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Loki is Changing the Superhero Landscape… So Far

Image courtesy of Marvel

By Noelia Veras

Disney+ released the first episode of the highly anticipated television series Loki that follows its namesake, the God of Mischief, on June 9. Currently, there are 5 episodes released, with the show nearing its conclusion.

Loki is the adopted brother of Thor and his character is based on the god from Norse mythology by the same name.

The series follows the trajectory of Loki’s life in an alternate timeline after the events that took place in Avengers: Endgame. Tom Hiddleston remains as Loki and adds more nuance to the character since he is given more time and space to do so.

The first episode recapped some of what happened during Avengers: Endgame when Loki was in possession of the Tesseract. The Tesseract is an Infinity Stone, specifically the Space Stone, which has special powers that allow someone to travel between places instantaneously. 

Loki, in the show, is an alternate version of the Loki seen in the Avengers movies. After stealing the Tesseract, this alternate version of Loki is brought into the Time Variance Authority (TVA) and the story moves forward from there. The TVA is an organization that keeps track of time and makes sure one true timeline remains while they eradicate any timelines that break off.

“The Time Variance Authority (TVA) is an agency concerned with monitoring realities throughout the multiverse and attempting to keep temporal interference to a minimum,”according to Marvel. “They operate from the Null-Time Zone dimension, in which time cannot be interfered with, and have a working relationship with time travelers such as Kang the Conqueror.”

The officers of the TVA are extremely dedicated to monitoring the timeline. When Loki enters the custody of the TVA they give him two options: either he’s erased entirely from existence or he agrees to be an informant for them in order to preserve the integrity of the timeline by tracking down another variant that is a larger threat. 

Loki chooses to help the TVA but is constantly on edge trying to figure out exactly how the TVA really works and what the officers and agents know and don’t know about time.

The audience so far has already witnessed Loki open up as he shares stories of his past, reveals some of his deeper secrets, and displays vulnerability with others. Interestingly, since the show deals with time and separate possible timelines, there are moments where Loki must confront alternate versions of himself., which These moments also clue the viewer in on some of Loki’s inner desires and innate dispositions.

The series has been well received and well regarded for its visuals, audio, and unique storyline. An article from the SYFY Wire interviewed the composer of the show’s score and this alone is indicative of the intricacy of the story and the grandiosity of Loki as a character. The score reflects Loki’s inner feelings and his generally melodramatic attitude. 

“Loki has never been one to conform to the norm,”wrote Dais Johnson of Inverse after the fourth episode of Loki. “Of course, his namesake spinoff series is following suit. After months of Marvel TV shows sticking closely to Marvel Cinematic Universe conventions, Loki is completely changing the game. In its latest episode, Loki redefines what makes a good episode of Marvel television, with its narrative decisions rippling throughout its entire cinematic universe.”

Overall, the series is a new look at Loki and at superheroes as a whole. Loki offers the perspective of the anti-hero and the series explores the shades of gray between good and evil. 

New episodes of Loki come out every Wednesday on Disney+.

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