Katherine Locke’s new book Loki: Journey into Mystery is based on the popular graphic novel of the same name by Kieron Gillen. Locke’s book follows Kid Loki as he struggles to define himself as separate from his former incarnation. This story places Loki in many difficult situations. He tries to solve his problems differently from the old Loki, but everyone judges him by his former self’s actions. He’s left wondering, do the ends justify the means? Or is he just the same Loki in a new skin?
[Note: While I am reviewing this novel independently and honestly, it should be noted that it has been provided to me by Titan Books for the purpose of this review.Warning: My review of Loki: Journey into Mystery contains some spoilers!]
Will Kid Loki turn over a new leaf in Loki: Journey into Mystery?
Loki has some problems. He died (always bad) but his brother, Thor, brought him back. However, he brought him back as a child. Also, Thor was the only one who actually wanted Loki brought back. Everyone else still sees him as the villain who tried to destroy Asgard. But Kid Loki doesn’t want to be that bad guy. He’s trying to make better decisions, but no matter what he does, people won’t trust him.
Now Asgard is in danger again and Kid Loki wants to help. He learns that he can save Asgard, but it will require a huge sacrifice. He goes to Thor for advice. He specifically wants to know if letting a bad thing happen will stop a worse thing from happening, should he let the bad thing happen? Even if it costs him everything? Thor says, without hesitation, “Yes”. So Loki has his answer. But will anyone ever understand, let alone forgive him, for what he’s done?
Loki tries to redefine himself and save Asgard
And so begins a series of adventures in which Loki simultaneously tries to save Asgard and find himself. Asgard is in danger from multiple enemies, and Loki is trying to defeat them all. But he doesn’t have the strength of Thor or the armies of Odin, so he has to do it the Loki way. Of course, trickery is exactly what he was known for in his last incarnation, and he desperately doesn’t want to be that Loki again. But perhaps the ends justify the means. If he’s being deceitful, his intentions are to help instead of hurt, then it’s okay, at least that’s what he tells himself.
He may be up to plenty of mischief, but more than his intentions have changed. Loki has also developed a conscience. He still tricks people, but now he feels bad about it. Even though he’s sure that his actions are the only way to save Asgard and indeed all the realms, Loki is sorry that he can’t find a better way. He even feels remorse for the “bad” people that he tricks. While Kid Loki is busy worrying that he’s just as bad as the old Loki, the fact that he worries about what he’s doing, and the people he’s tricking, shows that he’s very different from the old Loki.
Loki: Journey into Mystery asks, can a villain ever truly become a hero?
Loki began his Marvel life as a villain. His love of chaos and his jealousy towards Thor led him to do horrible things. But over time he became quite a likable character. As fans desired to see more of Loki, they also wanted to see more for Loki, and Marvel provided. Loki has been given different redemption arcs, although his inborn mischievousness and trickster nature often leave it up to interpretation.
Does Loki ever really change, or is it all just a trick? Locke’s deep dive into the actual thoughts of a new Loki in Loki: Journey into Mystery gives us a really clear idea about what’s going on in Loki’s mind. Although there are times that twists in the narrative call his true intentions into question. The ultimate ending makes it clear that this Loki wants to have a chance to become himself. And while he’s still confused about just who he is, he knows that he wants to do good things, whatever the costs. The ends justify the means for this Loki.
Readers will really love getting to see the inner workings of Loki’s mind. For those of us who love Loki, it’s nice to see that under all the chaos, he really does want to do some good. I’m not saying he’s right with the way he solves problems, and I’m not saying he’s wrong. But it’s hard to argue with the results.
Finding out that he does these things for unselfish reasons just makes it easier to root for everyone’s favorite villain. Or has he achieved anti-hero status now? I’d argue he has after reading Loki: Journey into Mystery, or dare I say hero?
My Rating: 8/10
Loki: Journey into Mystery by Katherine Locke is available now! Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord.