This article is part of The reading list, a recurring column in which we encourage you to channel your enthusiasm for a particularly groovy film or TV series into a wide range of extracurricular studies. This entry lists the ten best Loki comics and ponders where the rascal lies on the moral scale.
Whenever my mother caught me with her hand in the cookie jar, she would call me a “jammy devil”. Like many children, I was a villain who was always up to no good, but with joys painted on my face. It’s good to be bad, and no one represents that better in the Marvel Cinematic Universe than the god of mischief, Loki.
The character had a curvy and delicious arch. Loki wriggled back and forth between the murderous villain and the cheeky monkey. When Thanos burst his neck in Avengers: Infinity War, his adoptive brother Thor had forgiven him for countless betrayals, and we, the audience, did much the same, too. Scamps can’t help it.
The Loki we find Loki, the new Disney + series that premieres June 11th, is not the Loki we saw when he stumbled into forgiveness. No, this is a Loki who still has to learn from the murder of his mother and his Ragnarok partnership with sibling Goldilocks. This Loki is the one who was captured after the Battle of New York and the one who is still very much looking for global domination as the first step to universal domination. Will such a variation match the arc of the character we have come to love?
Loki’s comic book counterpart has also reshaped and modified her identity. The character has appeared in different forms, and depending on the state in which he / she is, Loki can call him “he / he”, “she / she” or “she / she”. For the purposes of this article, Loki will use the pronouns “she / she” to refer to the cartoon character when discussing the character unless her gender is specifically disclosed.
When the mainstream audience passed out, the character’s evil side faded and their sticky demeanor thrived. Like MCU Loki, you can’t trust this Loki, but you can trust this Loki to be Loki. You’re having a good time and one who swims in a variety of comics that are worth your attention.
The Loki reading list is mostly filled with titles advocating the MCU-influenced character. However, I’ve also included a few classic examples of their wretchedness and at least one title that has absolutely nothing to do with the trickster god. As you can see in the trailer above, the new Loki series will meander through various MCU events. So it’s probably a good idea to brush up on the TVA (Time Variance Authority) before hitting play on the first episode.
In 2016, the God of lies and mischief longed to become President of the United States. Loki also ran for the Oval Office. Written by Christopher Hastings and illustrated by Langdon Foss and Paul McCaffrey, the Voice Loki Series focused on the trickster’s attempt to maintain command of America. Obviously the villain is up to something, and reporter Nisa Contreras is determined to expose Loki’s underhanded deeds. Hastings hits the tune, sells Loki’s pleasantly cheeky mood, but never reveals his devilish side. If ten comics are too many and you only have time to read one from this list, Vote Loki is the one.
Loki: Agent from Asgard
Loki: Agent of Asgard goes two years before Vote Loki, but it’s still very similar to Hastings’ series. And his writing could be even sharper. author Al Ewing has made a name for himself as the shepherd behind Immortal Hulk and the current Guardians of the Galaxy series. But it’s even more rewarding to dive back into your catalog. The guy can’t tell a mediocre story. Agent of Asgard ran for 17 issues and featured an eclectic mix of artists. The general premise is that their beloved All-Mother assigns them various duties that should benefit Asgard’s survival. Loki does everything possible to make sure her kingdom is safe. And “whatever” really means “whatever”. They are not under or over any action. That’s Loki’s charm.
Young Avengers: Style> Substance
After taking the side of Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers at Marvel’s Siege event, Loki died. Then they made a deal with Hela, and her name was removed from Hel’s records, making a resurrection possible. When Loki reappeared in the land of the living, they remained in a childlike build. Loki has always been a childish character, so why shouldn’t they take on the stature of their nature? At the side of the Young Avengers, Kid Loki fights to accept her new self while holding onto the memories of her old, bad self. Guilt and shame are new emotions for the trickster. Watching them fight their way through is one of the most relatable battles Loki has ever fought. Plus, the Young Avengers are a contagious gang, and you will leave this title to find out more about them all.
Loki: Sorcerer Supreme
If writer Donny Cates and artist Gabriel H. Walt took over the Doctor Strange Comics (issues 381-385) they wanted to break the status quo. They achieved this by facing Stephen Strange against Loki, where the two magicians fought to claim the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Doc lost. Loki won. Woe to all creatures in the galaxy. The title goes straight to Loki’s head, and Stephen Strange will have to think like a demon or even a villain god to regain his position in Marvel Comics. Cates and Walta’s run is full of delicious curiosities, and while Strange is clearly their first love, they have a lot of fun trying to get the devil out of Loki.
Thor and Loki: Double trouble
Thor and Loki: Double Trouble is the newest title on this reading list. It’s a story for all ages with a cartoon aesthetic that, in turn, pairs very well with Loki’s mischievous nature. The laws of reality happily bow to this curmudgeon. And it only makes Thor more frustrated. Written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Gurihiru‘Double Trouble starts with Loki mocking his big brother for misbehaving. Unfortunately, the Meathead doesn’t realize what it’s doing until it’s done, and when it sees the destruction wrought by Loki’s instruction, it goes on its Twerp sibling. Wile E. Coyote meets the Road Runner. Meep! Meep!