You may or may not have caught up with the debut episode of Loki that is now streaming on DisneyPlus Hotstar Premium, and in Hindi on Disney+ Hotstar VIP. Don’t worry if you haven’t, this article is relatively spoiler free. All I’ll say is that this show goes places the MCU hasn’t gone before and Tom Hiddleston’s reprisal of his star-making role is totally worth it. Some would even argue that his take on Loki supersedes the various comic book iterations of the character. So let’s take a semi-objective, Pulitzer-worthy look at ways in which the MCU’s Loki (HiddleLoki) is better than Comic Book Loki (CB Loki) – and vice versa.
First, here are five reasons why the MCU’s Loki is better than his comic book counterpart.
1. The MCU’s Loki is way more relatable
Tom Hiddleston brings undeniable charisma and depth to his portrayal of Loki, making the character significantly more relatable. The first Thor movie’s storyline also strongly established Loki’s motivations vis-à-vis his fractured relationship with his father, his megalomania, and his equation with his brother Thor. That is why years later, we totally get what Thor means when he says “Loki, I thought the world of you. I thought we were gonna fight side-by-side forever, but at the end of the day, you’re you and I’m me.”
2. The MCU’s Loki is funnier
For most of his comic book run, CB Loki is often the spiteful God of Mischief – leaning into his evil, scheming and manipulative nature. That often does not leave much room for intrinsic levity or self-awareness. However, the MCU’s HiddleLoki has always had wit, and a sense of humour, much in contrast to his brother Thor (well at least until Taika Waititi got his hands on the franchise.) The recent Loki comic book runs do lean in closer to HiddleLoki in terms of character and humor – but some would say it’s the MCU influence.
3. The MCU Loki’s relationship with Thor is better
The relationship Thor and his brother Loki share in the MCU is vastly different from the one they have in the comic books. In the movies, it is evident that no matter what Loki does, Thor considers him his family, and therefore worthy of his care. That has made for a highly satisfying character arc across a decade for both the characters. In the comics however, Loki’s supervillainy is amplified more, and since his heritage in the comics canon isn’t really a secret to the Asgardians, he has always been treated as an outsider. Thus, there is often (though not always) visible animosity between the brothers.
4. The MCU’s Loki isn’t half as annoying as comic book Loki
Be it his appearances in the 80s and 90s or his later 2000s run, the God of Mischief is seemingly more sniveling, and more chaotically evil when compared to his cinematic counterpart. This is because CB Loki’s motivations often veer closer to his Norse mythology background. Still you’re more likely to ask the CB Loki to stop whining, not so much HiddleLoki.
5. MCU Loki is Tom Hiddleston
…And Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is played by Matt Damon. Therefore, MCU – 1. Comics – 0.
So that’s 5 in favour of MCU’s Loki. Now, let’s see how Comic Book Loki fares.
1. Comic Book Loki is more powerful
From his earlier storylines to recent arcs like Siege and War of The Realms, CB Loki is significantly more powerful than his MCU counterpart. As one of Marvel’s original, formidable villains, CB Loki not only has the smarts and mischief of the MCU Loki, he often has the Asgardian and Frost Giant prowess to back him up in fights. Even Tony Stark would need some amount of Batman-esque prep time to take on CB Loki one-on-one.
2. Comic Book Loki has better costumes
Feel free to hate me, and unleash your nerd rage with the fury of the Mjolnir in the comments, but yes, given the budget-less, vast canvas of the comic book medium, artists and creators have room to make CB Loki’s costumes cooler than that of his cinematic counterpart. CB Loki’s standard costume stands out much more than the grounded hues of the MCU version. CB Loki has also played around much more with his “variants” – gender and age bending his way from Kid Loki to Female Loki and more, which I suspect we will see more of in the show.
3. Comic Book Loki has a better hit rate, sort of…
The MCU’s HiddleLoki may be burdened with glorious purpose but has often fallen short of achieving it. It is something that (spoiler alert!) figures prominently in the debut episode of the show as well. In the comics however, CB Loki has been successful in achieving the core intent of his plans on numerous occasions – only to be thwarted later, but hey, comics! From taking over Asgard, and later manipulating the Dark Avengers in Siege, to eventually helping turn the tides in the recent War of Realms storyline, CB Loki in all his iterations, is more successful as a supervillain.
4. Comic Book Loki is a better team player
This might be an unfair parameter, given the crossover freedom that comic books allow for. However, for better or worse, CB Loki has had better team-ups compared to the MCU’s HiddleLoki. Tom Hiddleston’s prankster God can only barely count Thor, Thanos, the Chitauri and the Revengers as team-ups. In the show, he teams up with the Time Variance Authority. Meanwhile, CB Loki has teamed up with everyone, from Doctor Doom and Norman Osborne – all the way to Spiderman and the Silver Surfer. A chaotic evil charmer, that one is.
So with just four points in CB Loki’s favour, the winner is HiddleLoki. Think you have what it takes to tip the cosmic scales for CB Loki? Leave a comment below.