Loki is a superhero-based television miniseries, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Loki is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and takes place as a result of proceedings in Avengers: Endgame. Loki is exclusively available to stream on Disney+.
After Marvel’s first two superhero-based television series focused on the story of two superhero’s as their lead characters (WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier), Loki simply looks at God of Mischief himself. Given the fan favourite status of the character, Loki serves as a fitting and logical tribute to a character who was somewhat controversially killed off in Avengers: Infinity War.
After stealing the Tesseract during the events of Avengers: Endgame, an alternate version of Loki is brought to the Time Variance Authority (TVA) and given the choice of either being erased from existence or helping the TVA in attempting to fix the timeline. Loki obliges and finds himself in a crime thriller, travelling throughout time. I was unsure how the series would integrate Loki back into the MCU, given his death in Infinity War, however the narrative is logical and doesn’t feel like it undoes any of the work within the MCU to date.
The series begins by introducing the TVA and setting the tone to the series. Marvel always does a fantastic job at recreating iconic locations from the comic books and the TVA headquarters is no different. Similarly, the whole concept of the TVA and their mission in erasing rogue “time variants” is completely enthralling. We’ve seen fictitious organisations in the MCU before with the likes of Hydra, S.H.I.E.L.D. and more recently S.W.O.R.D., but for me the TVA and its mysterious background make it one of the most intriguing.
Time travel is a consistent theme throughout the series, with many of the episodes visiting various moments in time such as Pompeii in 79 AD and Alabama in 2050. Time travel is often a tricky topic to address, and address well at that, but Loki makes it feel simple and often plausible at times. With all the time travel and the variant versions of Loki, there is a lot to unpack within the series, particularly with how it affects the wider MCU, but the series sets up perfectly for future MCU content.
Tom Hiddleston reprises his role as Loki and I honestly couldn’t see anyone else playing the character. From Loki’s petulant behaviour and his reformation from a villainous character to a heroic one, Tom Hiddleston’s performance of Loki encapsulates the traumatic past of the character perfectly. Additionally, from Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki, you get the impression that the actor genuinely loves playing the character, something which is brilliant to see.
All of the supporting characters are in fact brand new to the MCU. With this sense of the unknown about their characters, it creates one of the most exciting and intriguing narratives in recent MCU history. Owen Wilson makes his debut to the MCU in the shape of the character Mobius M. Mobius, an agent of the TVA. I really loved the character of Mobius and the relationship between himself and Loki provide for some of the best moments in the series. Another stand out supporting character in the series is “He Who Remains”, a mysterious character played by Jonathan Majors. We only see his character for one episode, but the inclusion of his character is going to have major implications to the future of the MCU; a prospect which looks like it is really going to reinvigorates the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Sophia Di Martino plays a female variant of Loki, known as Sylvie, and the introduction of her character strikes a great chemistry between her version of Loki and Tom Hiddleston’s. As the character she is playing is effectively just a different version of the Loki which we know and love, Sophia Di Martino does a fantastic job at incorporating some of the notorious Loki characteristics into her performance, whilst still creating a new and unique character. I wasn’t totally convinced with the character during the early stages of the series, but with some brilliant performances from Sophia Di Martino and a fascinating character arc, Sylvie soon became one of my favourite characters in the show.
Marvel films and television series are renowned for their explosive action sequences, but Loki is somewhat lacking in that department. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, particularly given how Loki is renowned for talking his way out of adverse situations, plus it means a lot more of the series is focused on developing various characters. At times during the series, I often found myself so immersed in the show, that I forgot it was part of the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe and instead thought of it as a sci-fi thriller exploring space and time. Again, this isn’t a bad thing at all and I really enjoyed this change of direction from the usual Marvel content.
All in all, there’s a lot to love about Loki. It offers redemption for one the MCU’s most popular characters, it introduces a host of new and exciting characters and it takes the MCU into a whole different direction. What’s more, given a second season of Loki is in development, season one feels very much like it’s just the beginning of what could be one of Marvel’s greatest ever stories.
Offering redemption for one of the MCU’s most loved characters and feeling like a breath of fresh air from the usual superhero content, Loki is a highly entertaining journey through space and time.