‘Asgardians of the Galaxy #5’ Mind Games with Loki

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Asgardians of the Galaxy #5 

From MAJK’s Coffee Corner: 

Let’s talk about Asgardians of the Galaxy #5. Catching up on my Marvel reading this weekend has been a treat. Coffee and comics, it’s almost better than Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. Almost. Anyway, I realize I missed talking about Asgardians last week, and that made me sad because Asgardians of the Galaxy #4 left off on quite the cliffhanger. This week, I’m going to try to get us up to date with this wonderful band of heroic “not-quite-heroes.” After all, we wouldn’t want to leave Kid Loki hanging… Gods get picky about that.

Spoiler Warning: If you have not read Asgardians of the Galaxy #5 There May Be Spoilers Below

Creative Team: 

Publisher: Marvel     Written by Cullen Bunn     Cover by Jason Keith, and Dale Keown

Art by Stephanie Hans, Matteo Lolli, and Luca Maresca

Color: Frederico Blee and Stephanie Hans     Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

The cover art on Asgardians of the Galaxy #5 is excellent. The central headshot of Kid Loki does a great job of blending the sinister expression with the youthful visage. The half-light playing over Kid Loki’s face suggests the nature of our favorite god of mischief. It’s not that he’s evil, he’s just not good. It’s a safe call that Kid Loki’s alignment thus far is Chaotic Neutral, he’s in this for his own reasons.

The shards of glass with the pictures of the team behind him makes sense. Kid Loki was the one who pulled this team together. Given the way things went with the unexpected revelation of that fact, the broken glass symbolism teases us with the potential of real fractures in our team. Also, I notice that Valkyrie is on the cover but not Annabelle. This has been standard to date, and it might be due to Annabelle not being viewed as a team member but more of a vector for Valkyrie. In Asgardians of the Galaxy #4 Kid Loki went out of his way to try to prove Annabelle’s worth to the team, so I had wondered if she’d make it into the cover art. Oh, well.

Series Rating: 4.85/5      Issue Rating: 8.85/10

The Story So Far:

Asgardians of the Galaxy #4 left the team forcefully releasing themselves from Nova Corp custody, while Kid Loki zipped off to warn his brother about the imminent attack on Midgard. Unfortunately, Kid Loki was a tad late, and Nebula was already on Earth. Worse yet, Thor was firmly under Nebula’s thumb.

Mind Games 

Asgardians of the Galaxy #5 starts right where the last issue left us. While the rest of the team engages in a battle with the Nova Corp and hunts for their ship, Asgard’s Reach, Kid Loki faces down a Nebula intent on unleashing the Naglfar on an unsuspecting Earth aboard her ship. True to form, Kid Loki tried to cut a bargain and fails miserably, which makes me wonder just how serious he was in trying to make that deal.

Between the bargaining and trickster magic, he manages to stall long enough for the rest of the Asgardians to arrive. Angela is more than a little distressed at the prospect of having to fight her brother, Thor. So, she doesn’t. She frees him. Given that he was intent on killing her, her aim had to be perfect.

Once free, Thor demanded answers. Amusingly, he immediately assumed Kid Loki to be the problem, until Kid Loki pointed him to the nasty little creatures that Nebula brought with her.  With Thor at their side, this battle seemed a guaranteed win, but Nebula was still in possession of the beacon and prepped to call the Naglfar.

Credit for preventing the utter destruction of earth goes, surprisingly, to Kid Loki and his surprise guest. With the beacon in hand, Angela brings Thor up to speed and offers him the beacon for the upcoming War of The Realms.  Thor gives Angela and her team his trust by asking them to be the protectors of the beacon. He also warns his sister about trusting Loki, in any form.

It’s Not Over 

In Asgardians of the Galaxy #5, the finale to the hunt for Nebula was satisfying, but it felt like it ended a bit too quickly. As I’ve learned over my many years as a Marvel fan, that usually means it’s not quite over.

The Asgardians have picked up a new teammate, Urzuul, the sole survivor of the Nidavellir. After Nebula murdered his entire clan, he was kept alive to build her a weapon. He’s decided to join the Asgardians as penance. After the stunt he pulled on Nebula, I am glad he’ll be along for the ride. He promises to be fun.

What Nebula didn’t realize is the thing about forcing someone to build something for you is that you need to be positive you trust them. During the battle with the Asgardians, Nebula damaged her weapon and tossed it to Urzuul to fix. Once Nebula lost possession of the beacon, she fled using the weapon she’d forced Urzuul to create. There’s a certain irony in the modifications that Urzuul made to her ax while her attention was elsewhere. The phrase “you get what you pay for” might apply here in an odd sense. Asgardians of the Galaxy #5 teaches a life lesson about enslaving others. It’s a bad idea.

Art & Writing

Hans, Lolli, and Maresca did a fantastic job on the artwork in Asgardians of the Galaxy #5. The action sequences flowed beautifully. The special guest looked great. The fear and disbelief on Nebula’s face at the appearance of the special guest was unmistakable. The battle between the Asgardians and Nebula was as heart-rending. The explosive arrival of the Asgardians as Kid Loki quips “…made you look” is kinetic. The expressiveness of the characters all through this issue just really made the story come alive.

Speaking of making the story come alive, I’ve failed to mention this before, but the lettering difference in some of the speech balloons for the characters from Asgard really crafts the perfect Godly tone of voice. The font itself looks more forceful and formal at times. This change sets these conversation pieces apart which contributes volumes to the feel of this book. It’s one of those things that your mind registers almost without noticing, but in the conversation between Kid Loki and Nebula, it really makes a difference.

In every issue, we learned a bit about each team member’s recruitment and this issue is no different. Asgardians of the Galaxy #5 offers us the flashback to Kid Loki recruiting Angela. Bunn’s choice to save this flashback for this issue was well chosen. Yes, the bargain Kid Loki made with Angela has a direct bearing on Asgardians of the Galaxy #6, but there’s more to why this is the perfect reveal. The fact that only now are we learning of their deal speaks to the fact that Angela refused to think of anything but retrieving the beacon until it was in hand. It’s precisely the type of focus that I’d expect from Angela.

Speaking of perfect fits, the colors for Angela’s flashback are impeccable. The colors blend with the texture and tones in that segment to give it an ethereal feel. This segment is, visually, my favorite portion of this book. The shading and colors used on the faces of Kid Loki and Angel, in this segment, speak volumes of emotion.

Favorite Line & Predictions

Best Line: “…made you look.” ~Kid Loki

Kid Loki hasn’t acted like a kid much but this moment was just priceless. I giggled out loud.

Predictions: We are going to see Nebula again. I’m betting she returns at some point during the War of The Realms. If not then she will show back up right afterward. I was feeling like the beacon would play a part in the War of The Realms. Now that Thor has entrusted it to Angela, I’m not so sure. Either way, this title has been fun. It’s staying on my pull list for the foreseeable future.

Next Issue: Available Now

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