SO WHO IS LOKI?
Seriously, have you not seen Avengers Assemble? The film was a box-office smash!?!
NO. I'VE BEEN BUSY. SO WHO IS HE?
Before Marvel Comics was known as Marvel Comics (you know, back when it was called Timely Comics) Loki first cropped up in the pages of Venus #6, published in 1949. Ever since then he's had a long history of pissing off most of the Marvel Universe and seems to take a great deal of joy from bugging his half-brother Thor.
In the Marvel Universe Loki is known as the God of Lies & Mischief and his supernatural abilities include: an immunity to disease, the ability to fly, increased stamina, shapeshifting powers, hypnosis, mind manipulation, dimensional teleportation... the ability to cheat death... and so much more. However outside of the Marvel Universe Loki is the stuff of legend....
OOOOHHH... TELL ME MORE.
For many, many, many years, Loki's origins have been the stuff of legend. He has roots in Norse mythology that relate to giants, fire and magic, however he's also cropped up in other tales, myths and stories. In fact Loki has been the subject of many debates amongst scholars who have tried to pinpoint who he really is. In 1835 Jacob Grimm theorised that Loki was a god of fire, yet in 1889 Sophus Bugge suggested that Loki was actually a variation on Lucifer. Almost 70 years later, Folke Strom believed Loki to be an extension of Norse god Odin.
HMMMM.... SO WHO IS HE?
That's the thing. No one is quite sure. Anna Birgitta Rooth believed that Loki was a form of spider (don't ask), whilst Jan De Vries said that Loki was a form of trickster, which is something that has cropped up time and time again. In fact in the Marvel Universe Loki is often depicted as being a tricky bugger capable of manipulating any situation for his own ends.
In 1964 Gabriel Turville-Petre said it best: "More ink has been spilled on Loki than on any other figure in Norse mythology. This, in itself, is enough to show how little scholars agree and how far we are from understanding him."
AND IS THIS WHY LOKI'S SO POWERFUL?
Yep, as well as his super abilities it's the uncertainty of who Loki really is that has created this very fearsome super villain. We all fear what we don't understand and that's especially true if we can't pinpoint what it is that we fear so much. Loki has wormed his way (and rightly so) into many myths and legends and as a result we can't really be sure who he is, what his intentions are and where he might strike next. He's a master of trickery after all so is it such a stretch of the imagination to think that he's been causing problems for you without you realising it?
OH DEAR LORD, DOES THIS MEAN THAT LOKI MAY HAVE BEEN THAT BLOKE WHO THREW ME OUT OF THE FANTASY BAR?
And now you know!
That's all from us this week. Don't forget to come back for our next excursion into the supernatural world of super villains!