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Book Review: ‘Marvel: What If…Loki Was Worthy?’ (A Loki & Valkyrie Story) by Madeleine Roux

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Loki is the god of mischief. Some might say he’s nothing but trouble, and he’s always going to be. But what if he could be more? With Thor gone and Asgard in danger, Loki just might be the hero they need. But can anyone trust him enough to give him a chance? Can he even trust himself? Madeleine Roux explores the possibility of Loki as a true hero, not just an anti-hero in What If… Loki Was Worthy?

[Note: While I am reviewing this novel independently and honestly, it should be noted that it has been provided to me by Random House Worlds for the purpose of this review. Warning: My review of What If… Loki Was Worthy? (A Loki & Valkyrie Story) contains some spoilers!]

What if… a prank goes horribly wrong for Loki?

Loki loves his pranks, and he has a perfect one in the works. His father has dismissed a talented young dwarf who has a new control system for the Destroyer (a nearly indestructible enforcer weapon). Loki offers this dwarf, Kvisa, a chance to prove herself. He installs her control crystal in the Destroyer so they can cause some mischief together. Thor is taking the Destroyer on a mission, so Loki arranges to have the Bifrost drop him off in the middle of New York City instead of his intended destination. Then Kvisa takes control of the Destroyer. 

It’s supposed to just be a harmless prank. New York gets a little messed up, Thor gets disgraced for not controlling his mission, and life goes on. But something goes terribly wrong. Kvisa goes too far and Thor ends up dead. What’s more, his death doesn’t trigger Ragnarök. The prophecies are in disarray and no one knows what to do. Of course, no one believes that Loki didn’t intend for Thor to die. Odin is beside himself with grief, but Frigga manages to sway him to mercy. Instead of killing Loki, he strips his powers and sentences him to exile on Midgard.

Loki is despondent. He never meant to actually hurt Thor. Humiliate, embarrass, slightly bruise, sure, but not seriously hurt or kill. Now he’s stuck on Earth, a powerless mortal. And he’s pretty sure he got played by Kvisa, but who would believe the trickster god got tricked? So Loki goes about building a life on Earth.

What If...Loki was Worthy? by Madeleine Roux A Marvel Novel

Thor says his brother is worthy, but Valkyrie and Mjölnir need convincing

And he might have stayed there on Earth, content in his life as a trailer park dog-walker, if not for Thor. Thor believes that Loki is the one worthy of wielding Mjölnir now that Thor is gone. He summons Runa the Valkyrie to find Loki and go on a quest with him to prove his worthiness. He tells her to find Loki, then to look for the doctor who is a bridge between worlds. Runa is sure Thor is mistaken about Loki, but she reluctantly agrees to his request.

When Runa finds Loki, she is more certain than ever that Thor is wrong. There is no way that Loki, formerly the god of mischief and currently the dog walker of a trailer park, could be worthy to hold Mjölnir. And it seems like Mjölnir agrees. The hammer has been cast down to Earth, directly into the middle of Loki’s trailer, but he is unable to budge it.

Perhaps the rest of Thor’s request will help to make Loki worthy and find the doctor who is a bridge between worlds. But Loki and Runa better move quick because they’re not the only one looking for this human bridge. Thor wasn’t the only one who died in Loki’s prank gone wrong. Happy Hogan, best friend of Tony Stark, was also killed that day. And Tony wants revenge on anyone that he could possibly hold responsible for his death. Even if that means bringing war to Asgard. Can preventing war between these two realms reveal Loki’s worth? Perhaps, perhaps.

A new hero for Asgard and Earth in What if… Loki Was Worthy?

Author Madeleine Roux’s story takes place on Earth 341. Here, Thor is the protector of Earth but hasn’t made contact with the planet as a whole, only a few special people. Once again we see Loki cast as a mischievous villain character who wants to be seen as more. And once again we see him fight to prove his worth.

It’s a great story of redemption, but it begs the question: why are we so obsessed with Loki becoming a hero? I mean, there are a lot of bad guys in the Marvel universe, and sure they’ve become more nuanced as time has gone on; the purely evil bad guy who sets the world on fire just to watch it burn is mostly gone. These tropes have been replaced by complicated backstories and shades of gray in the motives and desires of our villains. 

Still, Loki seems to hold a special place in our hearts. We don’t just want him to be understandable or an anti-hero. We want him to be good, with just a hint of danger. Why is this? What makes Loki so special?

I have a theory. See, Loki is the god of mischief. He was born to be bad and make trouble. So if he can turn around and become a hero, then there’s hope for even the worst of us mere mortals. No matter how bad we are, there’s hope for us if Loki is redeemable. This is what makes Roux’s story so great and inspiring. Not to mention, she does some really great writing. She invokes plenty of tears along the way, but also induces some huge laughs. 

So as we watch Loki move from villain to anti-hero to full-fledged hero, and we ask ourselves “What if? What if Loki were worthy?” What we’re really asking is, “Am I worthy?”

My Rating: 8/10 

What if… Loki was Worthy? (A Loki & Valkyrie Story) by Madeleine Roux is now available most places books are sold. Are you planning to pick this one up? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord! And be on the lookout for our review of What If… Wanda Maximoff and Peter Parker Were Siblings? by Seanan McGuire later this year.

Loki Reading Guide

loki-reading-guide-05

Book Review: Loki: Journey into Mystery by Katherine Locke

Journey into Mystery by Kieron Gillen

Book Review: Loki: Where Mischief Lies By Mackenzi Lee

Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee

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Luna Gauthier

I've always been a bookworm and fantasy is my favortie genre. I never imagined (okay, I imagined but I didn't think) that I could get those books sent to me for just my opinion. Now I am a very happy bookworm! @Lunagauthier19 on Twitter

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