Disney+ has had a busy year with the Marvel Cinematic Universe alone, featuring shows like WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and releasing tomorrow, June 9th, Loki. WandaVision let us progress through time from episode to episode, but always remained in its own dome, not affecting the outside world. Loki will feature a full look into time travel in the MCU with the Time Variance Authority joining the story, and it's safe to say it will keep things interesting with its view into the past, present and future of the MCU.
The synopsis for Loki has been purposely tight-lipped, with Disney+ stating, “In Marvel Studios’ Loki, the mercurial villain Loki resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a new series that takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame.” Almost no details have been revealed aside from a vague timeline, and Loki himself. For the sake of this review, I aim to provide no spoilers and minimal plot points.
From trailers and teasers we know that Owen Wilson plays Mobius M. Mobius, a TVA agent who sees use for Loki within the Authority. The two characters bring on almost a buddy cop sort of comedy, with a drastic juxtaposition between their personalities. Tom Hiddleson’s Loki is always putting on a front, with a snobby attitude and better-than ego. Wilson’s Mobius is light-hearted, sarcastic and generally annoyed with Loki as a whole. It makes for quality banter, improving on the childish arguing we saw in Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
This doesn’t just fall onto the shoulders of Wilson or Hiddleston either. Wunmi Mosaku and Gugu Mbatha-Raw match both main characters with their strong presence and quick wits. Mbatha-Raw keeps up with Wilson’s comedy, even outshining him at times, and Mosaku looks like she could put the fear of the Gods into Loki himself. It's always nice to see Marvel and Disney putting strong women of colour at the forefront of their programs, and even better when they knock it out of the park.
It is hard to talk about the story itself without spoilers, but what I can say is that after the first episode, I was excited to see what was coming next. Episode one was a slow burn, but it was required to properly set the stage for the series. I immediately jumped into the second episode, excited to see what was coming next.
I found that Loki appears to be a more dialogue based series, especially if compared to the previous Marvel releases. Though the special effects are excellent-who can have time travel without stellar special effects-the series seems to focus more on fast-paced story telling, and a strong connection between characters, be it good or bad. If the chemistry between Wilson and Hiddleston wasn’t there, there wouldn’t be much to bank on.
That isn’t to say that we don’t or won’t see some excellent action, it just doesn’t seem to be the main focus for Loki, more of an added bonus. The Loki/Mobius pair give off a strong Sherlock/Watson vibe, so even without all the flashy fighting I remained engaged with what was going on. Magic, technology and quick wits are compensating for explosions and gunfire, and I really enjoyed the change of pace.
The reason I was so intrigued by Loki before I saw it was mainly because I was curious how Marvel and Disney+ could make us care about a character that has failed us so many times. Loki is complicated. Throughout the MCU we have seen him rise up to be a hero just moments before betraying everyone that has ever mattered to him.
Up until this point, Loki has rarely done anything without the promise of power or reward, or at minimum just to save himself from a less than desirable situation. It remains to be seen where Disney+ and Marvel will take the character, and I’m left wondering if Loki could ever truly choose a side, good or evil.
The Loki series is a new design for the MCU and I’m excited to see where they take it throughout its six episode arc. Though it may not be the most exciting show for younger superhero fans, it still remains family friendly and engaging for most, meaning it could easily be the next weekly Marvel night-in at our house. After two whole episodes, I’m left with questions and I can’t wait for next week to dive in again and hopefully get some answers.
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