Loki vs the X-Men – No Laughing Matter

by Jason Short

Loki-300x157 Loki vs the X-Men - No Laughing MatterWho’s more foolish than the god of mischief?  Nowadays, it is hard to think of Loki without conjuring a picture of Tom Hiddleston.  Few actors have been as perfectly cast as Hiddleston was as Loki.  But before Marvel took over the big screen, the definitive Loki, to me, was the mid-1980’s version from Walt Simonson.  This is the version that tangles with the X-Men across two storylines.

The Surtur Saga sets the Stage
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The first time we get Loki meddling in X-Men business is in the classic X-Men and Alpha Flight #1.  Chronologically, the events in this mini-series take place after the Surtur Saga in the Mighty Thor.  The Surtur Saga is generally considered the definitive Thor run and features debuts of everyone from Beta Ray Bill (Thor #337) to now perennial bad guy Malekeith (Thor #344).  Loki even takes a turn helping Odin and Thor in the last battle with Surtur in the classic Thor #353, which arguably has the best cover of the entire run.

These books have seen steady climbs over the last year, especially the Beta Ray Bill keys.  The finale of the storyline in Thor sees Odin removed from Asgard, which opens the door for Loki to plot for the throne.  In one of his ploys for more power, he strikes a deal with the mysterious, Those Who Sit Above in Shadow. They claim to be willing to grant Loki more power.  All he has to do is a good deed, to prove his worth.  It is Loki’s good deed that brings him into direct conflict with the X-Men.

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X-Men vs Alpha Flight vs Loki

In X-Men and Alpha Flight #1, Loki sends a “fire fountain” to Earth that grants super powers to those without. This fire fountain envelops the X-Men’s Cyclops, his wife Madelyne Pryor, and a group of scientists traveling with them.  His actions lead to multiple hero vs hero fights, where it’s the X-Men vs the Alphas. Later, a mixture of the groups fight each other. Eventually, they confront Loki after it’s revealed that the fountain is slowly killing all of Earth’s magic users. It is worth noting that in the middle of the story, Xavier mentions that Madelyne Pryor is pregnant with her and Cyclops’ son, Nathan Summers, aka Cable.  X-Men #201 gets a lot of attention because it features the birth of Nathan, but these issues are where we first learn about him.

It currently has a fair market value of right around $100. However, current listings for the book are significantly higher at the time of this writing.  X-Men and Alpha Flight #1 is an under-the-radar book for any fans of Cable.  At the time of this writing, you could get both issues of this mini-series on eBay for $200 in a CGC 9.8.

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New Mutants Special Edition #1 starts off with Loki spying on Earth from Asgard, vowing revenge on the X-Men for thwarting his previous plans.  Loki has Storm and the New Mutants (who are under her charge) whisked to Asgard, where they are separated and undergo all kinds of trials and tribulations.  This issue is where Dani Moonstar rescues a pegasus and ends up becoming a Valkyrie.

X-Men Annual #9 is where the rest of the X-Men travel to Asgard to rescue Storm and the New Mutants.  The annual features a great Journey Into Mystery #83 tribute cover by Art Adams and Walt Simonson.  New Mutants Special Edition #1 continues to fly under the radar of most collectors, and its fair market value currently sits around $80.  X-Men Annual #9 has seen recent sales right around the $100 mark for CGC 9.8s.  Both of these books are very affordable and are must-haves for fans of the X-Men and Asgard. There haven’t been that many interactions between Asgard and the mutants.

An Eye to the Future

All of these books are under the radar of most collectors.  They aren’t key comics, by any stretch, but do feature a couple of important moments.  The great thing about being overlooked is that these books remain affordable, and would be a great entry point for any fan of X-Men, Alpha Flight, or Loki.

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