Library comics! All suitably old, naturally. It seems my county library had enough budget to buy a dozen comics in 2015 and next to nothing since. Ah well.
Loki: Agent of Asgard
I think this is actually the first Al Ewing title I’ve read at length (well, five issues) and it’s ok but… I don’t know, it just feels like there’s something missing from it. There are some brilliant ideas: the concept of this being a new iteration of Loki distinct (possibly) from the old is good. I don’t mind the obvious Hiddleston influence and having Loki as a chaotic good character is an interesting place to take the character. I especially like the idea that his reward for each mission is that he gets an old myth scrubbed from the annals of Asgard. I really like Lee Garbett’s art too. But there’s something that just doesn’t quite click here. I think it’s maybe that I haven’t read JiM or Young Avengers, so I don’t know how this Loki came about after Kid Loki and so the (pointedly oblique) references to that went somewhat over my head when they’re meant to be dripping with meaning.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe volume 1
This is DC’s take on He-Man, which I think has already fallen by the wayside, and going by this volume, I can see why. It’s pretty much a mess. There’s digital short by Geoff Johns and Howard Porter at the front, which barely ties into the following story. That’s written for an issue and a half by James Robinson, then Keith Giffen, with art by Philip Tan, bits by Porter and then Pop Mhan. And none of those people really nail the subject matter. Porter in particular does a really terrible Skeletor and Tan (I think?) provides an awful redesign of Mer-Man that I’m surprised Mattel okayed (he’s got a tail). Mhan’s better, but not amazing.
The big problem’s the story though, which picks up with Adam amnesiac of his real life, living as a woodcutter, but plagued by dreams of He-Man. Zoar appears and guides him across Eternia, where he runs into a similarly amnesic Teela and they fight off various of Skeletor’s evil warriors, who all know what’s happened and… bleh. It’s just five issues of a comic not quite getting around to being He-Man and then an underwhelming confrontation with Skeletor. Giffen overdoes the sarcy banter between Adam and Teela and all the “why do I recognise this person? I sort of remember that!” stuff quickly gets tiresome. This almost dystpoian take on MotU is just boring more than anything though. It’s a world where Skeletor’s won, but neither Robinson or Giffen have anything to really say about that. It’s all about Adam’s pretty predictable quest. There’s throwaway mention that it’s all come about due to Orko betraying the Masters which doesn’t really ring true at all for the character. The whole thing reminds me a lot of DC’s (or Wildstorm’s at least) Thundercats comic from about 15 years ago, which also decided to do a story of a dystopian world where the villain won. Is that really the only story to be done with these types of properties? I really don’t get why this comic exists.