Loki (comics)


Loki (comics)

Superherobox|

caption=Cover art for "Loki" #1.
Art by Essad Ribic.
character_name=Loki
real_name=Loki Laufeyson
publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="Venus" #6 (August 1949), "Journey into Mystery" #85 (October 1962) (modern day)
creators=Stan Lee
Larry Lieber
Jack Kirby
alliances=Acts of Vengeance
aliases= God of Lies and Mischief, God of Evil, Loki Odinson
powers=Magical energy manipulation
Superhuman strength, stamina, durability and longevity
Shape-shifting
Extrasensory abilities
High intelligence|

Loki is a supervillain that appears in the fictional Marvel Universe and is based on the being of the same name from Norse mythology. The character first appears in "Venus" #6 (August 1949) and was created by writer Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber and penciller Jack Kirby.

Publication history

Loki made his first Marvel Comics appearance in Timely Comics' publication "Venus" #6 (August 1949), where Loki was inaccurately featured as a member of the Olympian gods exiled to the Underworld. He made his first official Marvel appearance in "Journey into Mystery" #85 (October 1962), where Loki was reintroduced by brothers and co-writers Stan Lee and Larry Lieber and he was redesigned by Jack Kirby. Loki has appeared in various issues of "Journey Into Mystery", "Thor", "the Avengers" and several other Marvel Universe titles.

Marvel eventually found the character popular enough to let Robert Rodi proceed with writing a mini-series, "Loki" #1-4 (July 2004 - October 2004), that features a different look at the character. The mini-series features painted covers and painted interior pages by artist Esad Ribic.

Fictional character biography

After slaying the giant Laufey, Odin found a small Asgardian-sized child hidden within the primary stronghold of the Frost Giants. The child was Loki, and Laufey 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 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.

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 these areas. However, Loki's gifts lay in other areas, most notably sorcery. He possessed a natural affinity to command great magical forces and hoped to somehow use these powers to become the most powerful god in all of Asgard and to destroy Thor. As Loki grew to adulthood, his natural talent for causing mischief would manifest itself and earned him a nickname as the God of Lies and Mischief. However, instead of playing harmless pranks, he grew steadily more malicious in his deeds, and his lust for both power and revenge was apparent to all those around him. In time, his nickname grew from being a playful and mischievous trickster god to the "God of Evil". Over the centuries, Loki attempted on many occasions to seize rulership of Asgard and to destroy Thor. Odin, who had long tolerated Loki's attempts, magically imprisoned him within a tree. Loki eventually freed himself from his prison, and his thirst for power and vengeance became even more consuming than it had been. Loki compiled an extensive criminal record in Asgard, and was frequently exiled.

Loki's schemes eventually came to include Earth itself and these schemes often drew some of Earth's superhuman heroes to defend Earth and, often, Asgard itself. He first battled Thor on Earth in modern times. ["Journey into Mystery" #85] Loki was then able to manipulate the Hulk into wreaking havoc, which inadvertently led to the formation of the Avengers. ["Avengers" #1]

Thor was one of the founding members of this superhuman team, and Loki often found his goals frustrated by them, even when they appeared close to success. Among Loki's better known henchmen was the human criminal Carl "The Crusher" Creel, whom Loki transformed by sorcery into the superhuman criminal known as the Absorbing Man and sent him against Thor. ["Journey Into Mystery" #114-115] Creel himself would proved to be a formidable adversary to Thor over the years. Loki even went so far as to attempt to turn Odin against Thor and to steal Thor's enchanted hammer, Mjolnir, but all his efforts failed.

Loki's destiny to be the cause of Ragnarok was later recounted. ["Thor" #127] Loki returned from his exile in space by Odin, and was stripped of his powers and exiled to Earth by Odin. Loki plotted to gain new powers from Karnilla, although this accidentally resulted in the Wrecker gaining Asgardian powers. Loki then fomented a battle between Thor and the Destroyer animated by Sif. ["Thor" #147-152] Loki then took command of Asgard during the Odinsleep, and fled when Asgard was invaded by Mangog. ["Thor" #154-157]

Loki later usurped the throne of Asgard, but fled again when Asgard was invaded by Surtur. ["Thor" #175-177] Much later, Loki usurped the throne of Asgard again, and set the Destroyer against Thor once more. ["Thor" #264-266] Shortly after that, Loki caused the temporary death of Balder. At this time, Loki's estranged Sigyn returned to Asgard. Loki attempted to bring about Rangnarok, but was foiled by Odin. ["Thor" #273-278] Alongside Tyr and his forces, Loki invaded Asgard, but then changed sides and aided Odin's forces in defeating Tyr. ["Thor" #327]

However, despite Loki's loathing for half-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. ["Thor" #353] Not long after that, Loki transformed Thor into a frog for a time. ["Thor" #364-366] He then involved the X-Men and Alpha Flight in a plot to gain favor with Those Who Sit Above in Shadow. ["X-Men & Alpha Flight" #1-2]

In disguise, Loki formed an alliance with the group of villains that engineered the "Acts of Vengeance". With these prime movers, he set in motion a plot against the Avengers and other heroes. He battled the combined forces of the West Coast Avengers and the Avengers. His identity was ultimately revealed, and he was defeated by the Avengers. ["Avengers" #310-313; "Avengers Spotlight" #26-28; "Avengers West Coast" #53-55] Loki would actually die at the hands of Thor, ["Thor" #432] although, manipulation of the time stream would later bring him back.

On another occasion, Loki actually worked with Spider-Man to stop Morwen, a Lord of Chaos, from destroying the world, although Loki was partly motivated by the desire to save his daughter, who was currently being used by Morwen as a host. Morwen herself helped in the fight, utilizing the will and fortitude that came from being a descendant of Loki. During this incident it is discovered Loki has many children. Afterwards, Loki promises Spider-Man a favor.

It has been prophesied that Loki will lead Asgard's enemies into the "Eternal Realm" and aid them in destroying it in a final conflict known as Ragnarök, or sometimes referred to as "The Twilight of the Gods". Loki fulfilled the prophecy of leading the enemies of Asgard against the Asgardians. This battle consumed all who participated in it and it was revealed that the cycle of the birth, lives, and death of the Asgardians was a continuing cycle presided over by beings known only as "Those Who Sit Above in Shadow". Thor, Loki's foster brother and monarch of the Asgardians after Odin perished in battle against Surtur months earlier, was able to put an end to this continuing cycle. All Asgardians perished in this last Ragnarok except for Thor who would disappear into a deep sleep. But this time, "Those Who Sit Above" followed them in death and were unable to revive them. With Thor's recent return, it has been revealed that Asgardians now exist on Earth in mortal guises.

After the Ragnarok, Loki returned, only that "he" is now a she and has been working with Doctor Doom, plotting to manipulate events so that Thor unwittingly resurrects his greatest Asgardian enemies. [Thor vol. 3, #5]

Secret Invasion

Loki was with the Asgardians when he goaded them into believing that the injured Beta Ray Bill is a Skrull. [Secret Invasion: Thor #1]

Powers and abilities

Loki is a member of the race of Frost Giants of Jotunheim, although not a giant in stature, he possesses physical attributes equal to those of the race of superhumans known as Asgardian, such as enhanced strength; stamina (his Frost Giant metabolism grants him superhuman levels of physical stamina in practically all activities); durability (at times he imbues himself with magical abilities that enable him to withstand injuries that would prove fatal to another Asgardian, such as being beheaded) and immunity to all known diseases.

Loki has extensive training in the rites of black magic, and possesses the ability to manipulate great quantity of magical forces for a variety of purposes; energy projection, creation of force fields, temporarily increasing his own physical strength, grant superhuman abilities to living beings or inanimate objects, flight, physical malleability, hypnotism, illusion casting, and inter-dimensional teleportation. Apparently, Loki possesses some extrasensory abilites, and is capable of astral projection and casting his thoughts across great distances, even across dimensional barriers. However, he can not read the minds of other beings, though he can control their actions. He has been referred to as a master of magic with power that was said to exceed even that of Earth's Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange, early in Strange's career. ["Strange Tales" #123 (Aug. 1964)] . Loki is also an adept shape-shifter with the ability to change both form (examples include transmogrification to a salmon, horse, etc.) and person, framing some heroes including Thor and Captain America. His shape-shifting ability also does not include their powers.

Aside from his mystical abilities, Loki was always depicted with a brilliant intellect. However, his passionate hatred of Thor, lust for power, and tendency to alienate others by his ignoble actions greatly impeded his ability to bring his well laid plans to fruition. He is an expert manipulator and schemer.

Loki is usually armed with a sword, and has made use of various magic items.

Other versions

Ultimate Universe

Loki appears in the second volume of "The Ultimates" as the evil step brother of Thor.The Ultimate version of Loki has the ability to "shuffle time and space", and thus, in his first appearance caused 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). 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.

Later in the story, he confronts the captive Thor and gloats, claiming 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). Most recently (at the end of "Ultimates 2" #9), Loki has stated that the reason he joined the Liberators was that "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." 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 was, he rises into the air and changes the color of the sky. At that moment, the sky opens and Thor, his brother, appears for revenge.

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, for an unexplained reason, weakened. 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.

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. 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, regarding the failure of humans to realize the problems with these assertions as humorous.

MC2

In the reality of Earth-982, Loki decides to bring an end to the "Age of Heroes", still regretting the fact that his actions led to the creation of the Avengers. In the series "Last Hero Standing", he kidnaps several major superheroes, brainwashes them so that they are more violent, and returns them to Earth so that they will destroy their reputations, knowing that his spell will be permanent the moment they shed innocent blood. Eventually, this plot is foiled by the superheroes of earth, most especially that reality's Captain America, who shatters the gem Loki was using to create the spell before any innocents can be killed. In battle, Loki badly injuries Captain America, but, because of his actions, Loki is banished to the limbo realm and is joined by the Hulk, who intends to punish him for affecting the Hulk with his spell and driving him to attack the other heroes.

Within the "Avengers Next" miniseries it is revealed that Loki's daughter {within the MC2 universe}, Sylene, is on a mission to restore Asgard, as a way to honor her father and to prove herself to the Asgardians. Unfortunately, her plan is not only to transform Midgard/Earth into a version of Asgard, but also to eliminate the Avengers, since Loki was blaming himself for his part of indirectly creating the team.

Marvel 2099

In the Marvel 2099 line of series, the original Asgardians were no more. However, 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 pantheon. One of the company's scientists, Jordan Boone, decided that he wanted to have powers and sneaked himself into the program. He ensured that he avoided the receiving of a computer chip implant which would give him falsified memories of his godhood. Jordan became the Loki of the program, but fled before the program and their floating fortress were destroyed. He later reappeared and remade himself as the villainous Halloween Jack who went about trying to warp the entire world with a Virtual Unreality Projector. His plan would have succeeded if not for President Doom stepping in with the help of the X-Men Meanstreak and Krystalin. Halloween Jack was supposedly killed in "2099 World of Tomorrow" #2, but made an unexpected cameo in "X-Force" #92. He was somehow pulled from the time-stream before his death and re-deposited in the present where he pestered Domino. Since then his resident time period and/or location have been unknown.

Earth X

In the reality of Earth-9997, Loki duped Odin into transforming Thor into a woman and he cast a spell across Bifrost that would prevent Thor from returning to Earth if he ever returned to Asgard. Among several heroes, in this reality, he opposed the Celestials due to finding out the falsehood of the Asgardians' origins. Realizing that his form was actually solely dependent on his convictions (as that of all Asgardians), he became an angelic being with a very ambiguous appearance. With his new state, he was instrumental in defeating the Absorbing Man and he later formed the new Avengers and became the new Thor.

Guardians of the Galaxy

In the Guardians of the Galaxy timeline (Earth-691), Loki is alive and well in the 31st Century.

In other media

Television

* Loki appears in the Thor segment of "The Marvel Superheroes".
* In "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends", Loki appears in the episode "The Vengeance of Loki" voiced by John Stephenson.
*Loki was planned to appear in an unproduced episode of .Fact|date=September 2008

Video games

* Loki appears in "" voiced by Larry Cedar. He is an important member of Dr. Doom's Masters of Evil, first appearing disguised as The Mandarin, then as one of Doom's council alongside Enchantress, Baron Mordo, and Ultron. Loki takes an army of trolls and smashes the gates of Asgard, taking over the realm, imprisoning Tyr, Heimdall, Balder, and delivering Odin to Doctor Doom. Loki battles the heroes at Raven's Spire, then tricks them into releasing the Destroyer armor by disguising himself as Nick Fury, only to be defeated when the heroes trick the Destroyer armor into shooting a blast at Loki's trapped body. When Doctor Doom is defeated, he and Loki are reported to be tortured by Odin.

References

External links

* [http://www.marvel.com/universe/Loki Loki] at Marvel.com


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