The latest Marvel series does justice to one of the most charismatic characters in its universe, while opening new and exciting narrative fronts.
One of the major successes of the expanded Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is that it knows how to give each character their own soul. Each superhero has an idiosyncrasy that sets the genre and tone of their adventures, and miraculously each individual description maintains a coherence when these are blended into group stories. That’s why they’re so exciting and so effective: you know who they’re talking about, you know where they come from and you want to know where they’re going, and you see each new chapter as an indivisible part of a whole. In series, Marvel maintains the same strategy. “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” were adapted to the formal needs of their respective protagonists and, at the same time, they knew how to explore new narrative fronts without having to abandon the feeling of belonging to a much larger story. Undoubtedly, “Loki” expands this idea even further while doing so with a character who presents a greater challenge. On the one hand, because the God of Mischief began his transition as the bad guy, and the more depth provided as to his nuances couldn’t represent a loss of his delightful ambivalence; and, on the other hand, because this is a series that delves into a very different storyline, not as heavily reliant on what you have seen so far, as on what you are about to see. It picks up ideas and restarts them; playing with what you know and transports you to a world where you don’t know the rules. It makes you aware of certain mechanisms that no longer work and presents you with new ones that are fundamental to understanding the future. It is, like its protagonist, unpredictable, unclassifiable and surprising, and also fresh proof that Marvel is weaving a multiverse such as has never been seen before on screen, the definitive conjugation between television, comics and cinema.
“Loki” focuses on the version of the character from 2012, the one who takes advantage of one of the temporary trips of “Avengers: Endgame” to avoid his fateful destiny at the hands of Thanos. But it doesn’t take long to discover that all that mischief with space-time has its consequences, because there is an agency dedicated to ensuring that these anomalies are prevented and corrected. In this sense, the pilot is a model of how to introduce the viewer to a new way of perceiving a character and providing context. It serves as a synthesis of their itinerary and as a (splendid) update of their motivations, not to mention introducing us to new characters that gel perfectly: Mobius M. Mobius played by Owen Wilson is so well characterized that you’ll end up believing he existed in all the previous series and films, like just out of the blue, waiting for his chance. As was the case with “WandaVision”, you can watch and enjoy “Loki” without having taken even a preliminary tour of the Marvel universe, but if you’ve already embarked upon the trip, the experience is even more exciting and enriching. And this is because, in essence, those responsible have decided to turn it into a major series beyond its belonging to this universe. It’s a veritable festival of veiled, and not so veiled humor, of visual discoveries and nods, of delusional moments and others of unexpected dramatic depth. “Stargate”, 2D animation and Bonnie Tyler all walk side-by-side (someday she’ll have to vindicated as she truly deserves) with a contagious enthusiasm, while audiences grasp details that trigger the expressive possibilities of what will come to infinity. And above all this, the charisma of the great Tom Hiddleston, the actor responsible for bringing the character this far and who continues to win us over with his ability to provide more and more footnotes. It’s amazing just how good life can be in Loki’s worlds!