This summer, as with every summer for the last seven years, I have found myself eyeballs deep in the latest comic book event. This year it is Marvel’s Original Sin, which to my surprise has been pretty enjoyable. What is even more surprising is how much I’m liking the tie-in, especially this week’s Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm #2.
Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm pick up on a plot point from Original Sin #5, where Thor is made aware that he has a sister. After some investigating, he finds out this sister is probably hidden in a previously unknown, tenth realm, populated by angels. Astute Marvel fans will probably instantly make the connection from the “angel” reference, and realize that the sister in question is none other than Angela, who is currently a member of The Guardians of the Galaxy. This book has some great things going for it in terms of story. It starts off with a little bit of Guardians finding trouble as usual, and then moves on to Thor and Loki making their way into the newly revealed tenth realm. Thor has some truly enjoyable moments as he goes from attempting to woo the angels, to then making quick work of their most powerful weapons, all without being overly cheesy. There is of course some cheese involved, because watching Thor using Thor-speak to hit on unsuspecting angels has to be a little silly. Loki also gets some quality panel time, both as “old” evil Loki, as well as the newly rebooted young Loki. Old Loki is attempting to set things in motion, probably for his own benefit, though it unclear so far, whereas young Loki is once again on a mission from the All-Mother, working towards his redemption. The more of young Loki that I read, the more I’m getting behind the new direction for the character. Additionally, I’m really pleased that they are making a concerted effort to make Angela part of the Marvel universe proper. They could have just left her on the fringe, but instead they are inserting her into the world of one of the biggest Marvel characters.
The vast majority of the art was quite good. The fight scenes between Thor and the angels were well choreographed and easy to follow without being too simplistic. I loved that the angels tried to attack Thor as soon as he throws his hammer because they thought he was unarmed, only to be devastated by Mjolnir returning to its master. The scene played out both the comical and serious elements beautifully. The only parts that were a little rough were a few panels involving the queen angel. At times the panels were a little too dark and it was difficult to see exactly what was what. I understand that this was intended to build suspense, but even the lighter portions of the panels were poorly defined. Also, sitting at my desk with issues one and two together, I just realized that the covers combine to make a larger image. I like little touches like that, especially when I don’t notice them right away—like an Easter Egg.
Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm provides a nice detour from the core event. Especially given recent announcements about a female Thor, it doesn’t appear that this will be a throw away story. 4/5 Death Stars.