For a decade, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki has been a standout in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The character has been both a worthy ally and fearsome foe of the Avengers. Now Loki finally claims the spotlight for himself on a new critically acclaimed Disney+ series. Loki picks up the story after the 2012 version of the god of mischief escaped in Avengers: Endgame, and its first episode addresses how aware Loki was about the time heist.
[Spoiler alert: The following article contains spoilers for the first episode of Loki.]
‘Loki’ brings a whole new level of complexity to the MCU
With Avengers: Endgame, the MCU introduced not only time travel but alternate timelines. Because Earth’s Mightiest Heroes pluck the Infinity Stones from throughout time, they create branching timelines that need to be restored. However, Loki takes the MCU one step closer to the multiverse in its introduction of the Time Variance Authority (TVA). As in Marvel Comics, the TVA keeps close watch on disruptions to the timeline.
Loki’s escape in 2012 brands him a “variant,” a being whose very existence threatens the so-called “Sacred Timeline.” No doubt viewers will learn a lot more about the TVA, its operation, and indeed how the MCU multiverse functions. But for now, the possibilities seem endless. If indeed it chooses, Marvel could use Loki to streamline some of the continuity confusion that has happened behind the scenes since the MCU began.
Tom Hiddleston’s god of mischief understood more about what the Avengers were doing than fans think
Since the Avengers did plenty of time-meddling in Avengers: Endgame, the very existence of the TVA could implicate Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), and company as time variance criminals. But Loki wastes no time clearing that up. As it turns out, the Avengers’ plan to undo Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) plan was supposed to happen. In fact, the heroes might have been doing the TVA’s job for them.
The first episode of Loki also clarifies how much Hiddleston’s character knew in Avengers: Endgame. In the movie, he is very observant, though visibly confused, during the Avengers’ attempt to retrieve the Tesseract aka the Space Stone. At an opportune moment, he snatches it and disappears. But he doesn’t exactly have time to weigh in on what’s happening around him. But it seems Loki knew time travel was involved.
“You can smell the cologne of two Tony Starks,” the god of mischief tells Mobius (Owen Wilson) early on. Loki clearly hoped that by acknowledging the Avengers’ own time-travel shenanigans, he would be shown some leniency. He even offers to work with the TVA to track down the Avengers and defeat them once and for all. While this makes sense given where this Loki was plucked from the timeline, the TVA is not interested.
Will any of the Avengers make cameo appearances on ‘Loki’?
So far the Marvel Disney+ shows haven’t been big on cameos, with few exceptions. Don Cheadle briefly returned as War Machine in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. And Evan Peters toyed with WandaVision fans by posing as Quicksilver. But no other surprise Avengers have come to play on these show yet. With all its time travel logic and alternate timelines, Loki could be the show to break that streak.
After all, Hiddleston has already briefly played Captain America in the MCU. And with Steve Rogers’ quest to return the Infinity Stones still unexplored, perhaps his mission and that of the title character on Loki could dovetail at some point. Fans already know Marvel considered a Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) appearance at the end of WandaVision. So clearly those connections are on their mind.
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