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The Untold Truth Of Lady Loki

Lady Loki has been part of Marvel canon since 2008 when she first appeared as a reincarnation of Loki in the "Avengers Disassembled" comic book arc. A rebooted "Thor" title from writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Olivier Coipel showed the God of Thunder reborn and searching for his kin following a Ragnarok cycle of death and rebirth. With help from Heimdall, he tracked down the human forms of other Asgardians, who had been imprisoned by Loki (tricking Thor, naturally) to help restore him to full power. To Thor's surprise, Loki was reborn as a woman. It turns out that he had hijacked Lady Sif's body. He remained as Lady Loki throughout 2008's "Thor" run and for the "Dark Reign" series that followed, along with several other stories. According to Screen Rant, she even made an appearance in May 2021 within the final panel of Marvel's "Thor and Loki: Double Trouble #3."

This development wasn't exactly shocking: It's been well known that one of Loki's powers is shape-shifting, and he can basically appear however he wants to without limitation. As Lady Loki, the trickster god and brother of Thor has teamed up with Dr. Doom and with Norman Osborne, putting her solidly in the supervillain camp — although, like her male version, she's also an anti-hero now and then. Now, she may be complicating things on Disney+'s "Loki," which would be exactly in character. Here's the untold truth about Loki's female alter ego, Lady Loki.

She isn't an alternate-timeline character, she's actually Loki—an important distinction

Although it may first appear in the "Loki" series that (so far, anyway) she's a multiverse version of Loki, much like the other Spider-Men (and women, and pigs) in "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," this isn't exactly true to her comic book history. As Loki is a shapeshifter, he and Lady Loki are the same person, not alternate-dimension versions of each other, or counterparts, the way Hulk and She-Hulk are, for example. They can be either male Loki or female Loki (or a bug, or whatever) in any timeline. 

This is important because in the comic books, it establishes that Lady Loki's powers and abilities, along with memories and relationships, are the same as for male Loki at any given moment. It also gives context to Loki's gender fluidity and pansexual identity, which was established as canon in the novel "Loki: Where Mischief Lies" by Mackenzi Lee. The Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Lady Loki may thus end up being slightly different than the comic book one, although Loki's MCU gender fluidity was recently confirmed in a tweet from Disney.

She appeared in a video game, where she owns a cat

Prior to the "Loki" TV series, one of Lady Loki's rare non-comic book appearances to date took place in the mobile game "Marvel Avengers Academy," which was released in 2016. Loki had a short two-part storyline in the game, during which she took on a female appearance in order to ingratiate herself with the A-Force, a female team of Avengers, in the limited-time A-Force event. (For her own purposes, of course.)

Her style and wit remain intact in her video game version. As part of the dialogue in the game, Lady Loki says to She-Hulk, "I used my own Frost Giant physiology to craft a spell capable of weakening their forces. It should allow us to get our hands on the Casket of Ancient Winters." And She-Hulk replies, "So you're a god and a goddess, and a Frost Giant and an Asgardian, and a hero and a villain ... is there anything you aren't?" Naturally, Loki's response is, "Boring." Sounds about right!

During the event, players could also obtain an event decoration through a purchase called Lady Loki's Cat. The cat had gold cuffs and the same headdress that Loki wears, complete with horns.

Lady Loki impersonated both the Scarlet Witch and the Wasp — and kissed Clint

Lady Loki, like male Loki, has a rather complicated relationship with the Avengers. Her personality has sometimes been shown to more resemble the bitter Loki of early days, and she has been at odds with them through her actions starting at the very beginning by taking Sif's body, then joining supervillains like Doctor Doom in their machinations. She also used her shape-shifting abilities to impersonate the Scarlet Witch's astral form in 2009-2010's new international team of "Mighty Avengers." As Wanda Maximoff, she urged the Avengers to face Elder God Chthon in a bid to discompose Norman Osborne. But her impersonation had unintended consequences because Wanda's brother Pietro and Cassandra Lang really believed her to be Wanda.

Cassie eventually figured out what was going on, causing Loki to cast a spell to prevent her from saying anything about his disguise. Loki then impersonated the Wasp in front of Avengers leader Henry Pym, trying to get Cassie bumped from the team. That didn't work, however. It was Clint Barton who unveiled Loki's real identity by kissing her — a tactic that revealed to him that Lady Loki definitely wasn't Wanda.

She's a popular cosplay character

As the female iteration of a very popular Marvel character, and a fan favorite in her own right, Lady Loki has long been a familiar sight at Comic-Cons and other fan events where comic-book characters abound. If you go on Etsy, you can find dozens of items designed to allow cosplayers to take on the role of the female trickster. Reddit is full of images of women in Lady Loki costumes, too. Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are also excellent places to check out cosplay inspiration featuring Lady Loki

In fact, it sounds like some cosplayers discovered Lady Loki through their desire to gender-bend the male version of the character, and, like Silver Wolfie, weren't opposed to playing Lady Loki once they learned about her. With a blond version of the character now gracing our TV screens, this is one cosplay that can only get more popular. As YouTuber @makocchino says in her YouTube tutorial on the subject, "I'm bringing you Lady Loki-inspired costume and makeup because who doesn't love Loki, right?"

Inspiration for Loki's gender change has roots in Norse mythology

So not only has Loki, the actual Norse god, shape-shifted to do the bidding of the gods and for his own purposes as well, he's done it by changing genders. In a tale called "The Fortification of Asgard," the gods made a deal with a giant smith to create a wall to defend their home. If he was able to do it with just the help of his horse Svadilfari in one winter, he would have Freya's hand in marriage, along with the sun and moon. The gods were shocked when the giant actually looked like he was going to finish the task, so they sent Loki in to stop him. Loki took the form of a female horse, drew Svadilfari off, and ended up giving birth to a gray, eight-legged horse named Sleipnir, who became Odin's steed.

In the "Lokasenna," a poem that's part of the "Poetic Edda" collection, Odin says to Loki, "Thou was eight winters on the earth below, milked cow as a woman, and didst there bear children. Now that, methinks, betokens a base nature." He is also believed to have taken on the identity of the giantess Thökk, who did not weep and thus refused to release Odin and Frigg's son Balder from death, according to Britannica.

Thus, the existence of Loki's female side has a basis in ancient mythology. This makes Lady Loki's existence simply part of the journey in bringing the Marvel character full circle.