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Marvel Knights: Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers by Directed by Mark Cowart & Joel Gibbs
Review by Charles Mohapel
Shout! Factory DVD  ISBN/ITEM#: B0055CP9HC
Date: 30 August 2011 List Price $14.97 Amazon US / Amazon UK

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I was a fan of Thor and Asgard even before I discovered Marvel and The Mighty Thor, so when I saw this title I was eager to review it.

Directed by:
Mark Cowart
Joel Gibbs

Based on the acclaimed miniseries "Loki" by:
Robert Rodi (Story)
Esad Ribic (Art)

Story: Robert Rodi

Cast: Credited Cast:
David Blair... Loki
Elizabeth Diennet... Sif
Daniel Thorn... Thor

When I saw the title Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers, that was enough to request a copy of the DVD for review purposes, sight unseen. Not knowing that this DVD was based on the acclaimed miniseries Loki written by Robert Rodi with artwork by Esad Ribic was no deterrent to me.

Having read many stories about Asgard, Odin, Thor, Loki, et al, I was quite accustomed to seeing Loki playing second fiddle to the Mighty Thor, but here the roles were reversed and Loki has deposed Odin and is now ruling Asgard.

One would expect that with a humiliated Thor languishing in prison on Loki's orders, Loki's reign over Asgard would be very satisfying, but as we see, he is very unsatisfied and frustrated with the day-to-day routine required of the ruler.

I was quite unimpressed by the quality of the animation produced by Magnetic Dreams. This is the second Motion Comic I've watched, the first being the animation of the Watchmen twelve-issue comic book limited series created by writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colourist John Higgins. While the artwork in both Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers and Watchmen was superior to a regular animated series, the animation was very lacklustre. In my opinion, the Motion Comics that I've watched were a poor compromise since they mixed mediocre animation with beautiful artwork.

I found the pacing of the four episodes of the story to be very pedestrian and while it made for an interesting psychological study of Loki's relationships with Thor and the rest of Asgard, it was a very atypical Thor story--who stole the thunder from this Motion Comic?

Of the Bonus Features, my favorite was "Sons of Asgard - Looking Back At Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers" with Robert Rodi and Esad Ribic" since it provided great insights into creating the Motion Comic.

Parts One and Two of "Behind The Scenes" with Mike Halsey (President, Magnetic Dreams), Mark Cowart (Director), and Joel Gibbs (Director) showed that while they may be nice guys, their commentary was even more sleep-inducing than their Motion Comic. On the plus side Part Three of "Behind The Scenes" was pleasant and informative.

Watching the "Original Trailer", I really liked it--then I realized that it contained most of the action in the story.

While viewing the Also From Marvel Knights: Astonishing X-Men: Gifted on DVD; Spider-Woman: Agent Of S.W.O.R.D. on Blu-ray & DVD; Black Panther on DVD; and Iron Man: Extremis on DVD featurette, I found the added animation less grating than that of Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers. The soundtrack for Black Panther on DVD reminded me very much of Anime soundtracks, to the point where I had to replay this segment several times in order to hear what I suspect might have been an African language, but I would not want to gamble my life on my premise.

I'm sorry to say that I would recommend Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers on DVD only to Thor compleatists. Do yourself a favor and buy the acclaimed 4-part miniseries "Loki" written by Robert Rodi with artwork by Esad Ribic instead.

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