Tom Hiddleston as Loki standing with the team at the end of Loki season 2, episode 5.

In All the Doom and Gloom Talk About the MCU, We Can Find Hope in ‘Loki’

I am a rarity as a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whenever I don’t like something or I think it’s just fine, I can and do label it as “just fine.” I thought Secret Invasion as a whole was exactly that. I had such high hopes in the beginning, and my review reflected that.

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But I also can say “Alright, that wasn’t for me” and move on with my life. I don’t like Age of Ultron outside of the introduction of my girl Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), but I do not harp on it endlessly as some people do on social media. Everyone online is having big feelings about the current state of the MCU. And that’s okay! The landscape is changing, and Marvel is responding to superhero fatigue and a string of less-than-stellar offerings. As a result, the company is scaling back and reworking its release slate. Still, some people are really reveling in Marvel’s stumbles and feeding into negativity about movies that don’t deserve all the hate they get.

But while this year’s MCU offerings have been riding the struggle bus, one MCU series has blown us away and truly stuck the landing. I’m talking, of course, about season two of Loki. The show excelled not only in its exploration of the multiverse but also in its innate understanding of Loki Laufeyson as a character. Maybe that’s because Hiddleston proudly gave “Loki talks” where he did deep dives into the character he’s played for 14 years. Or maybe there is just a level of trust with the creatives who built the world of the series as its own unique thing. It gives me hope that the MCU can deliver more stories of this quality in the future if they give talented creatives control as we’ve seen in both Loki and WandaVision. Both series were more focused on standalone stories than feeding the larger plot mechanics of the MCU agenda.

Loki remains a bright spot

Loki wears a new crown of horns, surrounded by green strands of time.

Loki‘s two-season arc built to a beautiful and well-earned pay-off that both advances the plot while serving a satisfying character arc for the god of mischief. As much as it hurt to see Loki completely alone by the end, it really worked for me because it was the natural conclusion of his journey.

But more than just Loki’s journey, what works about the series as a whole is that it found a way to bring new and exciting characters into the MCU. Additions like Ouroboros (Ke Huy Quan), Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson), and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) kept viewers engaged and invested. Hopefully, we haven’t seen the last of them.

That, to me, is the mark of a good series. This second season has been a bright light in the MCU and hopefully, Marvel will take note and focus their efforts on more shows like Loki.

(featured image: Disney+)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.