Loki review: Marvel's beloved villain gets a charming second chance

www.vox.com
8 min read
fairly easy
Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson's Disney+ charm offensive works.
Loki is undoubtedly one of the most compelling characters Marvel has ever created. Played by the perpetually grinning Tom Hiddleston, Loki carried the first two Thor movies and pound-for-pound outshines every Avenger not named Tony Stark or Steve Rogers in the charisma department. He's also the most memorable villain in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and please don't ask, "What about Thanos?" because while menacing, Thanos couldn't muster even a whiff of sympathy or compassion from me.

While so many of Marvel's villains end up being one-shot wonders, Loki stands out not just because he survives past one movie but because he never feels truly evil. Yes, he's very into alien invasions, turning Earthlings into his servants, and sometimes indirectly hurting his family, but he's also the product of a terrible childhood during which, because of his true nature (Loki is actually an adopted frost giant), he was never as loved or respected as his Thunder God brother, Thor.

Maybe if he'd experienced a little more love and empathy, he'd be a little less diabolical and horny for backstabbing. MCU history has shown that when push comes to shove and the apocalypse is nigh, he will do the right thing. Love for Loki justifiably runs strong and deep.

Fittingly and finally, Marvel has capitalized on that love and given its most beloved antihero his own TV show. Well, sort of.

Loki is about a specific version of the character who, thanks to some time-meddling Avengers, is temporally displaced from the MCU's main timeline amid the events of the 2019 blockbuster Avengers: Endgame. The ripple effect of the Avengers' time-jumping in that film leads to there being two different Lokis — the one who would defend Asgard and die at Thanos's hand in Avengers: Infinity War, and this one, the one who gets his own TV series on Disney+ to inevitably show us what happens when the character gets a second chance at life with this twist of fate.

Two of Loki's six hour-long episodes were…
Alex Abad-Santos
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