I have done a lot of thinking lately about who not only my favorite comic book villain is but also who IS the greatest of all. I have been throwing around some names that people would expect to see in the list such as The Joker, Darkseid, The Green Goblin and Lex Luthor to name a few. However, there is one that combines each of those evil doers strengths and somehow twists it into his own. That person is the Asgardian Trickster…..Loki.
I am a huge fan of The Joker as I love his off the wall insanity that allows very, very few moments of clarity. I respect the desire and intelligence of Lex Luthor and Norman Osborn (The Green Goblin) as both men have a genius level I.Q. and will try to manipulate a situation to gain what they want. Then there is Darkseid, all powerful and with delusions of grandeur. He wants to and can wipe out all existence with the Omega Beam that he fires from his eyes.
I will put my reputation on the line though and state that Loki not only combines all these facets but he is better at them, when he so chooses to be. There may not be a more complex and yet, more simple character in not just the Marvel Universe but the comic book world than the God of Mischief. What many people have forgotten or may not really have known is that Loki is the reason that the super hero team, The Avengers, was formed.
What people tend to forget about Loki is that he is a great tactician and will use the elements outside of his own powers, resources and minions to accomplish the deeds he desires. He is very well versed in hand to hand combat, is a master of magic which he can use to create illusions or channel that magic into physical blasts of power. He is said to be as adept at magic as the greatest sorceress in Asgard, Karnilla. In the past he has shown that no matter where he is in the cosmos, he can detect the evil thoughts or others and feed into them, thus manipulating them.
As well, He possesses physical attributes equal to a fit average Asgardian, such as superhuman strength; stamina (his Frost Giant metabolism grants him superhuman levels of physical stamina in practically all activities); durability; and immunity to all known diseases and toxins, as well as some resistance to magic. He also possesses one of the grandest intellects not just in Asgard, but in existence.
What makes Loki a great character is that he is based on something outside of the comic book realm. He is rooted in actual myth and that allows him and Thor to have a little more weight in a world that has aliens arriving from dying planets and millionaires dressed as bats. He also is not pure evil and that is what I love about the character. His does want the best for Asgard and it’s people but he believes that it will only come to pass if he is ruling.
Even though he has opposed his brother Thor and father Odin on many occasions, Loki has also set aside his differences and feelings about them to assist them in saving Asgard countless times. The ones that come to mind were the finale of the Surtur Saga, where Loki stood beside Thor and Odin as they beat back the forces of demons trying to enter the Golden Realm. Another moment that stood out to me was during the finale of the event Siege, when Norman Osborn attacked Asgard. Loki at first manipulated Osborn into starting the attack but then realizes that a greater evil will destroy Asgard and repents to Odin. He begs Odin to allow him enhance those fighting to protect Asgard, God and Mortal alike, with the power of the Norn Stones. With Odin’s agreement, Loki’s boost enables them to save the day but he is killed by the greater evil, The Void. Upon seeing Loki killed, Thor flies into a rage and lands the killing blow to The Void and mourns his brother’s passing.
This is why I believe that Loki is not just the greatest villain in comics but also one of the most interesting. He can not be shoe horned into any stereo typical archetype and that is why he is one of my favorites. His ability to fill many roles in a story and his ability to take focus off of the main characters due to his strengths are some of the reasons I look forward to a story that features Loki.
I am very pleased to see that he is now becoming more well known in not just the comic world but the world over all thanks to masterful performance by Tom Hiddleston in the movie Thor and the soon to be released The Avengers next May. I can not wait to see how much more of a threat Loki will be in that film.