Loki Season One recently concluded its 6-episode run on Disney+. The first season of this scifi superhero action-adventure drama set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), starred Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as the God of Mischief, Loki Laufeyson. We analyse Loki Season One with a view to comparing the quality of its plot and characterisations against the value of the series in the context of the MCU as a whole.
S P O I L E R S
As we have mentioned in our episodic reviews of Loki Season One, the quality of the plot and characterisations are poor overall. Nothing much really happens plot-wise and there is probably too much expository dialogue – not in aid of characterisation by and large – but to set up Phase 4 of the MCU and essentially, the existence of the Multiverse, and the big villain of Phase 4 viz. Kang the Conqueror.
Seen in this context, the purpose of Loki Season One becomes crystal clear. Thus, the characters of the Loki and Sylvie variants need not be explored too deeply, with the same approach applied to the Time Variance Authority characters like Mobius and Ravonna Renslayer. In the end, every single character in Loki Season One is revealed to be a variant of some kind.
Given the acquisition of the Marvel Comics characters previously licensed to Fox – the X-Men and the Fantastic Four – the establishment of the Multiverse provides Marvel Studios the opportunity to shoehorn previous Fox movies into the MCU continuity by presenting them as alternate timelines.
This would allow Marvel Studios to incorporate the goodwill already generated by the fan-favourite actors like Michael Fassbender (Magneto), James McAvoy (Professor X) and even Hugh Jackman (Old Man Logan) while recasting the key characters of the Fantastic Four – which did not fare so well with the fandom. A masterstroke!
However, this inevitably comes at the cost of effective storytelling. After watching the three Disney+ MCU streamers so far, it is now clear that these B-grade streamers will only function as setup for the real deals i.e. the movies. Thus, expectations will need to be lowered for the multitude of MCU streamers that are in the works, right now.
So in that light, Loki Season One – together with WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – operate as the purest fan-service to keep fandom engaged, while laying down markers for the upcoming MCU movies – all at the expense of effective plots and characterisations. That all said, it seems to be working thus far, so expect Marvel Studios to stay on track in this manner, whatever our purist complaints might be.
Now streaming on Disney+.
… still there’s more …