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Interview: Al Ewing Discusses Second Arc on LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD

Writer Al Ewing chats about Loki's changes and we get an exclusive early look at the cover of issue #6.

The first arc of LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD has come to an end and it marks some big changes in the character. Issue #6 is going to be a jumping on point for new readers and has Loki squaring off against Doctor Doom during the AXIS comic event. Writer Al Ewing answered a few of our questions about the series and what we can expect in the upcoming arc.

COMIC VINE: What makes issue #6 such a great jumping on point?

Cover of issue #6

AL EWING: Issue #6 is where we get deep into the real arc of the book. One advantage of the hiatus for Tenth Realm is that #5 is out on the stands and I can talk about it with the assumption that people have either already read it or can go and buy a digital copy now, before they read any further. SPOILERS, everyone.

Back? Good. So for the first five issues, Loki was acting as the Agent of Asgard for the All-Mother, performing missions for Asgardia - although usually with his own agenda in mind, which was finding out the reasoning behind the missions he was getting. But now he's found out that the All-Mother's goal was securing the future of Asgard, setting the future that we've seen in Jason Aaron's Thor in stone and removing the creeping horror of uncertainty from the life of the everyday Asgardian. Which doesn't sit well with Loki, who prefers the freedom of an uncertain future to the alleged comfort of predestination - knowing that he's doomed to become King Loki, the maniacal agent of the Asgard of Tomorrow, is his worst nightmare.

So from #6 on, we have the war between 'our' Loki and the future Loki - the Agent of Asgard - coming into the open. Both sides know what they're up against now, and there can only be one winner. And Loki's fighting against almost impossible odds, considering that the universe itself wants him to regress to being a one-dimensional baddie. It'll be something to watch.

CV: Loki will be meeting Doctor Doom in the upcoming issue, and both characters were teased in the upcoming AXIS event. What can we expect from this meeting?

AE: We can expect a clash of the titans - two of the most iconic villains of the Marvel Universe, both trying to be better, each seeing the other as the bad guy. As Fantastic Four readers will know, Doom - assisted by Valeria Richards, one of the few people he has any time for - is trying his hand at altruism. So there are some definite thematic links between Doom and Loki right now - unfortunately, Doom thinks that one sure-fire way to do good for the world is to take Loki out of it. And he's one of the few mortals on the planet with the smarts and the ability to kill our favorite trickster god off.

CV: Will this issue be laying the seeds for the upcoming event?

AE: "Laying the seeds" is a little presumptuous - I think Rick already laid most of the seeds in his own books. But if the event is an approaching storm, we'll definitely be hearing some rumbling thunder and seeing the occasional flash of lightning in the distance... getting closer.

CV: What kind of changes will we see in Loki now that he found out he'll eventually become the older Loki?

AE: He's taken it badly. We'll be seeing some of that in the Tenth Realm tie-in - his cynicism's ramped up a little, which is, of course, playing right into King Loki's hands. And we'll be seeing him even more determined to somehow wriggle out of that fate - before, it was just something to avoid in the abstract, but now it's something he knows for a fact will happen to him unless he can do the impossible and change the arc of the universe itself.

And maybe he can't win. I mean that sincerely - I'm not 100% certain how this is all going to wind up. I think I know, but when you're dealing with metafictional trickster gods at war, saying you know the story will end the way you planned it to is just asking for trouble.

CV: Younger Loki, in this series, has been a pretty cool character and it's nice for fans to get to see him star in his own book as more of a hero. Because of AXIS, will we be seeing him turn towards "the dark side" and what info can you give fans about that?

AE: I can't say much on this - the last thing I want to do is spoil any of the twists and turns of AXIS - but Loki will do anything he can to avoid turning to the "dark side". Not so much because he's seeking redemption, but because the idea of being boxed in to any one definition is anathema for him. He's got to be free, and he'll do whatever he has to to stay that way.

CV: After the events of issue #5, what does this mean for the "Agents of Asgard?"

AE: There's only one Agent of Asgard - and that's King Loki, agent of the Asgard of the future. So, yeah, it turns out that even the title of the series was a trick on the reader. That's how we roll here at Loki Towers. And it's probably not good news for 'our' Loki that his own book is named after his greatest enemy...

CV: This book has a great sense of humor and jumps between being a fun, heist book and a comedy. Did you intend to keep that feel for the next arc?

AE: Things will slowly get less fun from here on out - Loki #5 was a massive emotional roller-coaster for most of the readers, and things are going to get darker as we move towards the end of the arc I have planned. There'll still be fun and comedy beats though - I'm of the opinion that you need a little comedy in your drama. It makes the dark moments even darker.

CV: Will Lee Garbett be returning to art in the near future or will he just be doing covers?

AE: Lee is back with issue #8! Even with the hiatus, Lee's got so many pages for the Tenth Realm tie-in - and I've seen them, and they're awesome, so Loki lovers who pick it up will be very happy - that he can't leap straight back in with #6. But we're going to be working together on Loki for as many issues as we possibly can.

CV: How did Jorge Coelho get involved in this book and how long will he be on the book?

AW: He'll be doing #6 and #7. You'd have to ask Wil Moss, our editor, about the ins and outs of him getting the gig - I'm just glad he's got it. I loved the issue of Zero he did for Ales Kot, and I'm definitely plotting the issue with his style in mind as much as possible. It's going to be a fantastic couple of issues!

CV: For those interested in the book, but have yet to check it out, what would you tell them to entice them to read?

AE: Well, obviously any fans of Loki - in any medium - should be checking us out. But we don't want to just be a book for Loki fans - we don't want to exclude anyone who wants to come in and have a good time reading our comic. Ideally, the characters, themes and concerns we deal with should resonate with everybody to an extent.

Loki is for everybody. Because comics are for everybody.

Thanks again to Al Ewing for answering our questions and make sure to check out LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD #6, and while you're waiting, check out the first arc from Al Ewing and Lee Garbett!

19 Comments
Posted by dondave

One of Marvel's best books

Online
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Al Ewing is a fantastic writer and this book is great

Edited by MixMastaMicah5

This book is superb. Honestly this should be on everyone's pull list.

Posted by The Impersonator

Marvel Studios should make a movie out of this.

Edited by sagejonathan

This series is amazing. I'm shocked that no one is talking about it.

Posted by ShadowSwordmaster

I have been enjoy this series a lot .

This series is amazing. I'm shocked that no one is talking about it.

Yeah same here.

Posted by patrat18

This book is crazy good.

Edited by Z3RO180

I remember when they announced Loki Age t of Asgard everyone (includeing myself) was a bit on ege because we thought this was marvel trying to cash in on the whole tom hiddelston loki. Turns out the douts where put to rest because Loki Agent PF Asgard is one of only three books I have been constantly picking up month after month.

Posted by Maddpanda531

Al Ewing is among my top favorite modern writers.

Posted by Dernman

I kind of take issue with him saying Loki was a one dimensional bad guy before. Also take issue with being full on bad guy is bad in itself.

Not that I don't like new Loki but old Loki was great also.

Edited by Lvenger

@dernman said:

I kind of take issue with him saying Loki was a one dimensional bad guy before. Also take issue with being full on bad guy is bad in itself.

Not that I don't like new Loki but old Loki was great also.

This. Haven't really cared about new Loki as old Loki is a much better character and is more suitable as a villain to Thor than part time ally on occasion. I miss the old rivalry that spanned The Nine Realms and one of the best hero/villain relationships in the entire medium. Though I do hear that this book is good so it must be doing something right.

Edited by RayeGunn

Oh man, I never thought I would be so relieved to see Loki as a prisoner of Doom. when I saw him on the 'bad' side of the Axis cover, I was really worried he would be turning evil again. After all that work of redefining the character, making him a villain again would have been really disappointing. (nevermind being EXACTLY the opposite of the message of his appearances since Journey Into Mystery of trying to break free of the status quo) Also, really glad to hear Lee is returning, his art has been great on the book so far.

Edited by Dernman

@lvenger said:

@dernman said:

I kind of take issue with him saying Loki was a one dimensional bad guy before. Also take issue with being full on bad guy is bad in itself.

Not that I don't like new Loki but old Loki was great also.

This. Haven't really cared about new Loki as old Loki is a much better character and is more suitable as a villain to Thor than part time ally on occasion. I miss the old rivalry that spanned The Nine Realms and one of the best hero/villain relationships in the entire medium. Though I do hear that this book is good so it must be doing something right.

I feel the same way about the relationship with Thor. Young Loki is good but only as something temporary if it means taking the place of old Loki.

Agent of Asgard is good but so far overall I think Journey into Mystery was better,

Posted by Winter_Kills

Journey into Mystery was freakin' awesome, and at first I had my doubts about Loki: Agent of Asgard, but Ewing's doing a great job. Can't wait to see what he's doing with both Lokis, present and future- can't get enough Loki! In my opinion, Loki: Agent of Asgard, Thor: God of Thunder, and Moon Knight are the best books Marvel are putting out right now.

Edited by Strelnikov

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed this book. It's fun, the art is great, the writing razor sharp, and each issue is so packed that I really feel like I get my moneys worth every time. I've even bought extra copies and given them away just to support an excellent book and help spread the word. I'd love to know if there are any other books this good being printed right now because I'd love to find them. Loki: Agent of Asgard is keeping my hope for current comics alive.

Posted by CyberWarrior

Loki looks like a girl.

Edited by Winter_Kills

@cyberwarrior:

Loki asks you this: Anyway, you know what's better than Loki? More Loki, followed by some Winter Soldier, Moon Knight, Black Widow(comic-style and Scarlett-style, hotcha!!) & Thor making Galactus puke.

Edited by ZbvmX

My body is ready! :D (Seriously, this is the most bang for your $2.99 you'd ever get from Marvel. It's never too late to catch up.)

Posted by CyberWarrior

@winter_kills: I don't understand what where you trying to say but... )

I don't deny that the series might be good, it's just that the #4 cover looks gaaaaaaaaaaaay.

Maybe I'l give this a shot anyway.