Over the weekend, we took Namine to see Marvel Universe Live. Seeing it prompted some questions from Namine.
That evening, after I tucked Namine into bed, she asked me a question.
“Daddy, why is Loki a bad guy? Why doesn’t he join the Avengers like his brother Thor, and help people?”
I didn’t really know how to answer that. Sure, in comics, each hero needs a villain. Often, each hero has several villains. A rogues’ gallery, if you will. But Namine wasn’t approaching it as fiction. Though she knows the difference between fantasy and reality, she’s invested in the story. As a result, each decision, each character, must be analyzed. Their decisions must be logical, she reasons, so their actions can be explained.
I decided to answer with another question. “Well, let me ask you this. Why do you want to be a good person?”
“I want to be a good person because I love you and Mommy. Maybe Loki doesn’t love anyone?”
“I don’t know about that. Everybody loves something. What do you think Loki loves?”
“Himself? He wants power for himself, so… he acts pretty selfish.”
“He’s evil because he’s only loving himself. But his brother helps people. He’s not selfish. That’s what makes him a good guy.” Namine paused, thinking. Then she said, “If Loki loved other people as much as himself, then he could be an Avenger like his brother, Thor. I think his brother would like that. I know I would.”