Mr. Gillen, what were your thoughts on Agent of Asgard? I know it likely didn't follow how you might've planned it to go (since you didn't write it) but were you happy with the way Loki's story went and was written?
It’s be a mistake to think I had anything like a plan for Loki after where I left him in Young Avengers.
I left Loki in a place at the end of YA where someone could run with him, any way they choose. I consciously try and write my runs so they don’t necessarily demand anything from writers who follow me. If they don’t like it, there’s nothing that insists they have to use it. Knowing that we wanted to do a Loki: Agent Of Asgard-esque book, without any specific details about its plot, my destination point was always “Here is Loki who has understood some of his shit and can operate as a lead in ethically grey-styled story.” Everything else was meat if they wanted it, but could be ignored to do their own thing if not. The latter wouldn’t displease me. The former always delights me. Being a writer with cheerily low self-esteem - otherwise known as “a writer” - I pretty much assume all my peers hate my work, so it’s always a surprise and a joy when someone does it.
(Recently, see also Sinister-is-a-species in SECRET WARS.)
I was very happy when Al got the book, as he’s a friend and someone whose work I adored. I was astounded by how much he chose to write it as the third act to Loki’s arc. And it really is the third act. As much as he builds its own thing, it’s a logical and beautiful extrapolation of where he inherited Loki. He even uses the line I dropped at the end of my editorial note in the last issue of JIM, y’know? (”Write your own happy ending”).
In short, I thought Al’s solution to the paradox we posed in SIEGE: LOKI was inspired. I thought that when Al described it to me in the LSCC hotel bar (the same place which inspired much of issue 7 of WicDiv), and I thought that when it saw print.
I think I tweeted that Al deserved some kind of award for “working in a shared universe writing” for Agent of Asgard, and I’d stand by that. Fascinating to see him do all that while making it his own.