While you don't necessarily have to have read the previous JIM installments to understand what's happening here, I think it would definitely help. This book takes everything that I love about Loki and frames it with plausibility. Loki was bad, there's no getting around that. But here he's been made a teenager with a clean slate even though he's still the same trickster god, though that's toned down to an age-appropriate level. You can tell that Gillen loves these characters and has a blast writing the series. His way of merging contemporary Loki with his inseparable Asgardian backstory is perfect and hilarious.I laughed. A lot.The one thing that I would add is that I it took me a bit to adjust myself from Mitch Breitwesier's gorgeous muted tonal art to Elson's more clean style. In any case this volume is a great way to jump into the series and the laugh to cost ratio makes it well worth the investment.