“Finally, Marvel Week is over” – many of you
Admittedly, “Marvel Week” lasted more than a week, but we promise it’s officially over with this post. While Loki’s season finale appeared on Disney+ last Wednesday, we wanted to give everyone enough time to watch the show and digest what happened (without spoilers, quite a lot happened).
But now we’re diving into the show, the conclusion, what’s next and other Marvel-related topics. As we do whenever something Marvel related wraps up, the TNIAAM comics wing chats about everything you need to know related to Loki.
SPOILERS AHEAD, if you haven’t watched and are still planning to, obviously.
***THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING***
Steve: I’m assuming anyone who didn’t know who (Jonathan Majors) was enjoyed some exposition on the ins and outs of multi-dimensionality and the end of time, along with some eloquent unleashing of the multiverse by our favorite 31st century scholar, and thought of a quirky impish guy getting killed as a strange ending, but goddamn, all of the Nathaniel Richards(es?) are loose.
Christian: I haven’t seen anything from Jonathan Majors before that. I now love that man. He’s going to be awesome for the next few phases
Steve: That was an emphatic “I’m putting a stamp on the MCU”
Andy: Lovevecraft Country cleaned up at the Emmys for a lot of reasons; Majors chief among those. He’s an established talented who’s arguably the key thing the MCU needed moving forward — another Hiddleston-level villain talent.
Steve: To see where Hiddlestone has come from an unknown cast in Thor seems impressive. Thought both he and Sophia DiMartino nailed a lot of physical acting as well
Kevin: I’m not exactly sure what I watched, but I really enjoyed both he and the Sylvie characters, and what the future could hold
Andy: I am a DiMartino Stan now, please respect my decision.
I think the other fun part of this show is that is didn’t rewrite the rules of the MCU, but it basically said “oh, nice job completing the game you thought you won, turns out that was just the first act.” And the multiverse is going to give a lot more flexibility in storytelling moving forward. Case-in-point, the rumored Spider-Man: No Way Home plot
Christian: I’m curious if we’ll see Loki/Sylvie/Kang before their next scheduled appearances (In Loki season two and Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania respectively). It’s set up quite well for them to show up in an MCU movie
Andy: The rumor is Loki will appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but I don’t know if it will be anything substantial considering that cast already has four co-leads (Strange, Wanda, Wong, and America Chavez). Do think we see some references to Majors’s variants (maybe even a name) in something before Quantumania.
Christian: The only disappointing thing about that is that for me, Majors’s excellent performance kinda took away some of the finality of the series that I think Disney was looking to avoid in Wandavision and in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. By not introducing major characters in the last episodes of those shows, we’re more focused on the mains completing their character arc, which were the overwhelming takeaways from the first two Disney+ shows. The fact that Loki has a season two makes this point a little moot, but I would have like to feel more attached to a closing character arc rather than overwhelmed at the possible Kang permutations that came from his reveal and subsequent dialogue.
Andy: I think that’s a valid concern and the balance Marvel is struggling with. WandaVision got panned for none of those, and Loki definitely went BIG. I would agree that the Sylvie-Loki resolution was a bit bland but season two could really dive into this since the fallout is clearly going to be severe, and Slyvie and Loki are now at the heart of the biggest MCU moment since the post-credit scene of the first Avengers.
John: I credit Loki for using the finale to both close out a story arc while also embracing the most comic book-y idea imaginable. And yet it worked. Big swing with a handful of actors just absolutely going for it.
Like the multiverse stuff and Kang/He Who Remains/Immortus shouldn’t work overwhelmingly well and yet it did because they once again expertly rolled out exposition and character development as a neat yet interesting package
Andy: It’s far too early to tell, but is Kang on the same level/bigger than Thanos? Or just different in terms of MCU “Big Bads?”
John: To me, he’s already rendered Thanos and his goals to be child’s play. Now that may have poor consequences long term. But we’ve already seen Infinity Saga reduced to a gag in this series.
Andy: Thanos was a rock collector. Kang is gonna be something else, and I’m a-OK with that.
John: In episode one Loki asks, “Is this the greatest power in the universe?” I think this show answered definitively yes.
Andy: That’s a really great callback.
Christian: Now that the MCU is as big as it is, they definitely have a three-phase plan for Kang, where for Thanos is was a “oh crap this got big quickly how do we keep him relevant for Avengers 3” feeling.
John: I think they didn’t know what to do with Thanos until they did. Here they know what they want to do with Kang and he’s going to lurk throughout, even if indirectly. The “I’ll do it myself” thing never made sense for Thanos. They just tried to make it make sense.
Here, Kang is directly responsible for what’s going haywire. What will be interesting is how much characters other than Loki know about that before Quantumania.
Andy: And it adds a whole new angle to the Fantastic Four movie as well
Andy: The Watts directing right after doing a multiverse movie (Spider-Man: Far From Home) is ripe for suspicion, but I’m glad that it would appear that the Fantastic Four movie won’t be anything like we’ve seen done by Fox.
John: So given all of this, where do we rank Loki? I think there was some filler, but beyond that, felt it was an expertly crafted comic book story that made itself relevant in both small and large terms. It was weird but relatable, and provided a better formula for similar stories going forward.
I’ve got it in the top 10 of MCU projects, to be honest. But curious if I’m using too much recency bias.
Andy: I have it in the top 10 as well, but I’m the psycho with my Marvel rankings, so I understand if others don’t agree. Think the character development and the wider MCU implications were both some of the strongest we’ve seen to date.
John: Getting the time to create relationships was great here. And despite serving a larger goal of expanding the scope of the MCU, it never felt like that’s why the show existed. That’s tougher to pull off than some may realize — but previous shows have highlighted what happens when that balance goes wrong.
Andy: /stares at Avengers Age of Ultron
//Also stares at Civil War to the annoyance of John
John: Ha — I thought Civil War was a good movie on its own, but also was about 20 minutes too long and did need to lift too much for MCU plot. The Tony/Cap dynamic there remains good, but it’s not as well developed as like Loki and Sylvie or Loki and Mobius, which had far less time to develop during this series.
Christian: Yeah the big thing that Loki has going for it is that pretty much all the major characters were well thought-out, developed, and executed. They seemed rushed or underdeveloped in the previous Disney+ shows. I’d agree that it’s a top 10 MCU project.
Kevin: My only quibble with Loki is that it was challenging for the non-Marvel people in my family to follow so I do wonder about the broader casual appeal? Personally I think it was meant to be very different than Wandavision or TFATWS and holds up really well.
John: I think Marvel stopped REALLY caring about casuals awhile back, but especially after setting box office records with a three-hour movie of callbacks and in-universe jokes. I think Wandavision grabbed non-Marvel viewers because it was different, but TFATWS wasn’t different so couldn’t do the same.
In the case of Loki, I’d argue it was the least MCU thing they’ve done to-date. Rather, it was an in-depth character study steeped in the hallmarks of serious science fiction. Parts of this were an outward tribute to Doctor Who and to me, that was probably what turned casuals away rather than Marvel deep cuts. I think Loki was pretty well contained within itself. The sci-fi chicanery just makes it hard to see that if you’re not super invested. That’s not a knock on viewers or the show. It’ll be interesting to see if the approach changes in season two, though, especially if awards buzz gets going prior to next year’s Emmys (and it very well could).
Have your own thoughts on Loki or related topics? Share whatever’s on your mind here in the comments.