Mariko Tamaki and Gurihiru’s Thor & Loki: Double Trouble #4 is a perfect conclusion to a series that has been consistently great. Following up on the ending of the previous issue, #4 wraps up the miniseries with a journey through an alternate universe in search of a magical orb. Following Thor and Loki’s encounter with Jane Foster Thor, the two team up with her to track down the orb, and, along the way, they meet Lady Loki.
Thor & Loki: Double Trouble #1
Gurihiru (artist), Adam Del Rey and Stacie Zucker (designers), VC’s Ariana Maher (lettered), Mariko Tamaki (writer)
July 7, 2021
Thor & Loki #4 is, above all else, fun; it never feels like a drag or that it’s rushed in some way. Everything that happens does so in a way that feels natural, the pacing is just right.
Picking up right where the last issue left off, #4 begins with Thor, Loki, and Jane Foster Thor setting off on a journey to find the orb. A two-page spread lays out their journey and the trouble they run into as they continue their search. They encounter Fjalara, a giant bird who loves shiny things; Jane Foster Thor points out that perhaps the orb is in her nest, and the group makes their way to the nest at the top of a large stone pillar.
Eventually, Lady Loki (in disguise as Fjalara) shows up and, after Jane Foster Thor calls her out transforms into her usual form. This scene leads to perhaps my favourite comic interaction of the week as both Lokis delight in finding another version of themselves.
Their delight gives way to an argument as they fight over the orb using their shape-shifting abilities to turn into all manner of creatures. Loki uses his knowledge of himself to trick Lady Loki into using the orb to summon a Midgard serpent, allowing Thor and Loki to return to their reality.
The final issue of Thor & Loki: Double Trouble is good, but there’s more to talk about than just this specific comic. I would be doing a disservice not to talk about how the series works as a whole. Mariko Tamaki writes snappy, funny dialogue for all of the characters, drawing on the more comedic aspects of the titular siblings – essentially taking the dial and turning it up. Loki benefits from this; one of the things I’ve always loved about Loki in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is how funny he is, and Tamaki writes Loki in a way that reminds me of the way that Ryan North wrote him there. Both versions of Loki here are absolutely hilarious in an over-the-top way that I find myself wishing there could be more. Thor meanwhile takes on the role of the exasperated older brother, a role that fits him well. He seems more tired of Loki’s shenanigans than angered by them and the series is made all the better for it.
The sibling dynamic is perfect; it has that slight tinge of pain instinct that I always appreciate when it’s present in siblings, especially if it’s more lighthearted than anything else. Both pairs hit that sweet spot between wanting to cause their sibling problems on purpose and actively wanting to cause them harm, landing closer to the former than anything else. After all, this comic is meant to be fun rather than “Thor and Loki try to kill each other for the one-thousandth time.”
The art has easily been my favourite part of the series. Gurihiru continues to be a perfect choice for comics aimed primarily at children. There is so much energy in what they create, and the characters are adorable while still being recognizable as their classic selves. Take Loki, for example. Every issue of Thor & Loki: Double Trouble features a Loki who looks precious while still maintaining an aura of gremlin energy.
One of the best features of every issue is the letters page. They include letters from children, talking about how this is their first comic, or parents sharing how excited they are to read this series with their children and introduce them to comics. This is the first comic for so many people, and it couldn’t be more perfect for it. Thor & Loki: Double Trouble is short, follows great characters, and most of all, it’s fun.