Comics
Published February 2, 2023

Seven Foundational Moments from Loki's History with the Avengers

In the wake of Loki's major reveal in 'Avengers Assemble,' check out several incidents where the God of Mischief left a major impact on the Avengers.

Loki’s complex relationship with the Avengers runs deep—all the way back to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s AVENGERS (1963) #1, in fact! Sixty years later, AVENGERS (2018) #65 by Jason Aaron and Javier Garrón shines a whole new light on that relationship now that Loki has revealed himself to be the mysterious Avenger Prime. As AVENGERS #65 delves into Loki’s journey from God of Mischief to Avengers Prime, let's take a look back at some of the most important moments in his history with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Fateful Beginnings

By 1963, Loki had already made a name for himself by pestering his brother Thor in the pages of JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY (1952). Then, in AVENGERS (1963) #1, the mischief maker sought revenge for his exile by sending the Hulk after his brother. The Jade Giant's friend Rick Jones caught wind of this and sent word to his pals in the Teen Brigade, who attempted to contact the Fantastic Four. Loki tampered with the signal, but it was received by not only Thor, but also Ant-Man, Wasp, and Iron Man

All four heroes handled Loki and even made amends with Hulk before deciding to join forces as the mighty Avengers. To see how the events of that day torment Loki, check out the story by Ralph Macchio and Walt Simonson in AVENGERS (1963) #300. Spoiler: he's still not happy about his place in team's legacy, to say the least!

War Monger

After staying away from the team he helped create, Loki made a calamitous comeback by pitting the Avengers against another super team in an event known as "The Avengers/Defenders War." Taking place in AVENGERS (1963) #115-118 and DEFENDERS (1972) #8-11, this epic found Loki working with Dormammu to fool the two teams into acquiring the six pieces of an ancient artifact called the Evil Eye for them. In exchange for helping the Dread One, Loki would regain the eyesight he had recently lost. 

The villains essentially sat back and watched as the heroes broke up into pairs and did their work for them. After some showcase team-ups and plenty of fisticuffs, the teams got on the same page, shared their information, and realized they were being played. It didn't help that Dormammu also betrayed his partner. However, all of Dormammu’s best laid plans were rendered moot after he was converted into energy and blasted into Loki's face, which drove the God of Mischief mad for a time.

Ring Leader

And there came a day, unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest villains found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, "Acts of Vengeance" was born. No, this isn't a WHAT IF? scenario, but instead the synopsis of Marvel's 1989 mega event, wherein Mandarin, Kingpin, Red Skull, Magneto, Doctor Doom, and Wizard worked together to pit various super villains against heroes they did not usually face. The group also included a mysterious, well-dressed man with a lot of good ideas who secretly pulled the strings. 

That man, as you can probably guess, turned out to be none other than Loki. He manipulated the villains into not just working together, but also thinking the whole idea was theirs. His machinations led to attacks on both the East and West Coast Avengers, as well as the destruction of Avengers Island. Ultimately, his group proved too volatile, and his encounter with the Avengers lead to his death (but only briefly).

In Memoriam

Just before many of the Avengers seemingly sacrificed themselves fighting Onslaught, Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo helped celebrate the team in AVENGERS (1963) #400. While Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were overwhelmed by the appearance of villains from throughout their history, Edwin Jarvis was told by a time traveler named Tyfon that he could help stop the threats. 

As a who's who of rogues attacked the Avengers in New York City, Jarvis remembered the one villain with the power to launch such an attack: Loki. However, the trickster was even closer than expected, as he had posed as Tyfon to jog the butler's memories in an effort to use them to manifest the darkness he had siphoned from a nearby dimension. When the Avengers responded, they utilized not just their powers, but their teamwork to best Loki.

Which Witch Is Which? 

In the wake of SECRET INVASION (2008), Hank Pym took on the heroic identity of his late love, the Wasp, and reluctantly began leading a new team in MIGHTY AVENGERS #21-36 by Dan Slott, Christos Gage, and a variety of artists including Khoi Pham and Sean Chen. However, Loki also had a hand in creating this team, but in a sneakier way: by appearing as the still-disgraced Scarlet Witch and offering the squad sparse assistance.

In reality, Loki had manipulated Norman Osborn and his secret Cabal, successfully pushing him over the edge. The plan ultimately succeeded and led the head of H.A.M.M.E.R. to attack Asgard in SIEGE (2009). The battle saw all available heroes—including scores of Avengers—defending Thor's home, while Loki seemingly died a hero during his fight with the Void...even though his actions ultimately allowed the destructive force to be unleashed.

Kid Loki, Avenger

Being a god, Loki did not stay dead for long. In fact, he was quickly reborn as a kid who did not retain any memories of his past self. However, everyone around him refused to believe he could have anything but schemes and mischief on his mind. That made it especially hard for him when he tried working with the Young Avengers in their 2013 series by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.

Though Kid Loki did eventually earn the trust of the people who became his teammates, he found himself faced with a harsh reality when the Young Avengers battled Mother. That confrontation revealed some terrible truths about this Loki and his place in the grand scheme of the Marvel Universe. While that time was important for the God of Mischief's development, he returned to his old ways—with a few new twists—in the end.

Playing Host

Jason Aaron might have shone a new light on Loki and his dealings with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in AVENGERS #65, but this journey began all the way back when he and Ed McGuinness launched the title in 2018. In fact, Loki helped reveal a hidden truth about the whole planet: that Earth owed its many fantastic denizens to a sick Celestial that died there eons prior. 

The reappearance of Celestials on Earth brought together a new group of Avengers to fend off the Final Host, whom Loki had summoned. While he celebrated the potential destruction of Earth during the battle, Laufeyson later attempted to take credit for forging this new batch of Avengers after they won. Perhaps those boasts will prove valid, as the series rockets towards its finale in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!

Uncover Loki's latest encounter with Earth's Mightiest Heroes in AVENGERS #65, on sale now!

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