In anticipation of the 2016 presidential election, Marvel Comics released a four-issue miniseries called Vote Loki. The premise was simple enough: Our two options for president are both bad in their own ways and they both lie, so why not vote for Loki, who will lie to your face with a smile? Conceived by Christopher Hastings, who has plenty of comedic comics under his belt (especially as the co-creator of Gwenpool), with art by Langdon Foss and Paul McCaffrey, the series aims to offer a new take on Loki and shine a light on American politics. One can already guess from the premise things go badly for everyone. Now back in print because of the Disney+ Loki television show, how does this trade hold up?
This book collects Vote Loki #1-4 and material from Journey into Mystery #85, Avengers (1963) #300. The story opens with Loki saving both presidential candidates from a Hydra terrorist attack at a media event. He quickly gains the attention of the cameras and the American people and soon sees how easy it might be to become president. No longer the god of mischief, Loki sets out to win over the American people in ways not unfamiliar from recent candidates. Along the way he spins negative news articles in his favor (you only need to change the title to something positive since people don’t actually read the whole story) and even using his god-status to start a new religion.
The main character is a journalist named Nisa Contreras who works for the Daily Bugle. She seems to be the only American with some sense and can see through Loki’s lies and manipulations though he’s not even using superpowers to sway them. Instead, he’s using tactics we see in our own political system and it drives her to prove he’s not fit to be president. Along the way, Loki gets involved in American politics, but at some point along the way he realizes the constant bickering and inability to even talk about solutions makes him realize this may not be a job worth taking. It’s a negative look at politics, but it’s a fair one.
Along the way, heroes and familiar locations pop up (wait until you see Jane Foster as Thor!) which are all drawn in a unique detailed style. Foss draws every issue but the second, and he has a great sense of details, from a face to the many colorful people in a crowd. Aside from Loki’s horned helmet, he dresses relatively simply after he ditches his Asgardian clothes. That helps further ground the story which is already visually grounded. The colors by Chris Chuckry with Rachelle Rosenberg are warm and realistic. A good example is in the first issue when Loki uses his beating by the Hulk as proof he never stops fighting.
Vote Loki is a comic that’s short, but sweet. It’ll be fun to see the Loki TV show refer to this comic and see how deep it goes with him running for president. As it stands, for a short political comic in the Marvel universe, there’s not much better than this.
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