Wednesday, April 10, 2013

When Loki Met Thor

I guess you can tell how things are going to go between these two:

If you go around calling yourself the God of Mischief, I suppose it's a given that your disposition is going to be self-serving. But when we first meet Loki, half-brother to Thor, he also has thoughts of anger and revenge--which is understandable, having been imprisoned within a tree for centuries:

As light-hearted and uncomplicated as Thor's stories were in Journey Into Mystery, Thor's challengers were more menacing than ruthless, and the stories tended to be more entertaining than gripping. Loki, as we know him now, would probably be more suited as the god of malevolence rather than mere mischief, as his actions in contemporary stories are deadly and often merciless. Yet even with thoughts of "revenge," which Loki would normally act on in far more vicious ways, his methods against Thor in their first clash are more tame, with less of a sense of deadly urgency than you'd see in later meetings like this one:

There's no doubt about Loki's intentions in that battle. Thor is going to be carried out on a stretcher--if he's lucky. Yet in their first meeting (at least the one we're privileged to see as readers), Loki's revenge consists of mostly trickery and, well, mischief:

Things don't get much more exciting when Thor escapes his hypnotic spell and beings pursuing Loki, who leads him through a merry chase in Times Square, the theater district, and a subway tunnel. It's not much of a battle when your foe spends all his time fleeing you and throwing obstacles in your way. Finally, it's time for Thor to settle accounts with Loki, using something apparently better than the enchanted hammer he's already packing:

And did you know about this little factoid?

Good grief, Thor--for a guy who can summon thunderstorms, you're pretty slow on the uptake. If you're fighting Loki, two stamps of your hammer and the battle's over, every time.

The encounter ends in dramatic fashion (at least for what passes as dramatic in 1962 comics), with Thor hurling Loki away from Earth. Which also gives us our first glimpse of Asgard and Odin:

Where there's probably a tree waiting with Loki's name on it. Though all-wise Odin might think of imprisoning him in a river this time.


Kid said...

Always liked that story (JIM #85). Whenever I read it, it brings back memories of where I lived at the time.

Anonymous said...

Every family has its Loki. Unfortunately, in my family, it's me.

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