For thousands of years, the one constant thing about Loki Laufeyson has been his inconsistency. He is a being of chaos, as fluid as quicksilver and considered by most to be just as toxic and dangerous. He is a liar and a trickster but also a loving brother, son and father… in his own way. And sometimes, on some very rare occasions, he is a hero.
One such occasion occurs in the year 2016, when the United States of America hold elections for a new President. It is there that Loki, merely seeking a front row seat to the chaos and comedy common to a modern political debate, finds himself donning a hero’s helm in order to save the crowd and the candidates from a team of HYDRA soldiers. Of course Loki loves a camera and is all too glad to offer up his opinions on the election and the candidates (“They’re both liars!”) to the eagerly awaiting reporters, going on to note that if he were President he’d have the basic decency to lie right the peoples’ faces.
Shockingly, this starts a movement to draft Loki for high office. After all, if all politicians are dishonest crooks anyway, shouldn’t you elect someone you know for sure is honest about being dishonest and furthermore has a proven record at lying their way out of trouble?
Vote Loki #1 is an odd book. Christopher Hastings’ perfectly captures the spirit of the modern Loki – the cheeky bastard you can’t help but like even as he’s flirting with your significant other right in front of you while picking your pocket. And his script for this issue is quite funny at times, with the scene where Loki explains to J. Jonah Jameson precisely how he is eligible to run for office as an American citizen being particularly hilarious.
That being said, while the script is funny within the context of the characters there’s no sign of the vicious satire one expects of Marvel Comics when they get political. Forty years ago, Steve Gerber let society in general and the American political establishment in specific have it with both barrels when he had Howard The Duck run for President. The best Vote Loki can manage is some generic jokes about all politicians being crooks and the sort of people who work for political campaigns being mentally unstable.
Given the vitriolic nature of the current campaign cycle, this muted comedy is something of a disappointment. The comedy that exists, however, is amusing. And you can’t help but smile at Loki’s debating whether or not to run as a woman as part of a scheme to improve his poll numbers.
The artwork for this issue by Langdon Foss is equally unexpected. The look is somewhat reminiscent of Scott Kolins’ work on The Flash, with light inks and little shading. Colorist Chris Churckry utilizes a muted color palette that makes the vibrant greens and golds Loki favors in his clothing stand out all the more, subtly showcasing his power as a character. The only objectionable point to the artwork is Foss’ tendency to draw all most of his female characters as if they’d gotten collagen injected into their lips and are continually reapplying their lipstick.
There is little about Vote Loki #1 that stands out, for good or ill. Ironically, much like its protagonist, it is not good or bad – it is just there. And, like Loki, the book has some small charms but it shows signs of being capable of being much more than it is.