Loki remains the oldest villain still around in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is also the first to get his own Disney+ series, coming in June.
Thor was the fourth movie in the MCU, and the first three villains before that either died or have yet to return, with Obadiah Stane, Abomination, and Whiplash.
However, when Thor came, the villain was almost more popular than the hero.
This was Loki, who then became the first repeat villain, who went from being Thor’s nemesis to the first villain for The Avengers.
That wasn’t the end of the road for Loki.
Out of every villain in comic book movies, none have enjoyed the character progression of Loki, who went from a tragic Shakespearean villain to a genuine hero who sacrificed himself to save his brother.
While Loki died, he is back thanks to time travel shenanigans. However, Loki might be very different in his Disney+ series.
Here is a look at Loki’s path from his first appearance as the jealous brother in Thor to the hero of Thor: Ragnarok, and everything in between.
Spoilers follow for Loki’s journey in the past MCU movies.
Thor was the fourth Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, following the first two Iron Man movies and The Incredible Hulk.
Thor was pure Shakespeare, which makes sense with Kenneth Branagh as the director.
Thor was the son of Odin, King of Asgard, and the chosen one to lead the kingdom when Odin moved on. Loki was the adopted brother, the son of a Frost Giant taken in and raised by Odin.
Loki had no path to the throne and grew bitter. This changed after Odin banished Thor to Earth for disobeying a direct order and destroying the truce between the Frost Giants and Asgardians.
When Odin falls into his Odinsleep, Loki takes over the throne and tries to keep Thor on Earth, even sending the god killing robot The Destroyer to ensure his brother never returned.
Loki’s entire plan was to kill his father, Laufey, and win over Odin’s approval by destroying Jotunheim with the Bifröst Bridge.
Thor stopped him, but couldn’t stop the destruction of the Bifrost Bridge. Odin saved his sons, but he refused Loki’s pleas for approval.
Loki appeared to take his own life following this rejection.
Loki didn’t die when he threw himself from the Bifrost Bridge in Thor.
He set out to get revenge against his brother, and also deal out some punishment to Earth. Loki returned thanks to the Tesseract that S.H.I.E.L.D. possessed and had struck a deal with Thanos.
Thanks to Thanos, Loki secured an army of alien invaders in the Chitauri, who attacked Earth and forced the greatest heroes on the planet to team up and defend the planet.
Much like in the comics, it was Loki who caused the formation of The Avengers, and he brought about the greatest devastation of any villain to the Earth until Thanos himself attacked years later.
Loki prospered until the alien army fell, and then he ended up stopped and returned to Asgard to stand trial for his crimes.
Thor: The Dark World
In Thor: The Dark World, Loki found himself imprisoned and mostly forgotten by all except for his adoptive mother, Frigga.
When Malekith, the Dark Elf, brought war to Asgard, it took all the gods to stop him and keep the villain from conquering all the Nine Realms using an Infinity Stone in the Aether.
This included Loki.
Loki ended up released from his prison, and he had no choice but to stand by his brother and fight off Malekith’s forces. It was also Loki, working with Thor, who beat the Dark Elf.
Loki sacrificed himself to Malekith to help Thor find his way to Jane Foster and dying as Thor saved Jane and Loki defeated Algrim.
Once again, it was a trick, as Loki never died here. In the end credits, Odin sat on his throne and then transformed into Loki, who had somehow unknowingly replaced his father as the King of Asgard.
Thor: Ragnarok opened with Thor captive to Surtur, fighting for his survival. When he won that battle, he returned to Asgard to find out why the entire Nine Realms were in disarray.
The reason was simple.
Loki was in charge of Asgard and had locked away Odin in a retirement home on Earth with no memories of who he really was.
By the time Thor and Loki found Odin, he died and Hela returned, claiming her place as the new Asgardian ruler.
Loki and Thor ended up banished, and after fighting their way off Sakaar with Hulk, the brothers took the fight to Hela.
Loki stood by his brother and helped release Surtur, who defeated Hela. Loki and Thor left together to find a new home for the Asgardians, the brothers finally standing side-by-side.
Avengers: Infinity War
The redemption of Loki ended in Avengers: Infinity War.
While Loki proved himself a hero in Thor: Ragnarok, it was short-lived, as he ended up sacrificing himself to save Thor when Thanos attacked and decimated half the ship of surviving Asgardians.
While Loki appeared to die in Thor and Thor: The Dark World, this time it was an actual death. Loki tried to stop Thanos, but the Mad Titan choked the God of Lies to death in front of Thor.
It was Loki’s death, and Thor’s failure to stop Thanos in this movie that drove the God of Thunder to his lowest point.
Loki was back in Avengers: Endgame, thanks to time travel.
Loki died in Avengers: Infinity War, just as Gamora died. In both cases, alternative versions returned. The past version of Gamora arrived with Thanos to attack Earth, and a past version of Loki escaped the timeline as well.
For Loki, Hulk and Captain America went to the moment immediately following the first Avengers movie, knowing they could get the Tesseract there after Loki’s defeat.
However, things didn’t work out as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents attacked and the Tesseract ended up knocked over to Loki’s feet. He picked it up and disappeared.
Loki on Disney+
This all leads to Loki on Disney+.
The most important thing to remember here is that the Loki redemption story never happened with this version of Loki.
This Loki is the one from immediately after his defeat in The Avengers and never took part in the battles in Thor: The Dark World or Thor: Ragnarok.
This is the bad guy, Loki, and not the one who finally found his place alongside his brother.
That should make this a very interesting tale.
Loki hits Disney+ on Wednesday, June 9.