WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Asgardians of the Galaxy #2 by Cullen Bunn, Matteo Lolli, Federico Blee and VC's Cory Petit, out now.
It’s not unusual to find comic book characters in more adventures than you could realistically fit into one regular lifetime, but it only adds to the confusion when there are multiple versions of heroes and villains in the universe. Characters like Wolverine have got old future versions, alternate dimension versions and more besides. Now, Asgardians of the Galaxy has brought us the return of Kid Loki, even though the regular, adult Loki is currently in Infinity Wars. This week’s Asgardians #2, however, resolves that particular mystery fairly quickly.
Loki’s identity has been complex, to say the least. Technically, the original version of Loki that was tormenting his brother Thor throughout the long history of Marvel comics was killed in 2004’s Siege event. He sacrificed his life to protect Earth from the twisted evil known as the Void, and that version of Loki died. As is the ways of the God of Mischief though, Loki always had a plan to return to life. He manipulated Hela into erasing his name from the Book of Hel, allowing him to be reborn. Thor, restoring Asgard to life following its destruction, found the spirit of Loki in a young child, who’d henceforth be known as Kid Loki.
As this Kid Loki debated just why his older self would make the ultimate sacrifice in the way that he did, he came across a hidden chamber that contained an echo of his older self. This version of Loki, dubbed Ikol, was trapped in the form of a magpie by Kid Loki, who was determined to become a different being than his former self, going so far as to become a hero alongside Thor. After a time though, it was revealed that not only did Ikol only exist in Kid Loki’s mind, but that Kid Loki had to cease to exist if there was any hope of saving the world from Mephisto’s evil schemes.
Thus, Kid Loki’s consciousness was overwritten by that of Ikol, and a new version of Loki arose. Despite having killed the young, good version of himself, this new Loki -- still in the body of a child -- did some good, saving the lives of his friends on the Young Avengers and even aging himself to that of an older teen in order to better protect his teammates. Eventually, this version of Loki went on to work as an Agent of Asgard until his past came back to haunt him.