Scarlet Witch; Gem-Keeper, Walter Lawson, Lester, Loren Olsen, Tyfon, Father Williams, Willie, Tso Zhung, Satan; has also impersonated hundreds of others.
No dual identity; regarded as a mythological character by the general populace of Earth
Realm of Asgard
Place of Birth
Venus #6 (1949), (modern) Journey into Mystery #85 (1962)
Journey Into Mystery #112-113 & 115 (1965)
Loki is perhaps the most powerful sorcerer in all of Asgard. His many magical abilities included shape-shifting (able to gain the basic natural abilities inherent in each form), astral projection, molecular rearrangement, eldritch energy blasts, illusion casting, flight (via levitation), telepathy, hypnosis, and teleportation.Loki is immune to most physical injury, and can reattach severed body parts, including his own head. Loki can mystically imbue objects or beings with specific but temporary powers, and enhance the powers of superhumans. Loki can also magically create rifts between dimensions, allowing him or other objects passage from one universe to another. Most often this rift is between Asgard and Earth.
Loki is one of several powerful beings from the magical realm of Asgard, who have been worshipped as gods. Odin, once the ruler of the Asgardian gods, led his subjects in a war against their enemy, the frost giants from the land of Jotunheim (one of the nine worlds of Asgard). Laufey, king of the frost giants, was slain in battle and the giants were defeated. Surveying the spoils of war, the Asgardians discovered a small Asgardian god-sized baby hidden at the giants' main fortress. The infant was Loki, whom Laufey had kept hidden due to his shame over his son's diminutive size. Odin remembered his father Bor’s dying words to adopt the son of a father killed by his hands; Odin adopted Loki into his own family, raising Loki like a son along with his biological son, Thor.
In childhood Loki greatly resented the fact that Odin and the other Asgardians favored the young Thor, who already had a nobility of spirit and excelled in all his endeavors. As a boy Loki began studying the arts of sorcery, for which he had a natural affinity. He became infamous for his mischievousness, but secretly resented Thor and the love that Odin lavished upon him. When Odin was preparing his greatest gift for Thor, the enchanted hammer Mjolnir, Loki interfered with its creation, causing its handle to be forged too short. Loki was envious that Thor would one day wield Mjolnir, and over the years repeatedly crafted schemes to make Mjolnir’s power his own.
When Loki and Thor were still young, Thor was attracted to the swordmaiden Sif, who had beautiful gold-colored hair. Loki cut off her hair while she slept, but Thor guessed that Loki was responsible and demanded that he restore it. Loki enlisted the dwarves Brokk and Eitri to forge new hair for her, but as he did not pay them anything, they decided to craft the hair from nothing, making black hair from the night itself. However, Thor still loved Sif, even without her golden hair.
Thor and Loki occasionally adventured together as teenagers, though the competitive Loki always searched for an advantage over his brother. In his youth, he was more apt to aid his Asgardian family. When Loki learned that the sorceress Karnilla (queen of the magical beings called the Norns) was planning an attack on Asgard, he refused an offer to join her and instead alerted his fellow Asgardians to her scheme. Later on, Loki and Karnilla became occasional allies, although her love for the Asgardian Balder (an enemy of Loki) prevented her from aiding Loki in any way that would hurt her beloved.
Loki eventually learned of the prophecies of Ragnarok, a cataclysmic event in which he was fated to bring about Asgard’s ruin by slaying Balder, then leading the enemies of Asgard into final battle. Loki ultimately embraced this destiny, and sought the means to bring about Ragnarok on more than one occasion. However, Loki usually crafted his schemes so subtly that Odin and Thor could rarely justify punishing him, and Loki would continue to live in their midst, awaiting his next opportunity.
In recent years, Loki finally obtained an advantage over his half-brother when Odin sentenced Thor to Earth in the guise of Dr. Donald Blake, a medical practitioner who would transform into Thor using Mjolnir. Loki sought victory over his brother by exploiting Blake’s human weakness, and employed many pawns against him on Earth, including Jinku the Lava Man, the Weather Maker, Sandu, Amora the Enchantress, Skurge the Executioner, Skagg, Surtur, Cobra (Klaus Voorhees), Mr. Hyde, the Absorbing Man, and the Super-Skrull (Kl’rt). In one attempt to trick Thor into battling the monstrous Hulk (Bruce Banner), Loki diverted a distress call intended for the Fantastic Four to Dr. Blake’s office, but it was also intercepted by the Wasp, Yellowjacket (Henry Pym), and the armored adventurer Iron Man (Tony Stark). When the four heroes learned of Loki’s involvement and banded together with the Hulk to defeat him, they decided to form a team of heroes to face future threats, calling themselves the Avengers. Loki long regretted having caused their formation.
Loki made several attempts at claiming the throne of Asgard when Odin entered into his “Odinsleep” hibernation (a time when Odin lay vulnerable while recharging his energy), but outside threats to Asgard such as the vengeful creature of pure hatred, Mangog and the fire demon Surtur frightened Loki into surrendering the throne to its rightful ruler. Loki continued his mischief on Earth. He once joined forces with wicked entity Dormammu of the Dark Dimension to trick the Avengers and another team of super-heroes, the Defenders, into assembling the mystical Evil Eye for them, but the combined heroes ultimately defeated them both. Loki even unleashed a direct assault upon Earth once, but Thor helped lead Earth’s ground forces against his half-brother’s army and defeated him. After Loki usurped the throne of Asgard yet again, he was punished by Odin and banished to Earth in the form of a vagrant.
Meanwhile, the fire demon Surtur also schemed to bring about Ragnarok through igniting his sword “Twilight” in Asgard’s Eternal Flame of Destruction. Surtur ordered his ally Malekith the Accursed, ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, to make sure that Loki remained out of the conflict by signing a non-aggression pact. However, Loki did not honor his agreement and stood alongside Thor and Odin in Asgard’s defense. Odin seemingly sacrificed himself to imprison Surtur, and the realm was left without a ruler. Loki attempted to claim the throne himself, but the populace did not trust him. As part of a scheme to prevent Thor from claiming the throne, he cast a spell which turned his brother into a frog, but still possessing the might of Mjolnir, the “frog of thunder” forced Loki to undo his magic.
Sometime later, Thor rescued mortal souls trapped by Hela in her realm of Hel. In retaliation, Hela laid a curse upon him so that he could not die, but also would not heal from injuries. Learning what his daughter had done, Loki amused himself by sending frost giants, the Midgard Serpent and the Destroyer (magical animated indestructible armor) against Thor. Although Thor’s physical body was reduced to paste, his spirit took over the Destroyer armor and forced Hela to undo her curse. Thor broke Loki’s arm for his part in the events, knowing that Loki could easily heal the injury.
Loki wasn’t purely an enemy against his own people. When Seth of the Ennead (Gods of Egypt) led his Demons of Death into conflict with Asgard, Loki refused an alliance with him, and in his spirit form discovered that Seth was holding Odin prisoner within the Black Pyramid, the source of Seth’s power. Loki secretly helped Thor rescue their father, and Odin repulsed Seth’s invasion.
Still smarting from the success of the Avengers, Loki concocted a scheme for the enemies of all super-heroes to obtain their revenge. During this “Acts of Vengeance” conspiracy, Loki appeared to Dr. Doom (Victor von Doom), the Kingpin (Wilson Fisk), Magneto (Max Eisenhardt), the Mandarin, the Red Skull (Johann Shmidt), and the Wizard as an anonymous lackey, offering them the power to manipulate Earth’s super-villains into conflicts with heroes who would be unprepared for unfamiliar adversaries. Each of the six “prime movers” was led to believe that he was the one arranging the scheme. Loki’s plot was finally uncovered by Thor, and he was defeated. As a final act of vengeance, he merged three mutant-hunting Sentinel robots into the powerful Tri-Sentinel, but it was defeated by Spider-Man (Peter Parker), who was granted the phenomenal “Uni-Power” and thereby becoming Captain Universe to face this threat.
Loki assumed the guise of a businessman on Earth, and enlisted Ulik the rock troll and the manipulative Amora the Enchantress to aid him in a new plot against Thor, collecting the powers of the criminal band, the Wrecking Crew, along the way to aid them. At this time, Thor was bound to the mortal Eric Masterson, so Loki had Eric’s son Kevin captured. Thor set Kevin free, but as an act of spite, Loki hurled a blast of energy at Kevin and his mother Marcy. Amora, now acting against Loki, took control of Kevin’s babysitter Susan Austin and had her take the blast for Kevin and Marcy. Thor was so furious with this attack that he used Mjolnir to draw Loki’s life force from his body, seemingly killing him. As punishment for destroying a fellow Asgardian god, Thor was banished into the subconscious mind of Eric, while Eric took the place of Thor.
However, Loki’s consciousness had taken over the body of Odin while he was in Odinsleep, and through him took command of Asgard. Eric and Sif eventually found Odin’s spirit within the realm of the demon Mephisto, and they restored Odin to his body while Mephisto claimed Loki’s spirit instead. Although he was now a prisoner in Hell, Loki’s spirit continued to wander when Mephisto was distracted. He once schemed with Pluto of Olympus to trade enemies, with Loki arranging the death of the Olympian demi-god, Hercules, while Pluto plotted Thor’s demise. Loki enlisted the titan Typhon against Hercules, but he failed, and Loki’s own minion the Flame aided Pluto, but Loki himself had to save Thor from the Flame when he threatened Sigyn. Loki once imparted some of his power (via a mystical dagger) to Knut Caine, a mad killer who patterned himself after Loki and called himself “Mad Viking.” Caine began to create a pseudo-Asgard on Earth, but was defeated by the Hulk, Henry Pym and the Wasp. The Hulk hurled the dagger into the ocean to prevent it from possessing someone else.
Loki finally escaped Mephisto’s realm when Thor reluctantly enlisted him to aid him against the New Immortals (beings genetically created by the High Evolutionary using genetic material obtained from Thor). However, Loki’s physical form no longer existed, and he had Sigyn temporarily bond him to a suit of armor. He continued to trouble Thor, as well as Eric Masterson (now the hero Thunderstrike), possessing armored hero War Machine (former Iron Man Jim Rhodes) to attack Thor. Loki finally struck a bargain with Seth to have him genetically engineer a new body, and his spirit took possession of it. He sought revenge on Thunderstrike, but when War Machine, She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) and Ant-Man (Scott Lang) were drawn into the fray, he was instantly reminded of the Avengers and ended the fight.
Loki eventually crossed over into the dimension called the “Ultraverse” (or Earth-93060 ), where the six ultra-powerful Infinity Gems had been scattered. Loki began to gather the gems together, battling many of the local superhumans (“Ultras”) for them. Finally, the Grandmaster (an Elder of the Universe) revealed to him that there was a seventh gem, the Ego Gem, and they pitted the local heroes Ultraforce against the Avengers with the gem as the stakes. However, Loki did not win, and soon lost all six gems, returning to his native reality.
Attempting to stave off Ragnarok, Odin had allowed the “world tree” Yggdrasil (which connects the nine realms of Asgard together) to think that Ragnarok had already happened, and hid the Asgardians on Earth in mortal identities as the “Lost Gods.” Loki became the businessman Tso Zhung, with no recollection of his earlier life. He was brought together with the other Lost Gods by the revived Red Norvell, and became the first of them to reclaim his true form, confronting Seth, who had taken advantage of the situation to try and eradicate the Asgardians. When the other Asgardians regained their true identities, they defeated Seth. Thor’s most recent mortal identity, Jake Olson, was that of a paramedic slain during a battle, and Thor took on the man’s appearance as a new secret identity. Loki reanimated the true Olson’s body and began committing crimes so that Thor would be suspected, but Thor eventually bound the true Jake Olson to himself and Loki was trapped in a body identical to Olson, which was named “Loren Olson,” Jake’s twin brother, who was sent to prison for his crimes.
Karnilla released Loki from prison not long before Odin faced Surtur in battle once again. This time, Odin was truly slain. Thor ascended to the throne of Asgard, and Loki found himself surprisingly content under his rule, seeing new opportunities for power, and genuinely pleased as Thor began to impose Asgardian values on Earth. However, Thor eventually withdrew from Earth after learning of an alternate future reality (named Earth-3515) wherein he became a despot, and he and Loki were left at odds once more.