10 Comic Stories to Read Before You Watch Loki


Loki is back with his series on Disney+, but before you dive in, brush up on the Marvel villain with these essential comics.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki (Image: Chuck Zlotnick / Marvel Studios)

The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe series on Disney+ features Mighty Thor’s dastardly half-brother. Tom Hiddleston has certainly left his mark on the character, but Loki has a very long and story-telling history in the comics as well. He was the villain who inspired the formation of the Avengers, had long nails in the creation of many other nefarious threats, and swapped bodies more than once.

Here Are the Essential Marvel Comics You Need to Grab First bottle gourd Premieres June 9. Read them all through the Marvel Unlimited app.


Image: Marvel Comics

framed by Lokik

We must start from the beginning. In travel in mystery Issue 85, just two points after Thor’s debut, featured Stan Lee and Jack Kirby making the first appearance of their half-brother and arch-enemy. Loki begins to be imprisoned in a tree by Odin until an accidental tear from Heimdall frees him to wreak havoc on Earth. We get a lot of great character moments right off the bat—Loki turns civilians into photo negatives to get Thor’s attention, and then hypnotizes him with flashing lights instead of fighting straight. At the end of the day, good triumphs over evil and Thor literally throws Loki back to Asgard.


Fantastic FourImage: Marvel Comics

Fantastic Four #350-#354

Walt Simmonson’s early 90s are on the way Fantastic Four The team had a crazy journey through some of the biggest enemies and situations, and their time travel was a wild one. When Dr. Doom challenges Reed Richards to one last battle in the middle of the second, he travels through the history of the universe to the attention of the Rocket Time Variance Authority, a vast bureaucracy that ensures the stability of the Multiverse. This group may sound familiar, as they are the people who are appointing Loki on his mission in the series.


tales of asgardImage: Marvel Comics

tales of asgard

Back-up stories in period travel in mystery Issue #115 – #129 Let Jack Kirby really get in on his high fantasy riffing. These stories take place in old times before Thor arrives in Midgard, and show the uneasy relationship between Odin’s two sons as they embark on a grand adventure. Unfortunately for the bright-haired god of thunder, Loki is always planning behind the scenes to bring ruin and calamity. These are completely unique tales, very different from anything happening in the Marvel Universe at the time, courtesy of Vince Coletta’s fine-lined inkling of a sort of Prince Valiant nature.


Travel in Mystery: Fear Yourself FearImage: Marvel Comics

Travel in Mystery: Fear Yourself

While shape-shifting has always been one of Loki’s core abilities, his reincarnation in a young body in 2011 was a whole new story. After a heroic death that saved Asgard from void, the trickster god was given the opportunity to re-invent himself. The new Loki still wants to disrupt the grand order of things, but he is driven less by jealousy and vengeance and more by a desire to fall the old ways. With Thor as an older brother, the series was one of the key moments in making the character more complex and nuanced.


vote for LokikImage: Marvel Comics

vote for Lokik

Although many of his misadventures center on the 2016 Asgard vote for Lokik The miniseries shows him setting his sights on a different empire: the White House. Running for president seems like an odd choice for a god of lies, but it gave him an opportunity to skew the image-obsessed culture we live in and pivot to a more contemporary incarnation. We’d expect to see a lot more specifically on this character in the Disney+ series.


X-Men: The Asgardian WarsImage: Marvel Comics

X-Men: The Asgardian Wars

One of Chris Claremont’s best traits was his willingness for the X-Men to reach outside the sandbox and face threats from other Marvel franchises. In this mini-series, mutants pair up with Alpha Flight to investigate a mysterious mountain that is offering miracles to anyone. Of course, since this is a Loki addition, those miracles come at a terrible price, and our heroes must confront each other about whether to accept their gift. It’s a solidly plotted story that helped Loki go beyond a pure evil trickster into something more nuanced.


Loki: Agent of AsgardImage: Marvel Comics

Loki: Agent of Asgard

Al Ewing has become one of Marvel’s most trusted writers, and this early 2014 effort showed just how great he is at finding new angles on the story. As Kid Loki becomes a young man, this reinvention lets him grapple with a legacy of lies while trying to be better, or at least be different. Tasked by the All-Mother to retrieve the Asgardian remains, the story introduced the mortal Verity Willis, with the ability to see through any lie, as a perfect foil for Loki.


Loki's dreamImage: Marvel Comics

Loki’s dream

published in 1994 one shot, called tales of astonish, this Peter David-written story is a standalone story that takes Hank Pym and Wasp to Oslo, where they encounter a Norwegian serial killer who is empowered by Loki to serve as his vessel on Earth. Power takes over the man’s identity and he becomes obsessed with bringing Ragnarok down, and only our heroes and the Hulk can stop him. While the real Loki is mostly the behind-the-scenes player in this story, it’s the rare story that really taps into the character’s Scandi roots.


miracle fanfareImage: Marvel Comics

Marvel Fanfare #34 – #37

Illustrated by the inimitable Charles Weiss, this may be the most visually succinct Loki story on the list. The story is apparently one of the Warriors Three-Fendral the Dashing, Hogun the Grimm and Volstag the Voluminous, one of Asgard’s finest heroes in Thor’s absence. Called upon by evil magic to help transform a groom into a goat, the trio are sent on separate shaggy dog ​​adventures courtesy of Loki, who is behind everything (as always). It’s a gorgeously drawn story that’s a lot of fun.


young avengersImage: Marvel Comics

young avengers

Loki has never been a team player, but this series by Kieron Gillan and Jamie McKelvie was probably the high point of the “Kid Loki” era. The plot of the first arc of the book places our young god on the opposite side of the fence as usual. When a reality warp by Billy Kaplan takes over the parents, Loki is the only person who knows what’s at stake and works to stop it. But are their intentions really what they seem? The great interplay with the book’s other leads shows why it made the character a fan favorite for the 2010s, 50 years after it was first introduced.

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