The first reactions to Marvel’s next foray into serial storytelling, the Disney+ series Loki, are in and so far, it’s looking like another smash hit for the unstoppable comic book movie studio. Created by Michael Waldron for the streaming service, Loki once again features Tom Hiddleston as an alternate version of the titular God of Mischief who is tasked with fixing the timeline.
We begin with Brandon Katz, Observer, who praised the series for being Marvel’s first purely entertaining show after the heavy-hitting WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, calling Loki a “a cheeky action comedy” as opposed to the mystery box undertakings of the former or the more contemporary themes of the latter.
Katz went on to describe Loki as “very much a screwball detective story that happens to feature time travel while teeing up the MCU’s new focus on multiversal elements. It’s almost a slanted whodunnit with a shit eating grin. I really enjoy it thus far.”
These sentiments were continued by The Direct’s Jack McBryan, who found the Disney+ series’ opening episodes to be the best from Marvel so far.
“I don’t really know where to start praising #Loki, so I’ll just say it’s IMO the strongest opening for a Disney+ show to date, the writing and directing are on another level. Shoutout to @iamkateherron, @michaelwaldron and @twhiddleston for continuing to push the bar in the MCU.”
“#LOKI is exactly what I wanted it to be: funny, weird, and exciting television,” said Liz Shannon Miller from Collider, with John Campea of The John Campea Show adding that “The @LokiOfficial show is outstanding. Marvel continues to change things up, this is unlike anything they’ve done before. A focus on the god of mischief that gives us our best look at his character, his fears, his insecurities and his glorious purpose.”
Cinemablend’s Eric Eisenberg meanwhile could not get enough of the series’ weirdness and cinematic scope.
By far the most trending element of the series is the pairing of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki with Owen Wilson as Mobius M. Mobius, an agent of the Time Variance Authority (TVA) who specializes in the investigations of particularly dangerous time criminals. Shannon McGrew, Nightmarish Conjurings found the pair quickly emerging as one of the series’ main highlights.
“The chemistry btwn Hiddleston & Wilson is a match made in Asgard allowing for a unique but untrustworthy friendship to unfold.”
“Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson are glorious together,” says Brandon Davis, ComicBook.com. “Hiddleston brings every bit of cunning charm back to Loki. Wilson is surprisingly delightful in the MCU. That classic soft confidence makes his Mobius a blast to watch. These two together are just great.” Collider’s Christina Radish meanwhile added that they “Love the snarky bromance between #TomHiddleston and #OwenWilson.”
Some have even compared the duo with classic sci-fi partnerships from the past, with Rob Keyes from Screen Rant saying, “I’ll add that the way Owen Wilson’s Mobius deals with Loki is hilarious. The show is heavy on dialogue and intimate scenery and that works so well for this. It’s like X-Files for those two.”
Screen Rant’s Alex Leadbeater though had a few issues with Loki’s opening episodes, stating that there was too much “exposition in sit-down convos” and thus “less narrative momentum”. Though he was quick to add that the set-up had intrigued him.
Minor criticisms aside, the praise continued to role in courtesy of Eric Italiano, Bro Bible, who described the Marvel series as, “Sharp dialogue, sneaky emotional plot points, great range from Hiddleston, awesome score, definite crime thriller vibe. It’s a crash course in multiverse rules.” The positivity (and classic sci-fi comparisons) carried on with Ethan Anderton of Slash Film saying, “It’s like MEN IN BLACK meets DOCTOR WHO, but with a 1960s MAD MEN aesthetic instead of a corporate future style.”
There were even more comparisons sure to have fans excited from Perri Nemiroff, Collider.
Variety’s Courtney Howard even went so far as to compare elements of Loki with Terry Gilliam’s seminal black comedy, Brazil, which frankly sounds perfect for a time-hopping adventure with Hiddleston’s mischievous Asgardian.
The classic comparisons kept coming courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes’ Editor-in-Chief, Joel Meares, who said, “Have seen the first 2 eps of #Loki and they’re… bleeping brilliant. A gripping detective tale – with flourishes of Fincher, from Mindhunter to Zodiac/Se7en (really). But, plenty of mischief and laughter, too. The production design is KILLER. Amped for ep 3. Bring it.”
And, of course, there has been plenty of praise for Tom Hiddleston’s central performance in a role he has been owning since his debut back in 2011.
Screen Rant’s Molly Freeman also could not help but praise Hiddleston, and thoroughly enjoyed the actor and character be given their own project.
While time-travelling and getting himself into all manner of mischief in this lighter Marvel offering, Loki does still find time to explore some deeper themes, as summed up by Fandango’s Erik Davis; “It’s a time-traveling detective show that’s laying groundwork for the MCU multiverse while also being about identity & confronting ugly truths about ourselves.”
Loki picks up with the beloved character after stealing the Tesseract during the events of Avengers: Endgame. An alternate version of Loki is brought to the mysterious Time Variance Authority (TVA), a bureaucratic organization that exists outside of time and space and monitors the timeline. They give Loki a choice: face being erased from existence due to being a “time variant”, or help fix the timeline and stop a greater threat. Loki ends up trapped in his own crime thriller, traveling through time and altering human history.
The series also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer, a former Hunter of the TVA who rose from the ranks to become a respected judge, and Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15, a high-ranking Hunter of the TVA alongside Hiddleston and Wilson.
Loki is scheduled to premiere on June 9, 2021, with the first season consisting of six episodes. The story will be part of Phase Four of the MCU, and a second season is already in development.