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Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers by Rob Rodi

Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers

by Rob Rodi, Esad Ribic (Illustrator)

Other authors: Olivier Coipel (Illustrator), Jack Kirby (Illustrator), Stan Lee (Contributor), J. Michael Straczynski (Contributor)

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464384,017 (3.63)None
"There are two sides to every story. You've heard Thor's -- now it's time to hear Loki's. Odin's least favorite son rewrites Asgardian lore from his perspective! Loki's insatiable lust for power, his conflicted sentiments toward Sif, his antipathy toward Balder, and the deep-seated feelings of longing and resentment toward his older brother, Thor, and uncaring father, Odin, will take on new meaning"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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Showing 4 of 4
Some quick thoughts on this:

- Though I was hesitant at first, I really did like the artwork. The artist really worked with silhouettes and shadows so well, and that's fitting, seeing as it's about Loki.

- The thoughts about needing evil to define good and all that was interesting. Seeing it from Loki's perspective was nice too, but on the other hand, I might have had enough "Draco-pantsing" from fangirls on Tumblr, so I don't think the perspective was that fresh for me.

Otherwise, a well-written comic that entertained me, but didn't grab me all that much. ( )
  redzheadz | Nov 9, 2017 |
From a marketing perspective, it makes sense to call this graphic novel Thor & Loki. But if Loki himself had a voice in the matter, it must be galling as all get-out that a book about him, compiled of a limited-run series called Loki, in which Thor only speaks in flashbacks, ends up with Thor getting top billing and the lion's share of the cover art. And that, in a way, seems to have been the story of Loki's life, as shown in this book.

The plot is subdued, with more focus on the characters (well, on Loki, anyway). The story starts with Loki triumphantly taking the throne of Asgard, Thor in chains before him. But as the day wears on, Loki realizes that winning hasn't solved any of his problems. It's clear that no one wants him as their king, even if most of them don't dare to protest. Kingship isn't as glorified as he imagined, and he has no interest in the administrative side of the job. Old allies are demanding the rewards he promised them and threatening to withdraw their support if he refuses. Worse, he learns he may be fated to lose in the end, even if his victory seems final at this point.

Throughout the story, we get glimpses into Loki's memories: a childhood fight with Odin, battling alongside Thor and Sif, his attempt to kill Baldur. These memories make it clear that Asgard's heroes have always treated Loki with contempt, making nasty jokes at his expense, using him as a tool, or behaving as if he were nothing. The exception is Thor, who often seems to have been friendly towards Loki, especially when they were younger. The story shines in getting the reader to understand why, despite this, it's Thor that Loki hates the most.

Other parts of the story didn't work quite as well. An approaching visitor's search for Loki is emphasized in the first part of the story, but then the visitor's arrival didn't seem to be as significant as the build-up promised. Some of Loki's interactions with the present-day people around him, such as the concubine, were probably supposed to deepen his character, but they just didn't click for me. Generally, I appreciated the artwork, although it wasn't really to my taste.The colors were often bright and light in past scenes but muted and darker in the present, appropriate to the mood of the story. I was impressed that the artist paid attention to little things, so that Sif, who presumably spends a lot of her time in battle, is more muscular and sturdy than Hela, who favors floating around being menacing. (By the way, a skimpy fan-service outfit manages to look even more ridiculous on a well-muscled body than a wasp-waisted Barbie-doll one.) However, Loki's appearance was distracting. He's not supposed to be handsome—that's relevant to the story—but at the point that I noticed some of his teeth were missing, I fell out of the story and started wondering why he hadn't fixed them. His helmet had horns so long that it seemed like it should get caught in doorways or tip forward and fall off.

All in all, I found this to be a surprisingly good story, and I liked seeing familiar characters from a different point-of-view. ( )
  Silvernfire | Jan 21, 2014 |
Loki is my favorite Marvel character, followed by Thor. Indeed, he is my favorite villain in literature or film. He's a complex character who goes beyond simple "bad-guy." He needs to cause chaos, but has also switched sides. Moreover, his backstory is tragic, allowing readers to sympathize with him even as they root for Thor. So, I was eager to read "Blood Brothers" in which Loki, from his own POV, succeeds in taking Asgard.

The book opens with Thor in chains before Loki, now king of Asgard. He loves seeing Thor brought so low, but finds himself burdened with the actual work of ruling. When Loki is alone, Hela appears to convince him to execute Thor. What commences is Loki's struggle with the decision as his history unfolds. At one point, Balder reveals to Loki that there are many universes, many Lokis, many Thors, all locked in the same cycle. And in all of them, Loki is defeated. What is disturbing is that the Asgardians excuse their cruelty toward Loki as part of a this cycle. Yet, they do not excuse Loki's action on the same principle. He is held accountable; which further reinforces his tragic nature. Loki has no choice in his destiny, but is condemned for it none-the-less.

Loki slowly comes to the realization that, as light needs darkness, Loki needs Thor. But, like all other Lokis, he will not be allowed to escape his destiny. Only this time, the taste of Thor's victory is bitter - for Loki and for readers. I am not certain if the authors intended it to be so, but this story not only makes Loki especially sympathetic, it portrays our usual heroes (Sif, Balder, Thor) as cruel bullies who tormented and ridiculed Loki all his life; dividing brother from brother. When Loki reveals why he will kill Thor and not the others, it is heartbreaking. For the first time, I did not like Thor and I did not want him to triumph.

Usually, I do not comment on art since it is so subjective. However, in this instance I must because it seriously impacted my enjoyment of the story. I HATED it. Primarily, I did not like how the artist drew Loki as a shriveled, ugly old man with missing teeth. It's so cliché for a villain to be ugly in any case, but here it was jolting because Loki is not the typical villain. Plus, he's a shapeshifter. Why would he choose to look that way? It just didn't work.

The book is filled out with two of Loki and Thor's original encounters by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and an excerpt of Loki from the Siege saga. The Lee/Kirby stories were a nice addition, though the Siege bit is an odd choice since it doesn't stand alone. There is also unused art from the main story and the creators' "pitch" for the storyline.

Overall, though I hated the art work, the story was so compelling and emotional I will still give it 4 stars. Highly recommended. One thing readers should note is that though this book includes "Loki #1-4", it should not be confused with Thor: The Trials of Loki, which also includes a completely different "Loki #1-4"!! I almost didn't buy this because I thought it was the same material. ( )
  jshillingford | Jul 17, 2013 |
I've always liked Loki better than pretty much all of the other Norse gods, and this is an excellent collection that comes down on Loki's side. (The single issue of Straczynski's run is glorious on its own, and convinces me even more that I need to get my hands on those trades.) ( )
  jen.e.moore | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rob Rodiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ribic, EsadIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Coipel, OlivierIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kirby, JackIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, StanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Straczynski, J. MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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