Loki and his pal Spider-Man

Magic is well and alive in the Marvel universe.  And not sawing assistants in half or pulling rodents out of hats kinds of magic.  We’re talking astral projection, dimension manipulation, summoning rituals, and more words that I also don’t know.  Unfortunately, magic tends to create ambiguous plot twists, because the writers can make it do whatever they want whenever they want it – the deus ex machina of the comic book world.  But regardless, some of the cooler characters are master magicians (Wizards? Sorcerers? Voodooists?) like Dr. Doom, Dr. Strange, and others who don’t have PhDs.

Currently, because of The Avengers movie, the most popular comic book wizard is the trickster god Loki.  He’s sneaky, verbose, and rarely uses his fists – the opposite of his brother Thor.  Also, he’s a supervillain and responsible for some of the most destructive events in Marvel history.  Which makes him perfect for a team up with Spider-Man.  I know that segue was bad.

The two team up to take out an evil witch.  Be warned, either of these characters are known for being talkative.  Put the two together and I’m surprised they even had room to fit the punching around the word bubbles.

So let’s hang out with Spider-Man and Loki in Amazing Spider-Man #503 and #504.  C’mon, you have some time to spare.

Loki shows up in a puff of smoke and magic aura or whatever.  Spider-Man, obviously confused and frustrated, decides to figure out what’s going using the way that’s worked for decades before. Because this is only a two issue arc, Loki gives in and we learn all about this mysterious foe.  And she is mysterious, because this is her first appearance in the Marvel universe.

Since all the major sorcerers are conveniently out in outer space or deep meditation (like how come the Fantastic Four are always in the microuniverse whenever they’re needed?), it’s up to Spider-Man and I guess the now anti-hero Loki.

But crazy witches are exhausting to find, and in one of the most delightful moments in Marvel comics, the two buddies take a break and just hang out.  Y’know, like best friends do.

Anyway, let’s skip the detective work.  Basically Morwen is possessing a young girl.  Spider-Man ain’t big on civilians becoming avatars of evil, but why does Loki care?  Chaos is his favorite pastime.  Well, turns out the god has a few other hobbies.  Which involve the girl.

So surprise, they manage to find Morwen.  Also surprise, she’s combative and difficult.  Turns out that forces of chaos do not really get along.  Probably something to do with all of them being assholes.

They brawl.  The fight is fairly confusing to follow, mainly because magic fights tend to make up rules as they go along.  But Loki and Spider-Man win.  The Asgardian god creates barriers, changes elemental energy, and goes inside Morwen’s possessed body to convince his daughter to struggle and release Morwen.  Spider-Man hits her in the face with webs.  One has more tricks than the other.

There are two epilogue panels that make this story worth posting.  Because while Loki may be a liar, a thief, a manipulator, and a jerk, he does repay his debts.

Spider-Man has yet to cash in on this favor a 180ish issues later.  I hope he does soon, because if you read Spider-Man comics, he gets his ass handed to him almost every single issue.  Of course he eventually finds a way to win, but it would certainly save a concussion and half a uniform if he just summoned his BFF Loki to warp the baddie to a dimension full of angry wolves or something.

Unfortunately, Loki isn’t exactly what he once was.  Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin) and his Dark Avengers attacked Thor’s homeland Asgard, then situated in rural Oklahoma.  The Sentry, the insane Superman of the Marvel world, shockingly went insane and destroyed Asgard.  Loki, who had convinced Osborn to attack in the first place, realized the mistake he made and tried to stop the Sentry.  The trickster god got killed and Iron Man had to drop the helicarrier on the Sentry to win the fight.  Oops.  But he’s a god, so his resurrection’s only a matter of time.  Because he had made a deal with the ruler of Hel, where gods go when they die, he skipped the whole life and death cycle and changed forms.  Easy to follow, right?  Well, Loki’s a little different now.  Emphasis on little.

Oh, Spider-Man’s also doing okay.  Forgot to mention him.

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