THE MYTHICAL DETECTIVE LOKI Ragnarok: Volume 1

Sakura Kinoshita, Author, Sakura Kinoshita, Illustrator . ADV Manga $9.99 (186p) ISBN 978-1-4139-0055-2

Cuteness battles weirdness in this odd, semicoherent manga. Apparently, the Scandinavian deities have left Asgard to take on new roles as Japanese teenagers. In some cases, the person has been totally remade for the better. Loki, for example, doesn't just look like a friendly, laid-back boy detective; he has become a likable, tolerant kid, no longer the source of evil and discontent that he was in Norse mythology. The mythical Fenrir, Loki's son/fierce wolf, has become a pet puppy dog, and so on. On the other hand, Godfather Odin may be murderously plotting against Loki. These substantial revisions will blow the minds of readers who acquired their understanding of Scandinavian myth from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's serious adaptation in The Mighty Thor , not to mention anyone who's familiar with the doom-laden original myths or Wagner's Ring Cycle . While some of that background may be necessary to fill in the characters' identities, perhaps the less readers know about the legendary background, the better. The incongruities are sometimes used effectively, as when Loki's magic staff is switched accidentally with a cheerleader's baton. Kinoshita's art, meanwhile, is superior school-kid manga cartooning, though he is clearly indebted to Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina ; Negima) for art and tone. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/18/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 184 pages - 978-1-4139-0320-1
Paperback - 200 pages - 978-1-4139-0324-9
Paperback - 174 pages - 978-1-4139-0184-9
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