In the Marvel universe, there are few villains more renowned or beloved than Loki. As a long-time antagonist for the Avengers (in fact, he was their first enemy), the team of A-list heroes who defend the earth from any threat that emerges to threaten Midgard, Loki has faced off against heroes on the page and on-screen. Although his schemes typically involve seizing the Asgardian throne and installing himself as ruler of the Nine Realms, he often finds himself imprisoned at the conclusion of his plans. However, Loki’s persistence is laudable, and no matter how serious the defeat — and in some instances, the defeat has been quite serious — it seems to be only a matter of time before he is back to scheming about how he can seize power once again.
While he has attempted a number of different strategies to accomplish his goals, there are many common threads to his antics. He is a great fan of transforming his appearance and has assumed the form of a whole menagerie of animals. Frequently, his machinations include Thor, his adopted Asgardian brother. Thor and Loki have a complicated relationship that has been fraught with challenges over the decades — brotherhood can be complicated, after all, and doubly so when you heirs to the Throne of Asgard. Despite his lengthy presence in the tales of the Marvel heroes, there are still a plethora of things fans don’t know about Loki Laufeyson. And like any trickster worth their salt, Loki may just have one or two things up his sleeves that fans simply don’t want to know!
20. ONCE BECAME FANFIC
In The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8, the antics of Ratatoskr (an Asgardian squirrel deity) cause Doreen Green and her friends to cross paths with Loki. It turns out Loki had released Ratatoskr from his imprisonment within the world-tree.
Nancy Whitehead, Doreen’s roommate, had previously created a fanfic version of Thor who is a cat. Loki offers to assume any form she chooses, and she doesn’t hesitate to request he change his appearance to Cat Thor, and with a wave of his hand, he complies. Both Nancy and Loki are delighted by the feline Thor, but Loki’s brother — the original Odinson — is decidedly less impressed.
19. RAN FOR OFFICE
In the four-issue series Vote Loki (2016), Loki decides that he’s going to run for office, announcing to the people of the United States that they can trust him because he will be open about lying to their faces. Nissa Contreras, a journalist for the Daily Bugle, decides that she won’t stand for the trickster’s candidacy, and sets out to use her journalism skills to reveal the truth about his campaign and prevent him from being elected.
18. TURNED THOR INTO A FROG
Brothers can be complicated, especially when animal transformations are involved. In The Mighty Thor #364, “Thor Croaks!”, Thor is transmogrified into a frog by Loki and sent to Earth. It’s all part of a plan to get Thor away from Asgard and unable to return so as to allow Loki to seize control of the throne.
Trapped in the sewers of Midgard, Frog Thor teams up with a local amphibian named Puddlegulp to fend off the attacks of antagonistic rats. Eventually, Frog Thor returns to Asgard, and Loki is defeated when his brother tosses Mjolnir in his direction and pins him beneath it.
17. PRETENDED TO BE DEADPOOL’S FATHER
In Deadpool #36 and #37, Loki seeks out Deadpool and claims that he is his father. The merc with a mouth is justifiably skeptical of the claims made by Loki, but ultimately agrees to play along, especially in light of the cool horned hat given to him by his “dad.”
After musing about how being the looked-down-upon brother for centuries would make anyone churlish, Wade can’t help but find Loki’s issues with his family sympathetic. This motivates him to lift Mjolnir, and thanks to Loki’s trickery, Deadpool is able to wield all the powers of Thor — which he uses to eat 37 gorditas.
16. WAS YOUNG AGAIN
Thanks to convincing Hela to remove his name from the Book of Hel, Loki is effectively immortal and is eternally reborn. As a result, he is resurrected as a young boy in Paris after Norman Osborne attacked Asgard.
When Thor locates his reborn brother in Thor #617, Loki has no memory of his past. While Thor restores part of his identity, he does not immediately return all of Loki’s powers, as he does not know whether or not he is trustworthy. Despite being de-powered, Odin and other denizens of Asgard can’t help but hold the younger Loki accountable for the actions of his previous incarnation, driving him away from his home.
15. WAS A WOMAN
In the wake of Ragnarok, the citizens of Asgard were reborn. Loki was reincarnated, as well, but he controls the body of Lady Sif, the one-time lover of Thor.
During the time he inhabited the body of Lady Sif, Loki worked closely with Doctor Doom to engineer a number of devious plans against his meddling adopted brother and the rest of the Avengers. Eventually, Loki joined forces with Norman Osborn and became a member of the Cabal, a group of supervillains instrumental in the Secret Invasion event. In Thor #602, Loki and Lady Sif are finally returned to their respective bodies.
14. DISGUISES HIMSELF AS A SNAKE
At one point, Heimdall was charged with watching over Loki and ensuring that he did not leave Asgard. Naturally, Loki was eager to travel to the other Eight Realms, and had to figure out how to escape despite Heimdall’s vigilant guard. By transforming himself into a green snake, Loki is able to sneak past Heimdall’s watch by slithering along the green stripe of the Bifrost.
In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor recalls the tale when Valkyrie and Bruce Banner listen to him tell a story about how Loki tormented him as a child by turning into a snake before surprising him by transforming back into himself.
13. CAN TURN INANIMATE OBJECTS INTO CANDY
At one point during their fraught relationship, Loki had followed his brother Thor to New York City in Midgard. Among a series of mischievous tricks played by Loki upon the citizens of NYC was the transformation of their bicycles into candy.
As if it weren’t bad enough to have one’s means of transportation transformed into dessert, the canines of the city soon began to lick the candy, creating a sticky and unusable mess and causing great distress to the New Yorkers. While Loki’s antics often involve transmogrification and disguising one thing as another, few of his machinations end up as sticky as this one!
12. HE IS A FROST GIANT
Odin’s father, Bor, was battling the Frost Giants when a sorcerer turned him into snow. When Odin came upon his father, he made no attempt to rescue him, and as a result, Bor laid a curse upon Odin, dictating that he would take in the son of a fallen king.
Soon after, Odin led his troops into battle, and when the snow had settled and the Frost Giants had been defeated, they found a small boy hidden in the fortress. The boy was Loki, and his Frost Giant father had hidden him away because they were ashamed of his diminutive size. Odin couldn’t help but pity Loki, and adopted the boy as his own.
11. HE WAS A (YOUNG) AVENGER
After being reincarnated as a younger version of himself, Loki is desperate to prove that he is trustworthy despite what he may have done in past lives. When Wiccan and Hulking are imprisoned by Mother, an interdimensional parasite, they are wary of trusting the reincarnated trickster. Ultimately they have no choice but to put their faith in him.
It is revealed that Loki arranged the capture of Hulking and Wiccan as part of a plan to steal Wiccan’s powers for himself. However, after confronting a younger version of himself, Loki instead chooses to help, and the team is ultimately able to combine their powers and defeat Mother.
10. CURSED DEADPOOL WITH MOVIE STAR LOOKS
In Deadpool #37, Wade discovers that Loki had lied about being his father and that it was trickery that allowed him to assume the powers of Thor. However, Loki has a parting shot for Wade: he transforms his appearance from the countenance familiar to Deadpool fans into the spitting image of Thom Cruz, renowned movie star.
To Wade’s chagrin, Loki informs him that the curse won’t be lifted until he seeks forgiveness from his real father. While Wade is eventually able to lift the curse, it takes him until Deadpool #45 to do so… and that’s a lot of pages to spend looking like “Thom Cruz”!
9. HE CAN BRING TREES TO LIFE
On one occasion, Loki had followed Thor to Midgard, where his brother was disguised as Dr. Donald Blake, the normal human doctor. After separating Thor from both his hammer and his lady love, Loki begins wreaking havoc across New York City, which is something of a regular hobby for the trickster.
One of his antics involves bringing one of the trees in Central Park to life — but not in a Groot way. In order to keep Thor from pursuing him, Loki transmogrifies a tree into a tiger, and the tiger immediately begins to menace Jane Foster, creating a very effective distraction for Thor.
8. TRICKED PYM INTO FORMING PUPPET AVENGERS
During the Secret Invasion arc, Loki took on the appearance of Scarlet Witch to trick Hank Pym into forming a new Mighty Avengers team. Thanks to his deception, Loki was able to pull the strings of the team from the shadows, creating a puppet Avengers that he clandestinely controlled.
Loki planned on using the team to wear down Norman Osborn. As the Mighty Avengers gained ground, Osborn’s grip on reality became more tenuous, and Loki was ultimately successful! After facing off against the Absorbing Man (who had absorbed the powers of a cosmic cube), Osborn reassumes the identity of the Green Goblin!
7. SENT JANE TO ANOTHER DIMENSION
In Journey into Mystery #108 (1964), Thor is living on Midgard, often disguised as his alter ego, Dr. Donald Blake. Blake is performing surgery on a critically injured Dr. Strange when Odin summons him back to Asgard to help with an impending invasion.
Because Thor is unable to return to Asgard, Loki is able to escape, turning himself into a bee and making his way to earth via the bifrost. When Loki arrives, he steals the magic cane that allows the transformation from Blake back into Thor, and Blake is helpless as Loki imprisons his lover, Jane Foster, in dimensional limbo!
6. HE WAS A SORCERER SUPREME
During the events of Doctor Strange #381-385 (2018), Loki becomes Sorcerer Supreme! After winning a tournament arranged by Vishanti to determine who is worthy of the title, Loki emerged victorious and was awarded control of the Sanctum Santorum and the Eye of Agamotto. While Loki insists that he has the best intentions as Sorcerer Supreme, many are skeptical of his claims.
Meanwhile, Strange became a veterinarian, using the magic power he still had to communicate with the animals he treated. But Wanda is suspicious of Loki’s motives as Sorcerer Supreme, and sought out the retired Strange in order to restore balance to the state of magic.
5. WORKED AS AN AGENT OF ASGARD
After his resurrection as a younger version of himself, Loki went a journey of discovery, meeting new friends (like Verity Willis, a human who can sense when she is being lied to, making her a perfect foil for the trickster god) and attempting to prove himself as a hero instead of a villain.
During this journey, he accepts a mission from the All-Mother of Asgard, becoming an agent of the realm. While Loki faces a plethora of enemies during his time as an Agent of Asgard, the greatest challenges he must overcome are put there by himself — sometimes literally — as King Loki, a possible future version of Loki, serves as one of his greatest antagonists.
4. HAS A LONG LOST WIFE
In Thor #273-278, it is revealed that Loki has a long-lost wife, Sigyn. Loki met her when they were young, but she was betrothed to another. Through his usual brand of trickery and disguise, Loki deceived Odin and was married to Sigyn.
Eventually, Loki grew tired of being married to Sigyn, but her love for him remained. On one occasion, she even went so far as to provide an alibi for Loki, even though he had made it clear that he no longer had any interest in maintaining a relationship with her. Nevertheless, Sigyn has many powers of her own, and once created a duplicate of Donald Blake, Thor’s one-time alter ego.
3. HAS BEEN A TREE
In Journey Into Mystery #85 (1962), Odin finally had grown tired of Loki’s antics and resolved to imprison him within a tree. According to the terms of his internment, Loki would only be freed when someone shed a tear in response to his predicament.
While it may be true that there was no one sympathetic to Loki’s cause nearby, Loki is nothing if not resourceful, and he soon found a loophole which allowed him to escape the arboreal prison. By causing a leaf to poke Heimdall in the eye, causing him to shed a tear, Loki was released from his prison in the tree.
2. GAVE ABSORBING MAN POWERS
While many fans of both comics and TV are familiar with the Absorbing Man, aka Crusher Creel, few realize that he received his ability to absorb the properties of different types of matter from Loki. In Journey Into Mystery #114, Creel gained the power to mimic any matter he is able to touch, making him a formidable enemy for the Lord of Thunder.
During an early encounter with Thor, however, Creel’s newfound powers prove to be a bit tricky, and when he absorbs the properties of helium, he ends up floating away harmlessly, making it necessary for Loki to rescue him from space before he can face Thor again.
1. DIDN’T WANT TO KNOW: JOSH HARTNETT ALMOST PLAYED HIM
In 2009, when casting was underway for the first Thor movie, there was eager speculation regarding who would play Thor’s brother, already popular with audiences thanks to his myriad comic appearances and his integral role in Norse mythology. One possible actor earned so much attention as the trickster that multiple news outlets saw fit to run stories about the possibility that he would be cast. That actor was Josh Hartnett.
While fans of the MCU may find it impossible to picture the trickster being portrayed by anyone other than Tom Hiddleston, Hartnett fans needn’t lose all hope. After all, even Matt Dillon got to play Loki on-screen for a few minutes in Thor: Ragnarok, and with Loki’s shapeshifting abilities, anything is possible!
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