After a little break, Marvel is back with their new Disney+ series centred on iconic villain, Loki.
The first two Marvel Disney+ series were solid successes, WandaVision slightly more so than The Falcon and the Winter Soldier thanks to its creative premise but both are fairly big acts to follow. Stepping up to the challenge, creator Michael Waldron and director Kate Herron, with a stellar cast of Tom Hiddleston (returning as the titular character), Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Wunmi Mosaku.
The series kicks off where Loki’s story in Endgame (2019) ended – the tesseract being flung his way and him using it to escape being arrested and brought to Asgard. Quickly, however, Loki’s luck takes a turn as he’s arrested by the TVA (Time Variance Authority), who monitor the consistency of the timeline and eliminate any variants who stray from their path and cause “nexus” timelines.
But before Loki stands trial, Owen Wilson’s time agent/detective Mobius M. Mobius, saves him from imminent destruction as he requires his services to hunt down a fugitive time variant who is causing chaos throughout history.
Typical of what you would imagine of Loki, the campness is immediately ramped up – being a stark contrast to the realism and grittiness of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. We are introduced to the world of the TVA with Loki as he’s processed into the system dropping through various trapdoors, and interacting with various pieces of technology. The TVA design is very sci-fi retro – complete with control panels that have massive buttons; round, egg-like screens; and décor straight from the 60s. It’s a really fun design – a nice variation from the slick, high tech designs of the Avenger movies.
Hiddleston and Wilson’s repertoire is already pretty fun but I can imagine it will only get better now that the set-up is out the way as both give convincing performances – Hiddleston obviously excelling in the part he’s been playing for 10 years. Wunmi Mosaku also made an impression as the no nonsense guard.
The biggest problem with this episode was the challenge of getting Loki’s character to a place where he’d be willing to help the TVA. This was approached with Mobius showing Loki scenes from all the Marvel movies that happened after Avengers Assemble (2012) – i.e. his mum dying; his Dad dying; Thor being kind and brotherly; and, finally, Loki’s own death. To be fair, it works and is a believable motivator for Loki to change his tune but to watch it does get mildly tedious at points.
Although not perfect, I’m holding out a lot of hope for this series as the characters are strong, the world building is even stronger, and the story of this fugitive (and who it’s revealed to be) is intriguing. Loki has always been a character I’ve found amusing and entertaining so I can’t imagine way the same wouldn’t be the case here.
Action, Adventure | USA, 2021 | Season 1 / Ep 1 | 9th June 2021 | Disney+ | Showrunner: Michael Waldron | Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku