Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 4.1
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Story by Kieron Gillen
Art by Whilce Portacio, Allen Martinez & Jeff Huett
Colors by Arif Prianto & John Rauch
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover by Stephanie Hans & Amanda Conner

Size: 0 pages
Price: 2.99

Argh! We’re still on the Fear Itself finale on this!? With the (hideous) Shattered Heroes banner I’d assume we were finally past this. Just stay calm though TNC, just because this title is still in Fear Itself mode doesn’t make it bad. Kieron Gillen and his crew of artists has certainly kept this book entertaining. Fortunately it’s still the same with this issue.

This issue is basically tying up the loose ends for Loki in everything he’s done up to this point. The Dead Eater’s fates are shown, Hela going back to her own domain is assured, and now there’s the fact that the Queen’s of Asgard are now keeping a close eye on the trickster. The latter is the only part that feels a bit forced to be honest, because Gillen is obviously trying to force feed a stupid Matt Fraction idea into his book. (Wouldn’t be the first time at this point) While it’s a bit jarring to see these seemingly random, new faces put into the title; Gillen does a nice job making them a believable threat and uneasy ally for the near future. I do like how Gillen continues the unpredictable nature of Loki. He might have screwed over the Dead Eaters in the end, but he certainly feels bad about it. It’s a nice touch to make him regret his decisions even though he wins out in the end. Also, he does a nice job mixing in modern day ideas into the book and not feel forced. Maybe Walt Simonson would never use the term ‘B.F.F.’, but here it works.

I’m assuming Whilce Portacio is the new, ongoing artist for the title since Doug Braithwaite seemingly disappeared. He’s not a bad replacement, but it’s obvious that he either can’t finish his work on time or he needs a bevy of inkers to finish everything. The art in general by Portacio is pretty good, I am not saying he isn’t a good artist. Pages like the opening of the vast landscape of Asgard or the detail in the faces of characters in quieter moments are really good. But the inking is what brings this down for me because they are two, vastly different styles. I don’t know who is who, so trying to put one person on the spot is bit hard for me. Essentially, the pages such as Loki and Hela talking are different to Loki and the Queen’s of Asgard pages. The former are very sketchy pages with lack of detail in faces; while the latter is very clean and you can see the detail in Portacio’s pencils. The difference, although both may look great in their own right, is just too jarring for me to ignore it.

Aside for the rough inking, this is an enjoyable issue all around. Kieron Gillen ties up some loose ends, but introduces some pretty intriguing storylines that are sure to arise in the near future. Whilce Portacio’s pencils make it all work despite the jarring difference in the two inkers. It’s a solid issue all around and it definitely continues the trend of this title being one of the best Marvel has to offer right now.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 4 - Very Good

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