The Disir was a riff. I had to work out an antagonist for a story on short notice, and was basically doing some very basic wiki surfing around all things norse.
I just hit a line which included the theory along the lines of “there is the argument that the Disir is what the Valkyrie were referred to before they were called Valkyrie.”
My entire conception of the Disir leaped from that. A proto-Valkyrie before the Valkyrie, with their story bitterly warped.
Our Disir don’t bear any relation to any actual use of the phrase “Disir,” except that one theory. To be honest, a lot of things are analogous with “Valkyrie” if you nose through the myths. A lot of the process of the Disir was making them feel like they could be a real myth.
I love books that invite you to theorize, and this one is great for that. So I have a new one, ahead are some big spoilers for both Journey Into Mystery and Agent of Asgard, you’ve been warned.
My theory is…. And in hindsight it seems so blatantly obvious that I am shocked it didn’t hit me right away, given how the narrative captions are set up, so maybe this is old news to everyone else and I’m just completely dense, but… Old Loki, King Loki, whatever you want to call him. Loki from the future. I don’t think he actually exists, in the strictest sense. Remember in Journey Into Mystery, Loki wrote Leah into the Serpent’s story, which gave the Serpent a weakness that allowed Thor to whoop his ass?
I think Old Loki is still in the future… writing in a book, and King Loki is just a character he is inserting into his younger self’s story. We know already that Story Leah actually became real, because of the magic involved with the ‘pen’ and all, so that he is physically there in the story is consistent with that. Issue 3 is key, here. It’s probably my favorite of the run, even though I have noticed that is not a popular opinion. (how can you NOT love Loki shooting a giant fish with a bazooka? honestly.) But anyway. Note his method of time travel, he simply walks off panel and then suddenly there’s this page of the World Tree:
Which pretty much just spells it all out for you. Even the TITLE OF THE ISSUE. Once I went back and read this page with the theory in mind I was like ‘oh! of course!’ I really don’t know how i missed it before. I mean, initially when I read that I guess I was thinking the stuff about his story being re-written was metaphorical, and probably didn’t pay attention to the title, but now I think it’s more literal. And then, the next page, poof, he’s thousands of years in the past, simply walking on panel again:
I mean, that’s just a handwave. He time traveled, escaped from Asgard’s most secure dungeon cell in the process (and then later just WENT BACK, because it was needed for the story to work), but details how are not important so whatever, in the past now! He has time traveled before, but it wasn’t this easy, he had to make deals with Hela and stuff like that. Now he just goes for a leisurely stroll? Normally, that would be problematic storytelling, but if you read it with the idea of Loki in the future scribbling changes into a book, it works. Also note those parchment captions, which are the EXACT same style as JiM’s captions. For the most part, Agent of Asgard is ultra-modern looking in terms of the captions and stuff, cus Loki is a modern sort of guy. Ever since he was reincarnated he, unlike most Asgardians, totally embraces new technology, even after (a copy of) his old self took over his young body. His apartment is sleek and modern, he carries a smart phone, plays video games, watches movies, he’s a fan of Game of Thrones, (he says he’s Tyrion, but I think he’s got a good bit of Theon in him…. which probably isn’t a good thing) and so on. He’s not the type to cling to the old ways, and the lettering style of the mostly reflects that. And yet, every once in a while, the book has these parchment style captions among all the modernity. (and in issue 3, it’s nearly ALL the parchment captions) The comic has really good lettering, so I am sure it’s intentional. This is the story that’s being rewritten. So yeah. I think Old Loki is just a character being written by his future self, and has taken a life of his own, like Leah did. And future Loki may not actually be exactly like this. He hasn’t actually time traveled, technically, which explains how he is able to bend or outright break some of the Marvel time travel rules, and paradoxes are no longer a worry. The question that remains is WHY? Why would he torture his past self so? And I’m actually leaning towards a simple reason here: What’s a hero without a villain?
the big hitch though, is this panel:
He’s got Gram sticking through his chest, which should make him unable to lie, but… what he says technically isn’t true, if I’m right. But I’m thinking, if he is a character that the actual Future Loki created, if future Loki is actually writing the story, what he says may absolutely be true from the context of the STORY, so it may get a pass?