If you’ve been following me for basically any amount of time you would very likely have seen me mention Loki once or twice. Or once an hour, every hour. At least.
However, if you somehow haven’t caught on yet, Loki is my favourite Marvel character, and he has been since I was ten years old and saw Thor (2011). Loki is the kind of character who means a lot to me; I’ve always loved screw-ups, I tend to see myself in them, and Loki is definitely a screw-up, to put it lightly.
So without further ado, I, GateCrasher’s resident Loki expert, would like to present my favourite Loki comics.
Journey Into Mystery #118, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
First thing’s first. I hate Stan Lee’s writing; silver age comics have been such a massive slog for me as I (very slowly) work my way through reading every Loki appearance.
That being said, I really like this issue. There’s a moment in this issue where Loki realizes that he’s gone too far with his scheme and will end up getting in serious trouble for it that I love. This issue alone shows that Loki is entirely self-serving and will only step up to help out when not doing so would result in him being punished. It’s a very good character study for the original incarnation of Loki and is at time of press the only Stan Lee issue I could ever see myself rereading.
Journey Into Mystery, Kieran Gillen and Doug Braithewaite
Journey Into Mystery is, along with Agent of Asgard, one of two definitive Loki comics. After the events of Siege, Loki has been reincarnated as a child with no memories of his past deeds, and so begins one of my favourite comics. Journey Into Mystery was my introduction to Gillen and I’ve loved it since I first read it.
It’s the kind of story that makes me feel so many different things all at once and if you haven’t read it yet, you really should. Even if you’ve read it, take this as your push towards re-reading it. It’s worth it.
Loki: Agent of Asgard, Al Ewing and Lee Garbett
The aforementioned second definitive Loki comic. Agent of Asgard follows Loki after Young Avengers as he works for the All-Mother in an attempt to reinvent himself as more than just a younger version of the original Loki. As much as I love Journey Into Mystery, this is my favourite Loki story. It’s a story about stories but it’s also about how the perceptions of others and the roles we create for ourselves based on those perceptions can affect how we see ourselves. Loki is fighting the uphill battle of being more than who he was, a battle he continues to fight to this day and one that strikes a chord with me, even if the things I’ve done in the past aren’t nearly as bad or as world-ending as Loki’s actions.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8, Ryan North and Erica Henderson
Cat Thor! The birth of the Loki-Nancy friendship (the best friendship in comics, how I miss it so)! A giant gossip squirrel! This issue has everything, including some fantastic Loki scenes. As much as I love Kieran Gillen, Ryan North is one of my favourite Loki writers and I really think he could do an excellent solo series if given the chance. Loki’s other appearances in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #16, 27-30, 43, and 46 are also well worth checking out.
Loki, Daniel Kibblesmith and Jan Bazaldua
The most recent Loki solo series was unfortunately cut short at five issues but Kibblesmith’s time with the character, short as it is, is well worth a read. Kibblesmith gets Loki. He understands that Loki is more than just a prankster and that he isn’t evil (at least not anymore). Once again, a lot of time is spent focusing on the fact that Loki is attempting to make amends for his past deeds in an effort to outrun the legacy of who he was. It’s a fun story that isn’t afraid to get serious at times as it continues to portray Loki trying to be a new person.
Thor & Loki: Double Trouble, Marino Tamaki and Gurihiru
Look, this miniseries isn’t done yet but it’s pretty close to peak comedic Loki so far. Loki is an absolute menace and the way Gurihiru draws him can only be described as “gremlin-like”. Beyond that, it’s also a super cute comic and a great intro to the character for those new to comics, especially younger readers. But that isn’t to say that older readers can’t find enjoyment in this book. It’s the kind of all-ages comic that really is for all ages, not just children.
At time of publishing, all of the comics featured here can be found in digital formats and the first five entries are available in full on Marvel Unlimited. As well, many of them can be bought as trade paperbacks or omnibuses. Back issues of Thor & Loki may be able to be found at your LCS and the trade is currently available for pre-order.