Is Loki a coward or not?

Some Thor issues have him as a quite craven and others show him going toe to toe with Thor and others (including Surtur). What’s the scoop, is he coward or not?

Being the God of Lies I imagine he presents whatever image, true or false, that best serves his needs at the time.

Depends on the writer. I prefer him not to be one (one of the great moments in the Simonson run has Asgard deserted except for Odin, Thor and Loki who remain behind to fight Sutur. As they leap into battle, Odin crys “FOR ASGARD!!”, Thor yells “FOR ODIN!!!” and Loki says “For Myself. :rolleyes:”, with a “Can we get on with it” look on his face. GREAT bit!) One consistant bit is that he’s always been a bit of a wimp about pain.

As an aside given the crappy way that the Asgardians in general (and Odin* in particular) treated him as a kid, who can blame him for being a bad-guy?

In one typical flashback story from the early '60s, L’il Loki and L’il Thor are screwing around, getting into trouble and Loki does something minor (makes an archer in a contest miss a target or something). The archer is gonna beat L’il Loki to a pulp “VILE SORCEROUS WRETCH! MAKE ME MISSETH THE TARGET, WILL THOU? THOU WILL BE BLACK-AND-BLUE WHEN I’M THROUGHETH WITH YOU!” until L’il Thor shows up and says (more or less) “Thus I do proclaim that I alsoth was involveth in yon mischief. I should geteth blame too!” and the guy says “Well, if it was you, y’loveable little scamp, I’ll just let it go. It was a kinda funny joke, now that I thinketh of it.” That sort of thing, repeated constantly would scar one emotionally.

Hell, Odin’s first words, when handed Baby Loki were “Loki! Even the name doth ringeth of EEEE-vil.” Face it true believer, Loki’s behavior is purely caused by his upbringing.

Ah, the old Nature vs. Nurture debate. Care to back that one up a bit more?
he said, pulling up a chair and some nachos

bamf

Not much more than I already have: the Tales of Asgard stories constantly show (in part due to Stan’s somewhat clumsy writing and in part due to a change in how we perceive things) that Loki was mischievious while Thor was GOOD, but they also show L’il Thor as a dullard and Loki as the bright, clever one…but Thor is worshipped and Loki treated with suspicion and hostility from the time he was an infant regardless of how Loki behaves.

Plus, we know Odin was abusive as hell…I mean, have you seen the tantrums he threw when Thor defied Odin even a bit? Including beating Thor up? Hell, he turned Thor into a “crippled” doctor to “teach him humility”. Why? Cause Thor disagreed with Odin about…um…something. Which tells me that Thor isn’t the one who needs that particular lesson. Or all the times he took away Thor’s powers in the middle of a battle 'cause of Thor’s love for Jane, thus abusing Thor by proxy? Or, how 'bout the time Thor takes Jane Foster to Asgard to meet the family and Odin (after years of ragging on her) gives her the power cosmic…and she faints, thus “proving” that she’s not worthy. :dubious:. If Odin was that abusive to his beloved Thor, what must life have been like for intensely disliked Loki?

< mostly tongue-in-cheek. mostly >
And look at the bizarre homoerotic*/incestuous undercurrent to the whole Thor/Jane/Odin/Loki relationship: Loki wants Odin’s love and approval. Odin wants Thor in an unhealthy way (look at his response to Jane–pure animal jealousy–most fathers don’t try to kill their son or their son’s intended), Thor wants Jane (in part 'cause there’s no way she can dominate him like Odin does) so Loki is jealous of Odin’s desire for Thor and regularly tries to kill him to remove Odin’s object of affection in the vain hope that Odin will then turn to Loki for…comfort (note that Loki is never given more than a slap on the wrist for his repeat attempts to kill Thor). Jane, a bystander who had no idea she’d be wandering into a bizarre Eugene O’Neill drama when she fell for Thor, wants Thor mainly 'cause he’s a hunk.
</ mostly tongue-in-cheek. mostly > :stuck_out_tongue:

Fenris, Psychoanalyst to the Super-Types :smiley:

*not that there’s anything wrong with that…um…unless it’s dad trying to kill son or son’s girlfriend as a result of his frustrated homoerotic desires. In that case, well, there is something wrong with that. :smiley:

Ya know, I think Fenris’ last couple of posts are a bunch of psychobabble designed for the express purpose of distracting us so he can sneak off and swallow the sun.

Yeah, like you’re gonna trust someone named Fenris for a balanced assessment of Loki: “My Dad can beat up your Dad!”

:wink:

When Rganarok comes, it is Skoll (preferably with an umlaut over the o) who will devour the sun. The wolf Hati will devour the moon. Fenris won’t be devouring Tyr either. He is fated to die in battle with Hel’s dog, Garm.

Not ready for Ragnarok yet. I was talking about those so-called eclipses.
Moon moving between the earth and the sun, or earth moving between the sun and moon. Yeah, right. They really expect me to believe that?

Whoa, so there’s two really cool dogs named Garm in literature? I suppose I should have known…

And here I thought this thread was going to be about Dogma.

I wouldn’t say that the Lord Of Strife is a coward. He’s just willing to run from a fight he doesn’t think he can win. I have an issue of Thor in which the thunderer pledges to aid some one and ends up trying to fight a Celestial.

The treatment Loki and Thor received as boys in the comics isn’t far from the original myths. After tricking some dwarves into making Odin’s magic spear and ring (Gungnir and Draupnir), Frey’s magic ship and golden boar (Skidbladnir and Gullinbursti) and Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, Loki presents these gifts to the gods. The dwarves argue that Loki has lost the bet he made with them, and that they can cut off his head. Loki says that he has indeed lost the bet, but that they cannot cut off his head as that would damage his neck- which was never part of the wager. The dwarves concede this point and settle for sewing his mouth shut. The gods stand around and laugh as the dwarves produce a large needle and do just that.

Meanwhile, Thor is violating the rules of hospitality by eating all of his host’s food, then killing them. Nobody ever punishes him for it.