Loki’s 10 Most Heroic (and Most Villainous) Deeds
Recount Loki's most memorable moments, from Ragnarok to 'War of the Realms'!
At the beginning of LOKI #4, readers will find the God of Mischief in a pretty uncertain place, with the heroism he demonstrated during the WAR OF THE REALMS potentially twisting back towards his more usual wicked sensibilities... With all of this in mind, we're taking a look at five of the most heroic—and five of the most villainous—things Loki’s ever done!
Heroic Deeds (AKA Hero-ki)
Helping End the War of the Realms
As readers recently saw at the end of WAR OF THE REALMS, Loki bursts out of the stomach of his biological father, Laufey, who had previously eaten him (definitely a family with issues). Laufey’s defeat is a critical victory in the war, which levels the playing field, making it easier for Thor and Jane to defeat Malekith and save Midgard and the Ten Realms.
Sure, there’s some self-interest involved. Death by stomach acid isn’t very appealing, after all. But still, it’s an act that helps win the day for the heroes.
Yep, it actually happened!
In 2014’s AXIS storyline, Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom had inadvertently reversed the moralities of many of the heroes and villains. Of course, because Loki’s ethical system has always been…let’s say "complicated"...he isn’t turned into a full-on hero (which means he wasn’t fully villainous before). But he’s apparently heroic enough to wield Mjolnir and use it to defeat a villain-ized Thor during a battle on the moon—which had to have been ridiculously satisfying.
Becoming an Agent of Asgard
In 2014’s LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD, Loki decides to work for the All-Mother, taking on tasks for her in return for having the misdeeds of his past forgiven. And it demonstrates his desire to do the right thing.
Ultimately, events culminate with him saving the universe. And what’s awesome is he does it not through battle, but by learning to accept himself and come to terms with his demons. Odin gives him the opportunity to fight alongside him—it’s the recognition he’s always wanted. But instead, he turns down the opportunity, realizing his ability to create stories is what will ultimately save the day. And he’s right—at the end of the series, in LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD (2014) #17—he uses his understanding of story weaving to create a door to a new realm, in which the entire universe would be reborn.
Saving Asgard from the Angels
In ORIGINAL SIN: THOR & LOKI - THE TENTH REALM, the brothers discover they have a long-lost sister, Angela. She'd been raised in Heven, the Tenth Realm, which Odin cut off years ago from Yggdrasil as punishment when its Queen betrayed him.
The story reveals a lot of the skeletons Asgard has kept in the closet for a long time, pitting Asgard and Heven against one another in battle. And Loki is presented with the opportunity to serve as an advisor in Heven, where he'd likely be given the respect and authority he has never achieved in Asgard. But at the end of the day, in ORIGNAL SIN: THOR & LOKI #5, he pulls one over on the Angels to help Thor and Odin defend Asgard from them. It’s significant because Loki is given the opportunity to choose between status and family loyalty, and he chooses the latter. (Plus, readers get to see plenty of Lady Loki, which is always delightful.)
Conceding the Presidency
In 2016’s VOTE LOKI, the God of Mischief begins his campaign for President of the United States.
Given his quick-thinking ability, Loki seems like a natural fit for politics. And indeed, he actually ends up winning the election, much to the chagrin of Daily Bugle journalist Nisa Contreras, who had been trying to put an end to his candidacy. But at the end of the series, in VOTE LOKI #4, readers realize that Loki may not have been doing it all for power after all when he makes a fool of himself publicly before conceding the election.
At the conclusion of the story, he’s talking to an unidentified party about compensation for making himself look ridiculous. So it could be that he was in it for financial gain. But that seems unlikely…what does a god need with more money? In reality, it seems probable that, given the political intrigue that’d been unfolding throughout the story, Loki’s decision to concede was out of a desire to bolster Nisa’s career and her ability to expose corrupt politicians.
Villainous Acts (Aka "oh no"-ki)
Creating Chaos on Earth
To be honest, this is probably one of Loki’s favorite pastimes. But perhaps the most notable example happens way back in 1963’s AVENGERS #1. Loki manipulates the Hulk into wreaking havoc in an attempt to lure Thor to Midgard. Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp get pulled into the fray, resulting in the formation of the Avengers.
So this Loki scheme has a happy ending, after all!
The Evil Eye Debacle
Part of what’s great about Loki, when he’s at his most villainous, is his ability to create conflict where there otherwise would be peace.
In 1973’s AVENGERS/DEFENDERS WAR, one of comics’ earliest crossover events, Loki teams up with Dormammu and draws Earth’s heroes into a battle over an ancient artifact called the Evil Eye. Thor fights the Hulk, Doctor Strange fights Black Panther and Mantis, and Captain America fights Namor. It’s chaos, and the story really showcases Loki in his role as the one who’s often pulling the strings, manipulating others into doing what he wants.
Trying to Bring about Ragnarok
It’s said that Loki is supposedly destined to be the catalyst for Ragnarok (the end of all things) on Asgard. After Loki temporarily kills his adoptive half-brother Balder (another villainous deed), he’s left chained up with a viper dripping poison onto his face as punishment. He’s understandably put out after this and, in 1978’s THOR #273-278, he actively tries to initiate Ragnarok, though he’s foiled by Odin.
But it’s not long after that he’s actually helping Odin out again, in typical Loki fashion!
Turning Thor into a Frog
Okay, so this one isn’t all that evil (after all, he got better!). But it’s probably super irritating for Thor.
In THOR (1966) #364, Loki gets his hands on Surtur’s discarded magic sword and uses it to take his esteemed brother down a few notches. Readers get to see Loki’s sense of humor, and the delight he takes in being a troublemaker. (Also, the shenanigans of Frog Thor pave the way for the adventures of Throg, a frog named Puddlegulp who finds a sliver of Mjolnir. He’s then transformed him into probably the most heroic amphibian in the Marvel Universe.)
Granting Super Powers to Midgardians
Because he finds pure, unadulterated glee in rocking the boat, 1985’s X-MEN/ALPHA FLIGHT found Loki creating something called Fire Fountain. While it may sound like a theme park ride or a fancy mixed drink, Fire Fountain is actually a mystical site that has the capacity to grant super powers to mortals. Because such a thing clearly can’t be allowed to exist, Alpha Flight and the X-Men get involved and once again, trouble ensues.
Loki’s tomfoolery is ultimately foiled, but it’s another excellent example of his proficiency when it comes to hatching schemes and treating people like pawns. Truly, if Loki were to write a self-help book, it would be called How to Make Enemies and Manipulate People.
How will fortune unfold for Loki now? Will he continue on as King of Jotunheim and grow into the role of a hero? Or will fate bring him back to his mischievous ways? Read LOKI #4 at your local comic shop on October 9 to find out!
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