Journey Into Mystery #632

Loki and Ikol are recapping on their adventures over the past year. Loki looks at things in a better light (Asgard’s building itself back up again, they saved everyone from The Serpent…), while Ikol looks at things a little more darkly (Asgard is still ‘fallen’, Thor died…). It’s the holiday season, so Loki is ready to be merry, Ikol says it will all end in doom.

Asgardia is getting ready for its Yule festivities, and has invited everyone from nearby Broxton, OK to attend. The All-Mother has also asked Volstagg to play an important role to make the Midgardians feel at home. Volstagg hopes it’ll have something to do with food or drink, however the All-Mother says they have a different idea. Volstagg gets to play Santa Claus. Who better?? While Volstagg hands out Midgardian toys that he can’t even fathom a use for, Loki looks on at the periphery. Some other Asgardian kids his age come up to him and tell him they have a Yule gift for him as well. Instead of toys, candy or…anything nice…they give Loki the gift of a ‘Yuletide Fist’ in the face and walk off laughing. Just when you think Asgard is getting some class…sigh

Leah is still in her cave, not enjoying the evening by herself, when Hela drops in with a box. Leah thinks it’s for her, but it’s not. Hela drops the box and leaves. Hela’s a real sweetheart too, apparently. As Leah sits in the cold night with just a fire to keep her warm and a gift that’s not for her, Loki wanders through the blizzardy night, feeling extremely put-out by the rude behavior of his fellows in Asgard. He tells Ikol it’s little wonder he turned evil (I’d have to wonder the same!). He drops in on Leah to give some cake he’d brought with him and sees her holding the box. Leah tries to explain the box isn’t from her as Loki happily snatches it up.

The box breaks up and out fall a litter of puppies! Sweet, cute barking little puppies…except one. One of them breathes fire and has a rather crass vocabulary. Instead of saying “Arf arf!” he just yells “DEATH!!!” and runs off into the blustery night. Loki follows after him, because a fire-breathing puppy that screams “MURDER!” and “DEATH TO ASGARD!!” isn’t going to last long. After catching the errant puppy, he goes back to Leah’s cave and finds a letter from Garm, the Wolf that guards Hela’s domain. The letter informs Loki that when he brought the Hel Wolf down to distract Garm for her watch, and allow him inside, she and Hel Wolf did a little more than fighting, and now here’s these puppies and they’re Loki’s problem since Hel Wolf was Loki’s ‘pet’ and Garm is busy with her guardian duties.

This was an unexpected byproduct of Loki’s activities during the second War of the Serpent! He takes all the puppies to the All-Mother wondering what he should do with them. The fire-breathing puppy is his crass little self as he calls the All-Mother ‘Foul hag queens’. They tell Loki he needs to find homes for the little ones, and if there are leftovers…well, he needed to do what needed to be done about them.

Loki and Leah set to finding homes for the little guys. Mephisto takes one because Hela had a big dog guarding her realm, and he has to have one too, because it’s way cool. They play on Gaea’s mothering instinct to take another. The New Mutants accept a new canine housemate on behalf of their Valkyrie roomie. Heimdall gets a watchdog to help him watch. Tyr takes one because he misses the hounds and hunts. The totally cutest one went to Midgard to live a pampered life. The mouthy, fire-breathing one…well. He had no takers. The All-Mother tells Loki that this puppy was just born bad and there was no helping him.

Loki and Ikol go to the edge of the World Tree, and Ikol bids Loki to just toss the potty-mouthed puppy over the edge to it’s death. Loki holds him over the edge and simply can’t do that. Loki names the little terror ‘Thori’ and declares he’s not going to just give up on Thori, and that he’s a good dog. Loki then pays Leah a visit, tells her Thori is going to keep her company, and gives her a Yuletide Fist, albeit a much gentler bump on the arm instead of a right hook to the jaw. She becomes annoyed with his antics and blasts him and Thori out into the cold. Thori calls her a ‘scary girl’ and Loki agrees. Thori, however, is still not accepting of his name or station in life, but Loki’s not giving up on him, even though Thori threatens to kill him. Loki believes Thori will be the best of all dogs. We’ll see how that turns out for him!

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