How Loki Went From Supervillain To Good Guy In The Comics
We all know who Loki is - we have the Marvel Cinematic Universe to thank for that - but when it comes to the modern comic version of the character, there is a question about whether we should call Loki villain or hero. The MCU incarnation of Thor's arch-nemesis had an arc from 2010's Thor to 2019's Avengers: Endgame that saw him go from an evil god to more of an anti-hero who would begrudgingly do the right thing from time to time.
The Loki of Marvel Comics has gone through a similar arc, but with much more going on. He was the Avengers' first villain way back in the 1960s, but recent Marvel Loki stories have put the trickster god on a path to becoming a full-fledged hero. He doesn't always succeed at this... but he is doing his best! From aiding the defeats of villains like Galactus, Surtur, and Malekith to the wielding of Mjolnir, here are the most interesting tidbits of Loki's journey from villain to hero in the past decade of Marvel Comics.
He Was Reborn As 'Kid Loki' After Getting His Name Taken Out Of The Book Of Hel
To begin his redemption arc with a serious bang, Loki sacrificed himself in 2010's Siege #4 while fighting the Void. Just before he met his end at the hands of The Sentry's sinister form, Loki managed to utter a few last words to Thor: "I'm sorry, brother." Of course, this is the ultimate trickster we're talking about here, so he wasn't gone for good.
Before the events of Siege kicked off, Loki made a deal with both Hela and Mephisto in Siege: Loki, and in exchange, he had his name wiped from the Book of Hel which Hela says will result in the god being "Hel-bound no more." Therefore, he was reborn as a child in France known as Serrure who had no memories of his past life. Thor found him, restored his memory, and brought him back to Asgard to begin his life anew.
He Helped Save Asgard From Galactus
Even with a new life in the form of an innocent child, Loki found it hard to shed the reputation he had built up over eons. No matter what he did, the Asgardians did not believe he had others' best interests at heart and that his classic trickster ways would inevitably resurface to burn them as in the past.
When Galactus came to the Nine Realms in search of the Worldheart, Loki ended up being pretty essential as he secretly hid the cosmic seed away while the Asgardians fought with the Devourer of Worlds. Even though he used his underhanded tendencies for good this time around, Thor was furious with Loki for acting without permission and began to choke his young brother. Loki broke down in tears exclaiming, "I saved everybody. Even though they all hate me."
He Played A Key Role In Saving Midgard During 'Fear Itself'
During the Fear Itself crossover event, Cul Borson - the older brother of Odin, AKA the Serpent - began to spread fear around the Earth in order to feed himself, the God of Fear. Again, Loki worked behind the scenes to help his brother take down the Serpent.
Loki used a pen made from the Twilight Sword to rewrite the Serpent's history which caused a brief moment of weakness in the God of Fear while battling Thor. This opening helped the God of Thunder defeat the Serpent, but Thor ended up dying the process. With tears streaming down his face in Journey Into Mystery #629, Loki wasn't worried about his next machination for once, stating "Let's save worrying about tomorrow for our newly purchased dawn. I'll think about my brother, if that's all the same to you."
He Teamed Up With Daimon Hellstrom To Save Innocents From Nightmare
Bouncing straight out of Fear Itself, the villainous Nightmare began killing people in their sleep in order to harvest the fear generated from the Serpent to create a "crown of fear" which would make him as powerful as a Fear Lord. This eventually led to a team-up between Loki and Daimon Hellstrom to save innocent lives and stop a villain like Nightmare from amassing such devastating powers.
Loki being Loki, the Norse god decided the best way to do this was to give Nightmare the fear he needed to keep him from taking the lives of any more innocent people. The second part of his plan was to inform the Fear Lords of Nightmare's intentions to become a Fear Lord himself, which caused them all to fight over the crown for all eternity. Hellstrom was none too pleased with Loki's scheme, exclaiming in Journey Into Mystery #636, "Oh. If this all goes wrong, Loki? Your head is mine."
He Was Instrumental In Helping Thor Take Out Surtur, Thereby Saving The Nine Realms
Comic books being what they are, Thor was - surprise, surprise - resurrected not too long after meeting his maker in Fear Itself. And good thing too, as everyone's favorite fiery being Surtur decided he thought it would be a cool idea to burn everything in the Nine Realms.
Loki ended up giving the Twilight Sword to Thor so the Thunder God could combine it with Mjolnir to pack a real punch. On top of that, he and his best friend Leah also teamed with Thor to trick Odin into leaving exile in order to help bring down Surtur. All in all, pretty helpful stuff from Loki.
The Spirit Of The Old Loki, Known As 'Ikol,' Eventually Took Over The Body Of The Resurrected Kid Loki
Okay, let's get into the weird comic weeds here. An "echo" of the old, mischievous Loki continued to survive in a hidden chamber only Kid Loki could access. After Mephisto gained control of the Fear Crown that Loki let Nightmare create from the fear from Loki's own mind, the old Loki - known as "Ikol" - convinced Kid Loki that sacrificing his mind and letting the old Loki replace him was the only way to render the crown useless.
It seems that Ikol's plan all along was to let this reincarnated Kid Loki gain the trust of Asgardians in order to change his image before taking control once again. He states in Journey Into Mystery #645, "If the world will not let one change, it's near impossible to do so. With your innocence, you reestablished my name. And now I have a chance to be something else... by taking your place."