to himself. The first story arc takes up the first four issues and serves as a fun way to explore how the trickster god works in mysterious ways, how Kibblesmith appears to have a lot of great big ideas, and how damn much we need a snarky, reluctant hero like Loki. Kibblesmith has a great sense of pacing when it comes to captions, dialogue, and subplots. At one point Loki is literally in the House of Ideas and it’s easy to understand and quite imaginative. Meanwhile, a woman looking for her wife Robyn is integrated to add some stakes as gods mess with humanity. This pays off well in the end, too.
Back to the House of Ideas, which is run by the children of Eternity, we learn a lot about other heroes with an interesting cosmic explanation around their never-ending stories. It’s a clever concept that ties into fandom well. It’s also an interesting way of getting around the ever-changing nature of Loki — in this case, his current status as a good guy.
The art is by Oscar Bazaldua with colors by David Curiel and letters by Clayton Cowles. The art is very clean and bright, which is suitable for the positivity and energy of Loki. Loki is an interesting character in that he can pull literally something out of nothing, or defy gravity as he takes a walk around the House of Ideas, and Bazaldua does a good job capturing these logic-defying abilities. Curiel does a great job capturing skin tones as well as the cosmic nature of the Eternity children, too.
In the fifth issue, Kibblesmith tells a good one-shot story with art by Andy MacDonald. In this final story, you can tell Kibblesmith is making a statement not only because it is his last issue, but on Loki’s abilities as a storyteller. Fans of Loki: Agents of Asgard will love the final pages here and will likely be even more pissed off the series ended when it did. More impressively, Kibblesmith doesn’t hold back on his ideas and actually shares a basic premise for the series that could have easily sustained it for 20 more issues.
Something that peppers the entire series is Loki’s “Trickster Tips” and in Kibblesmith’s letter in the back of the book, he leaves us with one more. It’s simple, really: “Leave them wanting more.” And Kibblesmith does. One could argue the best stories are open-ended since they let us fill in the blanks. But with the way this book ends, I’m left wishing we got Kibblesmith’s version instead of the one we’re forced to tell to ourselves.
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