The first arc of this title comes to an end, and as usual, I have mixed feelings. Parts of this book I love, but others I just roll my eyes at. I really do feel that Gillen is trying way too hard to appeal to Tumblr, and using things like ‘for the lulz’ is just cringe-worthy. The pop-culture references also seem forced to me (although I did like the Scott Pilgrim shout-out, but then that was a little more subtle than ‘I’m Tyrion!’ or ‘Sauron crossed with Voldemort’ or whatever). Gillen, you are a good writer, stop pandering!
But I don’t want to complain, I’ve been a big fan of Gillen and McKelvie since Phonogram Volume 1, I want to like this, but it just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe I am too old. That said, there were good bits here. I did like the explanation of what’s up with Loki. I never read Journey Into Mystery so it was good to have it all spelled out. I also like that Evil Loki has a ghost Good Loki hanging around like Superior Spider-Man, that should be interesting going forward. I also like that Gillen has finally made Wiccan interesting, I used to hate his whiny ass with a passion, but now I sort of don’t mind him.
And of course, the artwork from Jamie McKelvie was absolutely brilliant, some of his panel layouts in this arc have been mind-blowing, and this issue had another brilliant one. I feel like this book is almost there, almost good, the idea of the heroes having to fight their parents was a very good one, but it wasn’t very well explained, and that combined with the cringe-worthy pandering means that I remain slightly disappointed. I hope the next issue focusing on Speed will be good, he doesn’t seem to very beloved by Tumblr, so Gillen should be able to write him properly without worrying about shippers and feels and other fucking bullshit.