Loki is one of the main protagonists of Thor comics. He is the superhero’s mischievous adopted brother, and usually, it is tough to determine whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy. Thor’s character has become so popular over the years, starred by Tom Hiddleston, that he even received his own TV show.
The character of Loki is based on the Norse god of the same name. Although not as strong as his brother, he is still a capable combatant, using blades, knives, and even a spear for hunting down his enemies. This god uses illusions and artifacts to confuse, misguide, and manipulate his enemies.
I always liked Loki because he is so much different from other superheroes. Unlike other spell casters in series and movies, who commonly use spells to kill opponents, he uses magic to incapacitate and deceive. Furthermore, he tends to switch sides a lot, which makes him even more unpredictable. Opportunistic by nature, Loki is constantly trying to take the throne of Asgard for himself.
In this Loki universe guide, I will talk about Loki, the creation of the character, his superpowers, and his appearances in popular media.
Key Info Up Front
Loki is one of numerous Marvel superheroes. He is Thor’s adopted brother and Odin’s adopted son. Like all Asgardians, he is very strong, durable, and can live for a very long time. What separates this superhero from the rest is his use of illusion and mind-control magic. He is cunning and deceiving and will do whatever it takes to take the throne of Asgard.
Background of the Loki Universe
Loki appeared for the first time in comic book Venus issue 6, from 1949. It was a publication by Timely Comics, a company that would eventually become Marvel. In this issue, he was an Olympian god banished to the Underworld. This iteration of Loki was much more different from its modern counterpart as he resembled the devil.
The Loki, as we know it, first appeared in Journey into Mystery issue 85 in 1962. This time around, he is Thor’s nemesis. Like most other Marvel superheroes, the character is Stan Lee’s creation. Jack Kirby did the artwork, with Larry Lieber being the co-writer.
From this point onward, the Marvel character was a mainstay in both Thor and Journey into Mystery comics. Occasionally, he would also appear in other popular mash-ups such as X-Men and Avengers Endgame. The God of Mischief received its publication in 2004. It was a miniseries appropriately named Loki, which consisted of two four-issue comics.
Rise in popularity
Even before the enormous success of Thor and Avengers movies, Loki was considered one of the greatest comic book antagonists of all time. IGN ranked him as the 8th greatest villain in 2009. Later, in 2014, the same company proclaimed him the 4th greatest comic book villain in history.
No matter how you look at it, Loki wouldn’t be as popular if it weren’t for Marvel Studios and Tom Hiddleston. The actor received critical acclaim for his portrayal of the character. He starred in 2011 Thor, 2012 Avengers, 2013 Thor The Dark World, 2017 Thor Ragnarok, 2018 Avengers Infinity War, and 2019 Avengers Endgame.
In 2021, Loki got his Disney series called Loki and was also featured in the 2021 animated series What If…? The shift of focus was also noticeable in traditional comics. From issue 622, Thor comics were renamed Journey into Mystery with Loki as the main protagonist. He is resurrected in this publication (being killed during the 2010 Siege storyline) and is now a baby.
Seeing the concept’s potential, Loki remained a little child during the events of Young Avengers (2013). However, in one of the first issues, he tricked one of the superheroes into reverting his body back to its teenage form. In 2014, Loki was featured in Loki: Agent of Asgard, where the focus is on the character’s bisexuality. In 2016, he starred in Vote Loki, during which he ran for office.
For the most part, Loki is portrayed as one of Thor’s main enemies. In that regard, the main characters within Loki’s universe are very similar to those in Thor’s. Keep in mind that the God of Mischief frequently bounced between different comics and would accrue numerous opponents over time.
Loki is the son of the most powerful frost giant, Laufey. Left to die at birth, he was adopted by Frigga and Odin. He was always treated the same as Thor, and it took him a while to learn about his heritage. Throughout comics and movies, he is constantly trying to assume power over Asgard and other realms. To achieve his goals, he is willing to do just about anything, from threatening to kill a child to destroying the souls of his henchmen.
Although the two of them are not blood-related, Thor has always considered Loki as his real brother. Honorable and just, Thor is the antithesis of Loki. He is willing to do everything in his power to uphold the law. The superhero refused the crown of Asgard on several occasions as he didn’t feel he was ready for the duty. He is one of the main Marvel superheroes and was featured in numerous Marvel and DC mash-ups.
Odin is the ruler of Asgard, Thor’s biological father, and Loki’s adoptive father. Despite being a great warrior, he is mostly revered for his wisdom and leadership. During his life, Odin’s primary role was to prevent the coming of Ragnarok. To achieve this goal, he had to battle Surtur, Hela, and numerous other creatures from Norse mythology. In both movies and comics, he is portrayed as Thor’s patient mentor.
Sif is a golden-haired warrior goddess. When she was young, she would play with Thor and Loki. As time went by, Thor and Sif grew closer, developing a romantic relationship. Jealous of them, Loki cut Sif’s beautiful golden hair. Eventually, Thor’s and Sif’s relationship came to an end, but they remained close friends.
Sylvie escaped the Time Variance Authority. She is a female Loki variant that is weary of most people in her midst. Loki and Sylvie form a shaky alliance based on mutual goals. As time passes by, the two of them become closer and would eventually start a relationship. Loki is the only person Sylvie can sleep around as she is generally distrustful of other humans.
Loki’s powers and abilities
Loki has the physical traits of the frost giants. He is extremely strong, durable, and resistant to winter. Although not as strong as the Asgardians, he can overpower any human with ease.
Superior physical traits
Loki is very strong, durable, and fast, with great reflexes and endurance. During the movies and comics, we can see Loki overpowering superheroes and supernatural beings such as Captain America, dark elves, berserkers, etc. However, he is still weaker than Thor, Thanos, and Hulk.
Loki has enormous durability and can take bullets and explosions to the face. Although he is not as strong as Thor or Hulk, he can take any punishment these two can dish out. One of the things where Loki excels over his brother is speed. Coupled with his incredible reflexes, Loki can easily deflect projectile attacks.
Ice resistance and manipulation
Unlike his brother, who can use thunder, Loki can use ice. This is noticeable during the scene with the Casket of Ancient Winters, an artifact that Loki used for freezing Bifrost. Like all frost giants, the character is extremely resilient to cold, whether we’re talking about a natural cold or cold magic.
Regeneration and longevity
Although the character was eventually killed by Thanos in the Marvel cinematic universe, he was able to withstand the Hulk’s attacks. In comics, he is beaten by the likes of Namor and Mirage. Still, even after taking enormous damage, he always manages to regenerate as if nothing has happened. Given his frost giant physical traits, Loki can live for thousands of years.
Illusion magic and shapeshifting
Although not as powerful of a sorcerer as Doctor Strange, Loki is among the most formidable casters in the MCU. He is especially known for his illusion magic. On many occasions, the God of Mischief used this power to confuse his opponents. Among others, he can replicate the appearance of Odin, Thor, and Captain America.
As for his shapeshifting skills, he can turn into various creatures, including other humans, snakes, and foxes. If necessary, he can even change his sex, although there are some limitations as to what he can turn into. On two ridiculous occasions, he even changed into a unicorn and Cat Thor.
Astral projection and invisibility
Loki has the power to project his image to other locations. The conjured illusion could also communicate with others and relay information back to Loki.
He can also use a type of invisibility. Keep in mind that the character doesn’t become invisible per se and instead masks his presence from the other. In that sense, the spell is very similar to hypnosis, where he manipulates the minds of others so they cannot perceive him. The magic is so strong that it even manages to trick Heimdall.
The God of Mischief can use various mental spells. He can hypnotize just about anyone, including Hulk, Odin, Heimdall, etc. It is worth noting that some of the characters managed to escape the grip through sheer power of will. Furthermore, the character can also manipulate their emotions.
Immunity to various abilities and spells
Aside from being immune to ice magic, Loki is also immune to other types of conjurations. This is best seen during his battles with Scarlet Witch and Doctor Strange. The God of Mischief is also immune to specific innate abilities. For example, he resisted X-Men Rogue’s energy-draining power.
Use of magical objects and technology
In the movies, there are numerous instances where Loki uses magical objects to gain the upper hand. He used Casket of Ancient Winters, Loki’s Scepter, Tesseract, and Lorelei’s amulet of invisibility, just to name a few. As a skilled combatant, he can also use various enchanted blades that make his hand-to-hand combat even deadlier.
There are several instances in comics where he had to resort to technology when magic wasn’t enough. He can conjure various machines to stifle other superheroes’ powers. One example was during his battle with X-Men Iceman, where Loki’s machine prevented the superhero from properly using his powers.
Loki in Marvel comics
After killing the frost giant, Laufey, Odin notices a small child within their stronghold. It turns out this was Loki, who frost giants were hiding, ashamed of his small stature. Odin decided to raise Loki as his own alongside Thor.
Growing up, Loki suffered a lot of injustice. Similar to frost giants, Asgardians valued size and strength, areas where Loki struggled. As a result, he started working on various spells and abilities, mastering numerous skills as he grew.
Wanting to be recognized by his peers, he played pranks with Asgardians, earning the title “God of Mischief.” Unfortunately, the discontent slowly turned into malice as these pranks became crueler and crueler. After a while, the Asgardians started calling Loki the “God of Evil.”
He constantly bumped heads with Thor, as he was jealous of his brother. As Loki grew, he tried taking over Asgard on numerous occasions, only to be exiled and imprisoned by Odin several times over.
Going against Earth’s finest
Loki’s ambition didn’t stop at Asgard, as he also wanted to rule the Earth. On one occasion, he mind-controlled Hulk and sent him on a rampage. Other Earth superheroes had to intervene, leading to the creation of Avengers.
In issues where Loki faced the group, the plot usually revolved around the relationship between Thor and Loki. The mischievous brother would often strike at Thor’s weak spots kidnapping Jane Foster and manipulating Odin. On one occasion, he managed to persuade Odin to turn against Thor. Loki hatched this plan so he could steal Mjolnir, but it eventually backfired.
Regardless of everything, the ruler of Asgard still thought that his son could change. On several occasions, Odin entrusted Loki with the throne, only for Loki to release various villains such as Surtur and Skagg. In some cases, the God of Mischief inadvertently caused chaos by not thinking about the consequences of his action. This was seen when he awoke Destroyer from his sleep.
Loki causing Ragnarok
According to the legends, Loki would become the catalyst for Ragnarok.
Although the character always wanted to rule Asgard, he acted rather cowardly in the face of real threats. In one situation, he took control of the throne while his father was in Odinsleep. However, he quickly abdicated when Mangog attacked Asgard. A similar thing occurred later on when Surtur attacked the plane while Loki was in charge.
Loki went as far as to create a plan with Hela, where the two of them would cause Ragnarok. However, the plan was stopped by Odin. Regardless of his actions, he served as the protector of Asgard when someone wanted to destroy it. For example, he joined his brother and father during a large Surtur invasion.
Loki’s first death
Loki has died several times. During Acts of Vengeance comics, he sent Juggernaut against his brother, who temporarily lost his powers. The God of Mischief was eventually defeated by the Avengers and then killed by Thor. However, he was brought back to life through time manipulation. During this time, he went to other planes of existence and would, for the first time, encounter the Infinity Stones.
Finally, Loki started a chain of events leading to Ragnarok. In these episodes, Odin was killed while Thor and Loki battled each other. After the battle, he would return to Asgard in yet another attempt to assume the throne. At one point, he turned into a female carrying a small Sif in his belly.
In these issues, Loki poses as Scarlet Witch and sends Avengers to face Chthon, an elder god. His main intention was to weaken Norman Osborn’s control over the cabal, of which he was also a member. Feeling that something was amiss, Quicksilver started running across the world in an attempt to find his sister.
Eventually, his ploy was discovered when Ronin appeared and kissed the supposed Scarlet Witch. Wiccan dispelled his illusion, and Loki was forced to flee, swearing that he would kill them all. Regardless, the God of Mischief managed to weaken Normal Osborn. All of these events would lead to the Siege storyline.
When the cabal assembled once again, Loki continued with his agenda of taking down Asgard. He suggested to Osborn they should annihilate Soldier Field during a game, killing everyone in attendance. The God of Mischief double-crosses Osborn by informing Balder about their plans. Later on, when Avengers face Norman, he doesn’t get the necessary support of his allies and is easily taken down.
Loki attained the power of Disir and would later use it as a bargaining chip. The character strikes a bargain with Hela, promising he will create a new Hel for her. Then, he bargains with Mephisto, giving his power of Disir for 101 days, and, in return, asks him for a part of the netherworld, which he then gives to Hela as the new Hel. Hela accepts the offer and frees Loki from both Asgard and Hel.
Eventually, the Void appears on Earth, and its creatures start to destroy three main realms. Seeing what he has done, Loki asks Odin to give him back Norn Stones so he can repeal the threat. Void senses the danger and kills Loki. In a fit of rage, Thor kills both Sentry and Void.
Young Kid Loki
Because of his agreement with Hela, Loki’s name is permanently erased from the Book of Hell. That way, he cannot remain dead and is resurrected as a small boy. He now lived in Paris, cheating the locals on cards. Upon encountering Thor, Loki’s memories come back.
The Asgardians are preparing for a transition to a new home, and they manage to resurrect Odin. Despite Loki’s new look, most of the citizens are still afraid of him, knowing the trickster’s powers. Suddenly, he remembers all the events that led to his death. He decides to take a new path in life and transforms into magpie Ikol.
In the upcoming episodes, we see that Thor is dead and without Mjolnir. Loki returns the hammer, thus restoring his brother’s memory. The God of Thunder escapes from the afterlife. Eventually, Loki had to end his existence as Ikol and become his old self.
In this series of episodes, small Loki becomes a part of the Young Avengers. The team fights against the parasite, Mother, but the rest of the Young Avengers are weary of trusting Loki. The protagonists run to New York, where they’re ambushed by mind-controlled citizens. Loki tells the group that he needs to take Wiccan’s powers. Upon receiving the powers, he teleports away, looking as if he abandoned the Young Avengers.
Although he wants to flee, he returns to the team and helps them counter the threat. Later on, after encountering Mother, Loki reveals that all of this was part of a plan that would give him Wiccan’s powers, which would help him restore his own.
As they shared the power, neither Loki nor Wiccan had enough to stop Mother. Wiccan uses his power to turn Loki into a teenager, thus increasing God of Mischief’s potential. After stopping the villain, Loki flees the scene, not being able to look his teammates in the eyes.
Agent of Asgard
During this set of issues, Loki looks for five keys that Odin once created as a test of worthiness. On his journey, the character discovers that he is being played by King Loki, a future version of himself. Given that the new Loki is a changed man, he doesn’t want to do anything villainous.
In the next storyline, he is hit by a spell wave caused by Doctor Doom and Scarlet Witch. The incantation changes the morality of everyone hit by it. While affected by the spell, he has an affair with Amora, the Enchantress.
The wave has also affected Thor, who is now a bad guy. The two brothers fight, and, for the first time, Loki manages to lift Thor’s hammer and beats his brother with it. However, as the effect of the spell passes, the God of Lies drops the hammer. Later on, he reveals to Thor that he killed the younger, innocent version of himself. As a result, his brother gives Loki to Asgardians so they can judge him themselves.
The story changes between the future and the past, during which time various iterations of Thor and Loki battle each other. Eventually, Loki destroys one of his alternate versions and proclaims himself as the “King of the Stories.”
Loki in movies
At the start of Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, the God of Thunder is preparing to be crowned. Loki is portrayed as the jealous brother who, in an attempt to ruin Thor’s big day, allows frost giants to steal the Casket of Ancient Winters from Asgard. Thor goes to retrieve the artifact, despite Odin’s warnings. He engages the frost giants, thus destroying the fragile truce between the races, and is subsequently banished to Earth.
During these events, Loki was touched by one of the frost giants but was not affected by the cold. He confronts Odin, who explains to Loki that he’s adopted. After that, the Allfather falls into a deep sleep, and the God of Mischief takes this chance to proclaim himself the king of Asgard.
To prevent his brother’s return, he summons Destroyer and allows frost giants to invade the realm. However, he quickly dispatches Jotuns in an attempt to gain Odin’s trust. Disgusted by all these actions, Thor faces his brother in combat, and they destroy Rainbow Bridge. Both of them are hanging from its edge as Odin comes to their rescue. Loki lets go of his brother and falls into the abyss.
As Loki falls into nothingness, he is greeted by one of Thanos’s servants. He promises Loki that he will rule the Earth in exchange for the ancient artifact, Tesseract. To accomplish this goal, the God of Mischief is given a powerful scepter.
Upon finding the Tesseract’s location, he teleports to it, where he encounters Hawkeye and SHIELD agents. He mind-controls Hawkeye and some of the agents. With Tesseract in his control, Loki is looking for a way to open a portal for Chutauri. The God of Lies goes to Stuttgart, looking for the necessary iridium.
Avengers appear and challenge Loki. After a brief skirmish, the God of Mischief allows himself to be captured. He manipulates Hulk into attacking allies and deceives the rest of the Avengers. He managed to open the portal to another world, but Avengers would eventually destroy it, invading Chitauri and destroying the Tesseract portal.
At the end of the movie, Loki is apprehended by the superheroes.
Thor The Dark World
Thor brings Loki to Odin so that they can think of appropriate punishment. The Allfather is disappointed with his son and condemns him to a lifetime in prison. As elves stage a prison break, Loki is left in his cell. During this time, the God of Lies tells Algrim how to sabotage the defenses.
Later on, Loki learns that his adoptive mother, Frigga, was killed in the attack. Riddled with guilt, he destroys the interior of his cells. Thor comes to his brother seeking his help against dark elves. The team of Jane Foster, Sif, Thor, and Loki makes their way to Svartalfheim.
Upon reaching the dark elves’ home, Loki seemingly betrays Thor. Later on, it’s revealed that all of that was an illusion meant to give them an upper hand. Thor engages Algrim and is beaten down. Loki jumps into the fray and stabs the elf in the back. Algrim turns around and impales the God of Mischief with his own weapon. However, Loki’s blade was attached to Algrim’s, and the vortex sucked him in.
As everyone thinks that Loki is dead, he uses this to deceive both Thor and Odin, claiming the throne of Asgard for himself.
Loki ruled Asgard for four years. He casts a spell on Odin, sending him to a nursing home on Earth. Thor eventually figured out this ploy and the two of them go out to seek their father. They eventually find him in Norway. Odin is no longer mad at Loki and even praises him for his advanced use of magic.
He reveals to the brothers that he is close to dying, which would release their sister, Hela, from her prison. As soon as she’s released, she attacks Thor and Loki. They run through a portal, and Loki is stranded on an alien world, Sakaar. The God of Mischief initially thinks that his brother is dead, but the two of them would eventually reunite on the foreign planet.
In order to escape the planet, Thor needs to win against their champion. It turns out that this champion is none other than Hulk. Thor wins the battle but is stopped by Sakaar’s ruler, Grandmaster. After conferring, Hulk and Thor decide to escape the planet. Eventually, Loki would come to their side, and they would release the captive gladiators of Sakaar, forming a group called Revengers.
They reach Earth and confront Hela. The protagonists realize they might summon Surtur as the only one who can beat their sister. While reviving the demon, Loki steals Tesseract. The superheroes onboard Asgardians onto a spacecraft and watch as Surtur destroys both Hela and Asgard.
Avengers Infinity War
The Asgardian ship is intercepted by Thanos and his forces. They demolish the vehicle killing half of the Asgardians. The Mad Titan demands that Loki gives him the Tesseract, which holds the Space Stone. Worried about his life, Loki complies. Hulk takes the opportunity to rush Thanos, but his attacks do very little.
Loki offers his allegiance to the Mad Titan. However, this is only a ruse as he tries to backstab him. Thanos sees through his plan and snaps Loki’s neck leaving Thor to cry over his brother’s dead body.
Loki is seen on several occasions during the Endgame, being present in different timelines. During one of these timelines, Loki was imprisoned by the SHIELD agents. He uses the Avengers’ distraction to steal Tesseract and escape imprisonment, thus creating an alternate reality.
FAQ’s about Loki Universe
Question: Is Loki a villain or a hero?
Answer: Most Marvel fans will tell you that Loki is a villain, although it is really hard to characterize the God of Mischief. Although he has done some really devilish things, he loves his family despite everything. Perhaps the best way to explain his allegiance is as a tweener that tends to lean toward the bad side.
Question: Does Loki appear in Thor 4?
Answer: Loki does not appear in Thor Love and Thunder. According to Marvel’s representatives, they have explored most of the storylines with the two brothers and want to shift their focus elsewhere.
Question: Who is Loki’s love interest?
Answer: During the years, Loki had several love interests. During the earliest comic book issues, he had an estranged wife, Sigyn. Later on, he is related to Amora, the Enchantress. In the series, Loki is paired with the female alternate version of himself, Sylvie Laufeydottir.
Loki is one of the most intriguing comic book characters I’ve ever seen. Although he is officially a villain, focused on conquering Asgard and the Earth, the God of Mischief shows devotion to his family and brother. The character has become very popular in the last few years, with the introduction of Thor and Avengers movies. In 2021, Marvel decided to give him a separate series called Loki on Disney Plus.