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What Makes Them So Cool: Loki

Loki's become a pretty big villain over the years, but what makes this character so intriguing?

In the past few years, Thor's brother, but not by blood, Loki has been everywhere. It's pretty obvious that since the movie Thor came out, actor Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of the Asgardian God of mischief and lies has gotten a lot of people a bit more interested in this character, who was originally created in 1962.

With a new series recently released, which was pretty awesome by the way, and three movies under this character's belt, we decided to take a look at what makes Loki such a cool character. Haters beware, this isn't the place for you.

Here's a quick Loki 101 for you. He's the son the Frost Giant Laufey, and after Laufey's death, Loki was adopted by Odin. Loki became very adept at Asgardian magic and he and his brother Thor became sibling rivals. Loki may have been just Thor's antagonist in the beginning, but he truly became a Marvel villain in the early days of the Avengers. He tricked the Avengers and others to think that Hulk was on a rampage, which led to the Avengers fighting the Hulk.

Through the years, he's gone through a lot of changes: he tried to capture the Infinity Gems, tried to start Ragnarok, which led to his beheading, was reborn into a new body which was female, worked with Norman Osborn during Dark Reign, died again, was resurrected by Thor into the body of a child, joined the Young Avengers and now works for the All Mother as an Agent of Asgard. He's been around for decades, but he's not some second-tier villain. He's been one heck of a baddie for Thor, The Avengers, and everyone else in the Marvel Universe to deal with.

The many faces and multiple sexes of Loki

One thing that really sets this Marvel character apart from the rest is his look. It's incredibly recognizable no matter what he (or she) might physically look like. His style and the way Loki dresses is a reflection of where that character came from. No matter what, you're going to see gold and green on Loki, and no matter what Loki will be wearing some sort of golden head wear. He's a character almost anyone can recognize now and it's mainly because he was in a whole bunch of recent films.

Loki was a huge part of the films Thor, Thor: Dark World, and The Avengers. Brilliantly portrayed by Tom Hiddleson, this character wowed audiences across the world. He had a look similar look to the comics, but updated to look a bit more "realistic" for the film. He was one heck of a villain in Thor and Avengers and then became one heck of an ally in Thor: Dark World. His induction into the world of Marvel films really upped his cool factor, and again, it's mainly because Hiddleson "killed it" as the character.

Loki works on so many levels because he's a character who works well as a both a hero and a villain. By hero, we obviously don't put him on the same level as Captain America where he takes orders and does what's right. Loki is a bit more down the middle of the road character whose alignment changes depending on the situation he's in. Like, right now, in LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD, I'd consider him Lawful Neutral (What's up fellow D&D nerds?) meaning he does follow a code (All Mothers and protecting the new Asgard), but he's not really a hero or villain. He's in between, for now. Right now, he's a bit like a wildcard hero. Anything can happen, while he's working for the good of mankind (Asgardiankind).

Currently, in LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD, Loki is working for All Mother on a secret mission (spoilers ahead!). There's something wrong with Thor. He's not himself, and it's up to Loki to figure out what the problem is. What we come to find, and here's where it gets spoilery, the evil Loki, that most people grew up with, is back, so there are now two Lokis! It's a great time to be Loki in the Marvel Universe, especially since in this new series, the reader gets to root for him. These are the reasons why Loki is so dang cool.

Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring is a writer, twitterer, podcaster, and recent Loki supporter.

64 Comments
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Posted by SlamAdams

I could take or leave the character (although I have't read his new title yet). I'm pretty sure its just Tom Hiddleston that makes him cool though, and ultimately because of the Marvel movies, I have become more interested in what Hiddleston will do next then Loki.

Posted by jwalser3

He's only popular in the movies because he as Tumblr syndrome.

Posted by jstndmnd

I hope he stays popular for the book to last. It was a terrific.

Edited by ArturoCalaKayVee

I admit, I never was interesting much in Loki until I started watching the movies and saw Tom Hiddleton's awesome portrayal of the character that made me want more. I read Young Avengers for Loki and I picked up the first issue of his series, top of the pile, but I haven't been able to dive into it yet. Maybe it's because I imagine it's Hiddleton's portrayal of Loki in the comics now as I read him, but even so, Loki is just an awesome character and when I get the time/money I am definitely going to read more stories of his. Great article, Mat.

Edited by medulaoblaganda

He is an ok character. But I prefer dr doom to loki. Or magneto.

Posted by Lvenger

The current Loki is all right I guess but not the one I know and love. The Loki I prefer is one that is capricious, malicious, conniving and always three steps ahead of everyone else. Hopefully the real evil Loki will be back soon and will menace Thor once again. Now that's the Loki I want to see. Great write up Mat!

Posted by SoA

He is an ok character. But I prefer dr doom to loki. Or magneto.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I admit, I never was interesting much in Loki until I started watching the movies and saw Tom Hiddleton's awesome portrayal of the character that made me want more. I read Young Avengers for Loki and I picked up the first issue of his series, top of the pile, but I haven't been able to dive into it yet. Maybe it's because I imagine it's Hiddleton's portrayal of Loki in the comics now as I read him, but even so, Loki is just an awesome character and when I get the time/money I am definitely going to read more stories of his. Great article, Mat.

You NEED to read Journey into Mystery, it's what made me become a fan of Loki. It's great book that reads more like something Vertigo would put out rather than Marvel.

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Posted by Hassun

Loki was never "cool" until the Thor film came along. Let's not kid ourselves.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@hassun: that isn't even remotely true

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Posted by AmazingWebHead

This is why he's cool, yes. But it's not why he's popular. He's popular because of all the psycho fangirls in the movie audience that want to fuck Tom Hiddleson. But yes, this is why he's cool.

Posted by Farkam

> Loki

> Cool

U wot m8. Time to get off of the crayweed,

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@farkam: Gillen made Loki cool during/after Siege

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Posted by dondave

I thought Evil Loki already came back in Young Avengers?

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Posted by Outside_85

I would say he's only recently become popular thanks to his role as the comedian versus Thor's straight man in the movies (especially true of the Dark World).

It's much the same in comics, Loki has become cool now because he was turned into a kid and tried not to become his old self and being fun while doing so.

As for his old self... well, he's around because he has to be around when Thor is, it's like Superman and Lex, Cap and Red Skull, but I don't really think he was that interesting or popular back then.

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Posted by Ostyo

Tom brought out Loki's full potenial to be a great character.

Posted by StMichalofWilson

@ostyo said:

Tom brought out Loki's full potenial to be a great character.

Ineed

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@dondave: that was in JiM not Young Avengers

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Posted by fables87

@soa said:

@medulaoblaganda said:

He is an ok character. But I prefer dr doom to loki. Or magneto.

DOOM!

Edited by dondave

@dondave: that was in JiM not Young Avengers

Wasn't the plot of the last few issue of Young Avengers? Evil Loki replaced Young Loki and betrayed the YA's to Mother

Edited by iaconpoint

The evil, manipulative Loki who always had plans built into plans and would set a fire then watch it burn. Oh and Tom Hiddleson.

But never never never never emo-androgynous Loki. And I mean never.

Posted by viin

@hassun: I have to agree with you.

I did not even care for Loki until Thor 2 which was another mediocre marvel movie at best. Hiddleson does not wow me like other villain roles have. His best scene is with Anthony Hopkins in Thor 1 when he finds out he is/was a frost giant. (What makes Loki not look like a frost giant anyway? Magic?)

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@dondave said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

@dondave: that was in JiM not Young Avengers

Wasn't the plot of the last few issue of Young Avengers? Evil Loki replaced Young Loki and betrayed the YA's to Mother

Yea but he didn't come back in Young Avengers, Old Loki got put in to the body of Kid Loki at the end of JiM.

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Edited by DarthAznable

Tom Hiddleston really helped the character. Granted most women didn't even know who Loki was or even cared about comics much until Avengers came out.

Edited by ArturoCalaKayVee

@arturocalakayvee said:

I admit, I never was interesting much in Loki until I started watching the movies and saw Tom Hiddleton's awesome portrayal of the character that made me want more. I read Young Avengers for Loki and I picked up the first issue of his series, top of the pile, but I haven't been able to dive into it yet. Maybe it's because I imagine it's Hiddleton's portrayal of Loki in the comics now as I read him, but even so, Loki is just an awesome character and when I get the time/money I am definitely going to read more stories of his. Great article, Mat.

You NEED to read Journey into Mystery, it's what made me become a fan of Loki. It's great book that reads more like something Vertigo would put out rather than Marvel.

Awesome, thanks! Do you have a start / end point when this series has Loki in it?

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
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Posted by BalooMamalu

Thor (and by extension, Loki), Captain America and Iron Man really haven't been Marvel's most popular characters for a long time. In a way, Fox and Sony having the rights to the Xmen, Spiderman and FF is the best thing that could have happened to Marvel Studios, because otherwise would they have expanded such characters.

Loki has been around for a long time as a heavy bad guy to all Marvel; right up there with Magneto, Dr. Doom, Ultron, etc. as a character that can affect any given hero. In many ways, just like in the film, Loki has somewhat kept Thor's character relevant to the teams and Marvel U. Even if Thor and Loki weren't go-to comics for most people, both were very recognizable, largely because Loki kept causing every hero and group problems at some point.

Can of worms... OPEN! I think this is what hurts Wonder Woman as a character; that she doesn't have really one recognizable villain that causes anyone but her a real problem. Thor doesn't have a Batman or Spiderman cast of villains, but even that one recognizable villain is so key.

Posted by Son_of_simba

@hassun: he was pretty badass and cool in marvel ultimate alliance 1 thats what made me a fan of the character

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@iaconpoint: @lvenger: If you guys like the old evil Loki then you should be happy with the first issue of this new book

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Posted by EvilPenguin543

I'm pretty sure most people only like Loki cos of the movies. My favorite incarnation of Loki is Kid Loki, especially when written by Kieron Gillen.

Posted by DRUDOX19

@baloomamalu: Thank you that's what I have been saying for years that if Marvel had FF, Spider Man, X men we would see more films about them then other characters. I mean lets face it Guardians of the Galaxy is marvel saying oh crap we don't have the FF SOO yeah.

Posted by 2cool4fun

Is What Makes Them So Cool: going to be a new thing, or is it just this once?

BTW is Loki acting like a villain in his new title or like a hero?

Posted by DRUDOX19

The thing I dont like is Marvel attempt to make Loki act like Tom, really? I mean I understand RDJ Iron Man writers trying to make Iron Man more like that in the comics but Loki NO. Loki was pretty fine Marvel you don't need to make him act like Tom or look like him. Is it me or the only character marvel doesn't pull the whole movie look is Spider Man.

I will say this, Loki in the comics is more superior then Loki on film. If we got comic book Loki hell we would have had Cap, Black Widow, Hawk-eye dead in 3 seconds LOL.

Posted by BWANASIMBA

I honestly think Tom Hiddleston Loki is overrated. He's a funny guy and he portrayed the character really well in Thor 2, but that was because that movie was so mediocre that Loki's humor was the only thing that saved it. Honestly, I don't really root for Loki, I root for Thor when he's written well and portrayed well as he has always been one of my favorite comic book characters and mythological gods. That said, his films have their horribly sappy moments due to the bizarre Jane Foster romantic subplot that is worse than the romance from the Star Wars films featuring Anakin and Padme... hmmm, maybe Natalie Portman sucks at romance? Or geeky writers shouldn't write romance at all?

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Is What Makes Them So Cool: going to be a new thing, or is it just this once?

BTW is Loki acting like a villain in his new title or like a hero?

both

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Edited by 2cool4fun
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@drudox19 said:

The thing I dont like is Marvel attempt to make Loki act like Tom, really? I mean I understand RDJ Iron Man writers trying to make Iron Man more like that in the comics but Loki NO. Loki was pretty fine Marvel you don't need to make him act like Tom or look like him. Is it me or the only character marvel doesn't pull the whole movie look is Spider Man.

I will say this, Loki in the comics is more superior then Loki on film. If we got comic book Loki hell we would have had Cap, Black Widow, Hawk-eye dead in 3 seconds LOL.

He's not acting like Tom, Loki acts the same way as Kid Loki. Also Marvel totally does make Spider-Man look like the movies:

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Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@2cool4fun: Have you read any of JiM or Young Avengers? Since Loki was reborn it's been a battle of wills between the younger, more innocent God of Mischief and the the older original evil Loki before he died. The older Loki had planned to sacrifice him self and be reborn the whole time so all of this is some kind of master plan he's been working.

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Posted by New_World_Order

Loki is simply awesome.

Posted by Perfect 10

for me its: his looks (including costume); he's magical; clever; mysterious; funny; a god; and did i mention a VERY powerful sorceror

Posted by Perfect 10

@slamadams: so not true. been loving the character since the 80s when he crossed paths with the x-men and new mutants. he's always been cool and got even better as kid loki

Posted by LyraFay

Mythological Loki is better, more in tune with The Joker actually.

Posted by El_Taza

He's not that cool if you think about it.He has cool powers and charisma but his evil plans are often idiotic tbh.

Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse

Not a fan.

Edited by sagejonathan

Loki is fantastic character. Definitely in my top 3 favorite villains.

Posted by laabitres
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