Loki web series review: A promise of brilliance

loki

The last several Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies have reluctantly given adversaries their due. Unfortunately, Loki, the Norse God of Mischief, has been disregarded as the most fascinating, even likeable, of the MCU antagonists.

Loki, the Lord of Thunder, is played by Tom Hiddleston. Thor’s adopted brother is the anti-hero who has captivated us all. After other Marvel Multiverse spin-offs like WandaVsion and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he now gets his own web series, Loki, on Disney + Hotstar, helmed by Kate Herron.

The six-part weekly picks up where the audience last saw Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When a teleportation device called the Tesseract – also one of the notorious infinity stones – slips into his hands, he is imprisoned by Thor.

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He takes it and flees in a rush, ever the opportunist. The show begins in the present day with his arrival in the Gobi Desert, only to be taken away by members of the all-powerful Time Variance Authority (TVA).

He is accused of seeking to deviate from the “pre-determined route of time” (remember, Thanos kills Loki in Avengers: Infinity War, so theoretically, he cannot still be alive). However, as Major Mobius (a superb Owen Wilson) explains, time moves differently in the TVA, so Loki can still be found even after the events of Avengers: Endgame.

For the first moment, we get a glimpse of Loki’s true self beneath the cheeky grin. This isn’t just someone who aspires to be King of Asgard and the Nine Realms, or someone who has been emotionally damaged by the unintentional murder of his mother; this is Loki admitting to his flaws. He acknowledges his concerns and how being afraid makes him act more evil so that “they won’t know.”

(Spoiler alert) A beautiful moment in the first episode also demonstrates how insignificant the Infinity Stones, which sparked a multiverse war, are, and how the MCU has even more power. Loki finds the Infinity Stones laying around in a TVA drawer, and is told by a TVA employee that “we use them as paperweights.”

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Superhero storey arcs typically follow a predictable structure in which good always triumphs over evil. Loki is an exception to this norm, as he is relatable and popular despite his duplicitous techniques.

He’s one of the few MCU characters that openly expresses the all-too-human emotions of envy, insecurity, and arrogance. We’re looking at perhaps the best pair to have come out of the Marvel Multiverse, with Mobius to keep him company and match his wit. Get ready for a wild ride.

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