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Serialized stories can lead to a lot of stagnation. There’s only so much growth permitted for long-running characters before they escape their original purpose and risk losing those fans who fell in love with them the way they were.
After 53 years, I’d argue Spider-Man has actually regressed some, to keep his original operation. Editorial believes having Peter Parker as a married man ages him too much and limits him as a traditional superhero, so we remove some bits and try on new ones, because he has to go somewhere. Growth is longevity, after all, and changing with the times ensures a character reaches that 53rd anniversary. Aged too far, a character becomes someone else entirely and risks losing readers who miss the “old” interpretation.
Change is such a tricky thing that, when done well, should be celebrated. With that in mind, hooray for Loki!
As part of All-New Marvel NOW!, veteran artist Lee Garbett will team in February with writer Al Ewing for Loki: Agent of Asgard, a series the god of mischief is fully grown and in the service of the All-Mother. More immediately, however, Marvel is setting the stage for the initiative with All-New Marvel NOW! Point One #1, a one-shot that arrives Jan. 8 with a Garbett-drawn Loki serving as the thread that brings together all of the stories.
In my interview with Garbett, the artist clearly relishes the opportunity to draw Asgard’s new “one-man secret service” as well as work with Ewing. ROBOT 6 is also pleased to provide an exclusive page from the upcoming All-New Marvel NOW Point One.
Loki has undergone several changes over the past several years, returning in a female body after Ragnarok, reincarnating in the form of a boy (the fan-favorite “Kid Loki”) and then, in this week’s Young Avengers #11 — OK, we won’t spoil it for you, but Marvel’s recent announcement of Loki: Agent of Asgard tells you all you need to know.
Well, maybe not all you need to know.
Responding on his blog to a fan’s questions, writer Al Ewing reveals that in the new series the god of mischief’s gender and sexuality will be fluid. “Yes, Loki is bi and I’ll be touching on that,” he wrote last night. “He’ll shift between genders occasionally as well.”
Neither of those will be particularly surprising to anyone familiar with Norse mythology, where the shape-shifting Loki is frequently viewed, in modern terms, as transgender and bisexual.
Apparently peppered with even more Loki questions, Ewing followed up this morning with a moratorium titled “Enough Loki For Now”: “I’m not The Loki Guy until February, and right now I feel like I’m stepping on toes, so I’m going to stop talking about Loki outside of interviews until early January. After that, I’ll be as available as before. […] So, how about those Mighty Avengers, huh?”
Given Loki’s current popularity, both on the big screen and in his pint-sized form in Young Avengers, it was only a matter of time before Marvel’s god of mischief earned his own comic.
The publisher revealed during this afternoon’s “All-New Marvel Now” panel at New York Comic Con that writer Al Ewing and artist Lee Garbett are teaming up for Loki: Agent of Asgard, a new ongoing series in which the now grown-up trickster — now in the service of the All-Mother — is made official defender of the home of the gods.
Ewing explained to Marvel.com that Loki will be sent on missions “that are relevant to the future security of Asgard. For example, in Issue 2, Loki’s given the job of tracking down Lorelei, the Enchantress’ younger sister, who’s been out in the realm of Midgard getting up to mischief. Whether Loki and Lorelei’s relationship mirrors that of their older siblings — well, you’ll have to pick up the book to find out.”
Look for more details Saturday in Comic Book Resource’s interview with Ewing.