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Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Thoughts on Loki

 It's been a pretty good year for Marvel.  Over on Disney+, they've given us two fantastic TV shows so far with WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  And now, their third offering for the streamer drops tomorrow, Loki.  

Loki Poster

Loki was the first Marvel Studios series announced for Disney+, way back when they first announced Disney+.  And it made sense.  Loki was one of the most unexpected breakout characters from the MCU, particularly with his villainous turn in The Avengers, and his redemption arc over Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok.  So why not gift the world with more Loki?  

I've been lucky enough to see the first two episodes, so I thought I'd share my thoughts.  

It all starts as we all predicted after seeing the events of Avengers: Endgame.  With the time heist to 2012 going sideways, Loki swiped the Tesseract and was able to escape.  But he doesn't get too far, as he's promptly captured by the TVA:  the Time Variance Authority.  The TVA are a police force that exist outside of time and make sure the the timeline stays pure, lest any alternate timelines be created that could destroy the multiverse.  

While awaiting his trial, Loki captures the attention of TVA Agent Mobius.  There's a variant on the loose ("variants" are what the TVA calls folks who are mucking about with the timeline) who's killing TVA agents, and Mobius believes that Loki is just the Hannibal Lecter-type who can provide insights into the variant's motives.  So Loki gets drafted as Mobius's reluctant partner, and he's off to save the timeline.  

Episode 1 is very exposition-heavy, as they lay out the rules of the TVA and who they are, and also bringing us up to speed on Loki.  There's some great character stuff for Loki.  Remember:  this is not the Loki who died in Endgame.  This is a Loki who escaped at the end of The Avengers, so he's still a bit of a villainous bastard.  Tom Hiddleston gets some great stuff to do, as Loki comes to grips with his new reality.  Owen Wilson is great, too, as Mobius.  I don't think I've ever seen Wilson this subdued, and it works great for the character.  

And I just love the whole look of the TVA, as you've seen in the trailers.  It's very much stuck in the 1970s...a 1970s vision of the future.  But it's a vision that's lasted well into the 90s, making it look very run down.  It's a bit of a soul-crushing bureaucracy, but I just love the whole aesthetic.  The music even compliments it well, with some 70s synths and even a hint of Theremin.  

Episode 2 is where we're off to the races, as Loki and Mobius get down to business hunting down our variant.  And this is just spectacular.  I felt a dash of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, in the way our heroes have such a lack of reverence for what they're doing to the timeline.  It also felt a bit like Doctor Who.  Can't quite place it.  They go back to one historical and, well, it just felt like Doctor Who.  But don't worry...it still felt like Marvel through and through.  

Episode 2 has a spectacular ending, with the revelation of who the variant is.  I won't say who, but I just smiled and said, "Aw man, that's great."  And now I've gotta wait two weeks for episode 3!

All in all, with Loki, it looks like Marvel Studios has another winner for Disney+.  

Don't forget, with Loki, Disney+ is trying something new.  Rather than drop new episodes every Friday, they're dropping every Wednesday.  Loki premieres on Wednesday, June 9, with new episodes every Wednesday after.