Warning: SPOILERS for War of The Realms
The version of Loki in Marvel's movie universe may be dead, but in the comics he could be headed for the biggest promotion of his life - as the new Thor, God of Thunder.
The news hasn't been announced by Marvel Comics, but the publisher has been teasing a brand new status quo forits Asgardian stars--Thor, Valkyrie, and Loki--come the end of summer. With the War of The Realms event promising to demand a massive "sacrifice" from Thor, many fans are fearing the worst. But it doesn't seem like the "whole new adventure" awaiting Thor in his solo series will be death. Instead, it may simply be passing on the title, powers, and the Hammer of Thor to his brother… giving Loki one last chance to become the hero fans know he could be.
Again, this theory is speculation on our part (and if Marvel were planning to have Thor pass Mjolnir on to Loki, we doubt they would officially confirm it so far ahead of time). But it's speculation based on the solicitations for Marvel's releases come July 2019, after the War of The Realms has officially ended. And we suspect that once fans read the various teases made by Marvel...they'll come to the same fantastic conclusion.
Loki, Marvel's Next God of Thunder?
After seeing Loki eaten alive by his father in War of The Realms #1, fans were hungry (sorry) for more of the heroic god of mischief, now willing to die to prove his love and loyalty to his adopted mother Freyja. Thankfully, the shock of his death was lessened by the announcement that Loki will star in his own comic book beginning in July. But forget the obvious question of how Loki can come back from the dead… why is he carrying Mjolnir on the cover of his first issue? The synopsis for Loki #1 may give the reason. Take a look:
After dying a grisly death in THE WAR OF THE REALMS, Loki… has a whole new set of responsibilities — and his brother Thor is not about to let him walk away from them this time… Daniel Kibblesmith takes the god of mischief in a thrilling new direction!
Vague on its own, although Loki being somehow resurrected and having new responsibilities bestowed upon him by his brother Thor implies a passing of the torch--responsibilities that apparently include being sent via Bifrost down to Earth, Mjolnir in hand, if his cover art is to be believed. Fans could argue that by sacrificing himself for Asgard and Earth, Loki proved himself “worthy” whether he claims the power of Thor or not. And his powers of deception would even allow him to not be noticeably transformed when wielding the hammer of the God of Thunder.
But the hammer isn't the only clue, and our theory isn't solely based on how Marvel is teasing Loki’s future--but his brother's, as well. We can't yet say how the War of The Realms will finally end, but one thing is for sure: nobody's life is going to be changed more dramatically than Thor's. And just as Jason Aaron's time with the hero draws to a close…
King Thor Doesn't Need His Hammer
To have the hammer Mjolnir and the power it bestows to pass on to Loki at all, Thor will need a new calling. Over the course of Jason Aaron's run on Thor there have been too many glimpses of Old King Thor to count, confirming he may be the last person alive at the end of Marvel's Universe. So it shouldn't be shocking to say that such a future awaits him. And based on the synopsis of Thor #15, described as an epilogue to War of The Realms, the "new status quo" for Thor may have finally arrived:
To end the War of the Realms, Thor made a sacrifice that will leave him forever changed. Now he must face the choices he’s made. What lies ahead for the God of Thunder? Jason Aaron’s legendary run draws to a close – don’t miss the start of his final arc!
It wouldn't be the first time that Thor has sacrificed Mjolnir. But where he once left the hammer due to believing himself "unworthy," this time around could be to finally ascend to the throne of Asgard, and begin to reconstruct what Odin allowed to fracture in the lead-up to the War of The Realms. In fact, the synopsis for War of The Realms Omega #1, also releasing in July, may tease that exact rebuilding:
Midgard is broken, and as heroes of Asgard and Earth alike start to sift through the pieces, new heroes — and villains — emerge. What’s next for Jane Foster, now free of the hammer she was willing to die to hold? Thor’s brother Loki faced a terrible fate in the War of the Realms — and now the god of mischief must make himself anew. And for Thor himself, destiny has finally arrived. The God of Thunder strikes out for a whole new adventure!
Jane Foster's Busy as The New Valkyrie
The mention of Jane Foster being "free from the hammer" not only confirms that Mjolnir will somehow be restored as part of the event, but makes it explicit that she won't be picking it up to become Marvel's new (and arguably greatest) Thor. Jane's future has already been revealed, starring in her own comic series as Marvel's new Valkyrie. To say that Thor's destiny has finally arrived could mean whatever Aaron wants it to… but the simplest explanation is that Odin will fall, either by blade or old age, leaving Thor to replace him.
Could the "God of Thunder striking out for a whole new adventure" refer to Loki without fans knowing it ahead of time? The Omega issue credits Jason Aaron, AL Ewing, and Daniel Kibblesmith as writers--also the three leading the Thor, Valkyrie, and Loki series after War of The Realms--which means fans will need to pick the issue up regardless.
So as Jane Foster finds a new destiny befitting her character, and Thor prepares to follow in his father's footsteps… is Loki finally ready to follow in his brother's as the champion of Asgard, and defender of the Realms (what's left of them anyway)?
Marvel's War of The Realms is currently under way, with Loki #1 available at your local comic book store in July.