This election year, Marvel is throwing the most unconventional Presidential candidate yet into the mix: Loki. After a brief teaser image earlier this month, Marvel unveiled at C2E2 a new ongoing series titled Vote Loki. Writer Chistopher Hastings and artist Langdon Foss are managing the campaign – or the comic book, rather – of the Prince of Lies as he runs for the highest office in the United States.
But is he doing it for good, evil, or something else entirely? Loki has gone through some massive changes between Journey Into Mystery, Young Avengers,Loki: Agent of Asgard and the recent The Mighty
Newsarama had the chance to talk to Hastings about Vote Loki and how it ties to the recently-ended Loki: Agent of Asgard series, what it would mean for Americans should he win, and who Loki would endorse if he didn’t get the position of Commander-In-Chief.
Newsarama: Christopher, with this being an election year, I have to ask, if Loki ran for President what party platform would he run on?
Christopher Hastings: Loki is way too slippery to chain himself to a single party's agenda. Loki will be entering this race as an independent. He'll be making some big promises, but he might just be happy allow the story of his running give him the momentum he needs without having to worry about dirty little policy specifics.
Nrama: Vote Loki isn't the first time a comic book character has sought to become President of the United States, but what makes Loki want to run in the first place and how does the 14th Amendment come into play here?
Hastings: Well we haven't said if he actually wins or not yet! That said, Loki wants to win because he's still trying to redefine himself, and his story. Former super villain turned savior of the United States sounds like a very appealing tale to him. And as he runs, he begins to believe that versus the other usual lineup of liars and crooks, he's indeed the best choice. He believes his own story.
As for the 14th Amendment, which addresses issues of citizenship and the rights of U.S. citizens, I can tell you Loki takes no issue with it. Are you asking if Loki, son of frost giants of Jotunheim has U.S. citizenship as it's defined in Section 1? Loki can assure you he is a fully legal citizen, long form birth certificate and everything. Whether or not you believe it...
Nrama: In Valerio Schiti and Israel Silva's cover, there's Angela and Sam Wilson on the cover as well. Now are they on there for just looks or do they play a role in this somehow?
Hastings: For reasons that will be revealed, Angela is serving as Loki's (much needed) super-powered security. Sam is a frustrated voice of protest, who is desperately trying to remind the American people and the media that Loki is literally why the Avengers formed in the first place.
Nrama: Since being portrayed by Tom Hiddleston, Loki's popularity has surged in recent years and this isn't Loki's first solo run. Does this have any ties to the recent Loki: Agent of Asgard or entirely its own thing?
Hastings: It absolutely does! Like I said, Loki's trying to change his story, and that's continuing from his work in Agent of Asgard. That said we also know this is a different Loki than that book, from what we've seen in The Mighty Thor, and we'll start to see some of those differences here, particularly in his ideals and morality. Nothing challenges your ideals like a race for total power.
Nrama: What can Loki offer the American people that no other candidate could?
Hastings: I think Loki would be scrutinized more than any other candidate, which conversely may force him to actually being the most honest one. Politicians as we know them are comfortable with sliding around a "middle space" between truth and fiction. But nobody's going to let that get by with him.
Now, as far as if he actually gets the executive branch, he'd be bringing a lot of possible magical solutions to policy problems. For example, torture or "enhanced interrogation methods" become a total non-issue when Loki can provide the military with magical alien slugs that latch onto detainee's tongues, forcing them to only speak the truth.
Obviously that brings up its own can of ethical ramifications but that's for another issue.
Nrama: You'll be collaborating with artist Langdon Foss on this. What excites you most about his style for Vote Loki?
Hastings: We're definitely going to be getting into some weird illusion magic, and I love how Langdon draws trippy fantasy stuff. I hope to give him a bit of that to chew on. But mostly, a story about politics is a story about people (which is a political sentence if I've ever written one), and Langdon does awesome work making every person in a comic book a real individual.
Nrama: Lastly, if Loki doesn't make it as President, who do you think he'd endorse for the position?
Hastings:I think it would depend on how much he'd feel like burning down the entire establishment that scorned him, or if he thinks he could still maneuver his way into some sort of position of power.