Each Wednedsay, Darren from @darrenmoviereviews will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of Loki and the show’s overall connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel’s favourite trickster is about to take centre stage. After being everything from a villain, an ally who would betray you at the first chance he got, and a hero, Loki is getting his leading role! Marvel’s next Disney+ show starts next week when Loki premieres on Wednesday June 9, not on Friday because Loki has to make his entrance unlike anyone else’s. Much like WandaVision, I expect that Loki is not going to be your typical entry into the MCU. This is largely coming from the trippy trailer we got back in April and the cartoon clock on the latest poster, because Marvel has not done anything like that before. However, unlike previous entries in the MCU, Loki is introducing something new: a new reality.
We first met Loki in 2011’s Thor. After being taken from the Frost Giants by Odin, Loki was raised on Asgard alongside his adoptive brother Thor without knowing his true heritage. However, after discovering his true heritage, Loki attempted to take over Asgard after setting his brother up to be banished from Asgard. Thor stopped Loki’s plan and Loki fell to Earth, discovering the Tesseract. With the aid of Thanos and the Chitauri, Loki attempted to take control of Earth using the Tesseract and to prepare for Thanos’s arrival, only to be stopped by the Avengers at the Battle of New York. By the end of 2012’s The Avengers, the Avengers had stopped Loki and he was sent back to prison on Asgard with Thor. However, following the death of Frigga at the hands of the Dark Elves in Thor: The Dark World, Thor was forced to team up with Loki to get Jane off Asgard so he could find a way to separate Jane from the Aether. While they escaped Asgard, Loki and Thor faced off against the Dark Elves on Svartalfheim where they managed to remove the Aether from Jane, but Loki was killed by the Dark Elves…or so we thought…
In the final scene of Thor: The Dark World, we learnt that Loki is impersonating Odin and is now ruling Asgard, and remains its ruler until Thor returns home in Thor: Ragnarok. After discovering that Loki is impersonating Odin, Thor forces Loki to tell him where Odin is, which leads the brothers to Earth. While they find Odin and have enough time to say goodbye before he dies, Thor and Loki are banished to Sakaar by their half-sister Hela. While Loki arrives on Sakaar before Thor and manages to align himself with the Grandmaster, the planet’s ruler, Thor eventually arrives and Loki is tasked by the Grandmaster to capture Thor and Bruce Banner with Valkyrie. However, Valkyrie turns on Loki and takes him captive with Thor. Fearing for his survival if he remains on Sakaar without capturing Thor and Banner, Loki helps Thor and his friends escape Sakaar to return to Asgard to defeat Hela. While they are successful in defeating Hela, Asgard is destroyed, stranding its people without a home. And at that moment when it seems like Thor and Loki have finally become friends and brothers who will be unstoppable, disaster strikes: Thanos arrives.
Avengers: Infinity War starts off with Thanos and his confrontation with Loki and Thor on the Asgardian ship. While Thanos kills Heimdall, Loki tries to trick Thanos to save his brother and prevent Thanos from taking the Tesseract. However, Thanos figures out what Loki is up to and kills him in front of Thor. So…how are we getting a show about Loki with Loki being dead??? Because this was no allusion, Thanos did kill Loki.
Well, thanks to some time travel in Avengers: Endgame, the Avengers return to New York in 2012, during the events of the first Avengers film. While they have travelled back in time to get the Tesseract to complete the Infinity Gauntlet to restore the half of humanity Thano erased at the end of Infinity War, the Avengers fail on their mission. Their plan backfires with a defeated, 2012 Loki getting his hands on the Tesseract and escapes into a new reality. While we know Steve Rogers returned the Infinity Stones at the end of Endgame to restore the new realities created by the Avengers removing the Infinity Stones from their timelines, the stone Loki took was not returned as far as we are aware. So we have a very evil version of Loki, recently defeated by the Avengers, looking for revenge and power. What could go wrong?
This is exciting, new territory for the MCU. Everything up to this point has been interconnected, but Loki does not necessarily have that feature. Yes, we are in the same universe, but it’s a new timeline in which Loki can cause some havoc. It gives the show some creative freedom to forge its own path, though I’m sure that there will be setup for future entries in the MCU. From the brief description of the show, we know that Loki is taken to the mysterious Time Variance Authority and is forced to help them fix the timeline to stop a larger threat, or be erased from time. Naturally, Loki is going to help the Time Variance Authority to save his own skin…but I would not put it past him to find a way to benefit himself at the same time in his quest for power.
While I could go down a big rabbit hole about how Loki is going to introduce the Multiverse to the MCU, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four, I won’t. Kevin Feige has been clear that these introductions will happen, but not everything is pointing to them. While I do think Loki is going to help introduce the Multiverse as Loki is in an alternate reality, I don’t think we’re going to see the MCU blow up just yet… that’s most likely going to happen in Spider-Man: No Way Home or Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. I think Loki will just be an introduction to the concept of the multiverse However, there are still some great reasons why you should be excited from Loki:
- Tom Hiddleston’s performance. From his first appearance in the MCU, Hiddleston has become a fan favourite with his excellent portrayal of the silver tongue god. Charming, mischievous, funny, and sometimes down right evil, it has been a delight to watch Hiddleston for a decade as Loki, and he’s finally getting the starring role. I am convinced that Hiddleston will continue his excellent portrayal of Loki, taking it in a new direction that will surprise fans and make this series an absolute blast from start to finish. And by the end of it, maybe Hiddleston will finally give audiences the answer to the question we have been asking for years: is Loki a villain or a hero? Or maybe in typical Loki fashion, he will pull another fast one on us all and have us debating that question for another decade.
- Owen Wilson. Yes, Owen Wilson is joining the MCU. The star of such comedies as Wedding Crashers, Zoolander and Starsky & Hutch is going to be in a comic book television series. While we do not know much about his character, other than the fact he is an analyst at the Time Variance Authority. But given Wilson’s comedic talents, I’m sure he is going to make the series a lot of fun. Opposite Hiddleston, I am certain that the two actors will have some wonderful banter back and forth that will become a highlight of the show.
- Time travel. From the brief plot elements we have been given about the series, we know that time travel is going to be involved. While we have very few details about where in time we will be going, after the wonderful use of time travel in Avengers: Endgame, I’m very excited for more of it in the MCU. With the twist of the alternate reality, I think we could see some great variations of past events that occurred in the MCU or were referred too. But of all the possibilities, the shot of Loki and a blonde hair woman individual from the trailer has me the most excited. While some fans think this woman is Lady Loki, I have another theory. I think it is Black Widow. Black Widow and Loki had a memorable scene during 2012’s The Avengers where Loki taunted Black Widow about all the red in her ledger, which was a catalyst for her story over the course of the MCU with trying to wipe out the red, and I would love to see this scene replay out in the series. While Black Widow largely had red hair in the MCU, she had blonde hair in Avengers: Infinity War. The purple lighting of the image in the trailer is reminiscent of Vormir, where Black Widow sacrificed herself to allow the Avengers to get a hold of the Soul Stone to defeat Thanos. I think that this could be a great moment between the two, where Black Widow helps Loki figure out who he wants to be mirroring the scene in The Avengers, as I suspect we will see Loki facing some internal conflict in the series. Or I could be completely wrong, it would not be the first time. Remember when I said Mephisto was coming for almost all of WandaVision and we have yet to see him make his MCU debut!
- Kang the Conqueror. I could be repeating my Mephisto blunder from WandaVision, but I don’t think so. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is playing Ravonna Lexus Renslayer in Loki. In the comics, her character has a connection to Kang the Conqueror, who we know is set to be played by Jonathan Majors in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. I do not think it’s a stretch for there to be at least some groundwork laid out for Kang or maybe even an appearance in a credit scene during the finale. It would help Loki tie into the larger events of Phase 4 of the MCU, and given the vast amount of material about Kang in the comics, it would make sense that Marvel would want to start establishing him before he debuts as the main villain in the next Ant-Man film. In terms of likely to Mephisto, I think this is more closer to likely than Mephisto as we know the character is coming to the MCU, unlike Mephisto which was just the internet and I reading too far into every small detail in WandaVision.
So for the next week, get excited for Tom Hiddleston’s return as Loki. Regardless of whether this show is going to blow up the MCU or not, it’s bound to be a lot of fun as Loki is such an entertaining character. Make sure to check back next week after the first episode premieres for a summary of what is happening on the show, any Easter Eggs you may have missed, and for my predictions as to where the show is going.