The six-episode Loki series picks up the trickster god’s story when he escapes from New York with the tesseract, following the Avengers time travelling during the events of Endgame. He drops into the middle of a desert landscape, and is apprehended by officers of the Time Variance Authority (TVA), who arrest him for “crimes against the sacred timeline”.

Loki escapes punishment by agreeing to help the TVA to hunt a particular Loki Variant that is playing havoc with the timeline, and he realises that the Variant is jumping around the timeline, hiding from the TVA at so-called nexus events, apocalypses and the like which mask the Variant’s actions. Travelling to a hurricane in 2050 Alabama, Loki discovers a female version of himself, who goes by Sylvie, who has set timeline-reset charges at numerous points to distract the TVA, whereupon she sneaks into their headquarters followed by Loki. The two manage to escape from the authorities by jumping to 2077 and the imminent of the moon Lamentis-1, however the fact that Loki and Sylvie begin to form a bond creates an alert that brings the TVA in once more.

Loki and Sylvie begin to expose the truth of the TVA, that all of the workers there are themselves variants of people from Earth. Loki and Sylvie are brought before the Time Keepers, the ultimate authority in the TVA, but Sylvie reveals them to be nothing but androids. Loki is sent to the Void at the end of time, where Sylvie deduces the real mastermind behind the Time Keepers is hiding. Sylvie manages to send herself there, and teams up once more with Loki and a number of other Loki variants, who enable the pair to find the way to the Citadel at the End of Time. There, Loki and Sylvie meet with He Who Remains, who explains that he ended a multiverse war by using the creature Alioth to consume all other timelines and variances of himself, and created the TVA to ensure the timeline did not branch any further.

He Who Remains offers the pair a choice – kill him, and unleash another multiverse war, or replace him as the true head of the TVA. Sylvie sends Loki back to the TVA and kills He Who Remains, which unleashes the multiverse, with too many timelines for the TVA to cope with. Loki tries to warn the TVA but they do not recognise him, and it is revealed that one of He Who Remains’ variants is in control of the TVA.

This is one hell of a series, and I have to admit, I didn’t really “get it” until I had finished watching it all, and could sit back and see what exactly I had been watching, and what was going on. I suppose it helps to know that He Who Remains is Kang the Conqueror, or at least a variant of him is Kang the Conqueror. I’ve since read he is also meant to be based on Immortus, which makes some sense – the Avengers villain who keeps all timelines in check. Comic book time travel and the like is never easy to follow, of course, but Immortus is meant to be the future version of a number of different cosmic evildoers, and Kang the Conqueror is one such entity. Kang the Conqueror is a classic Avengers/Fantastic Four villain, with a long history that goes right back to the early 1960s in terms of comic publication. 

In terms of the MCU, Kang is set to be in the upcoming third Ant-Man film, as well as the fifth Avengers movie, which seems to be his big moment as that film is subtitled The Kang Dynasty. Given how long and convoluted the character’s history is, I think it’ll be interesting to see how the MCU handles him as a super-villain.

Sylvie is an interesting addition to the roster, being I think partly based on elements of The Enchantress, a classic Thor villain. Indeed, that’s who I thought she was meant to be at first, but I guess this is an example of the MCU being based off the comics, and not merely producing them as straight-up adaptations. 

I thought the series was interesting for the fact that it serves as a further stepping stone in the overall multiverse saga that is currently going on, and introduces us to the big villain (although we perhaps didn’t realise this at the time). If you were expecting an exploration of Loki in terms of his Asgardian heritage, and looking at things from that perspective, then it’s going to be a disappointment. I know the intention with the show was to allow Loki to grow without the shadow of Thor being around, but it feels quite odd to divorce Loki from all of that. While the elements of the Time Keepers and stuff is perhaps appropriate for what Loki is all about, I think the fact the TVA is depicted as a sort of 1970s “modern” office building, all beige and tan and the like, it seems to detract from Loki as a god of mischief. I suppose that was part of the pun at first, maybe, but I can’t help feeling like there was a missed opportunity with the character, despite the fact I recognise that the timeline stuff and He Who Remains is all necessary to the overall plot of the current multiverse saga. Does that make sense?

There is a season two of Loki in the works, although it seems very much like that second series will be TVA-centric, given the returning cast. I believe it’s due for release in the middle of 2023, so I suppose now that we’re firmly with the idea of the multiverse, and building towards Kang as the villain, it could begin to dig deeper into what we can find out for that? I guess we’ll see…

2 thoughts on “Loki”

  1. This is exactly why I’m done w the mcu. To figure out what in the world is going on, fans are going to HAVE to watched this stuff. I have zero interest in mixing TV n movies. I don’t have time to become a brain dead screen addict. My blogging screen time is bad enough.
    What’s wrong w standalone superhero movies? (Well, besides NOT how to do them like the DCEU did, sigh)

    1. I do agree with you, it became a big investment with the scope of the movies alone, but now having TV shows that are, oftentimes, 6-hour movies as well, it is becoming difficult to track every plot thread, every character. Kang being the central villain for Phases 4-6, but being introduced outside of a movie, seems to be odd to say the least. I think WandaVision was enjoyable to watch, and seemed to be a satisfying postlude for Scarlet Witch after the events of Endgame. You didn’t need to watch it, but it was fun. But then it became essential viewing to understand her character in Dr Strange 2, and that is problematic. I feel the TV shows should enhance the movies, but not interfere like this. Plenty of movie goers would ignore the shows, and therefore be totally thrown by the fact that she’s got kids, etc.

      The saving grace, though, is that apparently they’ve realised they can’t spread themselves so thin, so will be instead focusing on quality rather than quality.

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