Loki: The God of Mischief's Many Forms in the Marvel Universe
We're just days away from the debut of Loki on Disney+, and while a lot of what to expect in the highly-anticipated Marvel Studios series remains a mystery, one thing that trailers for Loki have hinted at and that seems like almost a certainty at this point is that we'll be seeing different versions of the God of Mischief. After all, he did make off with the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame, a move that has some interesting ramifications for reality and even in one of the trailers, a Time-Keeper asks Mobius M. Mobius if he believes in "this Loki variant", a strong suggestion that there's more than one take on Loki.
For fans of the comics, the idea of more than one "variant" of Loki won't come as much of a surprise. The character has taken many forms over the years and while there are some truly wild alternate versions of the trickster god -- he was even a unicorn in Loki: Agent of Asgard #8 -- there are a few strong contenders for versions we might see come to life on screen in the series. To get ready for Loki, here are a few major versions of the God of Mischief we might end up seeing in the Disney+ series.
This version of Loki probably requires little explanation for fans of the MCU, but since it has been some time since Avengers: Endgame, here's a quick refresher. As fans of the MCU will recall, Loki was among the first tragic deaths in Avengers: Infinity War. The opening scene of the 2018 film saw Thanos murder Loki on the ship carrying the survivors of Asgard's destruction in Thor: Ragnarok. Loki had taken the Tesseract from Odin's Vault before Asgard's destruction and when Thanos intercepted the ship to collect it, Loki tried to kill Thanos but failed.
So you might be asking if Loki is dead how is he also now in his own series? Good question. In Avengers: Endgame, the heroes carried out their Time Heist in order to get the Infinity Stones from various points in the past to use to restore all Thanos destroyed in the Snap. During the heist back to 2012 during the Attack on New York, the villainous 2012 version of Loki managed to make off with the Tesseract and vanish, an act that generally leads us into the events of the Loki television series.prevnext
With a recap of MCU Loki out of the way, it's time to move into the unusual versions of the character that might appear in the series. A fan-favorite among those variants is the so-called "Lady Loki." First appearing as Lady Loki in Thor Vol. 3 #5 in 2008, Loki took over the human body meant for Lady Sif and generally was just Loki in a female form, complete with the same personality and traits which meant that even as Lady Loki, he was up to all of his old tricks. As Lady Loki, the trickster worked with Doctor Doom, manipulated Balder to make him the new successor to the throne of Asgard, goaded the Asgardians to believe that Beta Ray Bill was a Skrull during Secret Invasion, and, after the defeat of the Skrulls, joined the Norman Osborn's Cabal during Dark Reign.
While Loki eventually reverted to his original male form (who was then killed in 2009's Siege leading to another interesting variation of Loki), this wasn't the last time readers would get a female take on the character. Loki would shapeshift into a woman in 2014's Loki: Agent of Asgard, among other moments.
It's not clear how Lady Loki will factor into the Disney+ series, but some fans have theorized that Sophia Di Martino will play this take on the character.prevnext
In the Siege storyline, Loki manipulated Norman Osborn and his Avengers into attacking Asgard with the plan that it would result in returning Asgard into its place in the Nine Realms. Unfortunately, Loki underestimated the Sentry who had given into his Void persona. When the genuine Avengers entered the fray to defend Asgard, things went south in a hurry as Osborn had the Void unleash his powers, thus destroying Asgard. Realizing the mess he's made, Loki used the Norn Stones to help the Avengers against the Void, but when the Void realizes the enhanced power is coming from Loki, the Void kills him and it's Loki's sacrifice that spurs the heroes on to victory. However, Loki is always scheming and ends up being reborn as Kid Loki.
While Kid Loki is technically an entirely new Loki, part of the old Loki's spirit was able to hijack the new body. First appearing in Thor #617 in 2010, Kid Loki initially had no memories of his previous life, though Thor found him in Paris and helped restore part of his identity and brought him back to Asgard. Distrusted and rejected by the Asgardians, this Loki had a hard time. He was also plagued by nightmares of what the previous Loki had done. While Kid Loki tries his best to turn over a new leaf as a hero and use his natural adeptness at trickery to help rather than hurt Asgard, the essence of the old Loki is still scheming, trying to find a way to take over Kid Loki's body. A lot of weird things go down -- Kid Loki banishes the essence of old evil Loki into a bird named Ikol.
Eventually, it's revealed that during his adventures Kid Loki had inadvertently created and was also bound to a powerful artifact that Mephisto (yes, that Mephisto) was preparing to use to conquer everything. To stop this, Kid Loki would have to cease to exist as it would strip that artifact of power. Kid Loki ended up eating Ikol, allowing the old Loki to return, though the experience left the new-old Loki horrified at everything he'd done. We see the shift in Loki most clearly after his time with the Young Avengers where, despite borrowing Wiccan's powers with the plan to leave the Young Avengers to die, Loki has a talk with his child self still within him, which convinces him to return to the team.prevnext
Agent of Asgard
After his time with the Young Avengers, in Loki: Agent of Asgard, the trickster ends up tasked by the All-Mother to collect five keys that Odin had once forged for him should he prove to be worthy. Loki uses the keys to claim the sword of Sigurd, Gram, for himself. For each of Loki's successful missions for the All-Mother, one of his misdeeds and crimes is erased from his record. However, Loki eventually learns that he's being manipulated by an alternate, future villainous version of himself, King Loki.
The Agent of Asgard series sees some pretty wild twists and turns -- Loki is even completely unable to lie during his time as Agent of Asgard and confesses everything to Odin which results in him being banished from Asgard. Ultimately after seeing what becomes of a Loki that clears his record, Loki decides to focus on changing his destiny, telling a new story not as the God of Mischief, but the God of Stories.
What makes this version of particular interest is that it has Loki working for someone else to essentially "set things right". Sounds a little bit like what Loki might be doing with the Time Variance Authority in Loki.prevnext
Possibly the scariest version of Loki, King Loki is a future version of the trickster who, in his world, killed everyone on Earth and then traveled to the past to kill Odin so that Mjolnir would be useless, thus allowing him to be able to defeat his brother, Thor. Ruthless and bitter, King Loki is the version of Loki that does, in fact, clear his record by completing his tasks for the All-Mother, but even with his misdeeds cleared, he still was not seen as anything but the God of Lies, which prompted his full evil turn. It's revealed that after King Loki revealed himself to the All-Mother, he began working with her to ensure that his future would come to pass, leading to the manipulation of young Loki in Agent of Asgard.prevnext
The four-issue 2016 miniseries Vote Loki introduces a version of Loki with political aspirations. The series sees Loki stage an attack on the candidates for United States president before manipulating the press and the public into himself becoming the frontrunner. A lot of chaos ensues and despite it, the American people continue to support Loki. Only Nisa Contreras, a journalist for the Daily Bugle, continues to push against Loki's lies. In the end, it's revealed to the public that Loki staged the Hydra attack that launched his political career -- something that the public wasn't privy to initially as they thought it was just a real Hydra attack. The public finally starts to turn against Loki but also turns to violence against one another in the process with those against Loki retaliating against pro-Loki voters. It's when Loki actually speaks the truth on television that the public starts to shift away from Loki and while the election is still close, he ends up conceding.
This version of Loki is one we've actually seen, briefly, in trailers for the Disney+ series so it will be interesting to see if and how the series approaches this.prevnext
Yes, you read that right. Loki has even appeared as the Scarlet Witch in comics. In Mighty Avengers #21, Loki took on Scarlet Witch's astral form and used it to recruit a team of Avengers, selecting Henry Pym to lead it, to face the Elder God Chthon. With the Avengers unaware that they were actually dealing with Loki, the team followed "Wanda's" instructions. Loki's goal in using the Avengers was to essentially use them against Norman Osborn (who is in charge of the Dark Avengers). Ultimately, those closest to the real Wanda realized that something was up and it was Wiccan's spell that revealed Loki's ruse. Loki was forced to leave, but his ploy wasn't entirely in vain. The Mighty Avengers did ultimately straining Osborn to his breaking point, something that Loki ended up capitalizing on leading into Siege.
While one could argue that this is less a "variant" of Loki and more part of one of his complicated schemes, it's worth including here given the nature of the MCU's storytelling. With WandaVision concluded and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness yet to come and given Loki's own powers of sorcery, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that Marvel might try to weave in some connection here.
Loki debuts on Disney+ beginning Wednesday, June 9th.
Want to learn more about the latest Marvel Studios series? Check back on ComicBook CRAM every day leading up to the premiere of Loki, and click here for even more articles and videos to find out everything you need to know about the new show!
If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here. Note: If you purchase one of the awesome, independently chosen products featured here, we may earn a small commission from the retailer. Thank you for your support.prev