Review: Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Tricksters #4
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Story: Robin Kaplan
Artist: A.L. Kaplan
Letters: Jim Campbell
Spot Illustration: Sonny Liew
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Tricksters #4 proves that a story told once is worth telling over and over again. The story of how Loki helps Thor find his missing hammer is told with a focus on new details and insights.
Positives — Twice Told Tales
Fans of Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology series will recognize this story. The difference is the way that the writer introduces the problem. In this version, Loki discovers a hungover Thor grumbling with a headache.
It turns out he was partying so hard the night before that he can’t find his mighty Mjolnir. Now, Thor needs Loki’s help to find it. He also needs the trickster’s discretion so that word of his irresponsibility does not get out.
In some versions, Loki borrows Freya’s cloak to take on the form of a falcon. In this tale, Loki uses the promise that he will search for Freyja’s missing necklace to get her to borrow her magic cloak. Freyja agrees and Loki sets off on his way.
Freyja is portrayed as bored, amused by Thor’s lost Mjolnir, and a bit of a gossip. When Loki departs, Freyja immediately tells her brother Freyr, who tells Tyr, who tells Blind Hod, and the story spreads.
Positives — Deceptive Disguises
The source of the missing Mjolnir is the king of the Giants, Thrym. The only way he will give back the hammer is if Freyja agrees to marry him. Loki’s eyes glimmer mischievously while he promises to return with Freyja. In Norse Gods, Thor has. a beard. In this version, Thor is clean-shaven.
Loki sells Thor on the idea of dress-up with a masquerade masque and Freyja’s stunning necklace. The result is more successful than either of the brothers believed possible. In fact, once Thor has eaten and drank his fill the duo realizes the gig is almost up. But before they can begin to lay waste to the Giants, Freyja arrives with warriors in tow.
It’s hard to tell what infuriates Freyja more, Thor wearing her necklace or the fact that the Giants mistook Odinson for the Norse Queen. Thor, for one, is empowered and knows that he looks good. When all is said and done, Thor gets his hammer, Freyja gets her necklace, and Loki gets to keep his feathered cloak.
Best part? That’s not where the story ends.
Not in this book.
Robin Kaplan writes a story that is full of identity and mirth. The characters are flawed and prone to mischief. Their actions, and the canvas of Asgard as a backdrop offer a rich story for the eyes, ears, and the imagination.
A.L. Kaplan’s interpretation of Thor, Freyja, Loki, and the Aesir pantheon is a playful delight for young and older readers. Thor’s burgeoning belly, Loki’s red hair and pointy nose, and Freyja’s penchant for lounging before stirring to action are amusing. Their collaboration will bring a smile to the faces of and hearts of readers.