Mackenzi Lee is the perfect choice to write Loki’s “origin story”. She writes Loki as fabulous, funny, fashionable, conflicted, tortured, amused, queer, and just highly, highly enjoyable.
After a couple of mishaps on Asgard, Loki is sent to Earth (Midgard) to assist a group (the SHARP Society) investigating a series of mysterious deaths in 19th Century London. Why Loki? For starters, punishment. Loki is a Prince of Asgard, after all. An heir to the throne (although unlikely to be crowned thanks to the blonde and muscley and perfect, Thor). What better punishment from his father, King Odin, than to send him to Earth to look after deaths of lowly humans? A better reason is that this group has reported to Asgard that these deaths are showing possible signs of magic (think, Avada Kadavra). That’s a no-no. Asgardian magic has no place on Midgard. After a rough introduction to the SHARP Society, Loki finds Earth to be pretty much as he expected - dirty. He is surprised to find; however, that he actually enjoys the company of and respects his new co-horts in the SHARP Society, Mrs. S and Theo. When Loki discovers (by accident) he is able to reanimate the mysterious corpses with his touch, he begins to suspect Amora, Asgard’s former sorceress-in-training who was banished to Midgard. Loki is thrilled with the idea of seeing Amora again. They were very close in Asgard. She gave him her best pair of boots, for goodness’ sake. She also taught him the ways of his magic, the darker side. When an escapade of theirs went wrong and Amora was punished with banishment, he was devastated. He now has the chance to reunite with her. Will he condemn her dark magic or will he join her and fulfill the destiny his father so fears?
Hardcore Marvel/Loki fans who live and die by canon will likely scoff at a book like this. If you watch the Avengers and complain that it’s not true to the comics, this is not the book for you. However, those of us who appreciate an MCU that’s more “Marvel for the Masses” (a phrase coined by my colibrarian) will. Do you love the Avengers movies? Do you appreciate the humor? Then you’re going to love this book. These quotes will give you a taste of the tone:
“Tell him I said hello.”
“I’m sure he’ll be thrilled.” He (Loki) turned back to his brother’s reflection in the water basin. “Theo says hello.”
Thor frowned. “Who?”
Loki glanced over his shoulder at Theo. “He says hello back and that I’m both the better looking and more talented than the pair of us, all hail Asgard.”
From the door, Theo gave him a salute as Thor cried, “I did not say that! Loki, tell this Theo I did not say that!”
Speaking of Theo, his relationship with Loki is one of my favorite things about the book. Theo is gay in a time where being gay was not only seen as an abomination, it was also against the law. Theo and Loki display an obvious chemistry which makes Theo comfortable enough to engage Loki in conversation:
“Do you have a preference? Between men and women?”
“I feel equally comfortable as either.”
“No, I don’t mean . . . not all of us can change our gender at will.”
“I don’t change my gender. I exist as both.”
“You’re not . . . That doesn’t make sense.”
“It does to me.”
“Well, all hail Asgard, then.”