Sometimes it’s hard to remember just how fun comics can be. Whether you’re lost in the struggle of following an ongoing that’s been derailed by events and crossovers or you’re just drowning in grim dark takes on your fave heroes, superheroes can definitely lose their shine. But Thor & Loki: Double Trouble is here to change all that with an issue filled with gorgeous art, witty (if simple) writing, and a ton of fun. This is the kind of kid-friendly series that we need more of, a story that will keep you smiling until the very last page when you’ll immediately turn back to start it again just to relive that stunning Gurihiru art.
Thor & Loki: Double Trouble #1
Gurihiru (artists), VC’s Ariana Maher (letterer), Mariko Tamaki (writer)
March 10, 2021
Think of this as an introduction to Thor and Loki for younger readers. If you’re a completionist Asgardian fan then you might not gain any new insights into the characters but you’ll definitely find some fun to be had in the delightfully silly pages. The story is a farcical romp centering on a quest set by Loki in which Thor must steal an ancient artifact from their father’s most well-protected vault. While the Macguffin sets up the issue, this is really all about the brothers at its core. Tamaki does a sterling job establishing the sibling rivalry we know and love with quick quips and bundles of charm. Thor and Loki are at their best alignment here with the former as the tired straight man to the latter’s cheeky prankster.
The artist team known as Gurihiru make this one of the best looking books on the shelves. Every page and panel is bursting with life and action as they craft something that both feels like talented sequential storytelling as well as your dream Loki and Thor animated movie aesthetic. That art is the most unique thing about this issue as it paints Asgard in a brightly colored kids book hue that feels completely appropriate for a mystical land of gods and monsters. While many Asgard stories are keen to ape the epic Nordic sagas on which they take from, Gurihiru imbue this take with fantasy and wonder, each page turn introducing us to some new magical place or emotive character moment that immerses the reader further into the story.
In a world filled with overly phototraced superheroes and excessively poser-using artists, Thor & Loki: Double Trouble #1 almost feels radical. There’s a freedom here, a celebration of cartooning and comics that’s miles away from the skintight supersuits and dead wife trauma of much of the Big Two. Instead, this is the equivalent of frolicing through a field with your bestie, getting your clean clothes muddy, and knowing you’ll get in trouble but not caring. Because, like any good Loki story, there’s trouble brewing and Gurihiru get to bring their energetic art style to a wonderfully drawn serpent as the issue comes to an end.
Whether or not you’re looking for a light little read or have a younger reader in your family who will definitely love the issue, this is the type of comic you should pick up simply because we rarely get comics like this. With Thor & Loki: Double Trouble #1 and Demon Days: X-Men #1, Marvel seems to finally be taking hints from their Distinguished Competition and seeing wider audiences and new art styles as something to seek out rather than to be afraid of. I for one can’t wait to see what Tamaki and Gurihiru have up their sleeves for the rest of the series.