Warning: SPOILERS for Loki #4
The world of Marvel Comics is taking steps to prove Loki is more than a villain, possessing real potential to be a "Hero of The Realms" like his brother, Thor. But even after defeating his Frost Giant father to become King of Jotumheim, fans aren't sure what the future holds. The one thing we know for certain... is that Loki now holds one of Thor's most famous weapons--and it's not his Asgardian hammer, Mjolnir.
Loki's primary adversary in his new comic series is technically Nightmare, the weaver of dark dreams and stories, but heroes like Thor and Tony Stark have also delivered blows to the wannabe hero's confidence. In the second issue, Loki is revealed to have asked Thor for permission to join the Avengers, only for Tony and Thor to essentially guffaw in his face. Though his trickster antics are still evident in his dialogue and... 'leadership strategies,' Loki is aiming for heroism within this new series. But his success in turning all of his stories in "The Halls of All-Knowing" into heroic tales takes a massive twist. According to Nightmare, this new, heroic life is just a fantasy. Thankfully, the newest issue of Loki confirms it's no trick.
Loki actually ends up tricking Nightmare, due mainly to the fact that his greatest nightmare is his current reality, meaning his enemy can't bring him into a nightmare he's already living. The twist gives Loki power over his enemy, and with the two at an impasse, Nightmare refuses Loki's offer to walk away, slashing the trickster god. This aggression drives Loki to summon his own new weapon of war: Jarnbjorn, the war axe of Thor, from his "Bottomless Magic Bag of Safekeeping."
Though not Thor's most-famous hammer, Jarnbjorn is still just as powerful (famously referred to as the Wrecker of Worlds). While the axe doesn't have the same 'worthiness' rule, that might work in Loki's favor. Given his heroic actions by the issue's ending, his choice to lift the axe of Thor could be seen as foreshadowing of his future worthiness. After all, even villainous characters like the evil Captain America lifted Mjolnir. This Jarnbjorn axe served as inspiration for Thor's Thor's Stormbreaker axe in Infinity War, but the key difference is that Stormbreaker came after Thor's hammer in the MCU, and not before it like Jarnbjorn. As another possible hint at Loki's own Thor-like path, Jarnbjorn was the weapon Thor wielded before the moment became worthy of Mjolnir.
Loki remains an untrustworthy character in Marvel comics, emphasized by Tony's hesitation to give him too much credit for a few good deeds. In fact, Issue #2 features Loki getting ambushed by a system Tony had specifically designed to trap the trickster. There is still a lot of doubt around Loki and his intentions, so Jarnbjorn might be in some dangerous hands in the near future, but we can give the benefit of the doubt to the hero-in-training.
Loki #4 is available now from your local comic book shop, or direct from Marvel Comics.