Marvel Knights Animation Collection

Looking Back at Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers

Writer Robert Rodi looks back at the creation of Loki, the basis for Marvel Knights Animation's 'Thor & Loki'!

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With the "Marvel Knights Animation Collection" now in stores, Marvel.com will bring you a spotlight on each of the five series collected within all this week! Bringing together "Astonishing X-Men: Gifted," "Iron Man: Extremis," "Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers," "Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D." and "Black Panther," the "Marvel Knights Animation Collection" on DVD gives you hours worth of Marvel animated action. Come back to Marvel.com every day this week for a new look at each series!

By Jim Beard

"Marvel Knights Animation Collection" box art

In honor of the release of the "Marvel Knights Animation Collection," a five-DVD set of animated series adapting Marvel graphic novels, we checked in with Robert Rodi, writer of 2005’s LOKI limited series from which “Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers” sprang.

“I never imagined LOKI as a film, but I did plot it out as a four-act play, and I strove to give it a sense of staging that would lend itself to the theater,” recalls the author. “At its heart it's a series of conversations between Loki and other people, by which he learns to recognize the truth about himself...too late. But of course these aren't just people, they're gods of Asgard, so the scale on which they live is so epic, so expansive; their smallest decisions alter the course of epochs. That, and the amazing Asgardian optics, makes it a slam-dunk for film.”

“Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers” peers deep into the early relationship of the young gods of thunder and mischief, revealing the inner workings of their rocky co-existence. Such tales of warring brothers continue to pique the interest of readers and audiences alike.

Screenshot from "Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers"

“The various gods of antiquity are representative figures; they embody basic human attributes,” notes Rodi. “That's the key to their enduring appeal. We look to them for clarification, for that galvanizing sense of wholeness. There's no ambiguity in them. What I did with LOKI was an experiment: I added in the ambiguity. It made everything that was clear seem suddenly murky, suddenly dissonant. It's a risky and very modern take on these characters, and I'm glad people responded to it as warmly as they have.

“And of course, at the end, everything ends up going back to the way it has to be...but with an element of tragedy. Gods and tragedy, another venerable pairing.”

Screenshot from "Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers"

Rodi’s proud of the end-result of the adaptation of his printed work, including the production values and the incredible voice actors involved.

“I wasn't involved in the production, so when producer Ruwan Jayatilleke showed me the first rough-cut sequences at the Marvel offices, I was suitably floored,” Rodi reports. “The weight and texture and depth they gave Esad [Ribic's] artwork are as impressive as the movement, which in itself is mind-blowing. And as I became more familiar with the project I was equally knocked flat by the acting, which is impeccable, and by the powerful, Carl Orff-like musical score. Everyone involved in this project just knocked it out of the park and over the Rainbow Bridge.

Screenshot from "Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers"

“Honestly, there's nothing I'd add or change. It's everything I would've wanted it to be.”

And as for the future, Rodi finds that seeing “Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers” puts him in mind of creating new works in a similar godly vein.

“Oh, it gave me a lot of ideas--bigger, broader, and more morally oblique,” he says of the entire production. “Here's hoping ‘Blood Brothers’ is sufficiently successful that I get a chance to try them out. I do love these characters and their world, and feel very much at home there. I should really just have a helmet. And a broadsword, or a spear or something. Though that would make it hard to walk the dog.”

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