Norse godNotoriously known as the god of mischief. So when Marvel’s version of this god gets its show, a delicious streak of trickery will clearly run through the action. Tom Hiddleston is the perfect lead for this riotously imaginative new series, possibly the weirdest adventure in this Till now. Loki premieres Wednesday, June 9 , with a new episode .
The series begins with a scene, in which Marvel’s mightiest heroes time-travel to the events of the first Avengers movie and collide with the God of Mischief, when he was still the scandal we met all those years ago. This past Loki hasn’t sought redemption for his villainy because that stuff hasn’t happened yet. So when this Loki captures a stray magic cube and uses it to escape, he sets the past on a different path. This brings him to the attention of a previously unseen agency of the Timecops, which is set to wipe everyone’s favorite god out of existence—until he becomes the key to a time-bending threat that can reshape the entire MCU. can write …
From this opening scene, the show immediately takes a sharp turn, which is what you might expect from a Marvel story. Not only that, but it sets up its stall with a spectacular scene that, perhaps appropriately, involves Loki being punched in the face.
Director Kate Heron continues this quirky and audacious visual style as the series boldly soars in imaginative new directions. This is not meat-and-potatoes superhero action. And if anything it has the potential to be weird .
That’s the basis of the show’s appeal: it’s uncharted territory. WandaVision captivated us with its mystery element, which was completely lacking in the very familiar Falcon and Winter Soldier. Loki takes on the weirdness of WandaVision and delves even further into a new MCU myth that seems big enough to completely shake the whole Marvel thing (as opposed to just the opposite), which were precision-engineered to not affect the story of the big screen at all). After a decade, it’s thrilling to see that the MCU still has some surprises to offer.
The first episode in particular is packed with information and ideas, some of them cosmically enormous in scope. It would be very dull if the main character just wandered around asking questions. But Loki is not one for questions. Thrown into the Gobi Desert early in the show, their first reaction is to leap over a cliff and amaze the shocked locals with a grand godly speech. It doesn’t last long. As the show continues, you barely notice the exposition’s landslide as you are too busy enjoying Loki’s blatant ego against the shocking new reality of the Time Variance Authority.
Importantly, Loki is not just a tour guide. Arguably, Loki on the big screen came to the end of his journey when heWith Thor, so going back to the original trickster from his initial appearances, this version has somewhere to go. He immediately begins to grow, which makes it easy to become invested in this version of Loki, rather than feeling that the show wastes the past few years in vain.
A large part of Loki’s relatability comes from the charming chemistry between Hiddleston and Owen Wilson, which inspired the casting as the time-twisting agent Major Mobius. They are like a team-up between Hannibal Lecter and Doctor Who. While Wilson’s low-key intensity is a perfect foil to Loki’s thin-skinned pride, their blossoming partnership lends weight to Loki’s actions.
And this is the god of mischief we are talking about. So while he’s a character we can root for, the reset also gives him his edge back. Importantly, it is not being told what exactly he is planning. Loki’s volatile nature in this unfamiliar setting lends an air of unpredictability that sets the series apart from other Marvel titles, and Hiddleston plays it up perfectly.
It’s all wrapped up in a gorgeous retrofuturistic world. Production designer Kasra Farahani coats Time Variance Authority in a brown and orange filled with pulp sci-fi technology, mixing holograms with reel-to-reel tape and computers with cogs. There’s a pinch of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, a dash of Wes Anderson weirdness (“Sign to Verify It’s Everything You’ve Ever Said”) and Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange Soup.
Loki Isn’t As Kaleidoscope As Banana Yet(a 2017 Marvel adaptation on FX), but it’s along those lines: a future dreamed of in the past — so dated that it’s timeless.
Even Natalie Holt’s pulsating electro score has a retro feel, recalling Those combinations of classical music and early synthesizers. Themes of memory and nostalgia surface repeatedly, as characters step into history from their futuristic-ish worlds, or at least depict the history of a TV show. (In episode 2, the past is entertained inside A recreation of the past. Picture that one.)
At all times Loki opposes the “sacred” path he must walk. As a true agent of chaos, Loki is the perfect adversary to challenge questions of predestination and free will. You may have free will as a viewer, but you may also find that you have to keep watching this layered, inventive, highly entertaining series.