Loki tales

Of the big three Marvel supervillains, Loki falls in the middle when it comes to complexity (behind Magneto and ahead of Doctor Doom).  Though to give credit to Dr. Doom, he’s the only one of the three who currently still qualifies as a supervillain.  Anyway, Loki has a firm belief that all the trouble he causes does not spawn from his own sociopathic behavior, but his fate preordained as the god of mischief.  Most likely his horrible actions spurn from the grease fire of jealousy towards his good-looking, charming half-brother.  Plus, his first few embarrassing defeats can’t really help.

He premiered in Journey Into Mystery #85, written by Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby, where he gets his butt handed to him by Thor.

And then again in Avengers #1, also written by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  Add that to the unfortunate side effect of causing the Avengers to form a team in the first place.

A bad first impression, certainly.  We fast forward 50ish years to our lovely Loki’s very own miniseries, specifically Loki #3-4, volume 2, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and drawn by Sebastian Fiumara.

Like all those wonderful myths you learned about in school, gods get bored and play with the lives of others. In this one, Loki convinces the old and blind Hoder to accidentally chuck a spear at his brother Balder.  I guess dodging magical weapons was more fun to the gods than say, watching a baseball game or something.

As you can no doubt predict, the throw goes very, very badly.

But I have more taste than to just simply show you images of impaled gods.  Nope, it’s the aftermath that makes this story so wonderful.

Piece of cake, right?  Surely every god, frost giant, raccoon, and whatever else will certainly cry for Balder’s death.  Personally, I just don’t think enough exciting stuff happens in immortal realms and the gods play crazy games and make silly bets to pass their time.  Though after thousands of years, I guess Xbox ain’t going to cut it anymore.

Surprisingly, every living thing in the nine realms does weep for Balder.  Well, except one.

Ah, the beauty of this moment!  Loki’s trickery brought Balder to his grave.  Loki’s trickery allowed Thor to make a secret deal with Hela.  And when the moment comes to strike the most pain, to bring the most suffering as victory becomes within reach, oh, does Loki take sweet advantage.

Malicious grins make for the best smiles in comics.  To be fair to Loki, I’m only showing one side of his perceived viciousness.  I mean, did you hear about that one time he fought a giant troll?

Loki’s reason for help?  Not exactly revealed, but we can assume either sympathy for those picked on or a brief flash of heroism.  Who knows?  Still, gives him an excuse to carry around a battleaxe.

Luckily, glimpses of the true Loki quietly spill out as the battle concludes.

Finally, after the adrenaline rush of troll blood on his robes, Loki gets drunk on ballsiness.  Maybe he needs to balance out the good karma received.  In the cafeteria of the Asgardian gods, Loki wounds his peers the deepest way he knows how: through the heart.

Now Loki’s tough.  Very tough.  Farm trolls everywhere fear him.  But to speak of such treacherous acts among gods whose size of their egos are only matched by the size of their biceps?

In the final moment of this scene, we get that pure burst Loki joy we’ve been seeing hints of during the entire miniseries.  And it’s beautifully poetic as Loki embraces his horrific destiny as the totem of destruction.  Well, at least I think so.

See the conviction in his eyes?  He’s totally committed to getting whacked by Thor’s hammer for the rest of eternity, no matter how many furnaces he gets thrown into.  That’s definitely respectful, in a twisted, uncomfortable sort of way.

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