Action Adventure

Review: ‘Loki’ Hints at Earth-Shattering Ramifications for the Future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

June 8, 2021Ben MK

Ten years on and still going strong, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has given moviegoers some of the most spectacular, big budget comic book films ever made. However, it's on the small screen that the MCU has only recently started to shine, turning audiences' attention to characters like Wanda Maximoff, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, and how the events of the last two Avengers sequels have impacted them. Now, it's Loki's turn — and just like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier prior to it, the show promises to explore aspects of the franchise that Marvel fans have never seen before.

Picking up immediately after Loki's escape in Avengers: Endgame, the series finds the God of Mischief dropped in the middle of Mongolia's Gobi Desert. Of course, this isn't the version of Loki that fought alongside his brother in Thor: Ragnarok and who perished at the hands of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. Rather, this is the Loki who led the Chitauri invasion of New York City and battled the Avengers for world domination — and as this Loki variant soon discovers, vanishing with the Tesseract just as he was about to be taken into custody by his superhero nemeses constitutes a crime against the Sacred Timeline, an offence punishable by death and enforced by a powerful and secret organization known as the Time Variance Authority.

It's a sentence that high-ranking TVA official Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), acting on behalf of the all-knowing Time Keepers, is eager to hand down. Her subordinate, TVA agent Mobius (Owen Wilson), on the other hand, has a distinctly different set of plans in mind for their new prisoner. Recruiting a reluctant Loki to assist them in tracking down a mysterious assailant who has been travelling through time and slaughtering the TVA's hunters, Mobius sets out to convince his newest team member of the good he can do by helping to protect the Sacred Timeline and, hence, preventing the collapse of the universe as we know it. But can Loki be trusted? Or will he seize the first opportunity he has to disappear yet again?

Directed by Kate Herron and written by Michael Waldron, what follows feels a bit like Marvel meets Castle, as Loki — an outsider to the TVA and all its procedures and protocols — joins Mobius and an elite team of TVA hunters in travelling to such times and places as the 1980s American Midwest and ancient Europe, all in an attempt to undo the chronological chaos being unleashed by their elusive suspect. As the show progresses, however, it's clear that the creative minds at Marvel Studios have something much bigger in mind, with the potential ramifications on the MCU at large being quite earth-shattering indeed.

There's no doubt that the ultimate fallout from the show's six-episode story arc will be felt in future movies in the MCU — perhaps even in upcoming phase four entries like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Spider-Man: No Way Home. In the meantime, viewers will just have to tune in weekly, as Loki definitely has more than a few tricks up its funny, thrilling and reality-bending sleeve.

Loki begins streaming June 9th, exclusively on Disney Plus.

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