June 21, 2021

CABLE | Tom Hiddleston Resets 'Loki' – Multiverse of Mischief

"Existence is chaos."
Sophia Di Martino Tom Hiddleston Michael Waldron Kate Herron | Marvel's Loki | Disney Plus
Marvel Studios
Starring Tom Hiddleston once again as the Marvel Studios version of the Norse God of Mischief, Loki (the series) resets the multiverse comic book concept through the conceit of an episodic crime procedural set across different timeline continuities. Created by Michael Waldron, the show introduces us to a less refined Loki from the period of the first Avengers but as seen during the events of Endgame where cosmic time travel split his character's trajectory off course into a "variant" or divergent path.

Director Kate Herron, who helmed all six episodes, gives the limited series a throwback look in the vein of mid-century sci-fi meets a very Mad Men-eque production design. Loki introduces the Time Variance Authority (or "TVA") as a sort of interdimensional law enforcement framing device. We rewind and rewatch highlights from the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far in order to understand the totality of what has happened to Hiddleston's Loki over the years on-screen while also resetting his character for some new unique adventures outside the world we've previously seen him in with brand new (more complicated) characters around him.

Co-starring Owen Wilson as a wryly comic Mobius, a sort of literal time cop detective, the Marvel series playfully and self-awarely toys with our expectations and reverence of these comic book characters very well in inventive new ways. Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Wunmi Mosaku as other interdimensional authority figures build out the timeless 1970s-style retro-futuristic aesthetic sublimely.

Loki plays with our awareness of cinema as it wryly deconstructs Marvel's filmography in front of our eyes. How it toys with the galactic stakes of previous films to remix the trickster character outside of his usual Thor or Avengers settings feels very refreshing narratively particularly after two-dozen feature films. It's also a supremely confident show despite having the difficult task of reinventing a very familiar villain around some very complex concepts.

Loki's six-episode first season is available to stream weekly on Disney+.

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