As Thor approaches his brother Loki for help in saving the Marvel Universe, the God of Mischief has startlingly changed his ways to Thor’s surprise.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Thor #18, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
Of all the contentious sibling rivalries in the Marvel Universe, none are quite as iconically infamous as the dynamic between Thor and his adopted brother Loki. The two siblings have been quarreling for their entire lives, with Loki often fueled by jealousy over Thor being first in line to succeed their father Odin to take the throne of Asgard. And with Thor finally claiming his royal destiny and reigning over Asgard and the Ten Realms as its All-Father and king, he attempts to reach out to Loki for help on a mission of vital importance only to discover the God of Mischief wants no part of his signature tricks as he continues to grow as his own king.
Ever since Thor faced the Black Winter, he has received troubling visions of Thanos conquering the entire Marvel Universe and standing triumphant over the superheroes that opposed him while wielding an upgraded form of Thor’s signature hammer Mjolnir. This prophecy became all the more disturbing when Thor noticed he has had trouble carrying Mjolnir himself while other figures normally unable to lift the hammer — including Loki — were able to easily hoist the weapon. After entrusting Mjolnir with the Avengers for safekeeping, Thor was shocked to discover the hammer was stolen right out of their headquarters in Avengers Mountain. And in Thor #18 — by Donny Cates, Pasqual Ferry, Bob Quinn, Matt Wilson, and VC’s Joe Sabino — the God of Thunder turns to Loki for help only to be soundly rejected.
While making considerable verbal overtures to highlight how much Thor’s dynamic with Loki has improved over the past several years, Thor reveals he needs Loki’s help to learn where exactly Mjolnir has gone and who is the culprit behind the theft. Loki immediately sees through his brother’s platitudes and observes that what Thor is essentially asking for is a spy to infiltrate the seedier corners of the Marvel Universe. This would be in the hope of gleaning information from the more unsavory figures around the universe. Loki instead decides to focus his energy on his own endeavors, including reigning as the rightful king of Jotunheim over his fellow frost giants having grown past his former trade as a trickster.
Initially one of the biggest supervillains in the Marvel Universe and Thor’s lifelong nemesis, Loki has come a long way in recent years to work alongside the heroes, with the occasional self-centered flourish. Whenever Asgard has faced an epic threat, most notably including Malekith’s monstrous army during the 2019 crossover event War of the Realms, Loki has shown his true allegiance to his adoptive family and has stood in defense of Asgard. Recently, Loki joined Asgard to take a stand against Thor’s villainous alter ego Donald Blake, with Loki exacting the final punishment on the rogue persona.
Loki is well on his way towards achieving the redemption and honor that has eluded him for years and, for such an offer to come from Thor, the God of Mischief is more insulted than amused that his brother would attempt to capitalize on his shady past. Loki has come a long way from his mischievous ways and while he still can’t help himself to the occasional trick at the Asgardians’ expense, Thor will have to turn elsewhere for help as he seeks to recover his hammer.
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