Loki: the real start of Phase Four of the MCU

Loki: the real start of Phase Four of the MCU


And the multiverse came. It could not have ended differently Loki, the Disney + series starring the God of Deception played by Tom Hiddleston in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has become our privileged point of view within the creation of the Marvelian multiverse in cinema. That this theme was central within Phase Four of the MCU is certainly not a surprise, considering what we saw in WandaVision and given the anticipations already emerged on Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, a tasty anticipation that made Loki central to the inside of the new narrative dynamic of the MCU. Without detracting from the two previous series, in fact, it is with Loki that the foundations of the narrative framework of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are laid, which since its presentation had been presented to us as 'cosmic'.

Speaking of cosmic, at Marvel, it opens up to scenarios often known mainly to voracious comics readers, but which now, thanks to the high-budget productions to which ten years of MCU have accustomed us, can finally become scenarios accessible to a wider audience of spectators. A change of pace from the more earthly adventures of the Avengers, who after their epic ending in Avengers: Endgame have left the task of keeping their myth alive to new heroes. A mission to be accomplished with a new collective consciousness, passed from the Battle of New York seen in Avengers to the understanding of how there are dangers in space that are just waiting to hit us, that anxiety that had prompted Stark and Banner to realize the Ultron project, has now become the new driving force of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a renewal that needed a turning point. performed very well by Loki.

WARNING: the following contains spoilers about the first season of Loki

Loki: infinite dimensions, in infinite combinations

A courageous undertaking, worthy of the grandiose purposes of which the God of Deception has been raving since his first appearance. The multiverse was not born with Loki, of course, it had already been introduced in the MCU, just think of the dialogue between Banner and the Ancient in Endgame, but what was missing was the realization of this concept, making it from hypothesis to cornerstone of the new narrative course of the saga. We therefore needed 'something' that was full embodiment of it, especially on an emotional level. On the other hand, speaking of the multiverse it is difficult to go beyond philosophical aspects, which in Loki are perfectly embodied by the Asgardian played by Tom Hiddleston. The choice to offer us a 'variant' Loki, different from the one known over the last few years, is a perfect key to understanding what awaits us.

Few phrases like the one stolen from good Spock can explain, on narrative level, the potential of a multiverse. Loki is the proof of this, the portrait of a complex character unable to find his own nature, always tugged by conflicting emotions. This is Loki, a villain who slowly seeks redemption, but who now, in the Disney + series, is radically changed thanks to a question: what version of yourself do you want to be? Question implied since the first episodes of Loki, thanks to the choice of putting this variant of the Asgardian in front of what should have been his future, showing him pains and failures that become a sort of moral catharsis that leads him to finally choose who he wants. to be. If philosophically this growth is exciting, it must be recognized that its legitimacy rests precisely on the concept of multiverse understood as infinite possibilities, an opportunity for great freedom but also for chaos.

And now, chaos …

And it is precisely on freedom and chaos that Loki is founded, an ideological contrast that is slowly enriched and enhanced, through a first-rate cast that sees impeccable interpreters in Hiddleston, Sofia di Martino and Owen Wilson. Their characterization of the characters, in fact, never disappoints, it is always the perfect mirror of their emotions and their frustrations, helping to consolidate the change that is taking place in the MCU. Michael Waldron has shown that he has a precise vision of what is necessary in this fundamental junction of the MCU, taking risks to convey to viewers a first taste of the madness that awaits us in the next chapters of the Marvel saga at the cinema.

( LR): Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sophia Di Martino in Marvel Studios' LOKI, exclusively on Disney +. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. While it is true that WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier were our first, timid steps into the new phase of the MCU, it is equally undeniable that it is Loki who is the true watershed between past and future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is where everything changes. Wanda and Sam were the protagonists of two productions focused mainly on the present, on an evolution of two characters told through a narrative that can also be enjoyed as a stand alone, inserted in the saga's contintuity but without upsetting it. Loki, on the other hand, revolutionizes everything, plays on the concept of linear time and uniqueness of existence with the same confidence with which in comics we have seen Busiek, Simonson and Lein delight, names that especially for the last episode of this first season should be paid as the proponents of this step change of the MCU.

A Multiverse of Possibilities

It is thanks to them in fact that today we have the TVA, He Who Remains or Immortus, it is their intuitions and their ability to make this incredibly complex temporal multiverse one of the major draws of the Marvel Universe. Attractive but often convoluted, full of parallel events of cosmic significance and a bringer of confusion that is now preparing to put MCU spectators to the test. Already in Loki, especially in For all times. Always, the first signs of this complexity are noticed, adding to some unclear aspects of the horizontal plot of the series, not due to a deficient writing but a consequence of the type of story in which we are entering.

WandaVision and The Falcon & The Winter Soldier, for comparison, were very linear and standard in their definition, despite the metalinguistic experience attempted by the Scarlet Witch series. Loki, on the other hand, combines a visual spectacularity with a thematic richness, which not surprisingly makes it necessary to go beyond the concept of miniseries, giving fans a second season. It is a necessary step, motivated not only by the cliffhanger of the last episode, but by the need to tell the best of the Marvelian multiverse, making it credible and not a jumble of science fiction ideas.

Reason for which one has the feeling, in some places, that Loki's script is fragile, leaving something pending. On closer inspection, if we think in terms of a traditional series, made up of several seasons with a constantly evolving horizontal plot, Loki is the most complete of the three MCU productions made so far. He doesn't just enter continuity, he must revolutionize it, with a first season that lets more questions emerge than answers, introducing new characters, such as Mobius and Sylvie, and giving a face to the future villain, Kang, who promises to be the Thanos of the Phase Four. Needs that lead to give life to a more calm narrative rhythm, made up of emotional dialogues that transmit the inner changes of the protagonists, avoiding bombastic sermons and capable of giving us an exciting and funny 'explanation', thanks to the impeccable interpretation of Jonathan Mayor. br>
Definitely a different narrative identity compared to WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, but it is also true, net of personal tastes, that Loki has a different raison d'etre within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a mission that could only be entrusted to the Asgardian god and his eclectic personality. One often wonders, after the release of a Marvel movie, how the Avengers universe will change, but after having seen the first season of Loki this question becomes even more intriguing, because now, with a multiverse available, anything is possible. .

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