The god of mischief is here and he is burdened with glorious purpose in Loki, the newest addition to Disney+ from Marvel Studios. And for those who are wanting plenty of diabolical fun, trust us when we say that this first episode delivers it….and the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to get very, very weird.
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Loki, having snatched up the Tesseract from a time-traveling Tony Stark escapes and plots his path to power and glory. Or so he thinks. Because instead of power and glory he finds himself under arrest at the hands of the Time Variance Authority; a self-contained organization bent on preserving the correct flow of time. With his life in the balance and nowhere to go, this self-titled ‘Loki Variant’ will have to make a choice that will define his future, along with the very existence of the sacred timeline itself.
It’s been sometime since we’ve had the pleasure of seeing Tom Hiddleston in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and his return as the flamboyant and brazen god of mischief is a cause for deep celebration in Loki. What’s more, this is not the redemptive Loki of Thor: Ragnarok, but rather the snarly, snappy, ill-tempered and menacing villain who has caused so much chaos throughout the MCU and who now finds himself in front of a power that even he could not begin to imagine. Hiddleston has long been regarded as one of the best theatrical talents of his generation and his power of performance is on full display in Loki and audiences are in for a real treat with his return to the MCU.
As a character who is always in control of the situation, Loki finds himself a prisoner to the power of the TVA and the most powerful force of all: time. It’s a force none of us can hide from, not even a god, and as the events of this episode unfold the joke is clearly on Loki. While he’s long been a key supporting player within the MCU this is the first time that Loki has ever taken centre stage and it’s within this episode that we actively get to see what actually makes him tick. And the answer might surprise you.
Playing off of Hiddleston’s Loki is Owen Wilson as Moebius M. Moebius, an agent of the TVA who is responsible for tracking down rogue variants and who sees in Loki a figure who could be very beneficial to his work. Wilson’s Moebius is an affable, quick-witted individual who is a very slick detective and who definitely has all of the deck stacked in his favour. He’s able to see through Loki’s cons and directly into the inner character of this rogue god and strikes with him a bargain that could very well prove beneficial to both of them. It’s a lot of fun to witness the verbal sparring that occurs between Loki and Moebius and this is one pairing we’re intrigued to see grow and develop.
For those who think they have an understanding of the narrative, story and structure of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, well, think again, because Loki and the appearance of the TVA completely throws all of that out the window. Playing with the audience’s expectations and providing new information that we only thought we knew, director Kate Herron completely throws the MCU upside down and the result is an intriguing new set of possibilities for a very mischievous new Loki to explore. Not only do we learn of the power of the Sacred Timeline and its significance to key MCU events but we learn that the ‘multiverse’ that we’ve been hearing so much about might, in fact, be a very dangerous entity to the entire existence of the MCU.
In Loki, Herron and her team establish an entirely new and dramatic world for audiences to bear witness to. The world of the TVA could best be described as a mixture of The Twilight Zone and Mad Men, and it’s clear from the start that this place is a rather drab, dull and literal unending bureaucracy that even Loki himself can’t make sense of. All of this of course leads to plenty of dry humour and its design and creation carries a certain atomic-age futurism to it that long-time Marvel fans will recognise as being distinctively designed to the renderings of the great Jack Kirby.
This first episode of Loki sets the scene for a series that is totally about to flip the switch on the entire MCU and with its strange science-fiction setting and a dark character who could seemingly do anything, I’m sure that things are about to get very interesting in Loki going forward.
Loki is available to stream on Disney+
Image: Walt Disney Pictures