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Madeleine Roux • WHAT IF… LOKI WAS WORTHY? 

Written By:

Ed Fortune
M_Roux

Madeleine Roux is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author whose work includes Star Wars, World of Warcraft, and Dungeons & Dragons. Their new book, What If… Loki Was Worthy? features the Marvel Universe version of Loki in a multiverse adventure. We caught up with Madeleine to find out more…

STARBURST: How would you pitch What If… Loki Was Worthy?  to an ancient god of mischief?

Madeleine Roux: What a fabulous question! Wow, no pressure. Okay! What if you had an idea for the funniest prank of all time, and it completely blew up in your face? That would be bad, right? Well, it gets so much worse! What if your family was furious, and they exiled you to Buffalo, New York? I know, I know, what’s a Buffalo, New York, you ask? Don’t worry, you’ll find out soon enough. But don’t worry, there will be boxed wine, football, and a pet lizard who opens your heart to new experiences. Stick around, do enough work on yourself, and you might get the powers of the God of Thunder, some friends, and a cool new costume.

What If… Loki Was Worthy? also features Valkyrie. Where do they fit in?

Valkyrie is sort of the truth north of this novel. She starts out very confident in where she fits into things, and when Thor dies – not a spoiler! – she has to go through a major upheaval. Ragnarok is a major part of life for Asgardians, and when the validity of that cycle gets called into question, it triggers an obvious identity crisis for most of them, Valkyrie included. So, she’s asking some massive questions about her own destiny and her own future while also being assigned to babysit Loki on Earth. Where he is chaotic and cunning, she is brave, competent, and confident. They play off of each other well, even if Loki is constantly exasperating to her.

What was the toughest part of writing this book?

My older brother passed just before starting work on the book. It was an intense coincidence that Marvel wanted me to do a book about sibling loss right after I had experienced it. I couldn’t look away from the coincidence, so I dove in. It was a way to stay connected to my brother even after he was gone. I spent every workday thinking about him, about the way his absence affects my life, and it allowed me to explore some raw, real things through these characters. That was tough because there was no escaping the similarities, but it also brought me to some meaningful truths and some beautiful moments of transformation for Loki, Valkyrie, Tony, and Jane.

Why do you think Loki is so popular as a character?

I think heroes can be self-serious, and sometimes you want that, but there’s something seductive and exciting about a misfit. Loki is a flamboyant, bisexual trickster with a ton of swagger – he’s not a square, he’s got a well-developed sense of humour, and at the end of the day, he’s most interested in pursuing what amuses him. That lack of restraint scratches something in our lizard brains. I also think there’s a deeply relatable side to him – he’s the outcast of the family, the black sheep, and many of us can see ourselves in the way that dynamic plays out with his family.

Why do you think the Norse myths have endured?

I don’t think we can ignore the strong aesthetic component of their lasting influence. The imagery is iconic, grandiose, and inspiring, and I think it will always appeal to humans. There’s also something fascinating about blending real-world myth with superheroes, who are modern mythology.

What other part of the Marvel Universe would you like to explore?

I would absolutely love to do a She-Hulk novel or comic. As a powerlifter, she’s one of my inspirations!

What other projects would you like to work on?

I quite honestly get to do my dream jobs each day. I’ve published over twenty novels, and most of them are my own original IPs. Just getting to do that is a blessing.

What’s next for you?

The third in my middle-grade series for Dungeons & Dragons (Dungeon Academy) is releasing in May, and my second romance novel, Much Ado about Margaret, will be out this fall. I’ve also got an exciting young adult novel on the way in 2025, and I’m about to pitch my first epic fantasy series.

Loki or Thor?
Loki!

Cyborgs or Dinosaurs?
I’m a huge Horizon Zero Dawn nerd, so…both? But if pressed, dinosaurs.

Kittens or Puppies?
Puppies, I’ve got two of my own!

Truth or Beauty?
I’d argue you can’t have one without the other, but again, if pressed, truth.

WHAT IF… LOKI WAS WORTHY? is out now.

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