A Low Key Finish: Vote Loki #4 Review

You may (or may not) have noticed I haven’t been publishing any new reviews lately. The truth is, since November 9th, I’ve been feeling a bit down. I’m sure a lot of you can figure out why.

This comic in particular is one I thought I would never touch again. Political satire from a time when we were all so certain about who would win the US election seems almost unbearable at this point. For weeks, I had nothing but a pun based title for the review, and nothing else.

And yet, here we are. The truth is, something happened that I took as a sign that it was time to get back into the game. A friend sent me the cover of the new Vote Loki trade paperback, and, well:

Quote Loki
That’s right, it’s a (generically positive) line from my review of the second issue. Somebody actually took a look at the title of the article in question, Happy Go Loki, and still somehow decided that this was a good place to get quotes for the cover of a book thousands of people would buy. And I’m weirdly proud of that. There are no shortage of positive reviews for the comic out there, so the idea that they came to our little old site for one warms my heart (to be fair, most of this is probably down to the fact that the author, Christopher Hastings, was brilliantly interviewed for the site by fellow contributor Zachary Krishef).

Anyway, that’s enough about me. All of you came here for the review of a comic from a happier time, and that’s what you’re going to get.

Spoilers beyond this point.

My biggest criticism of Vote Loki over the past three issues is that we seem to have lost sight of the titular character amidst all the political skewering. The conclusion however puts the focus right back on the modern iteration of the Norse God, and everything we love about him.

Loki was never going to win. It’s pretty well known that the President of the 616 Marvel Universe has to reflect the one elected in our world, which means we can expect more Donald Trump in our comics beyond him being yelled at by Luke Cage.

Sweet Christmas, this is cathartic.
Regardless, there’s still the question of what Loki’s whole point was here. After gaining the support of most of the country the country, and inadvertently turning it against the rest, causing riots and protests, he begins feeling a twinge of regret.

Feeling an urge to reread Agent of Asgard all of a sudden.
In the interest of restoring the peace, or so he claims, he agrees to a live interview in front of a crowd with Nisa Contreras, fresh off her latest failure to discredit him.

Realising that everything she’s said has just been twisted to favor him at this point, she decides to shake things up, and get Loki’s supporters to ask him questions instead.

And so questions on his policies come in… and Loki is stumped. Despite his promises to clear the system of corrupt politicians, and give the people a strong leader, he actually has no clue how to run or what to do.

And now, because we’re in a comic book, the most unrealistic thing ever happens as his supporters realize they’re supporting a lunatic, and abandon him in droves. If only real life were that easy.

And with Loki falling from grace, the one person who stood up to him, Nisa Contreras, is suddenly a hero. Her career is on the rise, everyone loves her… then Loki shows up at her door for a “Thank you.”

Your awkwardly drawn face says otherwise, Nisa.
It turns out that was a lie too– the God of Stories’ goals were far less noble. He deliberately threw his campaign off the rails, but not for Nisa. As a telling phone call reveals, he struck a bargain with one of the candidates to split the vote then lose it, getting them more support than they had before.

It’s a clever twist to end on, and sets up Loki for wherever his next appearance may be, since we still don’t know what he got in exchange for his ploy.

Overall, it’s been a fun ride. While it got a bit repetitive in the middle of the series, it had a pretty strong finish. Nisa is a cool character, and while it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing her again, she was a pretty strong lead (I still miss Verity Willis though). This issue in particular did a good job of balancing the political satire with actual plot progression and character, more so than the first three.

While it’s unlikely I’ll ever reread Vote Loki in the future, it was still enjoyable, and leaves me wondering what we’ll get in the trickster’s next solo outing.

At least one of us gets a happy ending.

Aranwe Quirke is a totally real, definitely not made up name. No, you may not see the birth certificate.