5 Marvel Comics Stories Featuring the God of Mischief as a Hero

God of Mischief. The Lord of Lies. Master Manipulator. Hero? Loki Laufeyson is the meddlesome and mischief-making adopted brother of the mighty Thor, a jealous would-be king who has plotted against his Asgardian Avenger arch-enemy since his first appearance in the pages of Journey into Mystery. Proving himself a dangerous deceiver, a scheming sorcerer, and a terrible trickster over decades of Marvel comic books, the shape-shifting Loki has in recent years taken on a new form: an anti-hero reshaped in part by the popularity of his live-action counterpart, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, across a decade of films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In the Marvel Studios original series Loki, set after his Tesseract-thieving escape from 2012 New York during the events of Avengers: Endgame, the God of Mischief is labeled a “Variant” by the Time Variance Authority: a bureaucratic organization existing outside of time and space and threatening to delete Loki from reality for his crimes against the “sacred timeline.”

After creating a branched reality — splitting off from 2012’s The Avengers and leaving behind the brotherly bond he developed with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) across Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War — Variant Loki becomes a man-on-the-run through time and space when he helps TVA Agent Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) pursue an even greater threat wreaking havoc on the timeline.

“His mercurial nature is that you don’t know whether, across the [Marvel Cinematic Universe], he’s a hero or a villain or an anti-hero. You don’t know whether you can trust him,” Hiddleston previously told Empire about this not-yet-redeemed Loki in Loki, which is “about identity, and about integrating the disparate fragments of the many selves that he can be, and perhaps the many selves that we are.”

“I thought it was very exciting because I’ve always found Loki a very complex construct,” Hiddleston said of the character who died a hero in Infinity War. “Who is this character who can wear so many masks, and changes shape, and seems to change his external feeling on a sixpence?”

Below are Marvel team-ups and crossovers featuring Loki as an anti-hero — or a hero — before he returns in Loki, premiering June 9 on Disney+:

1. War of the Realms #6

WAR OF THE REALMS #6_Loki
(War of the Realms #6. Photo: Marvel Comics)

After Loki dies saving his adoptive mother, All-Mother Freyja, from his Frost Giant father Laufey in War of the Realms #1, a team of Thunderers — Thor, All-Father Thor, Young Thor Odinson, and Jane Foster — oppose the Dark Elf King Malekith when Laufey’s army invades Midgard in War of the Realms #6. In the book’s final issue, Loki returns when he bursts free from his father’s stomach, ending the Frost Giant attack on Midgard and its many assembled superheroes. 

It would be Loki’s finest moment. After saving many lives and helping end the War of the Realms, the God of Mischief embraces a new heroic persona in the pages of the five-issue series Loki (2019) and crosses paths with such superheroes as Thor, Iron Man, and Wolverine, as “Earth’s mightiest hero.” 

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2. Doctor Strange #385

DOCTOR STRANGE 385
(Doctor Strange #385. Photo: Marvel Comics)

In Doctor Strange issues #381—#385, Loki dupes Stephen Strange into relinquishing the title of Sorcerer Supreme — and everything that comes with it. As the supposedly newly-appointed protector of this realm, Loki visits with other magic wielders like the Scarlet Witch and Count Kaoz to locate The Exile of Singhsoon: a spell that siphons all of the magic from the world and transfers it to the summoner. Loki, the Sorcerer Supreme, must team up with Strange and Robert Reynolds, the Sentry, to defeat the Void: a dark force endangering all of existence. 

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3. The Amazing Spider-Man #503, #504

Amazing Spider-Man 504 Loki
(The Amazing Spider-Man #504. Photo: Marvel Comics)

When Loki’s demigoddess daughter Tess Black is possessed by Morwen, the First Sorceress of Chaos, Loki journeys to Midgard and strikes down an innocent mortal to convince Spider-Man — who unwittingly released Morwen from her prison of darkness in The Amazing Spider-Man #500 — to team up and track down the ancient, deadly force. In The Amazing Spider-Man #503 and #504, the web-slinger and the God of Trickery form a short-lived alliance to free Tess from Morwen’s control, and Spider-Man is awarded a mystical favor he cashes in years later in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #795. 

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4. Thor & Loki: Double Trouble

THOR LOKI DOUBLE TROUBLE #1
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Bickering brothers Thor and Loki are double the trouble in the kid-friendly Thor & Loki: Double Trouble, where a younger Loki and a younger Thor must team up to protect Asgard when Loki awakens a giant Serpent with a powerful relic stolen from Odin’s vault. The limited team-up series sees Thor and Loki battle Mountain Giants with Jane Foster — a.k.a. Thor, the Goddess of Thunder — before Lady Loki reveals herself during a friendly competition to determine the best Thor. 

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5. Wolverine: Infinity Watch

WOLVERINE INFINITY WATCH #3
(Wolverine: Infinity Watch #3. Photo: Marvel Comics)

The metal-clawed mutant Wolverine joins forces with Loki in the five-issue mini-series Wolverine: Infinity Watch, where Logan and Loki must protect the universe from cosmic disaster when an onslaught of villains — including the Chitauri warlord Warbringer and Talonar, the leader of the armored Fraternity of Raptors — pursue escaped death row inmate Hector Bautista, the new wielder of the Time Stone. The space-spanning Wolverine: Infinity Watch features an appearance by the Time Variance Authority, who make their live-action debut in Loki

Loki debuts on Disney+ beginning Wednesday, June 9th.

Want to learn more about the latest Marvel Studios series? Check back on ComicBook CRAM every day leading up to the premiere of Loki, and click here for even more articles and videos to find out everything you need to know about the new show!

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