Who is Loki? Marvel Comics’ character and differences explained
Loki is a trickster god in both the MCU and Marvel Comics, but some changes in destiny make one noticeably stronger than the other.
Loki Season 2 sees the titular God of Mischief slipping in and out of time, all while the threat of Kang the Conqueror looms in the background. The latest trailer teases big fights ahead and sees Loki and Sylvie having to reunite to save the day.
The MCU Loki has gone down a drastically different path than his comic counterpart. Regardless, their popularity still led them to the same inevitable conclusion: something of a redemption arc as they slowly pivot from being scheming and evil to a good guy (who is still kind of scheming).
It’s unlikely that Loki could ever truly be considered a hero, but he’s come very close on a few occasions. His comic counterpart got closer, but at the end of the day, Loki still lies.
In both the MCU and comics, Loki is a frost giant and god
Loki’s Marvel Comics and Marvel Cinematic Universe origins are roughly the same. In both incarnations, he is the son of a Frost Giant, King Laufey. When Odin slew Laufey, he took Laufey’s son and raised him as his own.
There are, of course, multiple incarnations of Loki with varying backstories. Ultimate Comics‘ take on Loki was much the same, though he was actually Odin’s son, the result of an affair with a Frost Giant meant to unite Asgard and Jotunheim. Earth X sees a more manipulative than ever Loki learn that Asgardians are actually nigh-immortal mutants who have been tricked by Celestials into believing they’re gods.
Regardless of the incarnation, one fact remains: Loki is the god of mischief. He is a trickster by nature, and many of his plots begin seemingly harmless before turning into him trying to steal power. Even that has changed in the comics, though, as Loki chose to refute his destiny in the incursion leading to Secret Wars and the soft reboot of the Marvel Universe.
Reborn following the incursion, Loki chose to become the God of Stories, a spin on his history as a liar. Since then, Loki has held a number of titles, including Sorceror Supreme, King of Jotunheim, and Presidential Candidate.
The comic Loki is vastly more powerful – depending on the incarnation
The Loki of the MCU is most commonly depicted as being somewhat weaker compared to his brother. While he is powerful compared to, say, a human, he comes across as average at best compared to the likes of Thor or Lady Sif.
Though the Loki of the comics has similar powers – largely focused on illusions, including turning himself invisible, duplicating himself or shape-shifting – he is depicted as much more menacing. The comic iteration of Loki has nearly conquered Asgard or bested Thor on multiple occasions.
Loki has also managed to cheat death in the comics. This was accomplished by convincing Death to remove his name from the books of Hell. Even though Loki is fated to die in the Ragnarok prophecy, he is always reborn.
This rebirth did backfire on Loki, though. After Lady Loki’s death, he was reborn as a young boy, dubbed Kid Loki. Though this version was mischievous, he was hardly evil. Despite the resurrection of his evil older self, this Loki has remained largely noble. While he still schemes and manipulates, he serves the greater good – assuming it doesn’t conflict with his own desires.
Loki’s most recent appearance in Immortal Thor has him up to something, but it’s not entirely clear what, while his MCU counterpart must solve the mystery of his time-slipping abilities. You can pick up Immortal Thor #1 on shelves now and catch Loki Season 2’s premiere on October 6 to learn more.
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