- May 17, 2021
Vote Loki: What’s His Platform?
Loki, God of Mischief, son of Odin, Prince of Asgard, mortal enemy of Thor… is running for president. Vote Loki, or vote for him back in 2016 when this comic came out.
Let’s be honest, I’m making this article and video is because he’s getting a show on Disney +. There’s no reason for me to be anything less than transparent about it. At first, I thought I wouldn’t, I mean, I don’t even like Loki, in the comics or the movies.
Why I would make a video about him?
But then I thought, lets be more original than that, let’s have more fun.
I originally had a second idea, where I didn’t do a normal review of Vote Loki, written by Christopher Hastings and drawn by Langdon Foss and Paul McCaffrey. I had this idea of a joke video talking about Loki’s platform, his legislation, and most importantly, whether or not you should vote for him come next election.
After writing a bit of that painful script, and reading more of Vote Loki, I was… baffled. Not only would my satire be terrible, I’d be plucking at straws. This is because the book… the book got me, it tricked me. You see when I started reading it, I anticipated this pile of garbage, that’s what everyone said it was.
And uh… guess what?
At first, I was getting exactly what I thought I was getting. A crappy book that capitalized off the events happening around it, the 2016 election. Plus, it was further pushing Loki into the “hero” category, which I’ve never gone for.
Then… then it stopped being about Loki, and got… real. Like, too real…
Let’s just say this to start, if the show’s tease of Loki running for president really does end up with even just a single episode based on this comic… it might be really good.
Are You Voting for Loki?
The basic premise is exactly how it sounds. Loki is running for president, with the tagline, “Believe,” but “lie” is colored differently. You know, because you can’t spell ‘believe’ with ‘lie?’ Yeah, turns out the book’s creators also knew this wasn’t clever, but that wasn’t the point.
This book opens after a fight between the Avengers and a supervillain. It shows a town that’s been destroyed, and never receives the money it was promised to rebuild.
At first, I think nothing of the book’s reporter character, Nisa, and how the book frames her as Loki’s nemesis for this story. I assumed she would be the story’s punching bag against the media. I anticipated seeing her constantly painted as a story-hungry fool who gets outsmarted by Loki.
And that’s half of what happens. Nisa actually comes off as likeable and honest. Because of this, there’s something underlyingly sinister with how Loki does it toys with her… I can’t get it out of my head now, but I missed the importance of a certain bit when I first read it.
He tells everyone, “I’m gonna lie to you, and you’d love it.”
And then he does.
On multiple occasions, Loki gets caught lying, and is exonerated in the eyes of the public. Why? Because that’s exactly what he said he was going to do, and that makes him more honest than any other politician. Then he builds a whole campaign on that.
In his debate, he admits to lying about his opponents in this crappy commercial. But it’s okay, he said he would lie.
He goes into Latveria and causes the Civil War there to come to a head before the U.S. has to intervene. That means he was lying when said he believed in non-violence. But that’s okay, he said would lie.
The world found out that Loki staged the story’s whole impetus, this attack by Hydra on the presidential candidates.
It’s okay though, because he said would lie.
But that’s not the haunting part. The haunting part is that when he tells the truth, he’s revealing the deepest parts of humanity. Our ability to make excuses.
Vote for Loki, Vote for the Devil
Loki in actual Norse mythology is very different form Marvel, obviously. He’s not the son of Odin or the brother of Thor. Loki and Odin are contemporaries in the actual mythology. Loki’s also not even evil in the Poetic Edda. He actually gets punished all the time just for tricks, even for things that aren’t his fault, and he never gets away with anything.
In fact, his part in the death of Baldr is actually out of character. Murder like that is suspiciously more sinister than what he usually does. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that there’s likely lost context to that story that we’ll never know. Hell, the writer of the Poetic Edda, Snorri Sturluson, probably didn’t even mean for the death of Baldr and Ragnarok to be a bad thing, or the center of that mythology. I mean, come on, the Aesir gods of Norse Mythology aren’t exactly good guys, by and large.
But who cares Tom Hiddleston looks good in black.
The Christianizing of Loki
Seriously though, there are reasons for this. When Christian Europe was one of the first cultures to write down Norse mythology, they did what Christian countries do to pagan stories. They Christianized it, and then more writers began depicting Loki as the literal devil in their adaptations.
They made Loki the devil wherever it made sense. Artifacts don’t paint Loki as a serpent-like character, but modern tales call him such. The oldest source, the Poetic Edda, itself paints a rather sympathetic picture of Loki, with his only evil deed being the part he played in the death of Baldr. Don’t quote me on that, I may be misinterpreting my research, do your own too.
But from what I understand, he’s usually painted as the devil. Being the father of all the gods who cause Ragnarok doesn’t help his case.
What Does that Mean for Vote Loki?
So this book seems to go full throttle with Loki being a Lucifer-like character. He’s revealing our worst impulses, the shitty things humans do when we just want to be right. More that, he reveals what we do when we just want to saved.
We make excuses.
Loki’s followers make excuses for people sacrificing goats to him. They say that there are always going to be a few freaks. More than that, Loki’s a god, so of course people worship him.
Loki’s followers make excuses for him going to Latveria, and causing a Civil War. Now American soldiers definitely don’t have to go there themselves.
Loki’s followers even make excuses for him causing the book’s inciting event. As I mentioned before, Hydra almost assassinated his political rivals so he could look like the hero. When it was revealed he orchestrated it all, no one cared. Why?
Because he said he lies, so we shouldn’t be surprised. He’s more honest than everyone else.
Loki is writing a paper on why people suck, and at every turn we give him more evidence to help him turn it into a dissertation.
Condescending Crap or Genius Mirror-Holding?
The way I’m describing Vote Loki probably makes this book sound condescending. The thing is, Hastings writes it all with a sense of humor, so it doesn’t feel like it. I swear to you, nothing in this book is taken seriously, save for a panel or too. It helps to have the absolutely gross and human art style of Langdon Foss, and sometimes Paul McCaffrey, to make it.
I’ll be honest, Foss’s art really disgust me. I don’t like it, but it makes everyone so cartoonishly gross and ugly that the book feels an Adult Swim cartoon. The details he chooses to add, and the way he draws faces…
Most artists can only draw a few different faces, but Foss seems to draw different faces for the same character every issue. But you know what? It works for Vote Loki.
It’s unassuming, and you don’t assume much from it. It sets you up to fail at every turn, but it’s just so you can laugh at yourself. The book doesn’t laugh at you.
Everything just sounds condescending and nihilistic from the outside. People really do what Loki is tricking them into doing, everyone. Everyone makes excuses, everyone finds reasons, everyone does what they can to support their own opinion.
A Magnificent End
The ending of the book captures just how much this book’s tone succeeds. On paper, the ending of Vote Loki should be condescending as all hell, but it’s in the victory of Nisa that it doesn’t.
The reporter who Loki keeps manipulating, finally decides that for once, she should shut up. She can’t out talk Loki, she can’t trick him. He’s a god whose thousands of years old. Loki is just going to use whatever she says against her.
It’s the perfect strategy for her to be quiet when he takes her on stage for a pseudo-debate/interview. The only thing she does say, is basically that the only people who want to talk to him are his followers.
And then they do.
They ask him real questions. They ask him about healthcare, where he was really born, his stance on gun control, mutants, and inhumans. Eventually, after asking him if he even has a page listing his policies, they asks him if he even has an opinion of his own.
The best part is that he doesn’t. He’s full of crap, we all knew that, but its so disgustingly satisfying to see the people he’s been jerking around be the ones to tear him down. It’s not his enemies or his political rivals, the people who followed his performance do actually want more than just a showman. We may do whatever we can to justify our own opinions, but we still have opinions.
Nobody actually wants someone who tells them only what they want to hear. We want people who believe it too.
So as negative and damning as everything sounds, it’s actually ends on a hopeful note. It only gets condescending because a jerk on YouTube had to dig into it for a 10 minute video.
Should You Vote Loki?
Vote Loki seems to be saying that people aren’t actually sycophants for our own opinions. We don’t just ignore everything for a charlatan, we all have concerns, we want real people to lead us. Maybe we’re just really bad at figuring that out.
Though, maybe this book is wrong and its too hopeful in its ending message. Maybe I’m finding things that aren’t actually there. Maybe this book would be more correct to drop the humor and just tell us how pathetic we are, but then this book wouldn’t be enjoyable at all.
Vote Loki has got some merit. It gave me and my cynicism a taste of our own medicine. I would give it a try if you’re looking for something to read before or after you watch the Loki show.
You know, just in case you forgot that this article is me selling out, despite never making money on my articles or videos.
Maybe I shouldn’t hate on Loki so much, maybe we shouldn’t hate on this book. Do you agree? Is the politics slant of this book too distracting for you? But most importantly, are you sick of all the videos about Loki because of the show?
Tell me in the comments below, and check out the rest of the Something Central website. There’s far less sellout content on it than there is in this article.