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Movie Reviews

Loki’s First Appearance Proves He’s Always Been More than a Thor Villain

In certain Marvel Comics runs as well as in the current landscape of the MCU, Loki has ventured out on his own and proved to be more than a Thor villain–and while that seems like a new development, it is actually something that was established upon his debut.

Loki Laufeyson is the God of Mischief on Asgard and the brother of the God of Thunder, Thor Odinson. While they are brothers, the two gods were far from allies in the early days of Marvel Comics as Thor regularly foiled Loki’s mischievous plots–plots that mostly revolved around Loki trying to take over as the king of either Earth or Asgard (or both). This relationship was established in Journey Into Mystery #85 by Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber, Stan Lee, and Dick Ayers. This issue is looked at as the first appearance of Loki, and while that is true to a certain extent, it isn’t totally accurate. Journey Into Mystery is the first time readers see Loki as fans know him today, but it is far from his first appearance in Marvel Comics–and his real debut had nothing to do with Thor.

Related: Marvel Finally Fixes Its Worst Loki Retcon

Loki made his official Marvel Comics debut in Venus #6, and he makes it very clear that he’s a standalone character right from the start. In the comic, Venus–the Goddess of Love who is experiencing a mortal life on Earth–suddenly cannot use her godly powers as they are being blocked by a malevolent force. After a few days of seeing little demons pass unnoticed through crowds of people, Venus finally uncovers the mystery behind this overwhelming evil that has blanketed the city. During a parade, Loki himself shows up sitting upon a float carried by his demonic servants as he laughs a wicked laugh at all the people he will soon have the pleasure to torment–and Venus stands powerless before him.

Not only can Loki block the magic of a goddess with his mere presence on Earth alone, but he is actually an established king when he’s first introduced. Loki Laufeyson, as fans know him, has yearned for the title of king, and this original version of the character has already earned himself that title before he even steps foot on-panel. Unfortunately, the kingdom over which Loki rules in Venus #6 is the underworld, and it was less of a godly promotion as it was a horrendous punishment for his mischievous ways–but even being king of the underworld and having an army of demons at his disposal is better than being the laughingstock of Asgard. However, when Loki manages to slither out of the underworld and wreak havoc on Earth, he proves just how powerful he really is. Loki is able to single-handedly defeat both Venus and Apollo (the God of the Sun) while establishing his stranglehold on the Earth. In the end, only Jupiter (or Zeus) is strong enough to stop Loki–and that’s a pretty significant accomplishment even if Loki wasn’t victorious. Only the God of the Gods had the power to defeat Loki while the combined might of two other gods didn’t even come close.

Loki’s debut depicts him as an incredibly powerful god, a wickedly evil and dangerous threat, and a literal king of his own realm. Loki is far-too-often lumped into Thor’s mythos without getting enough credit as a standalone character–and while that misconception is correcting itself within the MCU as well as in more recent Loki-focused comics, it never should have been established in the first place as Loki proves with his very first official appearance that he is, and has always been, way more than just a Thor villain.

Next: Loki Knows How to Use Thor’s Hammer Mjolnir Without Being Worthy

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