14 responses

  1. MW
    28 October, 2012

    You glorious bastard

  2. Matt D
    29 October, 2012

    We’re the bad guys all along. There are no happy endings because we never accept an end to our stories, no matter how much hurt and pain it means for the characters we spend so much of our time caring about and following. The only way to “win” is for you to be on top when your story ends.

    Damn you for showing us that. Thank you for making it so amazingly worthwhile. You’re a bastard for screwing with us, but you are the very best for making us care.

    One question, though. You make it seem like the next writer to use (now, old again) Loki will ultimately revert this, ultimately pull him towards being bad again. That’s well and good, if it was some other writer.

    It’s you though. The scope and the stakes have changed immensely. But you’re still there, pulling the strings. It makes one wonder.

  3. Ali
    29 October, 2012

    This was the conclusion I’d come to about why you did it, but I didn’t think you’d come out and say it so frankly. Thanks for doing that – it makes me feel a lot better about the whole thing. It’s a shame that it had to be this way, but preserving what he accomplished is definitely the best ending that he could’ve had.

    I also agree about the complexity of old!Loki, and I do like that you wrote the first blame going to himself. Hopefully that will be a place to grow from.

    Thanks again for writing this. It’s always a comfort, when a story has had such an emotionally affecting conclusion, to know that the author is doing what you hoped he was doing. :)

  4. Smug Bastard
    29 October, 2012

    “And then, give the Marvel Universe perfectly good Loki for people to do whatever they wish with, to remove the temptation to bring back our little guy.”

    Best way to do this is to write a Loki who isn’t needlessly cruel and dripping with bitter bile, treating everyone around him like garbage. Make him care when he feels he must do something wrong, make him take pains not to cause any more harm than necessary. Sure he can enjoy some chump getting himself in a mess, but it needs to be tempered with compassion. Evil just doesn’t suit Comic Loki anymore; he’s outgrown it. He’s better at being a tortured errand boy for cosmic balance, who has trouble figuring out how to get things done sometimes without using a little wickedness. And for goodness sake, we really need to get Loki and Thor past the screaming and hitting stage as their main mode of interaction.

    I have to say I really love Siege Loki because he actually had some depth, even though we didn’t get to see him for long. It feels ironic to be someone who doesn’t mind Kid Loki being gone, especially if someone finally gets Loki to grow past being a traditional comic villain into something more interesting.

  5. Dwight Williams
    29 October, 2012

    I think we’ve seen the start of Loki’s quest of self-betterment.

    Nowhere near the end of it.

    It won’t be easy for him to live it, and it won’t be easy for us to watch at times. In fact, just as it is right now, it’s sometimes going to be horrific.

    Between you and Hiddleston’s on-screen performances, the seed’s been planted…

  6. Giantevilhead
    29 October, 2012

    “Someone could still try and bring back Kid Loki. Claim there’s some kind of back-up somewhere. I’d advise against that, whoever ends up writing Thor in 10 years time. Because as good as your heart is, if you do so, someone else will eventually write Kid Loki Turns Evil and we’ll be left with a Some People Are Just Evil story. At the least if someone does do that, there’s a little plausible deniability of it really being Kid Loki.”

    This part is quite telling.

    Death in comics has always been a double edged sword. When a character dies, many fans don’t really think that they’re permanently dead, regardless of how definitive the death is or how many assurances are given by the writers and editors that the character is truly gone.

    But on the flip side, whenever a character is brought back, there’s always some question as to whether or not it’s the “real” version of that character. Just look at all the stories where a resurrected character turned out to be a clone, or a parallel version from another dimension, or a Doombot, etc.

    The way Kid Loki “dies” plays upon those contradictory expectations quite perfectly. You may say that you’ve “utterly destroyed” him and discouraged attempts to bring him back but there will always be that lingering doubt. I do wonder if this is also meant to play upon those suspicions on both sides, the doubt that Kid Loki is truly dead, and the doubt that if it’s truly him if he is ever brought back.

  7. Miénteme
    29 October, 2012

    Do you realize that you are the first writer that creates a character for Marvel/Disney and goes away with him under his armpit? Such a ruse is worth of a master liesmith, mister Gillen.

    I would praise you as much as you deserve, but my english skills are not up to the task.

  8. Dave Knowles
    29 October, 2012

    Mr Gillen, I’ve read your musings in various PC gaming outlets for years, and after a long hiatus, have been avidly devouring rediscovering comics in my 30’s.

    It’s only in the last few weeks I put together a few things in my mind, noticed certain names turning up in multiple locations and realised how much I enjoy the writings of one Mr Kieron Gillen.

    So thank you sir, as an avid reader of words who has long, sadly discarded the opportunity to write them, to a master of the pen.

  9. Amirali
    29 October, 2012

    I appreciate your giving a character a definitive conclusion all too often lacking in the comic genre. Kid Loki “died” this issue, and that was not ambiguous, nor should it be.

    However, the beauty of art is the openness to (reasonable) interpretation beyond the author’s original intent. Even though Kid Loki is indisputably dead, there are still many interesting questions and speculations as to how exactly we reached this point, and what was the real relationship between Ikol/Loki and Kid Loki. I am hoping you leave that ambiguous and to our imagination during your run on Young Avengers :).

    In #645, Loki and Kid Loki stated each other explicitly to be separate , distinct beings. They claimed no more kinship than glorified genetic clones – just like Peter Parker and Kaine would never call themselves the same person.

    Yet if we remember that Ikol was always inside Loki’s head, and the whole of 645 was enacted there; then could it be possible that they were always more linked than either accepted? So for instance, was Ikol simply “implanted” in Kid Loki’s head by the spell old Loki had placed on the library book in the first issue? Or rather, did Ikol always exist in Kid Loki’s head as the evil aspect of his soul, and the spell only gave him form and attached old Loki’s memories?

    Could it have been that Kid Loki always had a split personality? And that in his fear of being rejected and evil again, he “othered” Ikol/Loki as a ghost and not himself, and displaced all his malice or bitterness to that aspect? And that likewise, because Ikol/Loki always hated himself so much, he couldn’t accept that the noble Kid Loki was actually part of himself but rather must be a completely , different distinct being that old Loki was exploiting?

    Given that Loki has such a history of self-deception, lying, loathing and psychological turmoil, there is more than one way to interpret what literally happened in 645. Not just because myth itself has so many allegorical layers, but also because an encounter on the psychic/psychological plane is of necessity at least somewhat metaphorical.

    My own theory is that when Old Loki died in Siege, he did leave behind a simulacrum with his own memories and magical powers – perhaps even his intellect- but he could not leave behind a separate, distinct “soul” from his reincarnated form. Kid Loki was always one being, but his innocence could not accept that Ikol was fundamentally part of him, and vice versa.

    What happened in the end wasn’t just old Loki killing his child incarnation – rather, it’s even worse than the literalist interpretation. It was old Loki killing/extinguishing part of his own soul and inner child, and disowning his own redemption journey in JIM so that his malicious aspect could reassert control.

    A brutal spiritual self-lobotomy and perfect example of Loki’s loathing of himself that Hiddleston alluded to in his letter.

    I would love to see this story become Loki’s “Killing Joke”. There the insane Joker says he “prefers to remember his past in multiple choice”, and future writers exploited the statement to always reinterpret his motivations and origins without changing continuity.

    As the trickster God lies throughout to himself and others, we can have an eternal mystery. Was the heroic Kid Loki we saw in JIM before his actual murder actually once part of the same soul as current Loki? Or rather as in the most literal reading of #645, was Kid Loki simply an “alternate-verse Loki”; a vision of Loki from a What-If story that was extinguished and replaced with our own old Loki?

    I prefer the former theory myself, but either way Kid Loki is truly gone. Even if Loki rediscovers his own redemption or inner child, it will be a new journey and distinct existence from the being we just saw die a hero’s death.

  10. Kieron Gillen
    29 October, 2012

    It’s worth noting, that the article is about Why I Did It not How I Did It or What I Did. The initial thinking about the shape of the story is only a tiny part of the whole story. If this was the only thing JIM says, I’d definitely have failed.

    (I will respond to other people with comments later. Just wanted to note that.)

  11. Ian
    30 October, 2012

    I literally clicked the bottom of the question mark in this article like six times to see if it would do anything.

  12. Sanity or Madness?
    31 October, 2012

    It’s not a perfect plan. Someone could still try and bring back Kid Loki. Claim there’s some kind of back-up somewhere. I’d advise against that, whoever ends up writing Thor in 10 years time. Because as good as your heart is, if you do so, someone else will eventually write Kid Loki Turns Evil and we’ll be left with a Some People Are Just Evil story. At the least if someone does do that, there’s a little plausible deniability of it really being Kid Loki.

    In passing, the fact that someone would turn Kid Loki evil eventually would be the reason a “bring back old Loki and keep Kid Loki around” ending wouldn’t have worked. It doesn’t matter if there’s an Old Evil Loki lying around. Kid Loki Turns Evil is too tempting a story, and first rate antagonists are too rare in comics.

    Don’t be silly.

    If there were two Lokis around, Kid Loki would fade into the background until he was used as crossover cannon fodder in a decade’s time.

  13. NLM
    3 November, 2012

    I don’t understand, aren’t you the next writer to be writing Loki? I get your logic for doing what you did, but it seems to me that your story with Loki is far from over, only to be continued in Young Avengers. So why kill him off, so to speak, now? Since, as you acknowledged, we all know that he would have to turn evil again eventually, why not get as many great stories with him good as possible? He was a great character, kudos for that. He will be missed.

  14. Kieron Gillen
    4 November, 2012

    Oh man. I’m so busy I’m never going to get back and answer this lot properly. I’m sorry. Thanks for all your thoughts.

    Re: Last One. That I ended up the next writer is neither here nor there. Or if it is here or there, it’s more than a little ironic. I didn’t know that’d I’d be writing more Loki when JIM ended, so I was planning on a singular statement and leaving the character in a fun place to pick up with for whoever came next.

    That I’m the next person is sort of funny, but kind of appropriate. In many ways, I am Loki.

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