WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Loki #4 by Daniel Kibblesmith, Oscar Bazaldua, Victor Olazaba, David Curiel, Carlos Lopez and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Daniel Kibblesmith's run on Loki is four issues in and once more reminding us of the potential Loki has as a hero. It seemed like he was still trapped in Laufey's belly after being eaten in War of the Realms, with the fear demon, Nightmare, pulling the strings and mentally torturing the Asgardian as payback for their old rivalry.
Luckily, Loki's revealed to be alive and well in the real world, offering Nightmare that image as his fear, and not something that's actually happening. However, as Loki attempts to put their feud to rest, he summons one of Thor's most dangerous weapons -- and no, it's not Mjolnir. It's actually the Jarnbjorn axe, also known as the Wrecker of Worlds.
As powerful as Mjolnir is, it's still held by someone worthy and there's an air of responsibility attached to it and its wielder. However, when Loki challenges Nightmare to mortal combat, the trickster pulls the axe from a pocket dimension, made all the easier by anyone being able to lift it. To recap, this Dwarven-forged battle-axe was Thor's weapon before he got his hammer, used to kill frost giants, trolls and dragons. It'd later fall into the hands of Baron Mordo, Kang and the Apocalypse Twins, but what stands out is how Thor (who re-found the weapon) used his own blood to bless the blade, giving it an edge.
This enchantment even allowed the Odinson to pierce a Celestial's armor and when Thor became unworthy of his hammer in Original Sin after facing Nick Fury on the moon, he resorted to using Jarnbjorn in battle as it was the only thing he had left for protection and hunting. It was seen to be indestructible and even emitted energy blasts, all tied to Thor's strength. Ironically, while fighting Malekith and a force of Frost Giants under the sea, the Dark Elf leader took Jarnbjorn from Thor and used it to cut off his left arm, proving to the Odinson just how lethal the weapon could be.
Clearly, the axe is pretty special, even influencing Thor's Stormbreaker axe in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Admittedly, with Loki wielding it here, let's just say it could have gotten a better owner. After all, we never know when Loki would turn full-blown evil again, perhaps even using it to attack Thor or Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Loki even jokes about helping Nightmare kill Doctor Strange, a threat we know might not be empty, but what's clear is his arsenal has been drastically leveled up, which cuts an even more untrustworthy character.
It's worth noting that when the fight is set up between Loki and Nightmare, the God of Mischief uses a falling piece of Stark tech to kill the evil entity and stand tall atop the mountain. It's part of Loki's big plan to take the world by storm and as brutal as it sounds, this duplicity -- using Jarnbjorn and the guise of a duel to the death as a distraction -- is right up Loki's alley. We know it's not the last we've seen of Nightmare but with the deceitful Loki emerging triumphant, once he holds onto Jarnbjorn, he has a shot at moving one step closer to truly becoming an Avenger like his brother.
Loki #5 goes on sale Nov. 20.