Title: Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers
Directed by: Mark Cowart, Joel Gibbs
Written by: Robert Rodi
Starring: David Blair, Elizabeth Diennet, Daniel Thorn
Studio: Marvel Knights Animation
Feature Content Rating:
Review by: Bill Jones
Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers is sort of a neat “what if” flash-forward to the future, taken from the pages of writer Robert Rodi’s and artist Esad Ribic’s Loki miniseries, examining what would happen if Loki ultimately overcame his hero of a brother, Thor. In this tale, Loki is left ruling a kingdom that he seems to have little interest in anymore, with subjects that are becoming angered over his empty promises. So now he is faced with the decision of executing his own brother, Thor, to gain respect.
Blood Brothers is actually very light on action for a Thor tale, but it is to the story’s benefit. It works to get deeper into the love-and-hate relationship shared by the two sons of Odin. It focuses much more on Loki, digging into his motivations for his trickster nature, then deeper into the pain and suffering he has endured during his time in Asgard.
It is an interesting idea for a tale, and definitely one that has earned my interest more than most things in the Thor universe, but it mostly falls flat. And Marvel Knights, known for motion comics, divides this tale into four episodes, but I didn’t ever finish one and truly feel like I absolutely needed to watch the next one right away, other than my obligation to review it.
Furthermore, the art didn’t sit well with me. Taking from the book, the art looks something like a painting, but the animators putting that in motion do little to resolve the issues of putting that type of art into motion, and somewhere in the mix it ends up looking like a strange early CGI venture. The characters move around the environments, but not well, and the painting in motion simply lacks important details that make its motion look natural in animation. In short, it’s a nice try at something different, but it ends up crude and far from smooth.
All in all, Blood Brothers in an ambitious Thor project, and there’s plenty to get out of it, but it fails to ever truly excite the imagination, and the animation is lacking. So this one is only for the most diehard of Thor and Loki fans looking for a different type of tale, but they could just as easily get it from reading the comic.
For fans who decide Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers is worth the purchase, the DVD is decent. I’m a fan of the Digipak sort of cases the Marvel Knights titles have received, and this release is no exception. Viewers will also enjoy a look back with the writer and artist of the book, which delves deeper into some of the story’s themes. Behind-the-scenes featurettes also detail what was involved in bringing the art style to the screen. It’s nothing above and beyond, but it’s enough to quench fans’ thirst for just a little bit more.
For more information, marvel.com
Pads & Panels received a copy of the DVD courtesy of the studio for review purposes.