We just finished enthusing over WandaVision and are still awaiting the final episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Solider, but Marvel has a lot more in store for us. The studio just dropped the official trailer for Loki, its spinoff limited series starring Tom Hiddleston as the charismatic trickster demigod and (adoptive) brother to Thor. According to the official premise, after absconding with the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame, Loki “is a fish-out-of-water when he lands in a world of trouble with the bureaucratic TVA (Time Variance Authority).” One Ars staffer described the overall tone as “Men in Black meets Doctor Who,” which sounds like a winning combination to me.
As we’ve reported previously, Marvel Studios announced the development of its various limited series for Disney+ in 2018, all featuring supporting characters from the films who were not given their own standalone movies within the Marvel cinematic universe (MCU). Details have largely been kept under wraps, but we do know that, like WandaVision, Loki will tie into the forthcoming MCU film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. And like Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it will consist of six episodes.
A brief shot from Loki that aired during the Super Bowl last year showed the titular character wearing a jumpsuit with the initials “TVA” stamped on it. TVA agents are the so-called “custodians of chronology” who monitor violations to the timeline in the MCU. Catch their attention by trying to change history, and you just might meet the wrong end of the Retroactive Cannon (Ret-Can) and have your entire history deleted from the historical timeline.
Disney released an extensive first-look teaser in December. It opened with a flashback to a pivotal scene in Endgame, where 2012 Loki snagged the Tesseract containing the Space Stone and vanished through a portal. We next saw him in a barren desert with some puzzled local denizens looking on. The teaser also showed us Owen Wilson’s character, Mobius M. Mobius (“Time passes differently in the TVA”). The specifics of the plot weren’t revealed, although it did seem like the TVA would force Loki to face up to the damage he has wrought.
This new official trailer confirms that. “We protect the proper flow of time,” Mobius explains to a dubious Loki. “You picked up the Tesseract, breaking reality. I want you to help us fix it. I need your unique Loki perspective.” TVA headquarters looks like the atrium of a Hyatt in the 1990s, and apparently the agents are still using dot-matrix printers. No wonder Loki clearly doesn’t think much of the TVA and its mind-numbing bureaucracy at first, dismissing them as “clowns” in the time keepers’ “circus.” The cast also includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Fast Color) as Judge Renslayer and Wunmi Mosaku (Lovecraft Country) as Hunter B-15.
It looks like Loki will accompany TVA agents on several missions to repair reality, and he demonstrates some impressive knife work in the inevitable combat scenes. He also remains as saucily arrogant and untrustworthy as ever. “I’ve studied almost every moment of your entire life. You’ve literally stabbed people in the back like 50 times,” Mobius exclaims when Loki insists he can be trusted.
“Well, I’d never do it again!” the god of mischief responds. But can we believe him?
Listing image by YouTube/Marvel