Last Thursday, the first episode of “Loki” season two aired on Disney+. Knowing how well the first season did made me even more excited and nervous for the next chapter of the show.
Loki’s first season kicked off the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) ambitious route for its next major storyline, the Multiverse Saga, while also trying to become a stand-alone series in its own right. In the finale of last season, fans were introduced to the next big villain of the franchise, Kang the Conqueror, through one of his variants, He Who Remains. The ending also set up movies that followed “Loki’s” release, like “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” to explore the concepts of the multiverse and different timelines.
You don’t have to be a Marvel Studios super-fan to know that the company has had some ups and downs in 2023.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” had a very divided audience reaction – in terms of likeability – and the film didn’t meet box office expectations. “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3” provided much-needed satisfaction with a very emotional storyline thanks to director James Gunn and his creative team.
That comfort would mostly be short-lived with “Secret Invasion’s” underwhelming performance. Not only did the most recent Disney + show miss the mark in many areas, but it’s currently ranked as one of the worst MCU projects ever, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
It seems obvious then that Marvel needs “Loki” to take the reins yet again, in order to bring reassurance to fans and critics.
After watching the premiere episode, I believe that Marvel is on the right track with this season.
I think a lot of the show’s success thus far has to be credited to the actors themselves. Tom Hiddleston’s return as Loki and Owen Wilson’s return as the fan-favorite Mobius was something I looked forward to the most.
In “Loki” season two, the chaotic tone finally lands for me, compared to “Secret Invasion.” It could be what’s on the line for both projects. In “Loki’s” case, a multiversal war is about to ensue, whereas “Secret Invasion” takes an espionage approach with humanoid aliens trying to take over governments. I think the villains in each show present different stakes that contribute differently to the engagement of both shows.
We know what Kang the Conqueror’s time manipulation and advanced technological abilities are, based on the comics, and I think that’s why I felt more attached to this story.
With “Secret Invasion,” it wasn’t intense watching newer characters. We were in the process of learning Skrull leader Gravik’s motives and powers while he faced off against an elderly Nick Fury. Going into the second season of “Loki” especially, we understand the kind of threat the heroes are dealing with, while “Secret Invasion” poorly sets up the potential its antagonists had.
Unlike its predecessor, the decisions in the storytelling of “Loki” season two are the right ones. I can guess that it’s because it has a much heavier influence on characters and projects that will be featured down the line.
So far, the show is doing a really nice job of utilizing imagery and effects. We all know that there have been issues with special effects in MCU’s movies and shows in the past. It brought up the quantity versus quality issue, which Marvel has been flamed for, with the company overworking its artists and giving them extremely tight deadlines to complete work.
With the number of projects the company has taken on since “Avengers: Endgame,” it’s not a surprise to me that an issue like this would come up. Phases five and six though have reportedly been reslated in a way that allows them to focus more on the quality of their movies and shows versus releasing underachieving projects.
I was nervous to see that problem arise and potentially ruin a show that’s already proven to be good since it didn’t receive backlash about its visual quality when it first came out. Thus far, nobody – including myself – has seemed to find flaws.
The first episode teases what’s to come.
Sylvie, portrayed by Sophia Di Martino, only appeared on the screen for a few minutes. But by the end of the opening episode, we find that she’s the key to what could happen this season. Loki and Mobius realize they must find her – followed by an army of TVA soldiers planning to do the same thing.
While He Who Remains didn’t make a physical appearance in the first episode, fans know that Kang variants are the biggest threat.
Overall, the first episode of Loki’s second season does its job in all aspects of producing a good quality show with the characters, cinematography and tone. This provided a comfortable and less nerve-racking experience moving forward for not just me, but a lot of viewers.
The crazy thing is that literally anything can happen moving forward. For all we know, we can be introduced to a few X-Men characters, more versions of Kang or new villains.
The only guarantee is that chaos will continue to erupt throughout all of the timelines.