Queer Comic Book Character: Loki (Oct 9th)

Loki is Thor’s mischievous trickster god brother and often Thor’s enemy as well. He’s a super-villain who’s generally portrayed as being completely out for himself. He’s based on the Norse God both in personality and powers.

For most of his long-run in Marvel Comics, Loki is portrayed as a man. However, when the Norse Gods are all killed — Loki is beheaded by Thor — all the Gods are reborn in canon. And Loki is reborn as a woman. Loki seems to enjoy her female body and constantly refers to herself as “her.” However, it is revealed that Loki is more two-spirited than transgendered at rebirth given Loki’s male form is inside her body. (Comic book plotlines can be so impossible to describe.)

Loki

Loki in both female and male forms

Loki as both a woman and a man

In her new form, Loki claims she can’t lie anymore. But if that’s true, she can still go about tricking people with the truth and causing havoc against her brother Thor. She also joins Norman Osborn’s secret cabal with Doctor Doom, Emma Frost, Namor, and the Hood. Loki seems to be the wildcard which Norman’s placing his bets on will be helpful when she’s needed. Osborn promises her Asgard as the Cabal plots to take over the world.

Norman Osborn's Secret Cabal

The Secret Cabal to rule them all

When not messing with Thor, Loki impersonates the Scarlet Witch and screws with the Mighty Avengers. She wants to use the good guys to help her get an out with Osborn if needed. When Cassandra Lang finds out that the Scarlet Witch is actually Loki, Loki puts a spell on Cassandra that she can’t tell anyone what she saw. Loki unsuccessfully attempts to kill both Cassandra and Pietro, Wanda’s brother, who she’s afraid will be able to tell that she’s not his real sister. Eventually, the Young Avengers figure everything out when Clint Barton kisses Loki and declares that she is not Wanda. Loki flees after Wiccan’s spells further reveal the truth.

Meanwhile, Thor discovers that Loki’s female form is actually Sif’s (Thor’s wife) body. He tries to make Loki give up her body willingly. But Loki claims that by switching to his male form, Sif’s body would die and that Thor should just say his goodbye to her. However, Loki goes back to his male form and Sif is restored in her body.

Loki is a man again

Loki returns to his male body

I was really disappointed with this development as I really liked the idea of Loki coming back as a woman. Comic books certainly lack two-spirited, transgendered, and genderqueer characters, and for a while, it was great to see such a major character with a lot of history be reborn as a woman. And then I was even more disappointed that Sif’s story turned into another tale about a woman being forced from her body or taken over by a male character.

Loki and Sif

Loki can see Sif's trapped spirit in the mirror.

Currently, Loki is dead again. During Siege, when he manipulated Osborn into attacking Asgard, Loki realizes he’s made a big mistake as the Sentry and the Void rip Asgard into pieces. He attempts to use the Norse Stones against the Void. For a while, it works. However, when the Void notices Loki’s intervention, it destroys the stones and rips Loki in half. Loki’s last words are an apology to his brother. Thor then kills the Sentry/Void and buries the remains, including Loki’s, in the sun.

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About Erica

Erica McGillivray is the showrunner of 6’7″ & Green. I love comic books and enjoy taking a critical and a fun eye to them. If you’re interested in knowing more about me, check out my main site or my Twitter account.

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4 Responses to Queer Comic Book Character: Loki (Oct 9th)

  1. Jack says:

    Granted, even before we learned it was Sif’s body,Loki still identified himself as male, especially that issue where he met with his daughter Hela. So it wasn’t something out of the left field

    • Erica says:

      Not saying it was out of left field, just that I’d rather have Loki as a woman than a male. Or maybe just Loki as a character who more frequently changes gender.

  2. Lily says:

    I didn’t know Loki the comic character changed gender, but I find it fascinating, and pretty awesome, that he does. The Norse figure (god? jotun? No two scholars can agree!) gives birth as a woman or female animal several times. He changes physical sex many a time and oft. It isn’t something I would think the comic would pull from the sagas. I really love that they did.

    • Erica says:

      I should update this post, but Loki as a woman’s story ends where we find out that he has “borrowed” Sif’s body. He then becomes kid Loki at some point. And it becomes as very much about how horrible it was for Sif to have Loki occupy and use her body.

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