Loki Essential Reading
Now if you knew me in 2011, you would know that Thor, both comics and the film, were my entire personality. The new Loki show streaming on Disney+ has 17 year old me bubbling back up to the surface so I wanted to share some must reads before this excellent series reaches its conclusion! Loki of course, the Norse God of Mischief, has been around for millennia but in Marvel Comics the prankster god has been a part of the comics mythos since 1962, and has made a major impression along the way (especially with Tom Hiddleston’s dedicated performances in over ten years’ worth of films.) This article was written 7/1/21 so the show may be over when this is posted but there is no better time than now to start your own journey into mystery with these Loki-centric titles! These are only a few of his greatest exploits as well as characters introduced in the show so please give it a read and come talk about the show with us at any of our six Houston area locations! Happy Thorsday!
Thor: by J Michael Straczynski (+Siege)
This in my opinion, is the quintessential Thor title, coming after the devastating Ragnarok event in the Avengers Disassembled storylines, this series began volume three of Thor and was the perfect starting point for beginners at the time like me. Thor sets up shop in Broxton, Oklahoma, creating a new Asgard on Earth and awakens the lives of Asgardians living in the souls of humans, rebuilding the populace and making Asgard as great as it once was. Now Loki comes into play by taking over the body of Thor’s wife Sif, and becomes the villain we know as Lady Loki. Now we thus far haven’t seen this iteration per se in the new show but Lady Loki is a huge fan favorite and she is such an intriguing part of this title, definitely still sinister and it isn’t until Loki returns to his original form in the Siege storyline that he begins to make amends for what he’s done, and he sacrifices his life after Asgard is attacked by the Dark Avengers, saving Thor’s life and starting Loki down a path to pseudo-hero status in the years following. I truly cannot recommend this series enough, Olivier Coipel’s art brings this beautiful world to life, especially with the Warriors Three interacting with and protecting the Midwest town nearby, and Baldur’s manipulation, and so so much more. This title is excellent for Loki fans but it will make you fall in love with all the stories Thor has to tell.
Journey into Mystery by Kieron Gillen
This title immediately follows my glowing review of Thor by JMS, and this title as well as the Mighty Thor series spun out of the devastating events of Siege and Fear Itself. After Loki’s sacrifice, Loki is reincarnated as a young boy who is determined to do some good and after an altercation with the character Tanarus (who for a time replaced Thor whoonly Loki remembered) he sets out on his own journey into mystery. Loki overcomes so many mythical trials accompanied by Leah, an iteration of the goddess of Hel and it is a deep character study of what makes Loki; Loki. There are even portions where Loki’s former self battles his consciousness, which echoes the parallel lives we see being shown in the TV show. Not to be one for spoilers but I have a strong feeling we will be seeing a lot more of these characters on the small screen soon!
Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen & Jaime McKelvie
This title is where we really see Loki try to be a hero as a now tween, he joins the ranks of Miss America, Hawkeye, Wiccan, Hulkling and more in an extremely fun drama filled YA romp that is a must read run in the Young Avengers continuity. An earlier run of Young Avengers introduced the character of Sylvie to comics lore but we’ll get to her introduction later on in this list. Young Avengers show’s Loki’s growth from prankster brat with good intentions to somewhat jaded teenager still trying to come to terms with his past and those he has hurt. Absolutely worth a read!
Vote Loki by Christopher Hastings
I wrote about this title recently for President’s Day and while we’ve seen that iteration in promotional material for the Loki show, we have yet to see it at the time of writing this. Vote Loki was a satirical view on the 2016 US presidential election where the God of Mischief eyes the oval office and actually makes it extremely far via smoke and mirrors and is an excellent commentary on not only Loki but how politics is portrayed in the media. Vote Loki was only a four issue mini-series but this iconic look is one we are all looking forward to seeing in live action with only two episodes to go in this series!
Loki: Agent of Asgard by Al Ewing
Agent of Asgard was somewhat of a return to form for Loki, now a young man, doing undercover work for the All-Mother while again, still having to come to grips with his former lives. This title was an excellent dive into the character while still keeping his quirks that made him villainous but maintaining the playful side we saw of him as Kid Loki (though by what means is a bit of a spoiler.) Al Ewing’s run is as fantastic as his iconic Immortal Hulk series and it shows in this 17-issue series. Loki confronts his many different forms and this title delved more into things about his gender fluidity and how he really perceives himself and comes into loving and accepting all of those parts of him. This was Loki’s first real solo title and I feel like a lot of this character's nuance in this run has come from the actor's portrayal so if you’re a big fan of the MCU Loki you must read this book!
Dark Reign: Young Avengers
Spinning off the tails of the Stracinsky Thor run, the character Sylvie Lushton appeared with the intention of joining the young Avengers. She had the soul of Amora the Enchantress reborn in a mortal body, or so she thinks. I won’t spoil too terribly much about her seeing how different she is in the TV show, but Sylvie’s creation has a lot to do with Loki’s meddling and I hope they tie this into the show somehow because the Enchantress was always my favorite Thor villain but the truth of Sylvie’s heritage makes her extremely compelling. This Dark Reign title introduced us to her in an event where more villainous characters take on this superhero team’s title and is an interesting look into this character who we are all coming to know and love.
Thor #282 & Thor #371/372
I had to include the first appearances of the Time Keepers and the TVA to this list. Before this show, these characters were never at the forefront of major events but they were always around, doing what they could to maintain order and time, and it seems natural now that they would appear in a Thor related property in the Loki TV show, though in the comics they started in trying to assist Thor in bringing Jane Foster back to life via the magic in Tho’s hammer along with some wacky antics from the Warriors Three, it seems these characters will have a much bigger and more sinister part to play in the episodes to come.
Thank you all so much for reading along with me recounting my love for Thor related titles and while I am truly loving the show, I hope you’re able to find some great reads related to it. By the time this is posted I believe the penultimate episode will be up and I cannot wait to see it’s conclusion. We have these titles and more at all of our locations so be sure to stop on by!
Written by Bedrock City Contributor: Victoria