Surely you didn’t think you’d have seen the last of the God of Mischief from Marvel, did you? The Norse Demigod who first made an appearance with Phase I’s ‘Thor’, going on to becoming the chief antagonist in 2012’s smash hit, ‘The Avengers’, had already acquired an infamy for being a trickster and well, mischievous in all dubious manners. He had fooled death twice, and just when his neck was crushed like a toothpick by the mad titan Thanos in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, we knew he would be coming back, just not in the way the other heroes that were dusted away by the snap came back. ‘Endgame’ thus introduced a clever quip that would directly tie into an offscreen resurrection for the god of mischief: Time Travel, and opening that Pandora’s Box has allowed Marvel to simply go in unprecedented directions and explore whole new avenues.
Needless to say, even if it weren’t for time travel and the creation of an alternate timeline, Loki would have been brought back one way or another, because let’s face it. Unless it’s the kind of culmination that ‘Endgame’ was, one never really dies in a superhero movie, especially if you prove to be anything but a one film villain (like Malekith or the Destroyer) and one of the most beloved villains of a film series that has drawn some flak for presenting one-dimensional villains. More on that later, but clearly, him coming back is virtually no surprise at all since his was the first spinoff TV series announced and has since been long in the works. Here is all we know about what the God of Mischief is up to following a whole lot of adventures across the galaxy, and back.
Loki Plot: What is it About?
As I disclosed earlier, Loki getting his own spinoff series much before any of the others, even many of the movies that have been announced for Phase IV, is testament enough to the character’s popularity, and to an extent also an indicator of the audience’s desire to see more of him after the cannon Avengers and most of the characters introduced in Phase I saw a resolution to their stories following the events of ‘Endgame’. However, the troublemaker that is Loki is now in a very different spot, both temporally and spatially, after the Avengers travelled back in time during the attacks of New York in Avengers to retrieve the Space, Mind and Time Stones.
Things now get a little complicated here as in an attempt to extract the stones, the Avengers from the 2023 timeline who have travelled back in time, create a diversion in the lobby of Stark Tower after the battle. That diversion is enough to allow 2012 Loki to escape with the Tesseract and thus, the space stone. If there is one major event, one major deviation that could have generated a parallel dimension or reality as intimated by the Ancient One, it would be this, simply implying that since Loki escaped his fate in New York that day and in effect being captured by Thor and presented to Odin, he may or may not have met his destined end at the hands of Thanos at the beginning of Infinity War.
This year’s SDCC has thus confirmed that the TV series would pick up right after the events of ‘The Avengers’ and the aftermath of the New York battle, wherein Loki now has the space stone, and reportedly will alternate between various locations for every episode. The Hollywood Reporter too earlier reported something along the same lines, probing that “the show will follow Loki as the trickster and shape-shifter pops up throughout human history as an unlikely influencer on historical events”.
Furthermore, this is what Tom Hiddleston had to say at the SDCC when addressing the questions about his TV series. “You guys saw Avengers, right? He’s still that guy. And just about the last thing that happened to him was that he got Hulk-smashed, so there’s a lot of psychological evolution that hasn’t happened yet, but Kevin has generously showed me what his plans are — I can’t tell you any of them — but it is one of the most exciting creative opportunities I think I’ve ever come across.”
That still leaves us with very little to go on, but such has been the no spoiler Marvel tradition. The most educated guess as of now would be that the series would be documenting Loki’s (mis)adventures across the galaxy with the Tesseract in tow, but primarily on Earth. Something also tells me that there will be incriminatingly less Asgard here, because to me, it seems like an exceedingly uphill task to get Anthony Hopkins, Chris Hemsworth, Rene Russo and Idris Elba in the same room, even if for an episode.
However, then again, if we cannot count on Marvel for continuity and PROPER world building, who else really? The time period whence all of this conspires intelligibly seems tied between Loki’s escape from Earth with the Tesseract in this new reality, and then being usurped by Thanos in the events of ‘Infinity War’, before the events of ‘Endgame’ unfold. Since Loki now has the Tesseract since the beginning, it might be worth noting that we do not know where or how he would be depositing the cube inside Odin’s vault, before stealing it in ‘Ragnarok’ and ultimately handing it over to Thanos.
The fact that Cap and Tony travelled back to 1970 to steal the Tesseract from S.H.I.E.L.D’s army base too changes nothing about it. A parallel reality could still stem from the same sequence of events conspiring in 2012, after the tesseract is deposited back by Cap in 1970 when he travels back in time towards the end of the film.
It is thus also worth considering that Loki, in all probability did NOT try to change his fate at the hands of Thanos, or better still, something stems from the 2014 Thanos travelling to 2023 and being defeated and killed loophole, ultimately resulting in a null and void kind of situation. That too would lead to another series of plot holes, but this is how the Pandora’s Box of time travel operates in popular movies. If all of that still seems gibberish to you, welcome to the club!
We will have to wait until when the series finally airs to know which of these theories or predictions hold true. Until then, we have a number of other entrants in Phase IV that are definitely worth waiting for, of which ‘Doctor Strange: In The Multiverse of Madness’ and ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ seem to have direct ties with the ‘Loki’ TV series.
Loki Cast: Who Is In It?
The only cast member that I can completely, one hundred percent confirm to be in the TV series, reprising his rather popular role from at least five Marvel movies is Tom Hiddleston. All the other Agardian family and friends of the titular character from Asgard, including Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Rene Russo as Frigga, and Idris Elba as Heimdall, may or may not return, and we surely will have to until Marvel can officially confirm this. I also expect a fair degree of new cast to join the show as well. Perhaps a love interest for Loki? Surely that seems like something unexplored.
Loki Crew: Who is Behind It?
Michael Waldron, a writer from the ‘Rick and Morty’ pantheon and fresh off working on the fourth season of the hit animated show will be serving as showrunner and writer for all six episodes of the reported miniseries. Waldron also might step up to direct the pilot, and that can only mean good things for the TV series, since Loki’s miscreant, selfishly eccentric tone as a character is essential to be fully reflected in the series. Waldron might just prove to be the right man for that. Kevin Feige is confirmed to be backing up the series for Marvel Studios.
Loki Release Date: When will it premiere?
‘Loki’ will premiere on Disney+ sometime during spring 2021, something that I believe is an exceedingly long time given that this was the first TV series to be announced of the ones touted for Disney’s exclusive streaming service. However, this might also bode well since ‘Doctor Strange: In The Multiverse of Madness’ and ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ are also scheduled for later the same year, and I completely expect the events of the series to have a bearing on these two hotly anticipated movies from Marvel.