As 2017 begins to unfold, Nothing But Comics draws its coverage of 2016 to an end with my list of Best Single Issues. All entries are listed alphabetically by title.
No word on the candidate for which the feline Laufeyson cast his ballot (chances are he simply wrote-in himself) . . .
In all seriousness, we encourage all to vote, if you haven’t already . . .
It used to be that when you had a colorful hero in the Super variety, there was an equally colorful villain opposite him with an over the top demeanor and wacky scheme. After a time we wanted to take our heroes, and by extension villains, as more real and grown up. Mad scientists and criminals with circus fetishes were replaced by evil corporate CEOs and foreign terrorists. Like all things, this has come full circle with the heroes becoming less stiff and more relaxed and the villains are slowly reflecting that. But why did they vanish in the first place, and how are we seeing them again today? Continue reading The Return of the Campy Villian
I was in 9th grade when I wrote my first story that I didn’t think was complete shit. Up until then, I had this weird habit of burning every scrap I’d scribbled upon. Ideas ripped from movies and TV shows, fan-fiction that when I was writing I was sure was as good as the original work, they were all horrendous. I’d take the notebook pages back behind my parents’ house and set them ablaze with the red extended-reach lighter we kept in the drawer next to the stove. As the ashes fell to the rocks at my feet, I remember feeling relieved. Hours of work rendered blackened clumps of nothingness, but it didn’t matter. At least now no one could read the drivel. Then came the night I wrote Them, an end of the world alien story that had themes and semi-realistic characters, and I did something I’d not done before: I shared my story.
By Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson
Throughout his acclaimed run on Thor, Jason Aaron has tackled many of the character’s most iconic friends, foes and whatever Odin happens to be this week. For much of the time, however, the Thunder God’s most devious antagonist (and most vexing sibling ever) remained off the table. When God of Thunder launched Loki was still Kid Loki, preparing to assemble his band of Young Avengers. Once Kieron Gillen’s time with the character wrapped, the freshly minted Young Man Loki came under the pen of Al Ewing. Ewing added his own wrinkle to the ongoing saga of a god trying his hardest to supplant the reputation of his former self. In a witty bit of meta, Ewing concluded his run with Loki deciding to pass on the whole Secret Wars commotion. Instead, he elects to “skip ahead a bit. See what comes after.” Loki’s Last Days ended with the God of Lies (or was it merely Mischief now?) stepping through a hole in the void. What came next? What had he learned from his time as an Agent of Asgard? Would he remain more or less benign when the Marvel Universe breathed anew? It was a fittingly ambiguous grace note to this chapter in the character’s story.
Hence, when Loki popped up in the pages of Aaron’s Thor for the first time a couple months ago, declaring that “It’s good to be evil again” readers were unsure how much to believe him. Would the God of Lies fib about being bad or was he telling the truth about his untrustworthiness? Striking a balance when writing this type of slippery character is not easy, yet Aaron does it winningly. #2’s initial glimpse of how he would handle Loki was great and it only gets better in #3 as Loki and Thor face off again for the first time.
The creation of this article began with a few general observations that quickly snowballed into some extensive research and eventually finished off with some personal reflection. As you know I’m relatively new to comics and for someone who is relatively new my exposure to Loki began with the Phase 1 Thor film and then progressed into the Avengers film and finally kid Loki in Young Avengers. I will admit that in the first Thor movie Loki stood out and was one of my favorite characters in the film. I remember thinking the actor really nailed it. In saying that I was so mesmerized with Chris Hemsworth performance as Thor that there were no other thoughts in my head after the film. Then Loki appeared again in Avengers and by this time I had done some extensive research (that’s what we call Wikipedia these days right?) I had a better idea of the god of mischief. I’m not sure if it was my newly acquired information or just a brilliant performance by Tom Hiddleston but of all those great names in the movie Loki was a bigger part of the post theater conversation. Here began the fire inside me that burned for Loki. He was not the typical villain. For some reason I did not hate him. For some reason I wanted him to win. I did not want his evil plan to succeed but I wanted him to change his mind and fight alongside his brother. Why did I have these feelings? Could I be mirroring Thor’s feelings? The possibility crossed my mind. I see Thor as the hero therefore I see myself in Thor. If Thor sees hope in Loki then I should too. I chalked it up to compassionate hero and moved on, although this time my eyes and ears were pealed to anything Loki.