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Thor & Loki: Double Trouble | Review

Thor and Loki: Double TroubleThor & Loki: Double Trouble
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artists: Gurihiru
Marvel Entertainment; $13.99

Writer Mariko Tamaki and art team Gurihiru reunite for a second dose of Double Trouble, following last year’s Spider-Man & Venom: Double Trouble. For their original all-ages miniseries under the title, they reimagined Spider-Man as the long-suffering roommate of his sometimes-archenemy Venom, and had the two engaged in some body-swapping shenanigans. For the follow-up, they have two even more natural bickering leads—brothers Thor and Loki—and they therefore don’t need to tweak the formula or relationship much at all to put them in constant gentle conflict with one another. What is having a sibling, after all, but a sort of eternal gentle conflict?

Thor & Loki: Double Trouble opens in Asgard, where the mighty Thor is enjoying the adulation of his fans until Loki shows up to steal his thunder (metaphorically, I suppose I should note, since we are talking about a literal thunder god here). Loki then offers his brother a dare, setting off a series of predictable complications. Loki tricks Thor and gets the pair in trouble, Loki tries further trickery to get them out of trouble but only gets them in more or different trouble, and so on, until Tamaki runs out of issues (just like Spider-Man & Venom, the series originally ran four issues before being collected in a trade paperback).

That trouble takes the form of a giant serpent followed by an even more giant serpent, punishment by their father Odin, transportation to a different dimension, contests against their female doppelgangers (who will look quite familiar to long-time Marvel comics readers) and another giant serpent.

Tamaki’s take on the characters seems guided by the Marvel Cinematic Universe iterations more than the traditional comics versions, but, to be fair, the movie versions of the characters have proved so popular that they’ve long since supplanted the comics versions, even within the comics themselves. This is especially the case with Loki, who has become less malevolent than roguish, his relationship to his heroic brother less antagonistic than instigative.

The Gurihiru art team, as always, provide perfect superhero comic art, and their style here is only slightly modulated to be a few degrees cartoonier than usual (this modulation is especially evident in Thor’s swollen torso and his tiny little legs). There are few superhero artists better at “acting” through their characters, and fewer still that do such an impeccable job of capturing their subjects’ inherent personality traits in the character design itself.

Like the previous Tamaki/Gurihiru, Thor & Loki: Double Trouble is a lot of  fun for superhero fans of all ages…or fans of great comics art period.

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J. Caleb Mozzocco About J. Caleb Mozzocco

J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at EveryDayIsLikeWednesday.blogspot.com. He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.

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