Trickster, villain, liar, cheater, knave, monster – many other titles have been given to the Norse God Loki Laufeyson. When he died saving the world from destruction (which he helped set in motion, naturally), Loki was beginning a new life. Yes it took death to give Loki a new perspective, gods can do that sort of thing. How did this ancient villain become a young wannabe hero? Let’s find out.
During the siege against Asgard by Norman Osborn and his S.H.I.E.L.D. turned H.A.M.M.E.R. (it’s a loooooong story), Loki realized that he didn’t like where things were heading; the battle, Asgard, his own existence. He sacrificed himself, saved everyone, pulled off some last minute tricks to keep his name out of the Book of Hel so as not to have to stay dead and give it a little bit of leeway, and you got one brand new Loki. We’re talking pretty new, so new he’s still a child.
A little boy in Paris wakes with no memories of his past and begins a life of thievery. This continues until Thor finds the boy and reveals that he is actually his brother, Loki, the trickster god reborn. At first he thinks that this is a lie, but soon he comes around to believing Thor when he has no memories but the dreams that he fears. Thor is able to help him partially remember who he is, but it’s more like a history lesson than an immersive experience for Kid Loki.
Asgard has less than a warm welcome for the return of Loki. Odin hates the boy, but will not kill one he still holds as son, and many of the other Asgardians bully the kid who once tortured them. Real great plan, everyone, let’s torture what may be the best chance at not having a repeat of the old villain by making him have all new reasons to take vengeance. Loki has a fascination with Midgard (that’s Earth) and owns a smartphone, Stark design so it can work just about anywhere, that has helped him update his understanding of modern pop culture.
The theme of Kid Loki tends to take Spider-Man’s relationship with the Daily Bugle and the X-Men’s relationship with humanity and roll them all into one big ball of mistrust and hate from Asgard. When helping to stop Galactus from eating Asgard by hiding the Worldheart, Thor nearly chokes out the kid thinking he’d gone back to his old ways. Thor apologizes, but Loki sees that no one trusts him and that is a dangerous lesson to learn.
Old Loki left his younger self a path to find a “ghost” of his old self that Kid Loki finds. Old explains his plan to new as a way of starting fresh since he had been feeling stale, and when you’re a trickster, nothing is worse than becoming a predictable old fool. The old Loki wants to help usher the child into a new age of evil, but Kid Loki refuses and has the elder turned into a magpie named Ikol (Get it? It’s backwards, you know.) that is now his sidekick.
Once again, worlds-at-peril level danger occurs with the Serpent threatening to destroy all the ‘gards out there, and Thor gets locked up by Odin, and guess who needs to help out his brother? Loki teams up with Mephisto and Hela to plan an attack. These are some high level dangerous people, talk about a deal with the Devil. Loki returns with some Dísir (undead Valkyries) and Leah, Hela’s handmaiden tasked with helping Loki. This new help allows Loki to do some real magical trickery to gain access to a pen that lets him rewrite the Serpent’s history so that something pleasant occurs in his past, which Loki immediately takes advantage of in the present to help stop him, with Thor stopping the Serpent but dying in the process.
Suffering from horrible dreams of killing Thor, which Loki believes is just from guilt, Ikol explains that these are more than just guilt – he is being attacked. Returning to the Serpent’s Ruins with Leah, he is attacked by Daimon Hellstorm (snicker) because he thinks Loki is still evil (always with the evil). Leah defends the nearly powerless Loki (he’s still working on it, okay?), and Daimon realizes the two are being honest when he sees them fight like the children they are. When they all get to talking instead of fighting, Daimon explains that all over the world people are dying in their sleep.
Entering Loki’s mind, Daimon and Loki learn that Nightmare is behind all these deaths to create a fear crown which would make him an invincible Fear Lord. Loki’s fear was the strongest, so Nighmare wanted it the most. Daimon, Leah, and Loki work to save the sleepers of the world. This proves exhausting for Loki, and Ikol points out he keeps trying to save the day like Thor and not like Loki, a trickster. Loki decides to give his fear to Nightmare so that he no longer needs to kill others. Thinking Loki had done it for selfish reasons, it was shown that Loki had also told the other Fear Lords what was up, and thus began an eternal Fear Lord war that didn’t look likely to stop, which would be held far, far away from Asgard and Midgard alike.
Loki later teams up with Silver Surfer to help bring back the memory of his brother when a new God of Thunder shows up with everyone thinking this is how it always was. The two are not only successful at stopping the lie, but also help usher in the return of Thor.
Mephisto shows up later to blackmail Loki by revealing their past dealings. This occurs at the same time that the Dísir have escaped. When it rains it pours. This all ends up with Loki and the rest of Asgard thinking they are all mortals of Earth living in San Francisco. Loki, believing himself to be a boy named Luke, teams up with the New Mutants to put things back to normal. To stop the Dísir a wedding must occur (magic stuff is weird), but due to the absolutely ridiculous strings attached, Loki and Dani Moonstar work together to free the Dísir. Loki gains control to the Gates of Hel and uses it to help trade for their freedom from such torment to serve Hela.
Never a dull moment, a new set of beings called the Silent Ones using deadly machines arrive, and Loki is sent to England to help negotiate peace. This all ends terribly, because Leah is sacrificed to heal Hela, leaving Loki alone with Ikol taunting him.
When a strange fire that can burn even the gods, Thor and the World Tree in particular, begins burning things all over the place, can you guess who tries to stop it? Loki and Thor team up, with Loki confessing to his brother about all the things he’s done to try and help everyone. It’s a lot of dangerous stuff, but Thor realizes his brother only wants to help as best he can, and this is what that means. It may not be the best way, but it helps, even with its risks.
Leah returns during all this by being the Leah Loki used to give the Serpent a pleasant moment in his past. She still exists, but as a static creature, and loathes Loki for such an existence. Loki appears to betray everyone and return to his old ways, but this became part of another long con, and is able to give this Leah of fiction a fully fleshed out existence, freeing her. Leah saves Loki yet again, and just as they are about to die, his brother and the Warriors return from the afterlife to save them. Through the paying of debts to Loki, the day is saved by yet more magical weirdness that those old gods love.
Ikol finally reveals that while Loki may have done his best to be good, he will now take control of him again. Hanging around the kid seems to have allowed him to let the boy say his good byes. Visiting Leah, Hela (who reveals she is Leah fully grown), and Thor to say farewell, Kid Loki eats the magpie that was Ikol and now old Loki is in the form of Kid Loki. This gets more complicated when Loki is still trying to do some good by joining with the Young Avengers where they are dealing with an extra-dimensional entity, and hopping around trying to stop it and another creature. Kid Loki is Schrodinger’s Cat – he is both alive and dead. Kid Loki won’t let old Loki forget it, it seems.
I’d say that got weird in the end, but let’s be real, it was weird all the way through. Gods, am I right? Tricksters are always doing strange stuff like that, that’s why they are my favorite archetype. Kid Loki wanted to be the Trickster Hero, I’d say he did a pretty good job. Hope things work out for him, but he is a story and not a person, so I’m sure it won’t ever go smoothly, but it may make for a great experience. I know a lot of people hurt from those stories; I suggest you read them and hurt from them. I kept out as much hurt as possible to lure you in. Seemed like the Trickster thing to do.
Journey Into Mystery #622 – #645
Mighty Thor #18-22
Young Avengers Vol. 2