Loki (comics)

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Loki
Loki Laufeyson Earth 616.jpg
Cover art of Thor Vol 2 No. 64 (July 2003)
Art by Ben Lai.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearancehistorical: Venus #6 (August 1949)
modern day: Journey into Mystery No. 85 (October 1962)
Created byStan Lee
Larry Lieber
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Full nameLoki Laufeyson
SpeciesJötunn (Frost Giant)
Team affiliationsActs of Vengeance
Cabal
Young Avengers
Notable aliasesLoki Odinson, Scarlet Witch, Serrure
Abilities

Despite being a member of the Frost Giants, Loki possesses similar attributes to those possessed by Asgardians, such as:

Abilities via mystical powers:

 
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Loki
Loki Laufeyson Earth 616.jpg
Cover art of Thor Vol 2 No. 64 (July 2003)
Art by Ben Lai.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearancehistorical: Venus #6 (August 1949)
modern day: Journey into Mystery No. 85 (October 1962)
Created byStan Lee
Larry Lieber
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Full nameLoki Laufeyson
SpeciesJötunn (Frost Giant)
Team affiliationsActs of Vengeance
Cabal
Young Avengers
Notable aliasesLoki Odinson, Scarlet Witch, Serrure
Abilities

Despite being a member of the Frost Giants, Loki possesses similar attributes to those possessed by Asgardians, such as:

Abilities via mystical powers:

Loki is a fictional character, a supervillain who appears in comic books by Marvel Comics. He is the adoptive brother and archenemy of Thor. He is based on the being of the same name from Norse mythology. The character first appeared historically in Venus No. 6 (August 1949) and in modern day in Journey into Mystery No. 85 (October 1962). The character was created by writer Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and penciller Jack Kirby.

Loki has appeared in several ongoing series, limited series and alternate reality series, including his own 4-issue series Loki (2004). He appeared in the new issues of Young Avengers in 2013. He will appear in his solo series Loki: Agent of Asgard in 2014. The character has also appeared in associated Marvel merchandise including animated television series, clothing, toys, video games, and movies.

In 2009, Loki was ranked as IGN's 8th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.[1]

Tom Hiddleston first portrayed Loki in the 2011 live action film Thor directed by Kenneth Branagh then again in The Avengers (2012) and Thor: The Dark World (2013).

Publication history[edit]

Loki in his first appearance and publication in the Venus comics (1949).

Loki made his first Marvel Comics appearance in Timely Comics' publication Venus No. 6 (August 1949), where Loki was depicted as a member of the Olympian gods exiled to the Underworld, and here resembled the traditional image of the Devil. He convinced Jupiter to let him into Earth as Venus was allowed onto it, planning to spread hate. Venus pledged herself to him to stop his plans, but Jupiter saw her unselfish act and freed her from the pledge, and Loki was sent back to the Underworld. He made his first official Marvel appearance in Journey into Mystery No. 85 (October 1962), where Loki was reintroduced as Thor's sworn enemy. The modern age Loki was introduced by brothers and co-writers Stan Lee and Larry Lieber and he was redesigned by Jack Kirby.

As one of Thor's arch-nemeses, Loki has frequently made appearances in Thor-related titles like Journey into Mystery and Thor, as well as other Marvel Universe titles such as The Avengers and X-Men.[2] As well as brief appearances in the Spider-Man and Defenders comic series. He was the starring character in two four-issue miniseries Loki in 2004 and 2010.[3][4][5]

Loki played a key role in the 2010s company-wide Siege storyline, in which the character is eventually killed.

Starting with issue No. 622 the ongoing series Thor reverted to the original title Journey into Mystery and shifted focus to Loki. Under the pen of Kieron Gillen, Loki is resurrected but exists in a child's body. He remained the main character from 2011-2012, his final issue as lead being No. 645.

Gillen, joined by penciller Jamie McKelvie, continued his Loki storyline by introducing Loki, still as Kid Loki, as a main character in the second Young Avengers, which began in 2013.[6] In issue No. 11, he manipulated Wiccan into restoring him to a teenaged form.[7]

A Loki solo series called Loki: Agent of Asgard was announced for 2014. Writer Al Ewing said that among other things, the series will explore Loki's bisexuality and fluid gender identity, writing "Loki is bi and I'll be touching on that. He'll shift between genders occasionally as well."[8]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Many years ago, when Bor, ruler of Asgard, was battling frost giants, he followed a wounded giant to a powerful sorcerer that was waiting for him. The sorcerer caught him unaware, turning Bor into snow. Bor's son, Odin, found his father as he was blowing away; Bor begged Odin to find a sorcerer to free him, but Odin made no attempt to save his father. Bor cursed Odin saying that he would take in the son of a fallen king and raise it as his own. Not a week later, Odin himself led the Asgardians into battle against the Frost Giants and killed Laufey, who was the King, in personal combat. After slaying Laufey, Odin found a small Asgardian-sized child hidden within the primary stronghold of the Frost Giants. The child was Loki and Laufey had kept him hidden from his people due to his shame over his son's small size. Odin took the boy, out of a combination of pity, to appease his father, and because he was the son of a worthy adversary slain in honorable combat, and raised him as his son alongside his biological son Thor.[9]

Throughout their childhood and into adolescence, Loki was resentful of the differences in which he and Thor were treated by the citizens of Asgard. The Asgardians valued great strength, tenacity, and bravery in battle above all things, and Loki was clearly inferior to his foster brother Thor in those areas. What he lacked in size and strength, however, he made up for in power and skill, particularly as a sorcerer. As Loki grew to adulthood, his natural talent for causing mischief would make itself manifest and earned him a nickname as the "God of Lies and Mischief"; his mischievousness eventually became malice as his hunger for power and revenge grew stronger. Several times he tried to use tricks to get rid of Thor, like telling him to guard a hole in the wall he had made. In time, his reputation grew from being a playful and mischievous trickster to the "God of Evil". Over the centuries, Loki attempted on many occasions to seize rulership of Asgard and to destroy Thor. He even helped the Storm giant Ghan to escape Thor planning to get a debt from him later, and aided other enemies of Asgard, planning to take over. Odin, who had grown weary of Loki's mischief, magically imprisoned him within a tree until someone would shed a tear for him. Loki eventually freed himself by causing a leaf to strike Heimdall, the guardian of Bifrost, in the eye, which made him shed a tear. Loki compiled an extensive criminal record in Asgard, and was frequently exiled.[10] He met the Sorcerer Eldred, who taught him black magic. He repaid Eldred by later giving him to the Fire demon Surtur.

Battles with Earth's heroes[edit]

Loki's schemes eventually came to include Earth itself, and he often fought with Earth's superhuman heroes to take their planet, and often Asgard itself. He first battled Thor on Earth in modern times after escaping from the tree;[11] Loki then manipulated the Hulk into wreaking havoc using an illusion of dynamite on train tracks, while in astral form in an attempt to lure Thor to Earth, which inadvertently led to the formation of the Avengers as several other heroes came to meet the Hulk.[12]

Thor was one of the founding members of this superhuman team, and often led them in battle against his brother. Several times Loki, while not directly battling Thor himself, caused threats for Thor to battle, like increasing the mental powers of a carnival fortune teller Sandu, making him powerful enough to lift buildings with his mind,[13] and releasing a Lava man called Molto by accident when he caused a long-dead volcano to explode.[14] When Loki convinced Odin to punish Thor, Odin took away half of Thor's power, after which Loki returned the memory of the 23rd century villain Zarrko. Zarkko defeated Thor and took him back to help conquer his time period, although the God of Thunder was able to finally capture the villain.[15] Loki even released Mr. Hyde and Cobra by paying their bail, then doubled their powers. Loki told them to kidnap Jane Foster, which he knew would attract Thor's attention, but they were again defeated.[16] Loki finally went after Jane Foster himself, sending her to another dimension. However Doctor Strange was able to protect her, and Thor forced Loki to return her.[17]

Among Loki's better known henchmen was the human criminal Carl "The Crusher" Creel, whom Loki transformed into the superhuman criminal known as the Absorbing Man.[18] Creel would prove to be a formidable adversary to Thor over the years. Loki went so far as to attempt to turn Odin against Thor and to steal Thor's enchanted hammer, Mjolnir in an attempt to free himself, but all his efforts failed. When he convinced Odin to go to Earth and leave him in charge of Asgard with part of the Odinforce, he released Skagg, the largest Storm Giant, and Surtur, the huge Fire Demon, to try to destroy Odin. However Thor and Balder helped defeat the monsters, and Loki was sent to serve the Trolls. Loki was responsible for the Destroyer being awakened, by leading a Hunter to the Temple where the Destroyer armor resided using his mental abilities while Thor was nearby, causing the Hunter's soul to animate the armor, but Thor forced the Hunter to return to his body, then buried the armor under thousands of tons of rock.[19] The Absorbing Man was brought back to Earth by Loki, and battled Thor, but Loki quickly took him to Asgard when Thor was on the verge of defeating him. The Absorbing Man defeated the Asgardians without too much trouble and absorbed Odin's attacks. However Loki and his ally were exiled into space due to a trick by Odin.[20] He sent his astral form back to Earth and took over the Destroyer armor, attempting to take over Asgard, but Odin sent Balder to discover the location of Loki, then used his powers to send Loki out of the Destroyer armor.[21]

Taking over Asgard[edit]

Loki's destiny to be the cause of Ragnarok was later recounted.[22] Loki returned from his exile in space, but was then stripped of his powers and exiled to Earth by Odin. Loki plotted to gain new powers from Karnilla; however, this accidentally created the Wrecker, who gained Asgardian powers when he was mistaken for Loki after knocking him out and putting on his helmet just before Karnilla appeared in response to Loki's ritual. He almost killed Thor by collapsing a building on him, as Thor had been stripped of all his powers except his strength by Odin. Loki then fomented a battle between Thor and the Destroyer animated by Sif.[23] Loki then took command of Asgard during the Odinsleep, using his right as the 'son' of Odin before Thor could claim it, but fled when Asgard was invaded by Mangog as he realized that this new foe was too powerful.[24]

Loki later usurped the throne of Asgard by taking the Odinring, but fled again when Asgard was invaded by Surtur.[25] He subsequently attempted to destroy Thor by switching bodies with him, leaving him with Thor's raw strength against Thor's inexperienced use of his magic, but Thor was able to regain his true appearance by tricking Loki into throwing Mjolnir away so that it became stuck in a cliff, causing Thor's body to return to the form of Donald Blake and allowing Thor to regain control of his true form.[26] Much later, Loki usurped the throne of Asgard again, and set the Destroyer against Thor once more.[27] Shortly after that, Loki caused the temporary death of Balder using mistletoe, as he had conspired with Hela to cause Ragnarok if his last plan failed. At this time, Loki's estranged wife Sigyn returned to Asgard. When Loki was chained and a viper dripped poison onto his face as punishment for killing Balder, Sigyn tried helping him. Loki attempted to bring about Ragnarok, but was foiled by Odin.[28] Alongside Tyr and his forces, Loki stole the golden apples of Idunna and invaded Asgard with help from the Midgard serpent, but then changed sides and aided Odin's forces in defeating Tyr.[29]

Despite Loki's hatred of his foster brother and father, Loki helped to defend Asgard from destruction from Surtur and his fire demons. This was because Surtur's goal was to destroy Asgard, whereas Loki sought only to rule it. Alongside Odin and Thor, Loki battled Surtur, and witnessed the seeming demise of Odin.[30] Not long after that, Loki transformed Thor into a frog for a time, using the Twilight Sword. Thor was turned back when Volstagg destroyed one of the machines Loki had used to transform Thor.[31] He then involved the X-Men and Alpha Flight in a plot to gain favor with "Those Who Sit Above in Shadow" by trying to prove that he could do a truly good deed by offering to grant the wishes of the two teams - such as giving Puck a normal body while granting Rogue the ability to touch again - but he failed the test because he tried to force the gifts on the heroes after they rejected them, the two teams learning that these enhanced powers - and the further powers that Loki would grant to the world - would deprive those who received the gifts of the ability to imagine and create new things, essentially destroying what it meant to be human.[32]

Acts of Vengeance[edit]

In disguise, Loki manipulated a group of master villains into engineering the "Acts of Vengeance". With these prime movers, he set in motion a plot against the Avengers and other heroes. He sent the Juggernaut against Thor, and cast a spell that caused temporary bouts of weakness in Thor. He battled the combined forces of the West Coast and East Coast Avengers. His identity was ultimately revealed, and he was defeated by the Avengers.[33][34][35] Loki would actually die at the hands of Thor,[36] although, manipulation of the time stream would later bring him back.[37]

Modern era[edit]

Loki's female form, taken from Lady Sif. Art by Olivier Coipel.

Morwen, a powerful agent of chaos, was released and took Tessa Black, a child of Loki, as a host. With Doctor Strange unavailable, Loki and Spider-Man work together to free her. Loki proclaims he owes an as yet unpaid debt to his temporary ally.[38]

A short while later, Loki was prophesied to lead Asgard's enemies into destroying the "Eternal Realm" in a final conflict known as Ragnarök, part of the continuing Asgardian cycle of the birth, life, and death presided over by beings known as "Those Who Sit Above in Shadow" who drew sustenance from the energies expended during these cycles. In the final confrontation between the brother before that battle, Thor hung Loki's head from his belt so he could watch the final moments of the battle.[39]

After Ragnarök, Loki returned in a female body working with Doctor Doom so Thor would unwittingly resurrect his Asgardian enemies[40] and manipulated Balder to make him the new successor to the throne of Asgard.[41] In reality, Loki retained his male form after Ragnarok but hid himself inside Thor's reborn lover Sif. During this period, Hela and Loki used magic to send Loki to the past to cause the events that led to his younger self being adopted by Odin as a means to eliminate Bor, Thor's grandfather.[42]

During the Secret Invasion, Loki goaded the Asgardians into believing Beta Ray Bill was a Skrull, but Thor showed that Loki was lying.[43] After the Skrulls were defeated, she joined the Cabal, consisting of herself, Norman Osborn, Emma Frost, Doctor Doom, Namor, and the Hood,[44] so Osborn could launch his new world order, promising Loki Asgard back in the heavens where it belonged.[45] Loki and Sif are soon restored to their respective bodies[46] and following the Hood's depowerment, Loki offers him second chance.[47]

Mighty Avengers[edit]

Loki as the Scarlet Witch.

The Scarlet Witch appeared in her astral form recruiting a team of Avengers to face the Elder God Chthon.[48] It was soon revealed that Wanda was Loki in disguise. The Avengers, unaware of Loki's trick, followed the false "Wanda's" instructions.[49] Her goal was to throw Norman Osborn off balance, as shown during the second meeting of the Cabal. After Thor was banished due to her trickery, Loki intended to put "cracks in Osborn's armor" and gradually "widen" these cracks through the Mighty Avengers. Pietro Maximoff, desiring to see and converse with his sister, joined the Mighty Avengers. He raced around the world searching for her, not knowing that his nephews Billy and Tommy had just done so and also failed to find her.[50]

However, Loki had planned on the deaths of Pietro and Cassandra Lang, fearing they may be wedges in her plans. She cut off communications from the former, and tried to convince Hank Pym to expel Cassie after placing a spell on her to prevent her from saying anything bad about her disguise. The latter, however, invited her fellow Young Avengers into the Infinite Avengers Mansion (an extension of the PymPocket), to prove that the Scarlet Witch was evil. When Wiccan cast a spell to bring Scarlet Witch to them, Loki appeared as Scarlet Witch and stated that Cassandra Lang sealed their fate. Just then, Ronin appeared and ambushed the "Scarlet Witch."[51] He determined that she was not Wanda by kissing her and stating that the real Scarlet Witch would have used her power to revive Cassandra's father. Wiccan then chanted a spell to reveal her true form. Afraid of exposure, Loki was forced to leave swearing all their deaths.[52] The continued achievements of the Mighty Avengers strained Osborn to the breaking point. Loki decided to play the final card that would break Osborn by unleashing the Absorbing Man, who had absorbed the power of the Cosmic Cube.[53] In the Dark Avengers, Loki was in Norman Osborn's office and manipulated him into becoming the Green Goblin again, as Siege begins.[54]

Siege[edit]

Loki was present at the Cabal when Norman Osborn denied to bring Namor to Doctor Doom. When the Doombot posing as Doctor Doom unleashed insect-like robots, Loki advised the Hood to take flight. Following Osborn's talk with the President, Loki advised to recreate an incident similar to the Stamford Incident that would bring about the invasion upon Asgard.[55][56]

He then revealed a plot to Osborn that would take advantage of Volstagg's presence in Chicago. Since Volstagg had gone for adventures like Thor, the U-Foes could attack him and destroy a packed Soldier Field during an American football game killing thousands while he and Osborn watch in astral form. Loki then warned Balder about Osborn's impending attack on Asgard and claimed he tried to convince Osborn not to attack.[57][58] He killed an Asgardian who prophesied the attack and sends Heimdall's chamber beneath Asgard[59] so he couldn't warn the Asgardians in time. Loki, when Osborn called out to him for their aid, sent the Hood and his syndicate as reinforcements to help Osborn's forces against the Avengers.[60][61] Loki later appeared to Balder, telling him that he would have simply pardoned Thor instead of banishing him if he had not wanted the throne of Asgard for himself. Balder later banished Loki from Asgard.[62]

Some time after he magically disguised himself as Osborn's Green Goblin persona to lay siege to Asgard, Loki encountered the Disir (the Valkyries of Bor) after he lured them using several wandering god's souls he imprisoned as bait, revealing that he desired to gain their service as his slaves. The 13 Disir unite and assault him as one, but Loki managed to defeat them using extraordinary swordsmanship skills, thus forcing them to submit to him and declare him the victor. Loki meets with Hela and asks her what she will give in exchange for a new Hel, to which she answers 'Anything.' He meets with Mephisto, demonstrating the power of the Disir and agreeing to lend him the Disir for a hundred and one days in exchange for the demon lord granting a portion of his netherworld to Hela for one thousand and one years, as her new "Hel", which Mephisto agrees to. In exchange for this, Hela erased Loki from the Books of Hel, thus he was no longer tied to Hel or Asgard, gaining absolute freedom. Mephisto asked Loki why he had resorted to such schemes, to which Loki replied it was more fun this way.[63][64]

When the combined forces of the New Avengers, Young Avengers and the Secret Warriors defeated the Dark Avengers, Thor demanded to know where Loki was. Norman Osborn could only tell him that he was dead, just like the rest of them as the true form of the Void appeared.[60][61] As the creature tore apart the three teams, Loki began to repent, realizing that what had happened to Asgard was not what he wanted. He begged his father, Odin, to return to him the Norn Stones, which were taken away from the Hood and given to the trickster. He used their power to empower the three teams and give the powers of the Hood's gang to them and fight back against the Void. However, the Void sensed Loki's hand in this and attacked him, the stones not affecting him directly. As Loki was torn apart by the Void's tendrils in front of a shocked Thor, his last words were to apologize to his brother. Thor resolved to avenge his fallen brother and destroyed the Void and the Sentry with a lightning strike. He took the Sentry's remains into outer space, and released them into the Sun.[65][66]

Reincarnation[edit]

Loki reincarnated, in Thor #617.

Thor, missing his brother, searched for Loki who had returned to life in the form of a young boy; as his schemes had his name removed from the Book of Hel, allowing him to permanently cheat death. Now located in Paris, France, Loki was a street hustler going by the name of Serrure (the French word for lock), who feigned simple card tricks in front of an audience while an accomplice pickpocketed them. Thor, in civilian disguise, gave chase, resulting in the restoration of Loki's memory, but not of his past life with the exception of a guilty conscience for things he cannot remember. With nothing to lose, Loki followed Thor, who restored part of his identity to him (though he remains in the form of a child), and asked when Thor got so old, to which Thor smiled.[67] Thor took Loki to the remains of Asgard where plans were made to help the refugees of the World Tree.[68] With the resurrection of Odin, Loki was frightened away and fled with Thor who lambasted Odin for scaring him away. Running into Iron Man, Loki was saved by Thor who defended his own reasons for bringing the trickster back.[69]

Journey into Mystery[edit]

With the Asgardian population other than Thor still wary of Loki, Loki revealed to his brother that he was attempting to learn more about Earth and humans, to which Thor approves. When a magpie exploded in his quarters carrying a key, it led to a chain of events where at the end, Loki was contacted by an echo of his former incarnation, who revealed he chose to sacrifice himself fighting the Void as part of a greater plan which would involve his death and return. The child Loki refused to follow this path, wanting to be his own person, and transformed the spirit of his former self into a magpie named Ikol. On returning to Earth, he witnessed Odin striking down Thor.[70]

Odin prepared all of Asgard for an unknown battle and imprisoned Thor for attempting to protect Midgard from being scoured. Loki, who disagreed with Odin's actions, was put to work by Volstagg into cleaning the stables of Thor's goats to keep him out of trouble and danger. Using the wool of one of the goats, Loki descended into the roots of the World Tree at the advice of Ikol to ask questions from the Nornish women who live there. After receiving his answers, Loki wept but decided to turn to the imprisoned Thor for his opinion before making his final decision. Breaking into the prison by stealth, Loki asked his brother what he would do if he had to let something bad happen in order to prevent something worse from happening and what if it cost him everything. With Thor's answer, Loki decided to free one of the imprisoned Hel Wolves and bind it to him in servitude using the bridle of Thor's goats. He revealed he needed help from one more 'personage' before heading for the realm of Hela.[71]

Having recovered Thor's hammer after he was killed and erased from memory following the war against the Serpent, Loki was able to work with the Silver Surfer to restore the hammer to its natural state and send it to Thor in the afterlife, restoring his memory and allowing him to fight his way back into the realm of the living.[72] After Thor's return, Ikol would afterwards reveal that circumstances had been manipulated to force the young Loki to allow his former personality to subsume him and live again, his former slate wiped clean by the "new" Loki's actions.[volume & issue needed] During his adventures, the young Loki had inadvertently helped create and was tied to a powerful artifact that was about to be used by Mephisto to conquer all the Hells and ultimately everything.[volume & issue needed] However, if the new Loki ceased to be, the artifact would lose all power. Seeing no other option, Loki allowed Ikol to become Loki again, ceasing to be, but he warned beforehand that the Ikol personality was incapable of true change and believed this older persona would ultimately be stopped by those who always stopped him before, his brother included.[volume & issue needed]

Young Avengers[edit]

Kid Loki joined the Young Avengers in the 2013 relaunch of the series as part of Marvel NOW!.[73] When Wiccan and Hulkling are captured by an interdimensional parasite known as Mother, Loki comes to their aid and rescues them from the prison that they were being held in. They admit that they need help to defeat the creature, but are wary of trusting Loki, knowing who he is. They go to Asgard, and are met with Loki's father.[74] With the help of Ms. America, the team flee to New York City, but are once again met by the parasite, and are captured.[75] They are saved by Kate Bishop and Noh-Var, but are then attacked by citizens of New York, who fall under the control of Mother as the team flies by in Noh-Var's ship. The team flee to Central Park in order to minimize the number of civilians in the area.Once there, Loki tells the group that their only choice to save themselves is to either kill Wiccan, or allow Loki to borrow Wiccan's powers for ten minutes so that he can save them.Seeing no other option, Wiccan agrees, and Loki immediately teleports away, seemingly abandoning the group to face the mob of mind controlled New Yorkers on their own.[76]

While he intended to leave them to die, Loki has an internal conversation with the child self that he killed at the end of Journey into Mystery, and is convinced to return to the team. Once there, he defeats the creature, but the team is forced to leave New York, as Wiccan's spell is still intact.[77] While the rest of the team is busy, Loki meets with Mother, revealing that he had planned everything that had happened with the parasite, working in order to gain access to Wiccan's immense power so that he can gain back the abilities he lost when he was reincarnated.[78]

The team is left in a situation where neither Wiccan nor Loki are powerful enough to fight Mother. In order to increase Loki's power, Wiccan ages Loki's body to that of a teenager, increasing his powers.[79] Now able to take on Mother, as well as Leah, who had recruited the exes of the other Young Avengers members, the group goes to Mother's dimension to stop things once and for all. In his confrontation with Leah, she taunts him for destroying his younger self.[80] Realizing that she is merely an illusion created by his own guilty conscious, Loki confesses his part in freeing Mother, as well as for killing his younger self. Now sated, the exes and Leah vanish, allowing the Young Avengers to defeat Mother. When Wiccan turns to introduce his teammate to his parents, he finds that Loki is missing, having fled the scene wracked with guilt over his actions.[81] Later, when the team throws a New Year's party, Prodigy sees Loki watching them and confronts him, only to find out that Loki supplied the money behind the party. Loki admits that if he came back, the team would probably forgive him, and therefore he will not show himself, feeling unworthy of their forgiveness. After briefly making a pass at Prodigy, Loki appears to teleport away. As the party ends and the team leaves, Loki looks on fondly at a photo of himself with the team.[82]

Agent of Asgard[edit]

In a mission for the All-Mother, Loki travelled from space to Midgard in order to collect five keys Odin had once forged for him, should he be worthy. Using his sorcery and wits, Loki used the keys to claim Gram, the sword of Sigurd, as his own.[83]

Genealogy[edit]

Loki's family tree as it appears in Thor #500 (July 1996):


 
 
 
 
 
 
Buri
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mimir
 
Bor
 
Bestla
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jord
 
 
Grid
 
Odin
 
Frigga
 
Vili
 
Ve
 
Laufey
 
Farbauti
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thor
 
Vidar
 
Tyr
 
Hermod
 
Balder
 
 
 
 
 
Loki
(adopted by
Odin & Frigga)

Powers and abilities[edit]

Loki is a member of the race of Frost Giants of Jotunheim, although not a giant in stature. He possesses physical attributes equal to a fit member of the race known as the Asgardian Gods, such as enhanced strength; stamina, speed, durability, (his Frost Giant metabolism grants him superhuman levels of physical stamina in practically all activities); durability enough to harmlessly withstand high-caliber bullets; and immunity to all known diseases and toxins, as well as resistance to magic.

Loki possesses genius-level intelligence and has extensive training in magic, and possesses the ability to manipulate magical forces for a variety of purposes: energy projection, creation of force fields, temporarily increasing his own physical strength, granting superhuman abilities to living beings or inanimate objects, flight, hypnosis, illusion casting, and inter-dimensional teleportation.

Loki's magical abilities have been described as equal to those of Karnilla, the most skilled sorceress of Asgard.[86][87] His illusion casting can fool cities,[88] and powerful entities such as Surtur.[volume & issue needed] He has been able to break free of Celestial technology in the possession of Apocalypse.[89]

Loki possesses extrasensory abilities and is capable of astral projection and casting his thoughts across great distances—even across dimensional barriers, like that between Asgard and Earth—even if he is unable to move. He cannot read the minds of other beings, although he can influence their actions, and once briefly hypnotized Thor, as well as controlling a flock of birds. However he could not coerce Thor to give him Mjolnir.[11] If someone has evil thoughts, Loki can influence their actions even if he is in Asgard and the subject is on Earth,[19] and he can influence other events to a degree, such as driving a missile from its path,[90] or redirecting a radio signal.[91]

Loki is an adept shapeshifter and can change into animals (examples include transmogrification to a salmon, horse, etc.) or impersonate other people, such as Thor or Captain America. However, he does not necessarily gain the abilities of whatever he turns into, although minor natural abilities such as flight in bird form tend to work. Loki may mimic the abilities of some supernatural beings if he turn into such creatures. He has also turned clouds into dragons, and animated trees to attack Thor.[92]

Loki imbued himself with magical abilities that enable him to withstand injuries that would prove fatal to another Asgardian, such as being beheaded by Balder. He has also been shown to be immune to the Controller's control disk,[93] the mental influence of the Voice, and the power-sapping abilities of Rogue.[94]

Loki crafted a method of cheating death. He will be reincarnated upon any "death" of his body now that he has arranged with the incarnations of death that his name is erased from the books of Hel.[63][64]

Loki possesses a brilliant intellect, with some knowledge of technology, as when he created a machine to amplify Iceman's powers,[volume & issue needed] and attaching devices to the Twilight sword to tap into its powers.[volume & issue needed] He is an expert manipulator and schemer, frequently using pawns in his plans. He is sometimes armed with a sword, a whip, or a three-pronged spear and has used magical items (such as the Norn Stones[volume & issue needed]) to enhance his powers.

Other versions[edit]

Loki Triumphant[edit]

Loki from Loki Vol 1 No. 2 (September 2004).
Art by Esad Ribic.

A 4 issue series simply titled "Loki" where Loki has now claimed leadership of Asgard, and all must recognize that fact, even Thor. Finally winning the throne after a long sought out fight isn't as sweet as he thought it would be. The ones that helped him now demand their due and the favors he promised them, including the death goddess Hela and seductress Lorelei.[95] While he goes about his kingdom, he continually turns to his prisoners, Thor and Sif. Sif berates him for being jealous of her, and of cutting off her golden hair, only to bring about a greater love between her and Thor. While Balder reminds him that he has died and gone to Hel, while there, sees that there are parallel dimension incarnations of Thor, Loki, and Balder: Some different, yet all play the same roles. And Loki's is never to rule. Loki then turns to Karnilla, and agrees to free Balder into her care, in exchange for her to peer into a myriad other dimensions.[96] There he sees confirmation of Balder's words, all with Thor triumphant. Loki decides that Thor will indeed die at dawn by beheading. As he's walking out of the dungeons, he runs into Fárbauti, his birth mother.[97] Loki decides to go against fate, and spare his brother as well as free him and Hela is revealed to be a failed illusion cast by Loki to convince him to kill his brother. Thor decides that when breaking free from his prison, he defeats his brother.[98]

Heroes Reborn[edit]

In the reality of Heroes Reborn, Loki set forth to return to Asgard where he finds that the Rainbow bridge is missing and upon searching mystically realizes that the nine worlds of Asgard are seemingly missing. He goes searching for his brother and finds him frozen in a block of ice in Norway where he has just been discovered by archeologist Dr. Donald Blake. Loki attempts to destroy Thor then and there and finds that his magics are unable to do so. To his surprise found that they had been reborn in this reality and recently grouped together. Blake showed the Avengers the frozen Thor and after they work together to free him from the ice, Loki tricked the confused Thor into battling the Avengers. Thor eventually realized his brother's deception and watched as the Scarlet Witch banished him into limbo. They offered Thor a spot on the team and he accepted.[99]

Realizing this universe had no Asgard, and as such no Odin, Loki decided a larger revenge scheme was in order, and sought out Enchantress to help him in this end. They sought to take control of the Scarlet Witch and make her their pawn. In doing so they incapacitated her teacher Agatha Harkness, trapping her essence in a tree and had the Enchantress pose as her. The Enchantress then put the Scarlet Witch under her spell. Loki meanwhile tricked the Hulk into attacking Avengers Island, causing a breach in the gamma core there, however an assemblage of the Avengers and Fantastic Four prevented any disaster from happening.[100]

Realizing the foes that some people on this world had a unique energy that Loki could absorb (thereby absorbing their bodies), he sought out these beings and absorbed their power. While keeping the Avengers busy he absorbed the forms of Kang, Mantis, Baron Zemo, MODOK, Executioner, Wonder Man and others; he also tricked the Avengers Hawkeye and Hellcat to join his ranks, transferring Hellcat's essence into Scarlet Witch's body. Thor soon grew tired of the Avengers' morality on killing their foes and left the group, becoming easy prey for the Enchantress to enthrall him to joining Loki's side.[101]

Loki soon learned that the source of the power he was absorbing came from the gamma core on Avengers Island, which was a rift in time and space that was seemingly creating villains for the Avengers to fight. He sent his minions to attack the remaining Avengers (now teamed with the true Thor of Earth-616) while he absorbed this power. When Loki absorbed the power from the gamma core he was given untold power and grew to gigantic proportions. When Thor and Enchantress attempted to join him, he betrayed them. Realizing this betrayal, Hawkeye, Thor, Enchantress and Hellcat go over to the heroes side and Enchantress, Agatha Harkness and Scarlet Witch pool their magical powers to turn one of the Thor's into a giant replica of Odin to battle Loki while the other Avengers work to build a device that will reverse Loki's newly obtained powers. Captain America goes toe-to-toe against Loki buying the others enough time to hit Loki with their power reversal cannon and allowing Thor to strike him with his hammer. The resulting combination causes Loki to suddenly disburse into the energy that he absorbed, seemingly destroying him and ending his threat.[102]

Earth X[edit]

Loki in alternate universe Earth X.
Art by Matt Hollingsworth.

In the reality of Earth-9997, Loki duped Odin into transforming Thor into a woman, saying he needed to learn humility in the form of a female. He later cast a spell on the Bifrost that if Thor would return to Asgard, Loki would get a free rein on Earth.[103] In this reality, Loki figured out that Asgardians aren't actually gods, but are instead long-lived mutants of incredible power who are mentally mind-locked by the Celestials into believing that they are immortal, never-changing gods so that they won't evolve further as mutants and potentially become a threat to the their plans for Earth in the future. He first tells Odin and the others of their true origin and they refuse to believe him. In order to make them see the truth, he stabs himself in the heart and is cast into Hela's realm of the dead. He then convinced them to oppose the Celestials' attack on Earth, but when fighting the Celestials, they make the Asgardians think that they are nothing and already dead, all except Loki.[104]

Years later, Odin sent Thor to Earth as a champion to battle his brother Loki but Loki convinced Thor of Odin's manipulation over the Asgardians and the two team up to battle him.[105] After Odin was defeated and Earth was safe, Thor reverted to his form of Donald Blake and Loki transformed himself into Thor and with Ransak the Reject and Black Bolt, they became a new incarnation of the Avengers.[106]

Guardians of the Galaxy[edit]

In the Guardians of the Galaxy timeline (Earth-691), Loki is alive and well in the 31st Century, living on the moon. He leads an attack on Asgard with his squad of Inhuman Assassins for Composite's sonic diffusion muzzle when he is stopped by Woden Thorson, his nephew.[107] With the help of Talon and Aleta, they imprison Loki. Woden, Thor and Odin stand together to decide Loki's punishment and all three grasp Mjolnir and they banish Loki and his Inhuman Assassin Squad to the Black Canyon.[108]

Marvel 2099[edit]

In the Marvel 2099 line of series, the original Asgardians were no more but the belief in them had grown into a full-fledged religion with many followers. Seeking to take advantage of this, a corporation called "Alchemax" decided to create their own Valhalla. One of the company's scientists, Jordan Boone, decided that he wanted to have powers and sneaked himself into the program where he became Loki but still maintained his own personality. Boone (Loki) helps Doom, Krystalin, Bloodhawk, Timothy Fitzgerald and Meanstreak fight Alchemax's versions of Thor and Heimdall. After Heimdall is defeated, Loki watches as Doom defeats Thor, gloating about his plan to pit Alchemax and heroes against each other to gain enough superpower to shapeshift out of it. He transforms into a bird and flies away.[109]

When Loki is next seen, he appears as the villainous Halloween Jack after being tortured by Desdemona and her brother, Lytton, after they accuse him of cheating in their casino. He seeks revenge on them for "turning him into a monster" and with the help of Meanstreak, they head to Las Vegas and find Desdemona alone in her office. They attack her, revealing to her his true form (Loki) and hacks into her accounts and plans to make Vegas fun again.[110]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In the alternate Marvel Zombies universe, Loki is shown dead, having been killed and eaten by the Zombie Avengers.[111]

MC2[edit]

In the reality of Earth-982, Loki kidnaps several major superheroes including Thunderstrike (Kevin Masterson), The Stinger, Jolt, Jubilation Lee, Speedball, J2 and Mainframe after sending a faux distress call from the former Avengers mansion. He ties them up and takes them to Asgard where he wants to use Thunderstrike's mace's powers for himself, but Kevin disrupts the spell, absorbing the mace into himself and transforming into a new Thunderstrike in the process. Loki and his army of Trolls are defeated by the heroes, with help from Thor, now the King of Asgard, and Loki and his army retreated. Thunderstrike, Stinger, J2 and Mainframe decide to stay together as the new Avengers. The adult heroes decline to stay with the reformed team because of personal reasons.[112]

Years later, Loki is bitter about the fact that he was the cause of the Avengers formation and wants to get his revenge. He starts kidnapping heroes, holding them prisoner in life sized crystals when Captain America, J2, Thunderstrike, Spider-Girl and Wild Thing show up through a portal they found in another universe. The heroes are quickly outnumbered by Loki's robots and he vows to end The Age of Heroes.[113]

J2 and Spider-Girl escape but Captain America and Thunderstrike are chained and Loki plans to brainwash the heroes to send them back to Earth where they will become violent and turn against each so they will eventually destroy all the heroes. His plan is ruined by Thor when he shows up after figuring out why certain superheroes are acting so different. Together, Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Spider-Girl get Loki to surrender. Captain America notices a gem hanging on Loki's neck, and smashes it with his shield. Loki was using this gem to help turn the heroes evil but once the gem is destroyed, the heroes revert to normal. A furious Loki releases a deadly blast on Captain America, killing him. Thor uses his hammer and sends Loki into Limbo forever and the Hulk decides to join him to make sure that Loki remains there. After Captain America dies, Thor uses his hammer to grant Captain America's soul immortality. His soul floats into the skies, and creates a shiny new, bright star in the sky in the form of Captain America's shield, meant to always inspire the heroes and future generations to come.[114]

In this universe, Loki has a daughter, Sylene. She seeks revenge on the Avengers especially Thor for her father being sent to Limbo.[115]

Mutant X[edit]

In the Mutant X universe, when Loki tampered with Iceman's powers, he left Iceman unable to touch other humans without ending their lives.[116]

Old Man Logan[edit]

In this alternate reality, Loki is killed (while he is giant size) when the Baxter Building is dropped on him. All that remains of him is a giant skeleton.[117]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

Loki in the Ultimate universe. Art by Greg Land

Loki appears in The Ultimates 2 as the evil half-brother of Thor.[118] The Ultimate version of Loki has the ability to "shuffle time and space", and in his first appearance, causes a ripple during Thor's conversation with Volstagg. In the restaurant, Loki is apparently in the background, which would mark his first "appearance" (he is mentioned and his powers apparently used, but he is only briefly seen).[118] Loki comes to Earth after escaping from the Room Without Doors and begins to cause havoc, especially for Thor and the United States after assisting the Liberators. Through his power he creates the persona for himself of "Gunnar Golmen," the head scientist of the Norwegian extension of the "European Defense Initiative," the European counterpart to The Ultimates, and turns Thor into "Thorlief," Gunnar's brother, a former mental patient who stole the technology that Gunnar created for the Initiative.[119]

Later in the story, he confronts the captive Thor and gloats that it is all just another one of their games, and informs him that there is a traitor in the ranks of the Ultimates. When Thor requests assistance from the guards, Loki is nowhere to be seen, though he appears as a snake around Thor's neck after they leave (most likely a nod to the real Loki in Norse mythology).[120] At the end of Ultimates 2 No. 9, Loki states that the reason he joined the Liberators was because "They had a Norse god on their side. It's only fair you should get one too", and that "Odin sent his son to bring the world peace. I couldn't resist the opportunity to mess that up."[121] However, he is hesitant to use his abilities overtly as he claims Odin will then be able to find him. Yet once all The Liberators are defeated, he decides to do things himself. After revealing to the Ultimates who he is, he rises into the air and changes the color of the sky. At that moment - thanks to the Scarlet Witch 'calculating the odds' of someone showing up to defeat him - the sky opens and Thor, his brother, appears for revenge.[122]

Issue 13 shows further demonstrations of his power by attempting to trap Thor in an illusion and withstanding a direct blow from Thor's hammer uninjured, claiming it cannot hurt him. During this battle, Thor mentions that Loki's powers have weakened for an unexplained reason. After Loki summons an army of monsters to battle the Ultimates and nearly kills Thor, the thunder god then proceeds to summon allies from Asgard while he strikes Loki with his hammer, sending him back to Asgard where Odin awaits him.[123]

Loki's motivation for his actions is not completely revealed. He mentions several motivations from a desire to cause World War III to Odin favoring Thor over him and attempting to gain Odin's favor.[124] Throughout the whole ordeal Loki regards humans as mere playthings for his pranks. In addition to creating a Norwegian super-soldier program that was supposedly part of an EU initiative and making people believe it was real, even though Norway is not part of the European Union, he claimed to have been the one who framed Captain America for treason and murdering Hawkeye's family, regarding the failure of humans to realize the problems with these assertions as humorous.[123]

Loki from his "punishment" in New Ultimates,[125] playing an integral part in the re-appearance of the Defenders, now super-powered, as well the invasion of trolls to New York with the help of Amora the Enchantress.[126] He is later revealed to be the one behind Valkyrie's powers manifesting after the invasion forces attacked America.[126] In revenge against Thor, Loki impales Valkyrie with a sword, to which is restored by Hela as a real Valkyrie and takes vengeance on Loki, banishing him to Hel.[127] Loki and every other Asgardian, excluding Thor were killed by the Children of Tomorrow (led by Reed Richards) when Asgard was destroyed.[128]

Ultimate Comics: Thor elaborates Loki's backstory. Loki is the son of Odin and the giantess Laufey, who procreated him as part of a peace settlement between Asgard and Jotunheim. Loki was always jealous of his older brother Thor for having been given Mjolnir and rebelled against Asgard by stealing the sacred Norn Stones (relic extensions of Odin's power) and killing his half-brother Balder with his favoured bow. Banished from Asgard, Loki (going under the disguise of Nazi supervillain Baron Zemo) waged an attack on the kingdom eons later, in 1939, with a coalition army of Frost Giants and Nazi soldiers, killing every Asgardian in sight. Loki attempted a battle with Odin, only to be forced into the Room Without Doors while Asgard was destroyed. Using the Stones, Loki is later summoned by an older Nazi, Helmut Zemo (around the time The Hulk was fighting the Ultimates in Manhattan during Ultimates vol. 1). For his loyalty, Loki kills him.[129]

Goddess of Thunder[edit]

Reality on Earth-1026, Thor has met and fallen in love with Ororo Munroe from the X-Men. Loki casts a spell on Tarene, who is insanely jealous of Ororo because she too has feelings for Thor. Maddened by Loki's spell, Tarene goes after Ororo and is killed by Thor when he steps in to protect her. With Tarene's death, her hammer goes to Ororo, making her Goddess of Thunder.[130]

Earth 3515[edit]

Thor rules over the entire Earth with Loki as his chief adviser and head of security, and he now wears Doctor Strange's Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto.[131] Loki releases his secret weapon, the Destroyer with the spirit of Tarene animating it, hoping to solidify his grip on Earth forever.[132] Desak releases Tarene's spirit from the Destroyer and possesses the armor himself and attacks Thor and Loki. The brothers have words before Desak attacks again and this time kills Loki.[133]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Film[edit]

Video games[edit]

Motion comics[edit]

Theatre[edit]

Toys[edit]

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External links[edit]