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Comic Book / Loki

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"No. Mischief is a small thing, a toy I've well used and discarded. This isn't mischief. This is mayhem. Just watch."
Loki, Siege: Loki Vol. 1 #1

Loki is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is the adoptive brother and Arch-Enemy of Thor. He is based on the being of the same name from Norse Mythology. The character first appeared in Journey into Mystery #85 (October, 1962). The character was created by writer Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and penciller Jack Kirby.

Loki was born of Laufey, King of the Frost Giants. Laufey was a brute of a father, ashamed of his son's comparatively non-giant size, but as luck — and Loki's own hand — would have it, Laufey would be slain in battle with the All-Father Odin, Lord of Asgard. Out of pity, Odin took the boy from Jottunheim and raised him as his own 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, a race of proud warrior deities, loved Thor for his courage, his might, tenacity, and bravery in battle, and Loki was clearly inferior to his foster brother Thor in those areas. What he lacked in size and strength, however, he made up for in intelligence and skill, particularly as a sorcerer. And thus Loki came to detest Thor.


He arranged for Thor to be exiled to Earth in mortal form, and plotted his death, unleashing scores of monsters and mayhem upon him and the world in pursuit of that goal, whilst in Asgard he schemed on many occasions to seize rulership of Asgard. His plots against Thor were thwarted time and again, and when he pitted him against the Incredible Hulk, he made new mortal enemies when The Avengers united for the first time to oppose him.

But Loki couldn't be humbled. He bartered with other mortals and gave them power to fight this new team; he schemed with other villains and sought to defeat Thor and his allies with their aid; while still working towards one day claim Odin's crown.

And after decades and centuries of planning and plots, he finally achieved his goal -– and for his troubles, Thor brought about Ragnarok.


Loki was shaken, as he did not seek something so terrible as the destruction of Asgard, but Thor's actions freed them from the tyranny of the Shadow gods, and they were reborn.

Loki returned as a woman, but regained his masculinity in short order, and once again worked towards taking over Asgard and the defeat of Thor. But Loki paid a heavy price for his actions and he died once again, only to rise once more, this time as a child; as he had schemed to manipulate Hela into having his name removed from the Book of Hel, thus when he died, he would be reborn instead of truly dying. Kid Loki was innocent and trusting, but still as wily as the God of Mischief was.

Thor found Kid Loki on Earth, restored part of his identity (though he remained in the form of a child and lost almost all his memories and powers) and brought him back to Asgard, where he found an echo of his elder self, whom Kid Loki reduced into the form of a magpie, condemned to a lifetime as "Ikol," his opposite. Determined not to become like his past self, Kid Loki went on several adventures to gain Thor's and everyone else's trust and affection, but eventually found himself in a situation that required his mind to be destroyed by letting Ikol overwrite it and take his body. So, the Loki seen now is a bit of a copy of himself, but while he did end up nearly causing the meltdown of reality as we know it during his stint with the Young Avengers, he discovered that his heart just wasn't in it anymore - the fact that Kid Loki's memory functioned as a sort of conscience ("I am the crime that will not be forgiven") and his absorption of Kid Loki's memories and, to an extent, his nature, didn't hurt.

Loki became more appreciative of his brother Thor, who still (rocky periods aside) treats him with trust and love. Now he puts his mind towards more benevolent ends, and has assisted Thor and his friends in their hours of need — even if he's still as cunning as before. He even worked for the good of Asgard, too, in the All-Mother's secret service, if partly to expunge one crime, one story, from his past so he wouldn't be bound by it and turn back into his old evil self. Then, after a stint as the All-Mother's spy on Malekith's Dark Council, he appeared to betray her by stabbing Freyja in the back with a poison blade. However, as Cul, Odin's currently semi-evil older brother and right-hand, accurately noted, failing to kill Freyja with a poisoned knife from that range would make Loki either "a very bad poisoner, or a very, very good one."

It turned out to be the latter, both to get him in closer to the Dark Council, and to protect Freyja (if he hadn't done it, Malekith would have sent someone who would have succeeded). During this time, he also arranged the reformation of the Avengers because, as he put it in Young Avengers, "Assembling the Avengers - it's Loki's greatest trick". This time, it was sincere motives, as he pretended to be the herald of the corrupted Celestials, leading to the formation of the 2018 Avengers team by playing the villain (which Black Panther - and possibly Thor - noticed, even if no one else did). However, the Dark Council didn't trust him, and the resurrected Laufey killed him by eating him in War of the Realms... or rather, he tried.

Thanks to Matt Murdock as 'the God Without Fear' knowing he was alive and pulling off an impossible ricochet throw of Heimdall's sword down Laufey's throat, Loki cut his way out, and claimed the throne of Jotunheim, of which he is now the somewhat reluctant King.

Read in his own voice here. For Loki's various incarnations, see here.

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Tropes associated with Loki:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Laufey was not a good father. As a time-travelling adult, Loki took revenge on his wounded progenitor with a sword, screaming "YOU WILL NEVER STRIKE ME AGAIN!"
    • Laufey briefly came back to life during Loki's misadventures with the Young Avengers. Let it be known their reunion was anything but happy - he literally tried to eat him!
    • During the War of the Realms, Laufey tolerates Loki's presence since they're allies, but clearly does not like his son in the slightest. After Loki betrays Malekith, Laufey states that the frost giants consume their shame and eats Loki, who proceeds to carve his way out of his father's stomach, killing him.
  • Aborted Arc: Subverted. Spider-Man once aided him in subduing his wayward daughter, leaving Loki with a debt to pay. Due to the Siege, and other events, it seemed doubtful he'd ever have the chance, but in Amazing Spider-Man #795 (Feb. 2018) Loki finally pays it.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Prior to Comic Book/Siege, Loki had been a straight up villain in the comics. In Thor, Loki is an Anti-Villain whose actions are motivated by a desire to win the same love his father had for Thor. While he is a full-blown villain in The Avengers, Loki is an Anti-Hero during Thor: The Dark World who is out to help Thor avenge their mother. In Thor: Ragnarok he makes a full blown Heel–Face Turn and stays on Thor's side in Avengers: Infinity War which sadly leads to him being killed by Thanos.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Brunette in the comics, redhead in the original myths.
  • Affably Evil: Depending on his mood, but just because he's a ruthless manipulator doesn't mean he can't be civil about it.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: His apparent death in Thor: The Dark World had everyone, including Thor, shaken by it. Except he survived. And then his subsequent real death in Avengers: Infinity War nearly broke Thor's heart.
  • Always Someone Better: Because of Frost Giant heritage, in Asgard Loki was always compared unfavorably to his adoptive brother, Thor. This, coupled with Abusive Parents above, seems to have played a role in his nature.
  • Ambition Is Evil: One of his main ambitions is to take the throne of Asgard, and he'll stop at nothing to take it.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Norn Stones are his most prominent, though he has a collection of these.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: The point of the "Kid Loki" arc – he was a preteen again, with no memories from before his preteen years (except for in his nightmares). Therefore he does not remember his hatred of Thor, which started when they were teens. Instead, he adores him. Eventually he came to remember him, but his feelings towards him remained warm.
  • Anti-Antichrist: Ancient prophecies tell that it's Loki's destiny to bring forth Ragnarök, but even at his most vile, Loki's main determination is only to rule the Nine (or Ten) Realms, not destroy them. (Yes, in the countless repetitions of the cycle he always did so at the end, but it was rarely his original intention.)
  • Arch-Enemy: He's Thor's greatest and most personal enemy.
  • Arrow Catch: In The Avengers, he briefly managed this with Hawkeye's arrow... until it literally blew up in his face, proving even the Trickster God can be tricked.
  • Astral Projection: One of his numerous skills is to project his spirit.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Several times, he has succeeded in his quest to rule Asgard. In early issues, this was done by stealing his adoptive father's Odin-ring, which made him supreme ruler. When Thor tried to protest, their father responded by removing his mouth. Of course, such conquests rarely last more than a few issues.
  • Badass Bookworm: His intelligence is without question and he's an unusually scholarly Asgardian, but he's also still a Norse god, and one does not grow up amongst the Aesir without learning how to fight, nor have a blood feud with The Mighty Thor without being good at it.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Amongst other things, he has transmogrified Thor into a frog and his own grandfather into the snow - yes, the snow, as in, all snow everywhere.
  • Batman Gambit: He has been playing Thor, the Avengers and all of Asgard like a fiddle with a high success rate since time immemorial.
  • Becoming the Mask: Loki may insist that Loki is always Loki (and only fights for Loki), but which can be quite the question. For example, after Kid Loki merged with Ikol, is the young Loki that resulted the kid version, whose body he inhabits, and part he plays; or the old, whose memories and personality he possesses, but part tries to avoid; or maybe somehow in-between? For what it's worth Loki himself is hoping for a solution that makes him less predictable. But the house almost always wins. And it won. But too late for Loki's tastes, which prompted him, well, the King!Loki him, to Make Wrong What Once Went Right (or was it the other way around?). What happened? Let's just say Loki must really hate butterflies.
  • Being Evil Sucks: He has been plagued by a guilty conscience, taking the form of the so-called "Kid Loki", whose soul he destroyed when he took over his body as part of his ploy to make his comeback. Hamlet figures prominently in his accusations.
  • Big Bad:
    • Of many Thor stories, as well as both the first Avengers story and the film (though, admittedly in the latter he was in an alliance with Thanos, but he stayed in the shadows the entire time). He's also the true villain of Journey into Mystery and Loki: Agent of Asgard, despite being the hero of both; Loki is truly complicated.
    • Of the Dark Reign and its finale event Comic Book/Siege. Norman Osborn, as director of HAMMER, is the new face of the Superhero Registration Act that has been an obstacle for Earth's heroes since Comic Book/Civil War. However, Loki began engineering events such as re-establishing the Mighty Avengers to undermine Osborn's authority and thus his already-fragile sanity, winning The Hood to his side by giving him the Norn Stones after the latter had been stripped from Dormammu's control, and colluding with Dr Doom to house the Asgardians in Latveria in exchange for the secrets to the Asgardians' immortality so he could ingratiate himself with Asgard's new king Balder. Loki then plays on Osborn's Sanity Slippage to convince him to invade Asgard.
    • He also served as this during the first season of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!.
    • He's also, surprisingly enough, the villain of Young Avengers, as he struck an alliance with Mother in order to gain control of Wiccan and his powers. Well, until he changed his mind at least.
  • Big Brother Worship:
    • As much as Loki seems to detest Thor, he might begrudgingly admit there are some things he might admire about him, at least after he forgot that he ever hated him in the first place. Even if his dad doesn't like it.
    • As "Kid Loki" at least, he's justified with this line of thought, as Thor is currently the only person who likes him at all and is nice to him.
    • How deep does his love for his brother go? When young Loki faced a Sadistic Choice of dying or becoming like his past self, young Loki and his past self solved it by destroying themselves almost completely so that Loki could remake himself, but what they chose to hang on to was their only friendship, their self-determination, and their love for Thor.
  • Black Magic: One of the many branches of power available to him and another contrast with his muscle bound brother.
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: Loki is intellectual and evil, whereas Thor has physical might and is good.
  • Buffy Speak: He's approximately equivalent to a human of about twenty-one years of age now that he's gotten a fresh start in a new body, and has become quite fond of Western pop culture. Is it any wonder he sometimes does the... adjective fail thingy?
  • Cain and Abel: Well, duh. He's in the role of Cain while his brother is the Abel.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He is the God of Mischief and Evil, after all. His future self, King Loki, laughs his ass off at the assumption that a magic sword, which forces anyone stabbed by it to face the whole truth about himself can have any effect on him - he knows exactly what a villain he is and loves every moment of it.
  • Characterization Marches On: His original incarnation was evil, hated Thor and wanted nothing more than to rule Asgard. Since his subsequent rebirths, he's more neutral than evil, is on semi-good terms with Thor and doesn't have any interest in ruling Asgard.
  • Characters as Device: Since he's explicitly a chaotic evil character Loki can be of use to authors as an out to undo any retcons to a character's legacy as some lie he concocted to mess with them. The revelation that the Beaubier twins are half-elf and that Hank Pym is the Scientist Supreme are both prime examples.
  • Chick Magnet: While one would think this only applied to him after the success of the movies, in his very first appearance he wooed his brother's lover, Jane Foster, just by challenging Thor to a fight. He also had the Enchantress, Lorelei, and Lady Sif interested in him.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Born as son of the Frost Giant King, but adopted and raised by the Asgardian royal family, he can truly say he's one. Not that he ever really felt he belonged to either society, as both equally loathe him, albeit for different reasons.
  • Chronic Villainy: Right before allowing himself to be overwritten by his memories, his child self called him out on it.
  • Classic Villain: Pride and Ambition are his principal traits, and he also possesses Envy.
  • Clever Crows: Ikol, the magpie containing the memories of what Loki was before he died. Since then his new incarnation developed quite an association with these birds... some might even suggest for some other reasons.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: For his adventures performing tasks in Midgard for the All-Mother (tales told in his own series, Loki: Agent of Asgard) and also when later troll... visiting his brother's... um replacement's book, Thor (2014), upon seeing the reaction Mr. Tom Hiddleston got in films, artists have modeled his new face on his likeness. It isn't without its difficulties, however, as he had to move his apartment once after being repeatedly confused for some Midgardian named Harry Styles.
  • Consummate Liar: As the God of Lies, he's extremely skilled at lying.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, after his defeat at the end of the first season, Odin locked him in a prison wherein a giant snake dripped poison into his eyes. A punishment copied from the original mythology, no less.
  • Cool Helmet: Complete with horns, although it looks better on his live action incarnation.
  • Cool Sword: He was, for a time, owner of Gram, sword of Sigurd (the Ever-Glorious), a sword that forces all injured by it to face the truth. Time-travel plays no small part in its complicated origins. Alas, his brother destroyed it.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Averted. His dear Hela is neither little — thrice his size, in fact (apparently giantism skips a generation) — nor particularly fond of him. Their relationship is rather ... strained, at best, and though they sometimes co-operate most of the time, she wants nothing to do with him. Unfortunately for him, as the Goddess of the Dead she is much more powerful than he is as well, and worse, he may even be destined to someday end up in her custody. Apparently, she thinks him rather ... childish; he's the God of Mischief, after all. Though the fact that she's not really his daughter at all might have something to do with it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His early childhood was littered with neglect and physical abuse. Also, the fact that he's a runt by Frost Giants' standards (1/5 the size of his kindred) led his father to abandon him in the ice, although if he hadn't done so, Odin would not have taken him in and he might not have evolved into the Physical God he is.
  • Dating Catwoman: He once had a prolonged relationship with Storm of the X-Men, when she and the New Mutants were stranded in Asgard — he even gave her back her Elemental Powers, as she had been depowered at the time. When he was... persuaded... to send them all back to Midgard, he offered her a chance to stay with him as his queen, and even admitted that being with her might have been worth losing the throne. While she turned down his offer, he sentimentally took the molten remains of the thunder-hammer he had used to empower her and reshape it into a statue of her to keep as a memento.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Got a four-issue miniseries in 2004, another in 2010, and a one-shot during Siege.
    • As of #622, Loki - in his younger form - has taken over the main Thor books as the protagonist (Thor is the protagonist in another one) and they have been renamed Journey into Mystery, to great critical acclaim. Along with his solo adventures, as of October 2012 he's also a member of the Young Avengers.
    • In 2014, he got another new solo series, Loki: Agent of Asgard.
    • Loki's plans for 2016 include running for president of the US, so don't forget to Vote Loki!
  • Deadpan Snarker: Very much so. His live action incarnation has some moments of this that are likely the funniest moments in the Avengers film.
  • Deal with the Devil: He has been pressed-ganged into deals with actual devils at times, such as his forced alliance with the dreaded Dormammu, but he has been on the better end of this more often than not; Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man, is just one of many mortals who have gained special gifts courtesy of him.
  • Distaff Counterpart: So unmatched is Loki that he is his own Distaff Counterpart. Not for the first time, either.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: He pulled this once on Apocalypse, appearing on one of his television monitoring screens and then having a chat with him from it, then popping out of it to have a proper conversation. It was fun until he took him prisoner with his Anti-Magic tech...
  • Doppelgänger Spin: He had this power since the first Avengers story, though he uses it more frequently in the movies.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: In Thor: The Dark World, he managed to slay Kurse after Thor proved no match for him, before Kurse fatally wounded him in turn. Subverted in that he survived.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Thor and Odin always forgive him in the end and give him another chance, but he refuses to accept their mercy.
    • Averted with his return as a child. Odin has apparently run out of patience, with Thor being the only reason he has not been banished or killed. The only person who has forgiven him is Thor. Everyone else wants to kill him.
    • Initially averted with his Marvel Cinematic Universe incarnation. Thor and Odin do not forgive him after his attempted invasion of Migard, and Thor only releases him since he expected him to help deal with Malekith. But eventually played straight in Thor: Ragnarok, where Odin declares his love and even praises Loki for managing to enchant him before dying, and Thor and Loki finally reconcile after Loki returns in a Big Damn Heroes moment to evacuate Asgard.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: He has dark hair and pale skin and is definitely eerie.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Surtur once attempted to destroy Asgard. Odin and Thor stood in his way. Loki temporarily put aside his differences with his father and brother to fight Surtur at their side.
    • Loki's role in Thor: The Dark World. Malekith killed his and Thor's mother Frigga, and Thor convinced him to go along with a plan of his for revenge.
    • He once tried to manipulate Mr. Sinister into stealing his genetic material from Doctor Doom, whose Anti-Magic prevented him from doing it himself. Circumstances forced them to fight their way out together.
    • He once teamed up with Spider-Man. Loki wanted to save one of his children from being possessed by Morwen, and Spider-Man wanted to save the world and to get Morwen to stop hitting on him.
  • Enemy Without: Leah of Hel and the former lovers of the Young Avengers, who joined Mother's side, all turned out to be creations of his guilty conscience that he subconsciously brought to life to punish himself for killing Kid Loki.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Loki will always make clear that he seeks to rule Asgard, not to destroy it.
    • When the time came for his younger self to make an inspiring speech to the Angels of the Tenth Realm, he felt it prudent to address the pressing fact that they would be killing babies. At length, at that.
  • Evil Chancellor: Prince Balder could not have had a more trustworthy adviser...
  • Evil Is Petty: The other main motivation of Loki, besides ruling Asgard, is showing up his brother by any means necessary.
  • The Evil Prince: He's the Prince of Asgard and Jotunheim and very good at being evil.
  • Evil Plan: He sets his sights on Odin's throne or otherwise sees how he can make Thor suffer.
  • Evil Sorcerer: His knowledge of the mystic arts is unparalleled in all of Asgard, even though many mighty sorcerers and sorceresses make it their home.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: He has stated as much his aim is conquest, not destruction. He stated this during a fight with Surtur: there is no point in his ruling all that he surveys if all he surveys is burned to a cinder.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: He maintains a perfectly healthy and realistic awareness of his own handsomeness, and he can certainly fight. His fighting style is in fact far more based on grace and agility than brute strength.
  • For the Evulz: Norman Osborn was an amusing toy for him... for a while.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: At the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, the Marvel Cinematic Universe Loki (played by his MCU actor, Tom Hiddleston) appeared in front of the audience.
  • Gender Bender: He has been known to take on feminine form, in particular that of his brother's lover, Lady Sif. Why Sif? To torment him, of course. Not that that actually affected his gender (he still referred to himself as Odin's son, Thor's brother, generally he and so forth).
  • God of Evil: God of Mischief and Evil. Albeit it was later changed and he became the God of Mischief and Lies instead for a while, at which point his destiny split: Either go back to the previous title, because "lies are evil, right?", or push it more and become the God of Mischief and Stories.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs:
    • While plotting out his far-reaching plans before the Siege event, he realized he needed control of the Dsir, the dreaded undead Valkyries that eat souls. So naturally the best option was to beat them into submission with his bare hands.
    • He also has slapped Eric Masterson to the brink of unconsciousness.
  • Hand Blast: Just in case you start thinking he's all guile and manipulation, he can certainly take care of himself in battle with these.
  • Idiot Ball: Even he admitted that allowing himself to be deceived by the Midgardian Spider-Man in Ultimate Spider-Man was not one of his finer moments.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: His Agents of Asgard incarnation seems to be developing an attachment to a certain Miss Verity Willis because she can see through any sort of lies and illusions, and is therefore very hard for him to fool.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Sometimes he's a haughty sorcerer who thinks Asgard rightfully belongs to him...and sometimes he's The Unfavorite brother of the Mighty Thor who can never be an adequate Jotunn or Aesir.
  • It's All About Me: Odin fights for Asgard, Thor fights for Midgard, and Loki fights for himself.
  • Kick the Dog: When confronting the Power Pack, he used the fact that their grandmother was dying to his advantage and taunted them about it.
  • Killed Off for Real: As revealed in Agent of Asgard, any Loki that came after him is a different Loki, meaning that the original Loki who died in Siege was gone for good.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Loki will often demand to whom he considers lesser beings to bow to him.
  • Lack of Empathy: He thinks himself above any others and will be ready to admit it.
  • Large Ham: He seems to enjoy himself while displaying his superiority to those pathetic Midgardians!
  • Lean and Mean: Loki is probably the skinniest male in Asgard. He is also one of Thor's meanest villains.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Since becoming the god of stories, he's started doing this rather frequently. He often references his own character arc and what role he's supposed to play in relation to a plot line, whether he's the villain, hero or something else.
  • Level Ate: One of his more frivolous acts of mischief was to change buildings and cars into candy.
  • Magic Knight: He much prefers to manipulate things from afar or use magic than to resort to what he considers barbarian methods... but if he needs to fight, he will fight. The Disir learned the hard way what happens to those who underestimate his battle prowess.
  • The Man Behind the Man: On several occasions, the villains Thor defeats were Loki's stooges.
  • Manipulative Bastard: And an excellent one at that.
    • He has manipulated everyone in Asgard at some time or another. Fitting, given that he is the god of deception. Oh and in this case, "bastard" is meant literally. He insists that he's not really the "God of Lies", just mischief. Of course, he's such a good liar anyway, who could ever tell?
    • He's so good that even when people know not to trust him (which has been Status Quo for fifteen real time years), he still ends up manipulating them anyway.
    • His younger self needs to be this since he doesn't have any magic, only his brains and his silver tongue.
    • He's not above manipulating incarnations of himself either.
    • Loki is known for his manipulative tendencies and even spins this reputation in his favor to get people to do what he wants. Later incarnations of him often have more benign goals, but given his schemes have a tendency to cause a lot of harm regardless of the intentions, he is not well-liked.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: When he travels to the mortal realm, at least in the good old days, he dresses his best - he looks good in a suit, after all.
  • Master of Illusion: His film incarnation in particular is fond of this, but the Loki of Earth-616 is more than his equal in his own right.
  • Memory Gambit: "Kid" Loki was a scheme to let him return from death with a new lease on life and a better reputation. It did not go entirely according to plan, but Loki is nothing if not adaptable.
  • Me's a Crowd: In his most serialised adventures, there are no less than four distinctly separate versions of him; his original self (the original Loki), the younger version of himself's ghost or spirit (Kid!Loki), the current version, taking traits from both while being distinctly separate from either, with notions of redemption and... heroism (Teen!Loki), and an older version of that one, who has gone back to standard villainy (Old or King!Loki). But Teen!Loki decided to become Story!Loki instead.
  • Mind Control: He has used this on the Incredible Hulk and various others, mortal and otherwise, with varying degrees of success. As an Evil Sorcerer, he can do it any time, but how effective it is depends on the mind.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: As Spider-Man was once surprised to learn, Norse gods have a lot of time on their hands. While most of Loki's children are normal enough and mortal, he does have a few that are either immortal, such as Hela and Vali Halfling, or have... not inherited his handsome looks, such as Fenrir and the Midgard Serpent.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Knowing he would in all likelihood die at some point, he planned ahead. Which came in useful when he did eventually die.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Frost Giants are very big, very stupid, and typically Dumb Muscle. Loki is a brilliant schemer, a powerful sorcerer, and slightly shorter than Thor (the horns on Loki's helmet notwithstanding) and very slender. While Loki is still very strong and durable, that is primarily in comparison to the superheroes and villains of Earth, not Asgardians or other Frost Giants.
  • Never Bareheaded: Some runs of The Mighty Thor have depicted Loki this way, though as with many comic book characters it's Depending on the Artist (it's fairly established that his hair is short — shorter than in the film version, black, and pomaded back). The J. Michael Straczynski/Kieron Gillen era took this trope to heart, however, by depicting a Loki who wore his horned helmet and cowl even when shirtless and hammering at a sword à la The Blacksmith. Current/Teen!Loki averts the trope, he pretty much only wears a circlet thingy, and even that only on missions; however his (possible) evil, future self was shown to wear the classic helmet.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: As is common for characters whose skill lies in magic, he's often capable of doing whatever the plot needs him to with it, though not to the level of Doctor Strange since the writers still need Thor to be able to defeat him.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: He once schemed to pit Thor in a deadly battle against the Hulk, but some other heroes showed up as well. His plot was soon uncovered, and - much to Loki's later irritation - he ended up inadvertently bringing the Avengers together. Indeed, this incident is his single greatest regret in life, or at least was until he killed his better self.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: As a small Frost Giant he is as durable and strong as any average Aesir, though he is not naturally as durable as the muscle-bound Thor. Fortunately, as a sorcerer, he has supernatural durability, as he has granted himself a range of advantages no other Aesir has; most Asgardians would be more bothered than him at the prospect of decapitation, for a start.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: He is not so easily swayed by a pretty face and body, but on occasion he has been distracted by both Lorelei and her sister Amora the Enchantress.
  • Odd Friendship: Spider-Man and he had a short lived one during their brief team-up. It was certainly entertaining, everyone can agree on that, given their wit. By the end he was grateful enough that Loki told Spidey he could get a favor from him in the future, which he eventually did in 2018, although despite the number of fans wishing for Spider-Man to use it to get Loki to undo One More Day he used it for something else.
  • Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: His younger self and also his later God(dess) of Stories incarnate would change gender for no reason other that he could (and he only could like he was thanks to some limitations placed on his shapeshifting those days), and would also identify accordingly. Yes. That's Goddess, or Mistress or generally she when Loki is a woman. Thank you very much.
  • Papa Wolf: His relationship with his children can be strained at best, but as it became evident with his (temporary) partnership with Spider-Man, he does care for his progeny, and as Morwen painfully learned, he does not take lightly anyone possessing them.
  • Patricide: Laufey violently eats Loki for betraying Malekith's army, proclaiming that frost giants eat their shame and weakness. Unfortunately for Laufey, Loki takes the opportunity to cut his way out of his father's stomach, killing him and subsequently making Loki the new king of Jotunheim.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • After his plan to lure the X-Men and New Mutants to Asgard led with him having to return them all to Earth, while he deprived most of them of the new powers or gifts they had acquired, he specifically stated that he wouldn't be so cruel as to subject Karma to regaining the excess weight she'd lost during her time there (prior to her coming to Asgard, Karma had been possessed by the Shadow King and her body had put on weight in the process, only slimming down due to the strain of her time in the deserts around Asgard).
    • When he becomes king of Jotunheim, he comes across another runt frost giant about to be killed by some of his kin for stealing the lid to a pot. Loki empathizes with the giant and protects him, even giving him a special position so the other giants will not harm him.
  • Physical God: As he is of Asgard/Jotunheim, his power, his age, and his strength are all godlike.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Loki can safely say that this is not the case. It looks like assimilating his child self has given him knowledge of Internet culture and popular media such as Game of Thrones, despite being of a species and from a culture vastly different from that of Midgard.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Though for much of his history he had a disdain for anything mortal, he became this after he was resurrected in the body of a child and discovered the internet. He's now one of the very few Asgardians who carry a cell phone (he even boosts the reception with magic), will use the internet to accomplish his goals, play video games, and constantly make pop culture references, having apparently become quite the fan of many movies and TV shows which he gets via "torrents of bits".
  • Pretty Boy: His Loki: Agent of Asgard and Marvel Cinematic Universe incarnations certainly typify this trope.
  • Progressively Prettier:
    • While Loki has always maintained a certain "je ne sais quoi," there is no arguing that, as Kid Loki, his design grew from "eyebrowless goblin child" to "handsome young lad."
    • Having now been granted an older body through Wiccan's magic, he now has the appearance of a young adult in their late teens/early twenties. The reaction from the internet seems to be, "Oh no he's hot."
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He's an ages-old Physical God with incredible intellect, cunning, magical might... and the emotional maturity of a spoiled toddler. His entire motivation for everything he has ever done is that his Dad likes big brother Thor more than him and lashing out in response. In a conversation between his child incarnation and a copy of his former self, the child Loki actually comes across as the wiser and more mature of the two. Teen!Loki also has a bit more maturity due to his guilt over replacing child Loki. It's sort of inevitable that a self-proclaimed God of Mischief isn't a paragon of maturity.
  • Psychic Powers: He can enter the minds of hapless victims, such as the Hulk to turn him on Thor.
  • Rage Against the Author: It's hard not to read the entirety of his younger self's sacrifice without seeing a touch of... aggravation at the fact that, because of the Editors and his newfound popularity as the villain of The Avengers, no matter what, this was only a temporary arrangement. He even looks at the viewer while describing how it's beyond either of them's power to make the story have a happy ending. (He even declares that an unspecified "they" won't let him change.) The only way for the new Loki to be allowed to change without being forced to become evil at some point in the future under a new writer is for his younger self to be entirely erased from existence. This is admittedly something that can be undone if someone has the gall to.
  • Redemption Demotion: After his death in Siege, the subsequent Lokis that came after the original were far less capable in their sorcery than the original. However, it's justified for both Kid and Teen Loki. For the former, being reborn meant that his young body is incapable of handling of such magicks. As for the latter, it's simply because he's too lazy to bother himself from learning the advanced stuff.
  • Redemption Equals Death: The first time he took responsibility for his deeds and sided with heroes, he got torn apart by an eldritch horror.
  • Retcanon: As alluded to in the Progressively Prettier section, Loki was redesigned to be much more conventionally attractive thanks to the popularity of Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of him in the movies.
  • Reluctant Ruler: After becoming king of Jotunheim, Loki is not exactly happy about his new position. His people -the frost giants- hate him, and the job is so boring he often sneaks out to have some action. To be fair, he wasn't really aiming for the throne to begin with.
  • Sadly Mythtaken:
    • Originally in the Norse myth, Laufey was his mother, and he was the blood-brother of Odin, meaning that he's Thor's adopted uncle, not his adopted brother.
    • In Blood Brothers, he seems unaware that he is the father of Hela.
    • His Ultimate incarnation does, however, hew more true to the original myth, though he's still Thor's adoptive brother.
  • Say My Name: He once commanded a legion of fans to do so in the "Hall H" of the San Diego Comic-Con.
  • Screw Destiny:
    • His core motivation approximately since the events of Siege, when he realized that his role as the God of Evil clashes with his role as the God of Mischief and Chaos by making his actions... a little more predictable than he'd prefer.
    • This became more difficult in the Autumn 2014 event AXIS, due to the Red Skull tampering with the brain of Charles Xavier and letting himself be possessed by Onslaught. Not to mention Doctor Doom trying to kill him to prevent him from what he'll become afterward. Loki simply broke the timeline and freed himself from that particular future for good.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • Odin once imprisoned Loki in a tree. He would become free only if his plight caused someone to shed a tear. No one missed him strongly enough to want to cry, so he resorted to poking Heimdall in the eye with a leaf.
    • Something similar happened to his Ultimate incarnation, imprisoned in "The Room Without Doors" for causing Ragnarok, though he was eventually freed by a human accomplice.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With Thor, of course. Thor highlighted his conflict with him and what it was like growing up in his shadow.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Loki becomes one to Doctor Strange in the aftermath of the Loki: Sorceror Supreme arc when he claimed the latter's title as Sorceror Supreme by tricking him into forfeiting it.
  • Smug Snake: He's extremely overconfident, and his plans don't go quite the way he wants them to, including occasions in which he's the one responsible for his own failures, and does not take them as well as he could. But if you were a Physical God and master of sorcery with a genius level intellect, you'd be high on yourself too.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: On the occasions he managed to ascend to the throne of Asgard.
  • Squick: Daia, the concubine sent by the norn-queen, mentions offhandedly that she started as a child.
  • Squishy Wizard: Downplayed in that he's this only in comparison to Thor and other beings of incalculable strength. To any normal human, he's a Kung-Fu Wizard.
  • Status Quo Is God: Deep down he will always be Loki. And he wouldn't have it any other way. But he would totally rules lawyer what and/or who Loki is when given a chance, and he would die and/or kill for that chance. You've been warned.
  • Super Empowering:
    • He turned Crusher Creel into the Absorbing Man and has given powers to several other less known villains.
    • He also gave The Hood some Norn Stones when his arrangement with Dormammu predictably took a bad turn. He's quite fond of this. He didn't let The Hood keep the Norn Stones since he found the Avengers needed them to fight the Void. After all, he wouldn't let somebody keep something like those even if he needed them himself.
  • Superpower Lottery: When you are from a race of Physical Gods that can lift tons above one's head and has mastery over sorcery, this isn't really surprising. This website recounts his powers and abilities.
  • Super Strength: While not on the level of Thor, he still is a Frost Giant, and much stronger than humans by far. Eric Masterson found this out the hard way.
  • Take Over the World: Loki seeks to become the lord of all creation and someday make all bow before him.
  • Theory of Narrative Causality: Not that he was ever averse to playing with the fourth wall occasionally, but his young incarnations are especially strong believers in the power of the narrative. Not only have they something against the authors, but they also had at least three plans involving rewriting the story, be it their own or that of his uncle, Cul Borson. It's no wonder they became the God of Stories.
  • Third-Person Person: Loki has a habit of doing this in various comics.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: His Ultimate Universe's incarnation utilized Nazis to attack Asgard, and bring about Ragnarok.
  • Time Travel: He can do this more or less at will; it gives him a distinct advantage when carrying out his plans. Even he cannot guess how much of Asgardian history was shaped by him until he decides to go back and affect it - the disappearance of his foster grandfather, his own adoption and the death of Laufey, and who knows what else? All him, and he didn't even know it!
  • Took a Level in Badass: In his earliest appearances, he was more of a nuisance than a major threat, but it wasn't long before Loki became truly menacing.
  • Trash Landing: His confrontation with Sigurd (the Ever-Glorious) resulted in them falling into a pile of trash. The rest of that confrontation... did not go well for Loki. Loki still managed to get the last laugh on him, though.
  • Troll: Ironically for a guy who comes from a race named "Frost Giants," he does occasionally scheme, manipulate, annoy or outright hurt people just for "funsies".
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Loki used to be ugly, yet his wife was the beautiful Sigyn. He also had love affairs with Lorelei.
  • Unexplained Recovery: At the end of Thor: The Dark World, he's not only alive, but disguised as Odin. It is still not clear how exactly he pulled that off.
  • The Unfavorite: He considers himself Odin's least-favourite son and wants to make him regret what he considers as having underestimated him by making all of Asgard bow at him feet. Or, as his God of Stories incarnation decided, screw them; he won't sacrifice himself for their acceptance anymore. He refused Odin's "So Proud of You" and mocked his King!Loki incarnation for wanting it in the first place. Well yes. It was the end of the world.
  • The Unfettered: Whether he's opposed to Thor or working towards some mutual end, he's always willing to go further than his brother.
  • Villain Team-Up: He will sometimes work with other villlains if needed. He once led almost every mortal villain to perform Acts of Vengeance.
  • Villain Teleportation: He'd be a poor master of Black Magic if he could not teleport at will.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Averted in the earliest comics, where he's treated as Asgard Enemy Number One and either securely locked up (for all that that's worth in cape comics) or plotting nefariousness in some exile dimension. But once Jack Kirby took over full-time, he was suddenly Retcon'd into a legitimate prince on equal standing with Thor, no matter what he'd been up to last week; one story even had him becoming King of Asgard in Odin's absence, on no grounds but blood ties.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: When disguises are called for, mostly.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: When he first appeared, he had one - he couldn't use his powers when wet. Against Thor, who as God of Thunder can easily make it rain. Do you wonder why this is ignored now?
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He considers most of his plans regarding Asgard as being for the good of Asgard, and the universe on occasion, and he considers himself to often see the answers more clearly than the heroes because they are held back by too many ethics.
  • Which Me?: Loki can confuse even himself by talking about himself, like how it took a long time for little Loki to realize who old Loki's spirit talked about, when mentioning Loki only dying for Loki. In theory, when he says Loki that can mean any iteration of Loki mentioned under Me's a Crowd, or abstracts like the story, Trickster God, general role or ideal of Loki. When Loki says "I" that means explicitly him personally, if you were wondering.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He admits to never having cared much for other people's children, and gladly uses them to gain advantage over their parents.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: At least until his teen incarnation came around. Turns out existentially scarring himself by destroying and assimilating his child self got him slightly fond of them, so he's at least against child murder, as the Angels of Heven can attest. Wiccan owes his life to his unwillingness to complete the plan of tricking him into committing suicide, even if he endangered the world by doing so.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: As long as the tales of his prior activities exist, Loki shall be drawn back to his old habits. Given that he would rather die than be predictable, efforts are underway to erase them.


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