Donny Cates teases a Loki showdown and universe-shattering revelations!

Loki as a Sorcerer Supreme. Yeah, you read that correctly.

Writer Donny Cates and artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta give the God of Lies and Mischief the magical mantle in DOCTOR STRANGE. And on December 6, issue #382 sees Doctor Strange make a move that will create huge repercussions across the Marvel Universe.

We conjured up Mr. Cates to discuss the spellbinding showdown.

Marvel.com: What can you give away about how Strange handles Loki in this issue?

Donny Cates: Oh, well…nothing! [Laughs] I mean…I know in this day and age it has become a bit of a standard thing to say “This will change everything,” but just between you and me, the events of the end of my second issue will be felt for years and years in the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: What has been the most challenging aspect of transforming Loki for this new role?

Donny Cates: Loki is such an incredibly rich character to write—one that surprises me with every script. He’s alive, you know? He does whatever he wants on the page, regardless of what I have planned for him. I always say in interviews that I wouldn’t dare speak on behalf of Loki, and that’s true. He has plans upon plans, schemes upon schemes. He’s way smarter (and more charming) than me, so really, when I write him, it’s just me trying to get out of his way, and let him come out and speak in the book.

You notice how I didn’t answer your question? I learned that from watching Loki.

Marvel.com: Can you talk about how Loki uses his god-like powers combined with his new sorcerer ones?

Donny Cates: Obviously it makes for a hell of a powerful character, right? But, it’s important to note that the title of Sorcerer Supreme doesn’t necessarily grant you new powers. It’s a symbol of the level of power you already wield. It’s like a black belt. Having a black belt doesn’t make you better at karate…it’s an outward symbol of how good you are at karate.

So to answer your question, Loki is super good at karate.

Marvel.com: Anyone would be wary in striking an alliance with him, but what explicit reasons does Stephen have to mistrust him?

Donny Cates: That’s the big thing in this book. So I can’t give that away, but here…let’s do this instead. Who saw “Thor: Ragnarok” this weekend? Oh, all of you did? Awesome, okay. So here we go into spoiler country…

3…

2…

1…

Okay, any of you still there? Oh, all of you are? Awesome. Okay, so you know that way too brief but amazing little back and forth between Loki and Doctor Strange in the movie? If you want more of exactly that…I got you.

Honestly, that scene was more or less a trailer for this entire run. You’re welcome!

Marvel.com: What kind of legacy does Loki see for himself in the world of magic?

Donny Cates: The idea of legacy that runs through this arc has been crazy fun. I’ve said it before, but this arc shares so much DNA with the origin of Doctor Strange, and the long, long history of Loki. It’s all about Stephen coming to grips with the things that made him special being torn away from him, and the insane lengths he’ll go to see them returned. That’s where Stephen Strange began his journey, and that’s where we once again find him here.

As for Loki, well…you’re certainly asking the right questions. So many people get hung up on the how of it all. “How did Loki become the Sorcerer Supreme!? How can that be possible!?”

And look, we’ll answer that question, of course…but that’s not what you should be asking.

You should be asking “Why?”

And for that answer…well, I’m afraid you’ll have to ask Loki. I wouldn’t dare speak for a sorcerer god with a black belt in question dodging and karate.

DOCTOR STRANGE #382, by Donny Cates and artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta, drops on December 6!

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'Mjolnir Mischief' finds the two brothers once more battling - Funko style!

With Thor and Loki about to return to movie theaters in Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok”, you can also see a different perspective on the, well, complicated dynamic between the two brothers via a new Marvel Funko Short.

Check out the new short above — called “Mjolnir Mischief” — to see what happens when the two eternally conflicted brothers face off again and Loki attempts to finally gain control of Thor’s legendary hammer, Mjolnir.

The Marvel Funko shorts include story and animation by A Large Evil Corporation and were executive produced by Brian Mariotti, Dan Buckley, Cort Lane, Joe Quesada, and Alan Fine.

Subscribe to Marvel HQ on YouTube for full episodes and more!

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The Revengers get revenge in Marvel Studios' 'Thor: Ragnarok,' in theaters Nov. 3!

Director Taika Waititi and stars Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson and Tom Hiddleston detail what’s in store for Thor, Hulk/Bruce Banner, Valkyrie and Loki in Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” with a new featurette directly above!

Hear what awaits the film’s heroes and their unlikely team formation, the Revengers, from the stars themselves as we march towards Ragnarok on November 3. With over a week to go, you don’t have to wait long until you can finally see all the action yourself!

Get your tickets now for “Thor: Ragnarok” when it lands in theaters November 3! 

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for the latest on “Thor: Ragnarok,” and follow @ThorOfficial on Twitter and like Thor’s official Facebook page!

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Writer Donny Cates conjures up mischief with our newest Sorcerer Supreme!

What would happen if Loki, the God of Mischief, became the Sorcerer Supreme? That’s exactly the question that writer Donny Cates tackles in the upcoming DOCTOR STRANGE #381. We may not know what Loki is up to yet, but we do know one thing – it won’t be boring! We caught up with Cates to find out more about what we can expect.

Marvel.com: Loki obviously doesn’t have the same altruistic leanings as Stephen Strange…as the Sorcerer Supreme, will he use his role to further his own ends?

Donny Cates: Hmmmm, yes and no. That question there is really the heart of Loki, right? He’s so much fun because you never know the rules of whatever game he’s currently playing. So yes, he probably is using his role to serve his own needs….but what if his needs are altruistic? Is he still being selfish and underhanded if the result is a net positive? I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case here, but I wouldn’t ever get too comfortable with how you perceive Loki and his intentions.

Marvel.com: Stephen has a lot of experience when it comes to sorcery, but Loki has been doing it even longer. How will that inform how he approaches being Sorcerer Supreme?

Donny Cates: Well, at the end of the day, this is still very much a book about Stephen Strange. So, it’s very interesting, because on the one hand you have this GOD who is now insanely powerful in his new role….and then we have Stephen. I can’t say much about where Stephen is in this arc, but it’s unusual, and more (ahem) low-key than anything we’ve ever seen before. So it’s a nice dichotomy between the two.

How’s that for dodging a question? 🙂

Doctor Strange #381 cover by Mike Del Mundo

Marvel.com: Loki is, of course, the god of mischief. He doesn’t have the same reverence for authority as some of the more “heroic” characters. It seems like he’d have a lot of fun in this role. He could definitely mess with people.

Donny Cates: Oh for sure! As is said in the first issue, Loki is not, nor has he ever been, overly fond of “the rules.” So he kind of bumps up against this idea of magic having limits and prices. He’s not into it. And that leads him, and us,  down some rather dark roads.  

Marvel.com: Still, Loki often chooses to do the right thing. He might not want to admit it, but he does care. So can we expect to see him using his authority for the greater good, as well?

Donny Cates: Yeah, that’s what’s so amazing about him as a character these days. Even when he WANTS to do something good, no one on Earth (or in any realm) believes him. Everyone still thinks of him as this mustache-twirling villain, but that’s not really who he is anymore, right? He’s much more complicated.

I should mention though, that whatever supposed heroic deeds Loki has planned, or how well his intentions are….the good Doctor will be having none of it. Stephen doesn’t trust Loki as far as he can throw him, and he will stop at nothing to see his home, his cloak, and his title returned to him.

The lengths Strange will go through to see his livelihood returned to him…that’s the real story here. And I promise you can’t fathom what those lengths will be.

You’ve never seen Doctor Strange like this.

Doctor Strange #382 cover by Mike Del Mundo

Marvel.com: Would you like to mention or tease anything else?

Donny Cates: If I were a betting man….I’d pay A LOT OF ATTENTION to the second issue of my run. DOCTOR STRANGE #382 is a big one folks. I’ll see you there!

DOCTOR STRANGE #381, by Donny Cates and Gabriel Hernandez Walta, hits shelves on November 15!

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'Thor: Ragnarok' tests Loki’s boundaries.

It’s been four years since audiences have seen Tom Hiddleston don Loki’s golden horns on the big screen, and now the God of Mischief is back this November 3 in “Thor: Ragnarok”!

We spoke with Tom Hiddleston on the set of “Thor: Ragnarok” and it was almost like a family therapy session for the adopted son of Odin. So many complex relationships were discussed, all that happen to revolve around the trickster’s mercurial spirit.

“The opposite of love is not hate but indifference,” Hiddleston discussed how Thor being indifferent to Loki is troubling for the character from a familial point of view. “That’s a defining feature of his character. I don’t belong in the family; I hate my brother. And the idea his brother’s like, yeah, whatever, it’s an interesting development.”

“The two of them are placed in such an extraordinary situation where everything is unfamiliar; that their familiarity, literally, as family members becomes important.” The now famous scene from the teaser trailer of the Asgardian brothers fighting side by side shows how the siblings seem to have come terms—at least temporarily—with their complicated relationship.

Tom Hiddleston stars as Loki in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

“Loki’s feelings towards his family members are complex, to say the least,” Hiddleston reflected on the first film. “The moment of Thor’s ascension, he finds out he doesn’t belong there at all. I never conceived of Loki’s emotional connections to Odin or Thor as malevolent. He just wants to have a go on the throne, which he does.”

When it comes to complex relationships, Hulk knows a thing or two about burying your feelings. The big green guy is added to the mix in “Ragnarok” and Hiddleston thinks fans are going to enjoy their interaction, “In ‘The Avengers,’ Hulk and Loki never really had a conversation. It was more, more of a physical meeting, an extended group hug, shall we say,” joked Hiddleston. “So it’s fun when the two of them meet.”

Finally, there’s a new villain in town and her name is Hela, “The goddess of death shows up and the stakes are high, for everybody,” said Hiddleston. “Loki perhaps more than ever, is challenged to define himself in the face of that threat.”

Regarding the dynamic between Loki and Hela, Hiddleston said, “It’s about them recognizing each other; recognizing that we prefer anarchy to order; recognizing that chaos is more fun, if a little exhausting; recognizing the aesthetic value of green capes. The inimitable elegances of a headdress—if you’re gonna be bad, you might as well be bad with style.”

Speaking of style, perhaps Loki’s relationship vulnerability is manifesting itself in his wardrobe? When asked about Loki’s multiple costume changes, Hiddleston pondered Loki’s “Pretty Woman” moment, “In my head, Jeff Goldblum takes Loki out to Rodeo Drive and says, pick the finest fabric you can find; let’s fashion your suit.” If this isn’t a cry for an Asgardian version of Project Runway, then this is a real missed opportunity.

Get your tickets now for “Thor: Ragnarok” and stay tuned for even more action in the coming days and weeks!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for the latest on “Thor: Ragnarok,” and follow @ThorOfficial on Twitter and like Thor’s official Facebook page!

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Donny Cates conjures up magical plans for Marvel Legacy Doctor Strange!

After battling the magic-purging forces of the Empirikul and being held captive in a Darkforce prison during the events of Secret Empire, you might think Doctor Strange would need a vacation. Well, at the outset of Marvel Legacy, the Doctor is out—and Loki is more than willing to take his spot!

The God of Mischief becomes the new Sorcerer Supreme on November 15 as writer Donny Cates and artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta take the reins of DOCTOR STRANGE with issue #381!

We spoke with Donny to hear a few whispers about what to expect when the Lord of Lies becomes the chief master of magic in the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: Writer Jason Aaron and artist Chris Bachalo put Stephen Strange through the ringer recently, culminating with the Doctor getting locked in a Darkforce prison by Captain America. Does the poor guy get any downtime before Loki steals his job?

Donny Cates: Oh not at all! [Laughs] The Doctor has had a pretty rough year, and I’m sad to report that I’m not much nicer to him than the previous captains of this ship! But that’s not to say this arc isn’t going to be fun, because honestly, when you have both Stephen Strange and Loki in the same book, it’s just going to be so much fun. And so, so weird!

Marvel.com: So how does Loki end up as Sorcerer Supreme?

Donny Cates: You know I can’t tell you that! I’ll say this, though: we do not tease out and play coy with the way that that Loki achieves. It’s stated upfront, and honestly, in the first issue of my run.

Or is it? I mean, he is the Prince of Lies, right?

Marvel.com: Given Strange’s recent problemsnot to mention the compromised state of his magical powershow will he handle the Asgardian trickster?

Donny Cates: Not well. In a lot of ways, this story shares its roots in the origin of DOCTOR STRANGE itself. With his ego laid low—and his previous profession taken away from him—he heads on a new journey of self-discovery that will challenge him to grow stronger and reclaim his life and his identity.

Marvel.com: Speaking of which, this seems like it might be a good opportunity for a crossover. Will we see any other Asgardians in the title?

Donny Cates: Well, I might be the biggest THOR fan alive, so if that were to happen, I would certainly love writing such a thing.

Marvel.com: What’s it like working alongside artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta and colorist Jordie Bellaire on this title?

Donny Cates: Unbelievable. Honestly, people are not going to believe the art coming from Gabriel and Jordie on this book. The most frustrating thing is that I can’t just share all of this amazing artwork with the world as soon as it hits my inbox. I think I can speak for the entire team when I say our days essentially grind to a halt when Gabriel turns in pages. We all just stop what we’re doing and stare at this gorgeous art that he’s made. It’s unreal.

And Jordie! I don’t have the words to express how excited I am to finally work with one of my favorite creators in the industry. I’m very, very fortunate to be working with this crew. I’m fighting above my weight class for sure! Just doing my best to keep up with these artistic titans.

Marvel.com: You recently mentioned how much you enjoyed writing a despicable Captain America when discussing your collaboration with Nick Spencer on Steve Rogers: Captain America #18. And now, between THANOS and Loki, you’re working on two titles featuring bad guys in prominent roles—what makes villains so much fun to write?

Donny Cates: I had a blast writing Cap. I co-wrote that scene of him addressing the United Nations, and I just channeled my inner pro wrestler and went nuts.

With Loki, though, I think it’s important to realize that he’s no longer the mustache-twirling bad guy of old. He really is trying to atone for the sins of his past, you know? Kieron Gillen‘s JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY run is a wonderful story that really exemplifies that sentiment. I love that run, and it’s become a touchstone for me when writing the character. The wonderful thing about Loki these days is that, while he is trying his best to change his ways and be a better god, no one on Earth (or in any realm, really) trusts him as far as they can throw him.

So it’s a constant exercise in restraint for our trickster friend. He’s not used to having to bite his tongue and suffer people’s judgment—but at the same time, he very much understands that this general mistrust is his own doing; that he sowed those seeds himself in a past life. So he’s a very interesting character to play with, and I think his role in all of this new story will surprise a lot of people.

DOCTOR STRANGE #381, by Donny Cates and Gabriel Hernandez Walta, hits shelves on November 15!

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A closed beta of Marvel Heroes Omega has been confirmed for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One!

Earth’s mightiest heroes will unite for Marvel Heroes Omega on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this spring! Gazillion Entertainment and Marvel announced today the action-packed RPG/MMO, a spin-off of Marvel Heroes 2016, will bring together the Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men, the Avengers, the Defenders and more. Play as your favorite hero from the Marvel Universe across the nine-chapter story campaign and take on some of our most infamous super villains, including Doctor Doom and Loki.

Lovers of lore can also expect a fantastic tour through famous locations, from the dark streets of Hell’s Kitchen to the mystical realm of Asgard. Players can look forward to joining forces with fellow Super Heroes in the game’s many Headquarter areas to tackle the game’s most challenging end-game content. Other modes available include Operations, Midtown Patrol, and Danger Room. For loot seekers, tackle the Legendary Missions and Heroic/Superheroic/Cosmic Trials.

Take a look at the announce trailer and photo gallery above.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Heroes Omega” news.

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The God of Mischief makes his entrance into Battlerealm!

Where there’s a God of Thunder somewhere in the shadows lurks Loki, so it was only a matter of time before the original trickster made his way into “Marvel Contest of Champions.”

Kabam Champion Designer Piero Herrera and Lead Character Artist Gene Campbell dropped by to talk Loki and the mess he’ll most certainly be making for The Collector.

Marvel.com: This is the first time the Asgardian God of Mischief has made an appearance in the Collector’s contest. Bringing him into the fold comes with a certain amount of…unquantifiable risk. The Collector’s willing to take that chance?

Gene Campbell: Who said the Collector invited Loki? But you’re right, The Collector would be aware of the risks and would probably know better than to invite a trickster like Loki into the Contest, especially while the Battlerealm is in such a state of flux and disarray. Let’s just say that Loki has a very powerful ally who knows just how to utilize [his] particular brand of mischief to mess with the Collector’s game.

Marvel.com: And it looks like he’s rocking his current look from MIGHTY THOR?

Gene Campbell: Yeah, it’s a great version of Loki. All of the rich, golden Asgardian details and punchy colors were a perfect fit for a new character in “Contest of Champions.” We also really liked the younger more mischievous makeover he got. And as a bonus, this version also matches the other Asgardian heroes currently in the Battlerealm.

Marvel.com: “Contest of Champions” is all about heroes and villains bashing each other to a pulp but Loki is a decidedly different kind of combatant. He’d rather pull strings from behind the scenes to defeat his foes. How’d the team address that in-game?

Piero Herrera: His Special Attacks are less about physical combat and more about his sorcery, his trickster aspect, and also the fact that he is a Frost Giant. His Special 1, Curse of Agony, features him launching a dark energy blast with his scepter and for his Special 2, Cryokinesis, he taps into his Frost Giant lineage and launches a surge of ice to hurt the opponent. The grand finale is his “Mayhem” Special Attack, when Loki manipulates opponents into attacking his illusions and Curses them at the end with a powerful energy blast. All of those Special Attacks are further enhanced with his abilities!

Marvel.com: Can we get a quick breakdown of all of his abilities?

Piero Herrera: Loki is all about taking advantage of the opponent by stealing their Buffs and Debuffing them in the process. His signature ability “Ascendant” passively gives him Power in order to use Special 1 and steal the opponent’s Buffs. While stealing Buffs is a powerful ability, Loki activates an even more powerful version of this ability by doing a Special 3. When doing a Special 3, Loki Curses opponents with a dark energy blast, dealing damage over time and steals any Buffs they activate, and you can even reset the duration of the Curse by doing a Heavy Attack or a Special 1. Pretty powerful indeed!

Marvel.com: I like that he’s been built around debuffing his opponents and taking their Buffs for himself. Just what I’d expect from a trickster like Loki.

Piero Herrera: Absolutely! But don’t forget that he’s also a Frost Giant! His Special 2 features a powerful surge of ice attack to overpower opponents. When doing a Special 2, if Loki has more health than his opponent, he deals a percentage of their Max Health as instant damage.

Marvel.com: When do we get to add him to our roster?

Piero Herrera: Loki might be around you already! You never know when he’s pulling one of his illusion tricks. But joking apart, he is ready to join the Summoner’s team right now! Check out in-game messaging and arena announcements so you can know how to get your hands on Loki, the God of Mischief.


Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews!

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Loki pulls the strings in 'Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy,' airing Sunday at 8:00 AM ET on Disney XD!

Star-Lord hopes to make peace with Thor before total chaos erupts in this week’s “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy”! Check out a clip above and watch a new “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” this Sunday at 8:00 AM ET on Disney XD.

When Thor and his fellow Asgardians set their sights on destroying Spartax, Star-Lord aims to talk sense into the mighty warriors to prevent destruction! While Quill tries to persuade Thor out of attacking, Loki embarks on his next phase of annihilation, which involves deploying the legendary Destroyer armor. See the conflict begin in the clip above!

Tune in to a brand-new “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” this Sunday at 8:00 AM ET on Disney XD! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest news and updates on your favorite Marvel animated series.

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Christopher Hastings manages the campaign for the God of Mischief!

As the two major political parties in America continue the process of choosing their candidates for the 2016 election, in the Marvel Universe one candidate has confirmed his name on the ballot: Loki, who will run for president as an independent.

Christopher Hastings and Langdon Foss have signed on to manage the God of Mischief’s campaign in VOTE LOKI, as he sets his sights on the highest office in the land. Naturally his candidacy won’t go over well with some of the Marvel Universe’s heroes, including, of course, Thor!

Hastings shared what readers can expect when Loki takes his silver tongue out on the campaign trail.

Marvel.com: What was it that attracted you to working on VOTE LOKI?

Christopher Hastings: Honestly, a big part of it is the challenge of seeing if we can actually make Loki seem like a plausible candidate for president. That kind of rise from hated villain to beloved political figure is compelling. A major piece of American politics is public perception, and manipulating a narrative. And I think manipulating a narrative is 100 percent Loki’s game.

Marvel.com: What causes Loki to want to run for the highest office in the land? As an Asgardian, is it even legal for him to run? And what party would have him?

Christopher Hastings: I’m afraid Loki’s exact motivations are part of the mystery of the series, but on the surface, Loki sees a destabilized landscape and an opportunity to make a grab for power. And he enjoys the political game! This is a new place for him to play it. No current party would have Loki, and he wouldn’t have them, either. He’s running independent. As far as Loki’s legal citizenship, he will produce a long-form birth certificate proving his eligibility. Now where he got it from…

Marvel.com: How does the average voter in the Marvel Universe react to Loki’s presidential bid? And who will he be running against?

Christopher Hastings: Initially, it’s a total joke. Nobody takes him seriously. But as his campaign gains momentum, it becomes a bitterly decisive issue amongst “normal” people. When people hold their chosen candidate as an extension of their core beliefs, what does it say about a person who has a sign on their lawn for the god of lies?

I don’t want to lay out the entire field just yet, but I will say Loki’s run inspires a certain hyper-patriot with a shield to get interested in politics.

Marvel.com: I’m betting Loki can’t count on Thor’s vote. Will the new Thor, or the Odinson, make an appearance? How do you see them reacting to Loki’s candidacy?

Christopher Hastings: Oh boy, yeah there is no way Thor’s voting for Loki. She wants to shut this thing down, but may find that popular opinion isn’t something she can fight with a hammer. And I believe the Odinson is a little tied up right now, so we probably won’t see him.

Marvel.com: In what ways has this year’s election cycle influenced the story elements?

Christopher Hastings: I often see incorrect narratives taking hold as a popular “reality.” Messy or nuanced truths don’t seem to have any place in a presidential campaign when a “sticky” or easy story can go viral. Loki’s gotta love that. We’re also in a time where a large portion of the voters are disenfranchised with the political establishment, allowing for some surprising figures to gain popularity. That might just be the case with Loki as well.

Register with Christopher Hastings and Langdon Foss to VOTE LOKI beginning this June!

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