WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for War of the Realms #6 by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, Matthew Wilson and Joe Sabino, in stores now.
Months ago, War of the Realms #1 began with a crushing blow. Not only did Malekith the Accursed launch a devastating attack on planet Earth, one of his allies, the Frost Giant King Laufey of Jotunheim, decided he had enough of his son Loki's machinations and ate him alive. As the issue came to a close, the fan-favorite God of Mischief had been reduced to a snack in his father's belly.
While fans feared the worst for their favorite Asgardian anti-hero, the tie-in issue Thor #12 revealed Loki wasn't entirely dead yet. In truth, the Asgardian was still being digested in his father's system, as Loki tortured himself by revisiting moments from his past (and future). This was the last we saw of Loki, and for all intents and purposes, it appeared as if the character really was gone.
However, War of the Realms #6 sees Loki defy death once again. Yes, the God of Mischief has just returned -- and he's got a brand new title.
Kneel Before Loki
In War of the Realms #6, the heroes launch a final attack on Malekith and his remaining forces. As Thor, King Thor, Viking Thor and Jane Foster fight the Dark Elf leader, a union of Avengers and Asgardians fight Laufey and his army of Frost Giants in New York. However, the battle takes a turn for the worst when Laufey unleashes the power of the Casket of Ancient Winters on his enemies. While almost everyone is blasted away by the relic's power, Daredevil, who was granted the powers of Heimdall the All-Seeing, fights through. He uses his uncanny abilities to throw Heimdall's sword right into Laufey's throat. The Frost Giant King swallows the sword without pause, and plots a course for his next meal.
While the other heroes wonder why Daredevil chose to rid himself of the powerful weapon, the answer comes when Laufey's chest gets cut open -- from the inside. The Frost Giant falls to the ground, a bloody gaping hole in his chest, and Loki emerges out of his father's body, with both Heimdall's sword and the Casket of Ancient Winters in hand.
Loki appears badly injured (he has been partly digested, after all), but he lives on, and his Asgardian physiology as well as his powerful magic will help heal him in no time. But what is most promising about Loki's return is his new status: after the battle is won, Loki proclaims that his father, the King of the Frost Giants, is dead. "Long live the King," he then adds.
The implication is that Loki, after having felled his father, has just declared himself the new King of Jotunheim. What that means exactly remains to be seen, but it's an intriguing new position for Loki to be in.
The God of Mischief has always been out to serve himself more than others. As King of the Frost Giants, he could potentially try to reform the Frost Giants and turn them into a force for good... Or he could end up using them for his own nefarious purposes. One can never be too certain when it comes to Loki.
What's more, Loki's new title comes just as Odin names Thor the new All-Father. Now, the two brothers have assumed the mantles of their fathers. Will they fare better than their predecessors, or are they doomed to follow in the same footsteps?