Loki Laufeyson, Marvel’s version of the Norse god, is one of the most enigmatic figures in comics. Although his first appearance was in Timely Comics’ Venus #6 in 1949, the true origins of the trickster lie in Journey Into Mystery #85 in 1962. This Loki was written into existence by Stan Lee, along with his brother, Larry Lieber, and drawn by Jack Kirby. Introduced as a foil for Thor, Loki would evolve into one of the greatest villains in Marvel Comics history – not to mention in the MCU.
Loki is known for using his numerous abilities to sow as much discord as he possibly can. His motivations are often unclear until his multiple machinations are revealed and his scheme is usually one that no one sees coming. Not only is he one of the most powerful villains in comics, but one of the cleverest.
Over the years, Loki has become increasingly easy to root for. He is a fan favorite in the comics and Tom Hiddleston has made his MCU counterpart equally likable. We may know that Loki is the Big Bad, but we still don’t want anything to happen to him. This is probably all part of his villainous plan.
Here are the 15 Worst Things Loki Has Ever Done, Ranked.
15 Transformed Thor into a frog
As this list will demonstrate, Loki has done some truly terrible things to Thor. Turning his brother into a frog may not be the worst crime that the Son of Secrets has perpetrated against the God of Thunder, but it is certainly the most humiliating. Thor prides himself on being a warrior and Loki reduced him to him to a pint-sized amphibian.
Walt Simonson’s celebrated run on Thor was often more fantasy than straight superhero comic. Although some fans malign this particular story, it is remembered fondly by most. If you think Thor’s transformation is the craziest part of this tale, then you definitely need to read it.
Once Thor is a frog, Loki creates a facsimile of him to rule Asgard, thus granting control to the trickster. Meanwhile, back on Earth, there is a war in Central Park between rats and frogs – we’re not making this up – that leads to Thor lifting Mjolnir and becoming the Frog of Thunder. Even before regaining his true form, Thor still managed to trounce Loki when he returned home.
14 Started the Avengers/Defenders War
As the first major crossover in mainstream comics, the Avengers/Defenders War is a perfect example of the persuasive powers of the God of Mischief.
Loki teamed up with the Dread Dormammu and convinced the Avengers and Defenders that rather than being united, the two teams should be fighting over the Evil Eye. The villains wanted to piece together this ancient artifact that had been splintered into six fragments. Rather than do it themselves, they manipulated the Defenders into doing it for them.
Of course, Loki double-crossed Dormammu, convincing the Avengers that the Defenders planned on using the Eye for sinister purposes. So, thanks to Loki, we witnessed grand battles between the strongest members of both teams - Hulk and Thor - as well as former allies Captain America and Namor duking it out -- not to mention Valkyrie versus Swordsman, and many others.
13 United all the villains
It’s pretty crazy that after all those years of losing to their perspective heroes, Marvel villains never managed to get organized. Luckily, the architect of the beloved "Acts of Vengeance" crossover was none other than Loki, posing as a stranger and manipulating the Big Bads into uniting against their foes. This was no small feat, considering the villains teaming up were Doctor Doom, Kingpin, the Wizard, Mandarin, Red Skull, and… Magneto. That must’ve made for some awkward evil strategizing sessions.
It was Loki’s hope that amid the chaos, he could undo one of his greatest regrets: inadvertently forming the Avengers – we’ll get to that. This major Marvel event featured battles between characters fan never expected to see, but in the end, Loki’s cadre of villains were getting along about as well as, you know, a Holocaust survivor and a Nazi war criminal.
Loki, never one for loyalty to anyone other than himself, jumped ship when it became apparent that his crack team had no hope of winning.
12 Caused Ragnarok
In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is a series of events that will ultimately lead to the death of the gods and the destruction of Asgard. Eventually, the gods will be reborn and their homeland returned to its former glory. It is a cyclical event that has already occurred and surely will again. Of course, Marvel’s version of Ragnarok is different from the myth it draws inspiration from, but one thing they both have in common: Loki plays a pivotal role in the destruction.
It is actually the God of Mischief who triggers the event by invading Asgard. Sure, Thor learns that in order to end the cycle, he must allow it to take place one final time, so it wasn’t the worst thing that could’ve happened. However, annihilating his home and all of its inhabitants is kind of just another Wednesday for Loki. Still, he certainly didn't plan on being decapitated by Thor and forced to watch the destruction he caused – sans body.
11 Took over the form of Lady Sif
Considering all of the people Loki has impersonated over the years, it might seem like inhabiting Lady Sif’s body isn’t too big of a deal. The problem is, the process nearly destroyed her. Following the events of Ragnarok, J Michael Straczynski's excellent run saw Loki truly changed. He returned as a woman.
As is the Trickster’s way, she convinced her fellow Asgardians that she could be trusted – when will they ever learn? However, Loki wasn’t in the body of just any woman. He was actually in the restored form of Lady Sif. Meanwhile, the real Sif lay trapped in a woman who was on her deathbed. This period was not only the Trickster at his most wicked, but also his most brilliant.
He traveled back in time and killed Thor’s grandfather, and arranged for Odin to adopt him in the first place. On top of all that, he had forged a secret alliance with Doctor Doom and convinced everyone that Beta Ray Bill was a Skrull. Even after Loki’s treachery was revealed and Sif was freed, he continued to leave a trail of dead Asgardians in his wake.
10 Manipulated Odin into banishing Thor
When Loki first appears in Thor, he seems harmless enough, but anyone familiar with Marvel Comics or even Norse mythology knows that this is not the case. Having any prior knowledge of the character makes it easy to see that he is playing Thor from the beginning.
Like the most talented manipulators, Loki made Thor believe that it was his idea to invade Jutonheim. Then, he basically sold him out under the guise of saving his life.
Those events led to Thor’s banishment and Loki learning the truth about his parentage pushed him right over the edge. He took the throne once the Allfather fell into the Odinsleep, and once the Warriors Three attempted to return Thor to his rightful position, Loki’s ambition turned deadly.
9 Secretly formed his own Avengers team
As earlier stated, Loki was quite busy when he returned as a woman. He joined the Cabal - a sinister group comprised of Norman Osborn, Emma Frost, Namor, and the Hood.
As always though, the trickster had his own agenda. Hank Pym, under the impression that he was dealing with the Scarlet Witch, formed another Avengers team. However, it wasn’t Wanda at all, but rather Loki, forming his own squad that he could control behind the scenes.
There was more to the Maker of Mischief’s plot than his own amusement, of course. The point was always to exploit the “cracks in Norman Osborn’s armor.” It all began to unravel when Cassie Lang realized what was really going on. Despite Loki’s best efforts, the rest of the team eventually learned the truth as well.
In the wake of Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn was made director of SHIELD. It was a dark time for the Marvel Universe. Osborn has always been incredibly dangerous, intelligent, and powerful, but the one thing he wasn’t, was sane. He never had a chance against Loki’s silver tongue. The trickster manipulated the madman into a full-scale assault of Asgard, which was at that point in Oklahoma – it’s a long story.
With the Cabal crumbling, Loki had Osborn all to himself and, aside from slowly driving him mad, was able to push the man into a war that ultimately benefitted no one. As usual, Loki played both sides, wreaking havoc as much on the villains as the heroes.
As much a wild card as Loki himself, though, was the Sentry. Underestimating the sentry was almost the last mistake that Loki ever made.
7 Sacrificed himself only to be reborn
Loki was killed by the Sentry at the end of Siege, ostensibly sacrificing himself after realizing that his plans had gone too far. While it was noble of the trickster to fight alongside his brother, even though it meant his death, Loki never actually had any intention of dying – and as always, he did have a plan.
Before the battle even occurred, Loki had already prepared for his possible death. His demise wouldn’t be permanent, but would instead lead to his rebirth. However, it didn’t go as he planned and Kid Loki was a different entity altogether. Still, he was burdened with a horrible past that he had no memory of, but constantly felt guilty over.
Loki was always a fascinating character, but he was never a truly sympathetic one. Kieron Gillen changed all that, with his work on Journey into Mystery and Young Avengers. With his big heart and penchant for mischief, Kid Loki became one of the best characters in Marvel Comics.
6 Destroyed Kid Loki
The one thing that you should never do is count out Loki. When he was reborn as a new being, it appeared that his former self had been erased. However, he had actually survived as the raven Ikol.
Kid Loki may have had a gift for manipulation, but he was nothing compared to the master. Ikol convinced him to help Thor return from the dead after he lost his life to the Midgard Serpent. Kid Loki accomplished this feat, but at the expense of binding his life to an artifact that would eventually hand the universe over to Mephisto. This was, of course, Loki’s plan all along.
The only way to save the day was for Kid Loki to allow his older self to inhabit his body, and in the process, wipe out all traces of him. This not only destroyed Kid Loki, but also broke Thor’s heart when he learned the truth. He had loved the boy, viewing him as a chance at redemption for him and his brother.
5 Replaced Odin on the throne
Thor: The Dark World is not one of the most loved MCU films. For many, it ranks near the bottom of the list. However, as usual, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki was a definite highlight. Similarly to his comic counterpart, Loki has a talent for convincing others to trust him, even when they know that they shouldn’t – including the audience.
When it counted, the trickster teamed up with his brother in an effort to stop Malekith. Loki proved himself to Thor just in time to die a proper hero’s death. However, anyone paying attention probably assumed that his sacrifice was as much of an illusion as his ability to be trusted.
The end of the film saw a very nice father/son moment between Thor and Odin, but right before the credits roll, we see that it wasn’t the Allfather at all. Loki now sits on the throne of Asgard. This is certainly one of Loki’s most devious acts and with Odin’s fate hanging in the balance, the stage was perfectly set for Thor: Ragnarok.
4 Created some of Thor’s greatest foes
Sure, Loki could, and has expended much of his energy on making life difficult for Thor – and the rest of the heroes in the Marvel Universe. Still, one of the cleverest ways that the Son of Secrets has done this is by creating other villains to do his dirty work.
Loki has had a direct or indirect influence on a lengthy list of Thor’s early adversaries from the Enchantress to Molto to the Executioner. It was also Loki who turned Carl “Crusher” Creel into the Absorbing Man and the Wrecking Crew gained their powers because of him as well.
Even when the trickster isn’t directly involved in the creation of an antagonist, he often talks them into doing his bidding. Whether it was through genesis or manipulation, Loki has caused countless battles, thereby achieving his objective of sowing as much discord as possible.
3 Convinced the world that Thor was insane
Although the Ultimate Comics have been hit or miss for the last decade or so, those first few years are beyond reproach. Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s two Ultimates volumes were particularly great. In their run, Thor proclaimed himself a god, but his teammates felt that he was simply an unbalanced mutant with delusions of grandeur. By the middle of the story, he winds up in a mental institution, where everyone thinks he belongs, thanks to Loki's reality warping powers.
This is all part of the trickster's plot to undermine both his brother and the Ultimates – the Avengers of that universe. Once Thor was out of his way, Loki put together an anti-American group called the Liberators, and pitted them against the Ultimates.
Loki’s treachery was eventually brought to light and Thor freed from bondage, but it was one of the worst crimes that the trickster ever perpetrated against the God of Thunder.
2 Lost to the Avengers on purpose
This one is actually a fan theory, but hear us out, because it’s a pretty plausible one. Prior to the events of Avengers, Loki makes it abundantly clear that he has no interest in Earth. We have known since his first appearance that what he does want is to rule Asgard. His actions in Avengers are counterintuitive to this grand scheme. The God of Mischief is easily dispatched by our heroes and for a guy whose middle name may as well be machinations, his evil plan is a bit too simple. Perhaps that’s because he never intended to win.
Not only was Loki able to hitch a ride home, but the Tesseract was also returned to Asgard. The theory made even more sense, considering we have seen Thanos’s coveted Gauntlet in Odin’s vault and we know that the Mad Titan got a hold of it somehow.
However, Thor: Ragnarok revealed what many fans had already suspected, that the accessory in Odin’s possession is a fake. Still, there is no denying that Loki wound up exactly where he wanted to be, perfectly poised to take over Asgard.
1 Caused the Avengers to form in the first place
What was it that caused Earth’s mightiest heroes to team up in the first place? It was none other than the Maker of Mischief himself. Of course, this wasn’t his intention and it actually became one of his greatest regrets.
Seeking vengeance on Thor, Loki attempted to pit him against the Hulk in a smackdown of epic proportions. However, this conflict resulted in the Asgardian teaming up with the Green Goliath, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp to defeat Loki. The group worked so well together, in fact, that they chose to form a team known as the Avengers.
Although Loki hated inadvertently creating the bond between these heroes, there’s no denying that in doing so, he achieved his ultimate goal: chaos. He caused disruption throughout the galaxy, just not in the way that he planned.
This may not be the worst thing that the trickster has done, but it is certainly the one that has had the most consequences for him, as well as pretty much every other major villain in the Marvel Universe.
Can you think of any other terrible things that Thor's Loki has done? Let us know in the comments!