Marvel villains are well known for being deeply complex characters, often treading a fine line between good and evil. One perfect example is Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, whose character arc went from the main villain in the first Avengers movie to a tragic hero in Infinity War. Even though technically dead, his escape with the tesseract during the events of Endgame gave Loki another chance of life (pun intended).
As a villain in the MCU, Loki has been given a fair amount of screen time, but decades worth of comics stories mean there is still plenty of source material to delve into. Having watched the trailers and studied the artwork, we’ve compiled a list of Marvel Comics stories that we think you should read in preparation for Loki on Disney+. Some of the following stories may feature, so reading them will make the viewing experience better; others are just great Loki stories.
1. Vote Loki (2016)
Christopher Hastings’ four-part series is centred around a Loki who becomes bored with trying to take over the world. Instead, he decides to go legit and run for president of the United States. The series is a spoof of the 2016 Presidential Election and is a great, satirical look at modern politics. Loki’s whole campaign is based on the idea that he has the guts to lie outright to the American public. It has already been shown in the trailer, with Loki being seen wearing an identical suit to that of the comics, complete with campaign badge.
2. Loki: Sorcerer Supreme (2017)
With the events of Loki focusing on time travel and alternate realities, it’s likely the series will tie into the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness film. Issue #381 of Doctor Strange, written by Donny Cates and Gabriel Hernandez Walta sees Loki trick Dr Strange into giving up the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme, and taking the title for himself, you know, just because he can.
3. The Trials of Loki (2011)
The second of Loki’s solo comic series, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, sees a Loki closely tied to Norse mythologies. The series explores the history of the God of Mischief in great detail, not usually seen in the comics.
4. Trapped By Loki, The God of Mischief (1962)
Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, Loki makes his first appearance in 1962’s Journey into Mystery #85. If you want to start at the beginning, Trapped By Loki, The God of Mischief is the place to go, as it gives you the origin story of Loki. This issue is also the first time Asgard and the character Heimdall are mentioned in Marvel comics.
5. Frog Thor (1986)
The idea of Thor being turned into a frog isn’t just a joke (and a hilarious one at that) brought up in Thor: Ragnarok. Thor has been turned into a frog more than once. Walter Simonson’s four-year run on Thor is widely recognised as one of the God of Thunder’s best comics series that influences much of the Ragnarok movie. In issue #364, Loki plays a trick on his older brother by turning him into a frog. The whole thing sounds like a weird joke, but it’s actually a great story that draws parallels on a war between frogs and rats with the war between gods. Whilst it’s not likely this story will show up in Loki, it’s just a great comic that every Thor or Loki fan should read.
6. The TVA (1986)
We know that Loki will involve the Time Variance Authority. Although they don’t feature in the comics as much as organisations such as SHIELD, they hold an important place within the Marvel Universe. The most significant TVA stories are in Thor vol. 1 #372-374 and Fantastic Four #352-354. Both stories showcase just what the TVA are about, a bureaucratic organisation that can cause more problems than they solve.
7. Loki Vol 1 (2004)
Robert Rodi and Esad Ribic’s 2004 Loki is beautifully drawn, it’s Loki’s first solo comic series, and rather than focus on his attempts to get one up on Thor, it takes a look at what things would be like if Loki won. The series shows Loki in a different light to how he usually is portrayed, delving deep into his motivations and relationships.
8. King Loki (2019)
King Thor, written by Jason Aaron, is actually about an alternate reality version of Thor and Loki. Loki destroys Earth, amongst other terrible things, showing how truly evil he can be. The Disney+ series is set to introduce several different versions of Loki, and whilst King Loki might not be one of them, this series shows one of many different sides to Loki.
9. Loki: Agent of Asgard (2014)
After the Void killed Loki, another Loki was born who was younger, less evil and more heroic. Loki acted as one of the good guys for a while, crossing paths with many familiar characters. He ends up back in his Adult body and creates plenty of mischiefs whilst working for his Mother.
10. X-Men: Asgardian Wars (1985)
Loki is usually known to fight Thor or the Avengers, but he takes a swing at some of Marvel’s mutants during this cross-over event. Now I’m not saying I have a theory that Loki will be the first introduction of mutants into the MCU, so don’t hold me to that, but it could happen, right? I mean, they have to come sometime…
Marvel Studios’ “Loki” features the God of Mischief as he steps out of his brother’s shadow in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” Tom Hiddleston returns as the title character, joined by Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku and Richard E. Grant. Kate Herron directs “Loki,” and Michael Waldron is head writer.