Tom Hiddleston is one of the best things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it’s about time the sprawling movie (and now also TV) franchise gave him his own showcase. Loki is that and more, and yes, that last sentence did include a pun, since the studio’s latest Disney+ affair is all about time-travel, and the many ways in which it’s controlled by higher supernatural beings and manipulated by Hiddleston’s God of Mischief, who in his first stand-alone saga grapples with issues of identity and agency while also trying to earn his freedom and, potentially, seize control of the Marvel multiverse.
Delivering both the high-wire inventiveness that elevated WandaVision and the sharp buddy-comedy repartee that was missing from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki (premiering June 9) picks up where Avengers: Endgame left off, with the present-day Loki dead at the hands of Thanos, and the 2012 version of Loki on the run thanks to the Tesseract. It’s that still-evil iteration of the character who takes center stage in showrunner Michael Waldron’s series, which locates the fugitive Asgardian in the Gobi Desert. His stay in the searing heat is short-lived, however, since no sooner has he attempted to give one of his patented arrogant-tyrant speeches than he’s nabbed by a squadron of heavily armed soldiers who materialize out of a portal and promptly transport him to the imposing headquarters of the Time Variance Authority (TVA), an organization that prevents troublemakers (dubbed Variants) from destroying the one, true “sacred” timeline.
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