WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Thor #12 from Jason Aaron, Mike del Mundo, Jay Bowen and VC's Joe Sabino, on sale now.
Marvel Comics' latest event, War of the Realms, delivers on its promise to destroy everything and everyone Thor and his fellow Avengers have sworn to protect, while also bringing death to their doorsteps. So far, we've seen Valkyrie fall in battle, but the most prominent murder is Loki's.
The Asgardian god of mischief was eaten alive by his Frost Giant father, Laufey, but as we now discover, the trickster is resigned to a fate worse than death -- and it could bring about the end of the universe.
Thor #12 details the doomed trip of Loki's spirit through key moments in his history. Most of the experience finds him chatting with Eldred, the powerful wizard who helped to shape him as a child. As they explore the war they started between the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim and the rival Trolls, Loki begs for release, realizing this is what transformed Malekith from a young soldier cremating bodies into the warlord he is today. Loki simply wishes for a mercy killing, as he finally accepts he's the cause of this Great War that's ravaging all the realms.
But while Eldred's session is torture of the mind, Loki's next trip torments the soul, because he ends up chatting with Kid Loki, who calls him out on all his schemes. He guilts his older self, and berates him for repeatedly deceiving his family for his own gain, and for allowing his narcissism to dictate his actions. But just when it seems as if he's about to escape this harsh life lesson, he comes under attack by none other than Loki, the Necrogod.
This villain was last seen in Thor #6, where readers were given insight into the future of the Marvel Universe and what seemed to be its breaking point. There, Ego the Necroplanet, the All-Father Thor and a Phoenix-powered Wolverine engaged in a cosmic brawl the scope of which we've rarely seen, and almost obliterated reality. Luckily, Thor emerged from battle with the universe safe and sound, vowing to protect it and honor his family's legacy. But at the end of the issue Loki rose up from Ego's remains, covered with a symbiote and wielding the Necrosword.
He called himself Loki, the All-Butcher, which ties into Gorr, the God-Butcher, from writer Jason Aaron's earlier Thor stories. With the power of the Necrosword (forged by Knull, the Symbiote God, as an avatar for death and darkness), Loki sees he's destined to become the ultimate destroyer.
The Necrogod toys with Loki, warning he'll bring about the true apocalypse and unleash a Ragnarok, in which everyone the trickster holds dear will be consumed by his lust for power. It's comeuppance, after all, as Loki understands this is payback for centuries of greed. By the end of the issue, Loki's spirit returns to his corporeal form inside Laufey's stomach, where he's being digested. He still wishes for death, knowing he's set to become an instrument of destruction, and as it stands, not even death can stop this train.
It remains to be seen how Loki will make it out of Laufey's intestines, or if he'll even want to. Because, right now, remaining there might be the best thing for him, considering there's a malevolent entity calling out his name to usher in the end of days.
Thor #13 goes on sale May 29.