‘Loki’ and the villain’s redemption


Promotional poster of the Disney series dedicated to Loki

Promotional poster of the Disney series dedicated to Loki

A Norse god working in an office looking for anomalies in the timeline. ‘Loki ‘ is the icing with which Disney the so-called Phase 1 ends of the television expansion of the Universe Marvel on your new platform. His three series (‘Wandavision’, ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ ​​and this one) were cooked before the pandemic and that has caused them to arrive a little later than planned in the calendar. A phase that seems to have served to go simmering what comes to us on the big screen, but that has managed to give each of its titles its own personality, awakening the attention of audiences that until now were not usual in this fictional universe. The series starring the god of lies has been its most ambitious title, becoming renovated for a second season even before it premiered.

Both in the comic and in the cinema, Thor and Loki have always been present in the future of the Marvel Universe. The work of Tom Hiddleston as the archinemesis of the God of Thunder has been one of the cornerstones of the development of this fictional macrocosm. His character has evolved in each film on a path that seemed to lead him towards redemption. In the comics, too, he stopped being the classic operetta villain long ago, whose motivations mattered little. Only he was the bad guy. Over the years, the scriptwriters gave it more and more complexity and dramatic dimension. Marvel has always loved to play with the redemption of its villains. The clearest example is that of the character of Magneto. There is nothing more purely Marvel than the character who is forced to play a hero despite himself and ends up changing sides. This evolution of Loki in the movies had culminated in ‘Infinity War’, where the god of lies ended up sacrificing himself for his stepbrother. Their years of rivalry were closed by the hand of Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet.

But the Loki that the series presents to us is not the already redeemed character. Those who saw ‘Endgame’ already know that, with this time travel, the god of lies managed to escape from The Avengers after the first installment of the film by this supergroup directed by Joss Whedon. A temporary anomaly that is what gives rise to the television series. This Loki is not the same one who sacrificed himself, it is the one from the times when he was bad-bad. He is not one of those who turned to ashes with Thanos’ snap and were able to return, but the redeemed Loki was killed by the intergalactic villain with his bare hands. But also, this alternate Loki seems destined to follow the same path of redemption. When a character enjoys a certain popularity, to the point of starting to star in his own titles, he is no longer allowed to be bad at all. Maybe ten years ago when the antihero was the protagonist of television series, but not now.

As an anomaly in time, our Loki is captured by the Temporary Valuation Agency, a strange corporation dedicated to avoiding contamination in History that generates alternative realities. All theories suggest that this plot is paving the way to the so-called Multiverse that we will see in all its fullness in the next cinematographic installments of Doctor Strange and Spiderman (where we would be allowed to enjoy seeing the three actors who have incarnated the spider-man in film in the last twenty years). Loki is forcibly recruited to look for an alternate version of himself that is playing with the timeline. One of the first surprises of the series is the excellent chemistry that the actor makes with Owen Wilson, who plays Mobius and is like his mentor in this time travel research. By the way, the two actors already coincided on screen in the film ‘Midnight in Paris’ (2011) by Woody Allen.

The God of Lies thus becomes kind of James Bond from the timeline to a large hyper-bureaucratized corporation, where it is easy for the left hand not to know what the right hand is doing. An unreal place, out of time, full of large shelves crammed with dusty files where any application must be submitted with its own stamps and in triplicate. With this scenario, it was not difficult for it to turn out that the agency’s intentions are not as pure as they had been presented to us at the beginning. And behind it all there are strange beings called the Time Keepers, whom some have seen a certain resemblance to another of the classic Avengers enemies in the cartoons, Kang. By the way, is Bond a nod to the options Hiddleston had to play the most famous secret agent in the history of cinema? But Loki still has his own roadmap and we do not know if he is really trying to help or just looking for the opportunity to get a cut and escape from his captors. After all, manipulation and deception have always been a second skin to him.

When it seemed that we were doomed to one of those titles of the genre ‘buddy movies’ or films of colleagues starring a couple of detectives with opposite characters, the series has taken a new twist and left the fandom speechless with the female version of Loki. Sophia de Martino has become another of the revelations of the series with her role as Sylvie, or as some Lady Loki call her. Only a megalomaniac like the god of lies would be able to fall in love with himself. An alternative version that, judging by the post-credits scene of the fourth episode, will not be the only one we will see. We have many facets of the god of deception ahead of us. Although for character, that of Miss Minutes, that animated mascot of the Agency that we would like to see much more on screen.

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