Disney has been on a roll during the pandemic with their new television shows based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since making epic, high-budget films was not something Hollywood could do much of during 2020, these shows help keep the MCU storylines moving along. First, they gave us WandaVision, a show full of twists and turns, revealing what happens when someone’s grief prevents them from moving on with life. Then, we were given The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which filled in much of the action/adventure needs that many missed from the movies that were on hold due to COVID. And now we are treated to Loki.
If you remember from Avengers: Infinity War, the half-brother of Thor was unceremoniously killed by the mad titan, Thanos within the first few minutes of the film. This came as a huge shock to many MCU fans, as Loki was considered to be one of the main players. We could expect to see the deaths of some other “heroes” who had not been much of the focus of the previous installments, such as Heimdall. But Loki was not just your average background character.
The god of mischief had been on a story arc. Loki started out as a cunning adversary to Thor, who was known for his brawn, rather than his brains. Loki wanted power and fame above everything else and would use his powers to that end. After being stopped by his brother, Loki then acquired the powers of one of the Infinity Stones, disguised as the Tesseract. Had it not been for the formation of The Avengers, his plans to take over Earth would have probably succeeded.
But through these battles and stories, the brotherly bond between Loki and Thor prevented either from putting an end to the other. And after the death of their parents and subsequent Ragnarok, the brothers formed an alliance with one another. These events put Loki on the same stature level as the rest of the Avengers in the MCU, making his death in Avengers: Infinity War all the more painful to see.
Luckily for us, there is a multiverse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For those of you who do not know what the multiverse is, let me break it down for you. In a nutshell, there are multiple different timelines within the MCU. If you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books from your childhood, you get the idea. Whenever a major choice has to be made, the timelines branch off from one another, creating different outcomes.
These different outcomes are known collectively as the multiverse. Near the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Doctor Strange uses the power of the mind stone to view all the multiverses to find which outcome allows the heroes to defeat Thanos. It is also these branched timelines that Captain America tried to fix by using the time machine to return all the stones to the universes they were removed from at the end of Avengers: Endgame.
So, with the existence of the multiverse, technically speaking, it is very hard to kill off a character. While they may die in one timeline, they have versions of themselves spread throughout the different timelines. This is one way that Marvel has been able to bring back dead characters in the comic book universe for years. And, up until now, it has only been hinted at in the cinematic universe.
Loki is the name of the latest Disney+ Marvel series. The show follows the titular character from the moment he regained possession of the Tesseract in Endgame. Using its power to navigate time, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is apprehended by the Time Variance Authority (TVA). This group actively polices the main timeline (known as the sacred timeline), looking for any divergence from it and then actively putting a stop to any branches.
As this Loki has branched off the main timeline, he has no knowledge of the events of Thor: The Dark World or Thor: Ragnarok, putting him in the more mischievous form of the god. Given the choice of prison, death or helping the TVA, Loki chooses to help in a case that has led to the deaths of multiple TVA agents. Teamed up with Mobius (Owen Wilson), the pair squares off against one of the most dangerous villains ever: a mysterious entity that wants to break the main timeline for their own evil purposes.
I have to say that Loki has become my favorite series in only two episodes that I have had the chance to watch. As this is a spoiler-free review of the show, I won’t go much into the details. But the dynamic between Mobius and Loki is refreshing and magnificent. The show harkens back to the days of buddy cop movies and shows. Loki is looking for a way to free himself of the TVA and possibly gain some of the power they possess, while Mobius is wanting to be the “good cop” and save the timelines and further his career.
It is apparent Mobius wants to see the good that Loki can do (and did do in the sacred timeline), just as much as Loki is still in his power-hungry phase (remember, this Loki has never experienced the death of Odin and his mother, nor the destruction of Asgard). The two characters, however, come to an understanding that they both stand to gain favor with the overlords of the TVA should they be able to put an end to this timeline bandit. Plus, with Loki being the god of mischief, there are some rather good moments of laughter in the series.
Loki premiers on Disney+ June 9th, 2021. I will be anxiously waiting for each new episode and hoping they make more. The series only has six episodes for this first season, so I expect the storylines to play out quickly. Regardless, Loki will be a “must-see” show for any MCU fan.