Thursday, 12 May 2011

Loki & Spider-man are BFFs...

Amazing Spider-man #504 is a great little issue by J. Michael Straczynski and Fiona Avery featuring the always fantastic art of Spidey-master John Romita Jr. and Spider-inker extraordinaire Scott Hanna. It's like a comic-book buddy movie. Imagine Twins, or Tango & Cash or Red Heat except instead of Arnie & Danny DeVito/John Belushi or Sly & Kurt Russel you've got Spider-man and the Asgardian god of mischief. Add the fact that there's no Naked-Arnie-Turkish-Bath scene to suffer through and you've got a surefire box office smash.

Let's face it the downtrodden, wise-cracking, hard-luck case of the Marvel Universe and the bitterest, most bitchinest pointy helmet wearing of all the Gods of Asgard are probably the most bizarre mix since Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee in Showdown In Little Tokyo. Yet the guys get on like a house on fire in this issue.

I mean here, check out Pete introducing Loki to the splendor of the New York street style chilli dog. It's adorable:
Damn that mortal vendor, I said hold the pickle!

Now anyone who's been reading Marvel comics for any amount of time (or has caught the Thor* movie at a cinema near them) knows that Loki is not a guy you can trust, Even if he is your bestest chilli dog buddy.

So when the evil Sorceress Morwen shows up and tries to recruit Spidey as her own personal agent of chaos no-one is surprised when Loki swoops in and tries to snag the job for himself.

Luckily Loki is not one for company loyalty. So it's only a scant few panels later that he's double crossing Morwen, giving Spidey the old 'I'm your buddy again' nod and wink, then blasting seven shades of shit out of Morwen's magical booty with his badass Asgardian magic. John Romita Jnr can't half draw the hell out of a bolt-slinging Loki:
Geez, that Morwen's a tougher judge than the Hoff

Obviously being an Asgardian God born at the very beginning of time you have to forgive the Lokster for suffering a little bit of culture shock. It's little wonder that he finds Spider-man's tendency to casually refer to the venerable Tickster God of the Golden Realm as his 'pal' a tad annoying.
Back in Loki's day people knew the meaning of politeness and decorum. Y'know those days when horny Vikings would rape and pillage all the live long day. You wouldn't catch a grown man in red and blue, spider-themed pyjamas failing to call you 'Mr Loki' back then:
From now on you will address me as Lok Diddy

If nothing else this issue proves that Loki has gotten a bad rap. Underneath all that devil-horn hat wearing, kingdom usurping and attempted step-brothericide bluster is just an ordinary everyday stand-up dude.

It's his Asgardian hocus pocus (with some good old-fashioned Spider-man style thwippery thrown in for good measure) that seperates Morwen from the mortal soul she has forcibly inhabitted.

When it turns out that said soul belongs to Tess Black, one of Loki's many, many Midgardian offspring (Norse Gods are the masters of the art of deadbeat daddery) we're even treated to a beautiful, touching scene of Loki cradling his injured, but safe, mortal offspring in his arms. He's honestly relieved that she hasn't been shish-kebobed by powers beyond their mortal ken. I'm getting a little misty here just thinking about it.

It's a great little story. Chock full of God on Sorcerer on Spider-mortal ass-kickery, punctuated by wonderful little character moments. If I didn't already love Spider-man and Loki before reading this issue, by Odin's beard you can bet I did afterward.

PS: If you liked Loki chowing down on a chilli-dog on the first page, then you're gonna plotz at the E.T. reference they leave us with on the last:

*You better believe I caught the Thor movie this weekend. It's freaking awesome people. The Destroyer blowing shit up with his face, Thor smacking Frost Giants in the chops with Mjolnir, the Casket of Eternal Winters, Stan Lee, Volstagg eating, Fandral dashing, Believe me loyal readers - it's Simonsontastic!
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