Now that we’ve made it through two of Marvel’s planned live-action series for Disney+, I thought I knew what to expect with “Loki.” Little did I know, this would be the MCU’s most fully-realized story for the small screen to date.
Premiering on Disney+ tomorrow, June 9, Marvel Studios’ “Loki” features the return of Tom Hiddleston as the iconic God of Mischief, stepping out of his brother’s shadow in a new Disney+ series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” in which a past version of Loki steals the Tesseract and makes his getaway — causing a variance in the overall timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For this review, I was able to screen the first two episodes in the series’ six-episode run. This proved just enough of a taste to get me hooked and waiting not-so-patiently for the next handful of episodes. Though, unlike “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” this is not just a Marvel movie for the smaller screen; “Loki” is a fun, “timey-wimey” detective noir with a Marvel twist. Marvel is going full genre here, and it just works.
The first episode picks up where “Avengers: Endgame” left Loki: fresh off of stealing the Tesseract and teleporting away from the time heist that his brother and the Avengers are trying to pull off. After a quick series of events, Loki finds himself confronted by a new force, the Time Variance Authority (TVA), which monitors the multiverse and “Sacred Timeline,” and cleans up any variants that might have made a mess of things.
The production design for the TVA is beautifully anachronistic yet timeless, not unlike the classic 1960s aesthetic of “Mad Men.” One particular favorite is Miss Minutes, a cartoon mascot for the TVA, whose country accent feels comforting yet jarring when paired with her introductory message about “answering for your crimes” against the Sacred Timeline. There’s also a 2D animated expository sequence here that is just gorgeous.
Hiddleston is at the top of his game as Loki, and easily steps back into the role of 2012 Loki as if it were just like riding a bike. Paired against Owen Wilson making his Marvel debut as TVA’s Agent Mobius, these two are the unlikely couple I never knew I wanted. One interview scene between the two in particular really cuts to the bone of Loki’s actions, and Wilson handles it with a firm yet compassionate hand.
Without spoiling anything, the stakes get raised to extreme levels in the second episode, though I have no idea what will happen next. Fans are certainly in for a ride with this time detective series, and hopefully a path to a real, permanent return for the God of Mischief is on the horizon. Though there is one needle drop in Episode 2 that literally had me screaming, so keep an ear out for that.
In the Parks
While no direct connections to “Loki” have made their way to the parks just yet, the recently-opened Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure does feature the God of Mischief alongside other heroes and villains from the Marvel Universe. Sadly for Orlando-based Marvel fans, Loki is nowhere to be found at Walt Disney World.
“Loki” premieres on Disney+ this Wednesday, June 9. You can check out the trailer below: