He is already making quite a name for himself on today’s silver screen, even as he did in the world of Marvel Comics back in the 1960s.
He is Loki, the god of mischief!
And a very busy deity he has been.
Thus far, Tom Hiddleston has portrayed Loki in the live-action Marvel Studios films Thor, directed by Kenneth Branagh, and Marvel’s Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon. The Son of Odin, as it were, is expected to return in Thor 2: The Dark World, directed by Alan Taylor.
This does not even include TV cartoons, kid-vid animation, toys, and even worming his way into Marvel
Loki is one busy dude!
But who is he? Let’s look at the 616 classic, shall we?
All you have to do is say his name to invoke memories of dozens of Loki misdeeds. This half-brother of Thor who brought together the original Avengers, saved our reality (in a way) from Dormammu and Osborn’s Dark Reign, who slipped on Sif’s personage for a time and who almost created another Avengers team under Hank Pym …
Love him or hate him (I am never sure exactly how the Thunder God feels), the magical mystical Loki is cosmic and will not be ignored!
After slaying the King of the Frost giants, Laufey, Odin found a small Asgardian-sized child hidden within the primary stronghold of the Frost Giants. The child was Loki, and Laufey kept him hidden from his people due to his shame over his son’s small size. Odin took the boy because he showed strength when Odin slew his father in combat and raised him as his son alongside his biological son, Thor.
Throughout their childhood and into adolescence, Loki was resentful of the differences in which he and Thor were treated by the citizens of Asgard. The Asgardians valued great strength, tenacity and bravery in battle above all things and Loki was clearly inferior to his foster brother Thor in these areas.
Loki’s gifts lay in other areas, most notably sorcery. As Loki grew to adulthood, his natural talent for causing mischief would make itself manifest and earned him a nickname as the God of Lies and Mischief. He grew steadily more malicious in his deeds, and his lust for both power and revenge was apparent to all those around him.
Loki’s schemes eventually came to include Earth itself and these schemes often drew some of Earth’s superhuman heroes to defend Earth and, often, Asgard itself. Loki manipulated the Hulk into wreaking havoc using an illusion while in astral form in an attempt to lure Thor to Asgard, which inadvertently led to the formation of the Avengers as several other heroes (Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp) came along with Thor to battle the Hulk.
It had long been prophesied that Loki would lead Asgard’s enemies into the Eternal Realm and aid them in destroying it in a final conflict known as Ragnarok, sometimes referred to as “The Twilight of the Gods.” Loki fulfilled the prophecy of leading the enemies of Asgard against the Asgardians, by forging uru weapons for his army, after finding the forge used to create Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. This battle consumed all who participated in it and it was revealed that the cycle of the birth, lives and death of the Asgardians was a continuing thing presided over by beings known only as “Those Who Sit Above in Shadow” for their amusement.
Loki is decapitated by Thor and has his head preserved. Thor, Loki’s foster brother and monarch of the Asgardians after Odin perished in battle against Surtur months earlier, is able to put an end to this continuing cycle. All Asgardians perished in this last Ragnarok except for Thor, who would disappear into a deep sleep. Yet this time, “Those Who Sit Above” followed them in death and were unable to revive them. After Thor eventually revives, he sets about seeking and reviving many scions of Asgard.
Loki, now occupying Sif’s persona as a female version of himself, was a member of Norman Osborn’s evil Cabal as he became the nation’s top cop following the Skrull invasion. Following Osborn’s chat with the President, Loki advises the former Green Goblin to recreate an incident similar to the Stamford Incident of the superhero Civil War that will bring about the invasion upon Asgard, hovering over Oklahomasince its return following the last Ragnarok. Loki then reveals a plot to Osborn that will take advantage of Volstagg’s presence in Chicago, as Volstagg has gone for adventures like Thor, having the U-Foes attack him and destroy a packed Soldier Field during a football game, killing thousands while he and Osborn watch in astral form.
Loki warns Balder about Obsorn’s impending attack on Asgard and claims he tried to convince Osborn to not attack. Loki, when Osborn called out to him for their aid, later apparently sends the Hood and his syndicate as reinforcements to help Osborn’s forces against the Avengers.
When the combined forces of the New Avengers, Young Avengers and Secret Warriors under command of Steve Rogers defeat the Dark Avengers during their siege of Asgard, Thor demands to know where Loki is. Osborn can only tell him that he’s dead, just like the rest of them as the true form of the Void appears. As the creature tears apart the three teams, Loki begins to repent, realizing that what has happened to Asgard was not what he wanted. He begs his father Odin to return to him the Norn Stones, which are taken away from the Hood and given to the trickster. He uses its power to empower the three teams and fight back against the Void, causing it visible pain.
However, the Void senses Loki’s hand in this and attacks him, and destroys the Norn Stones. As Loki is seemingly torn apart in front of a shocked Thor, his last words were to apologize to his brother. Thor resolves to avenge his fallen brother and destroys the Void and the Sentry when they transform back after the H.A.M.M.E.R Helicarrier crashes (again??) into Bob Reynolds due to Iron Man; he then takes the Sentry’s remains into outer space, and releases them into the Sun.
Thor, missing his brother (he’s a nut-boy!), searched for Loki who had returned to life in the form of a young boy; as his schemes had his name removed from the Book of Hel, allowing him to permanently cheat death. Now located in Paris, Loki was a street hustler going by the name of Serrure (the French word for lock), who feigned simple card tricks in front of an audience while an accomplice pick-pocketed them. Thor, in civilian disguise, gave chase, resulting in the restoration of Loki’s memory, but not of his past life with the exception of a guilty conscience for things he cannot remember. With the sudden resurrection of Odin, Loki was frightened away and fled with Thor who lambasted Odin for scaring him. Running into Iron Man, Loki was saved by Thor who defended his own reasons for bringing the trickster back. (Ahh, ye olde fishing and dragon smiting stories …)
With the Asgardian population other than Thor still wary of Loki, Loki revealed to his brother that he was attempting to learn more about Earth and humans, to which Thor approves. When a magpie exploded in his quarters carrying a key, it led to a chain of events where at the end, Loki was contacted by an echo of his former incarnation, who revealed he chose to sacrifice himself fighting the Void as part of a greater plan which would involve his death and return. The child Loki refused to follow this path, wanting to be his own person, and transformed the spirit of his former self into a magpie named Ikol. On returning to Earth, he witnessed Odin striking down the Thunder God.
Odin prepared all of Asgard for an unknown battle and imprisoned Thor for attempting to protect Midgard from being scoured. Loki, who disagreed with Odin’s actions, was put to work by Volstagg into cleaning the stables of Thor’s goats to keep him out of trouble. Using the wool of one of the goats, Loki descended into the roots of the World Tree at the advice of Ikol to ask questions from the Nornish women who live there. After receiving his answers, Loki wept but decided to turn to the imprisoned Thor for his opinion before making his final decision. Breaking into the prison by stealth, Loki asked his brother what he would do if he had to let something bad happen in order to prevent something worse from happening and what if it cost him everything. With Thor’s answer, Loki decided to free one of the imprisoned Hel Wolves and bind it to him in servitude using the bridle of Thor’s goats. He revealed he needed help from one more “personage” before heading for the realm of Hela.
Having recovered Thor’s hammer Mjolnir after he was killed and erased from memory following the war against the Serpent, Loki was able to work with the Silver Surfer (see, cosmic!) to restore the hammer to its natural state and send it to Thor in the afterlife, restoring his memory and allowing him to fight his way back into the realm of the living.
It will be most interesting to see what Hulkling, Wiccan, et al, suffer with Loki as a Young Avenger!