MCU Phase 4 Discussion

I’m digging Loki. I think its pilot episode does a splendid job of establishing the TVA, reestablishing Loki at peak villain point and then tearing him down to the vulnerable and terrified version we grew to suspect he was over the years up to Infinity War.

It’s also cool that we have canon multiverse in the MCU and in my opinion a potentially cool explanation for why there’s only one universe (currently). I had a neat thought during the pilot… They explain that there were multiple universes but there was a war between them and only 1 remains. So what if the many events across all the comic universes happened and the MCU is what remains post-Multiverse War. FUCK, what if the Time-Keepers are deciding the timeline by referencing a massive stack of comics? Almost certainly not but theory crafting is my passion.

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Yeah not sure where they’re going w/ the multiverse stuff, though considering there’s a movie literally called the Multiverse of Madness, we might be looking at a situation where Loki blows up the entire goddamn timeline by the end of the series, leaving Doctor Strange and Wanda to pick up the pieces.

For those interested, there’s a an absolutely bonkers-looking run of comics about the Ultimate Ultimates, the previous iterations of the cosmos (read: past multiverses?) who have a big fight with the “First Firmament”, who sired them all or something. It makes me wonder how much they’re drawing from that stuff to explain what’s going on here? I don’t think they’d go that crazy, but I could see them splitting a bunch of stuff out.

I’m not a comics reader, but I’m enough of a worldbuilding geek where I get lost for hours on the Marvel wiki sometimes, so take what I’m bringing here w/ an enormous grain of salt!

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Well, Loki is one of the fun roles in the MCU. I feel bad for Scarlett Johansson, who was only ever allowed to stand in the corner and frown for like a decade. Too many roles end up like that, maybe peppered with some C-grade banter to keep the audience awake.

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I liked the first episode of Loki, even though it was mostly exposition and setup. It seems like a show more willing to commit to its concept than WandaVision, and I’m hoping now that we’re past the “you kill your mom” drama, we can get some comedy that’s been lacking in the MCU since… Ragnarok?

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The “time twister” is literally a Ragnarok gag, so here’s hoping. Tom Hiddleston is capable and Owen Wilson is obviously a comedy guy, so the potential is there.

I thought the first episode of Loki was pretty good, but with the short series lengths of these Disney+ shows, I found myself worrying it was spending too much time making sure everyone was sure exactly when in the MCU chronology this Loki was from and what he knew. I appreciated how WandaVision was more committed - early on, at least - to just putting a weird situation out there and assuming viewers would catch up. OTOH the whole TVA aesthetic is sweet enough that I’m forgiving of some exposition.

I’m guessing they did that so that we could get a full reminder of where Loki is at mentally/temporally, and anchoring us with a clear idea of what’s happened and what hasn’t since time travel shows can get hard to follow fast.

It gave me the feel of a show that’s excited to get into all of the craziness, but knew that if it just threw us in, it might leave the viewer more alienated and put off than drawn in. It remains to be seen for sure, but WandaVision could pull this off because understanding what was going on was kindof the whole point of the show. Instead of doing that, Loki might be trying to give the viewer a solid place to start, and then spiral out from there.

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I think that all makes sense - and I definitely don’t want to come off too negative on it, I thoroughly bought in from this first ep - I’m just a little nervous given how short these seasons are. If we were getting nine episodes a la The Mandalorian or even ten to thirteen like a lot of HBO or Netflix shows, I’d be less impatient!

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I think it’s also an effort to catch this Loki up to where people are familiar with him from ragnarok?

they’re in a bind because the only Loki they have to work with is scheming still “evil” loki from avengers 1, but the audience has seen him grow and turn into thor’s brother loki, they have to bridge that gap somehow or we just have whiplash going back to in it for himself loki.

i enjoyed the infinity stone paperweights though, helps put the TVA in perspective without having to do a big fight/showing off someone else’s superpowers etc

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This. Also, I didn’t realize there’d only be a few eps of this! Now I’m impatient too haha

The infinity stones as paperweights (and multiple copies, no less) was a fantastic gag. I think I’ve cooled on their importance somewhat; if I was watching this just outta Endgame (as originally scheduled kindof?) I think it would have hit a lot harder, but even so it’s a great device for framing just how unbelievably out of their depth Loki is. Normally power is displayed by a mighty foe, like a Thanos beating down Hulk. This wasn’t that, and it’s all the better for it.

Also, maybe this is weird, but I actually find it really refreshing that there basically weren’t any fight scenes? A bit of sparring sure, but only a couple times and it was over right away. I don’t feel like I need big stochastic fights in every Marvel property and I appreciate that an entire episode went by without almost any of that.

I mean, Loki’s just never seemed like much of a fighter to me anyways. A dagger to the neck occasionally sure, but one-and-done. Not everyone needs to be John Wick, and I’m glad they’re confident enough in this ep. to not lean on it for excitement.

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Loki mostly made me feel existential dread to be honest. Incredibly distressing to have to think about the TVA, which I think may have been the point.

I’ll keep watching, but I don’t know. The acting was not up to the demands of the script, IMO. Part of this is, well, it’s Loki, but I didn’t buy any of the emotional beats he supposedly goes through.

It’s a tall order. They’re basically trying to move him through his entire arc from the end of Avengers 1 to his “what if actually I’m a good guy” moment in Thor: Ragnarok in the span of about 20 minutes. If they make it work I’m willing to overlook the fast-forwarding.

Honestly this is the main reason why I enjoyed it so much. I spend most of the quiet moments every day struggling with those big scary questions and I never feel like I have real answers. Definitely my kind of show