Dual Review: Loki – Ragnarok and Roll #1

In this dual review two writers (in this case Steve and Dustin) will take a look at the issue and give a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass. Before we begin here’s what the issue is about from Boom Studios: What happens when Odin banishes Loki to Earth? He finds a world of outcasts that appreciate his style! While his kin sharpen their weapons, he picks up an electric guitar.

Steve: BUY

So, I have to admit, I approached Boom’s Loki: Ragnarok and Roll in the same way a wayward child might, when browsing through his or her local Blockbuster or Erol’s Video, come upon one of those old Golden Video films. You know the ones I mean. Right before a big Disney film was about to drop, Golden Video would pimp these straight-to-video knock-offs and stick them everywhere to feed on the public fervor. It was hilarious guerrilla marketing and I loved it. But is Boom’s Loki title just a way to leech off the mass boner the world currently has for the god of mischief, or does it turn its own kind of trick?

I gotta say this book was a hoot and change. I clocked onto this early, in reading the way Odin describes the relationship between Thor and Loki. It’s perfect - what a brilliant way to both describe and appeal to a god of mischief. The brothers’ relationship is great, as well. It’s much more exaggerated than we’re used to seeing and played more for comedy than in Marvel continuity (well, until recently, I guess), but both separately and together, I loved the voices Esquivel gives these characters.

The art was simple, cartoonish and itself a bit mischievous, but in a good way - the crucified rockstar was a nice touch, for one example, and the inclusion of the mafackin’ Flying Spaghetti Monster for another. Like the story, Jerry Gaylord has a great, over-exaggerated art style here that might make you think this could be an all-ages title, if it weren’t for all the decapitations and satanist lesbian dominatrices dressed as nuns. Oh yeah, it has all that, too. Something for everyone.

Of course, that’s the point of this book: a god’s discovery that humanity has become a dynamic, hedonistic thing where everything - including godhood - is available, and while it gets a bit too-cool-for-school at the end, I have a feeling someone’s timely emergence is going to give that a good kick in the ass, too.

So yeah, this gets a solid BUY from me for raising the bar on stealing the thunder ... so to speak. On that note, I’ve been inspired to go back and check out Esquivel’s precursor book to this, Thor: The Unkillable Thunder Christ, because ... well, because it’s fucking called that, for one. And secondly, thanks to this crew’s ceremonious arrival on my shore, I’m inspired to check out their wake.

Dustin: BUY

I will say up front that I’m giving this issue a soft “buy.” I’m still kind of leaning towards a “borrow”, but I don’t think I can determine that until at least the second issue. I wanted to like this series more. The concept and the cover alone intrigued me and when I saw that Jerry Gaylord was on the book I was even more excited. Gaylord’s style has vastly improved from Fanboys vs Zombies and it’s nice to see him tackle new projects and flex his artistic skills. He was become very stale on FVZ and you never want to see that happen to an artist you like.

It’s a solid first issue, but there was something lacking. It was as if the issue needed to either spend more time with Loki on earth or less time with Loki on earth. I really think this issue could have ended with him just walking into the club at the end and it would have been sufficient. That would have given the issue a chance to hang out with Loki in Asgard and really develop his character and the rest of the Norse gods we’re introduced to.

Like I said, I liked it, but I don’t know if it made me fall in love with it. I could see myself dropping this series after the second issue if the pacing issues weren’t worked out and I hate that; when something has a cool title like Loki: Ragnarok and Roll you don’t want it to disappoint you. You want it to fucking rock and captivate you. Instead it was just okay and I’m still not sure if that’s worth a buy, but I also think that it’s worth coming back to and with that you’d have to read this issue to come back.

Score: BUY

Writer: Eric M. Esquivel Artist: Jerry Gaylord Publisher: Boom Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/19/14