Given that cinema closures have pushed most of its content back, Marvel Studios has turned a lot of its attention to its television series on Disney+.
WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier were a hit with audiences and provided us some extra time with characters we wouldn’t normally get in the movies.
And Marvel’s plans for television aren’t slowing down.
The next Marvel TV show follows the God of Mischief, Loki, in his own solo series. Here’s what you need to know.
Hold up, didn’t Loki die?
The first thing that may confuse viewers about this new series is… didn’t we see Loki die? Correct. He did die. Multiple times in fact.
Loki’s first “death” occurred in Thor: The Dark World where he tricked his brother, Thor, into believing he had died from his wounds in battle. We later learn that he faked his death and was impersonating Odin as King of Asgard.
After another rollicking adventure in Thor: Ragnarok, Loki meets his fate in Avengers: Infinity War when Thanos snaps his neck. It seems the God of Mischief really meets his end this time. But then some time travel shenanigans come into play.
In Avengers: Endgame, the team goes back in time to the battle of New York (from the original Avengers movie). Here, Iron Man and Ant-Man screw up their capture of the tesseract which allows a handcuffed Loki to grab the infinity stone and disappear.
This is the Loki we’ll see in the TV show Loki. It’s confusing but we’ll basically be following a variant of Loki from a different timeline. One who hasn’t experienced his multiple other deaths and has just suffered defeat at the hands of the Avengers.
What is Marvel’s Loki about?
The timeline hopping stuff in Avengers: Endgame had a lot of confusing rules and regulations to follow, which is why Loki is here to explain it all.
To preserve the natural order of time across the multiverse in the MCU there is an organisation known as the Time Variance Authority.
This organisation picks up this variant of Loki after his escape from 2012 and recruits him to help repair the damage to the timeline. So, yeah, expect some more time travel shenanigans.
Tom Hiddleston will be returning to his iconic role as Loki, alongside Owen Wilson as Mobius, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer and other cast members including Richard E. Grant and Sophia Di Martino.
You can check out the trailer for the show below.
Is it any good?
The first reactions to Loki have appeared online ahead of its debut and things are looking good for the God of Mischief.
The series is currently rated Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes at 96% and some reviewers are calling this the best Marvel Disney+ series yet.
WOW! #LOKI may just be the BEST series of the #MCU so far. With a charismatic performance from Tom Hiddleston, remarkably clever writing, and stunning visual craftsmanship brought together by sharp direction, it results in Marvel’s most ambitious project yet! A MUST WATCH! pic.twitter.com/tcQsEYbKXJ
— Diego Andaluz (@thediegoandaluz) June 6, 2021
But perhaps the best part of #Loki is the hilariously bureaucratic and mundane way that time travel and the preservation of “The Sacred Timeline” is treated. It’s like MEN IN BLACK meets DOCTOR WHO, but with a 1960s MAD MEN aesthetic instead of a corporate future style.
— Ethan Anderton (@Ethan_Anderton) June 6, 2021
#Loki has hands down my favorite first TV episode for Marvel Studios yet.
Tom Hiddleston is just too good in the role, picking up 2012’s Loki instantly. He’s brilliant.
Early exposition comes with awesome details for MCU fans. I really like the start. Lots of potential here! pic.twitter.com/wY6HiYzGHC
— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) June 6, 2021
We at Lifehacker got a chance to catch the first two episodes of Loki and are pleased to report this is one glorious show.
It gives off very The Matrix meets The Good Place vibes and opens up a whole new world of possibilities within the MCU. It’s also very ingrained in Loki’s story so make sure you catch up on his MCU movies first.
This series makes you pleased that the time travel heist went wrong in Avengers: Endgame because it means we get to see more of Loki.
What do you need to watch before Loki?
This TV show is all about Loki so you should go back and familiarise yourself with all of the character’s appearances in the Marvel movies.
To date, these are all the Marvel movies we’ve seen Loki in:
- Thor: The Dark World
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Avengers: Endgame
If you want the complete Loki history, these are the films to see. However, there is an alternative viewing order.
Seeing as the Loki we’ll be following in this TV show hasn’t experienced any of the events past Avengers, you could stop your re-watch after Thor and Avengers and then move straight on to Avengers: Endgame, which shows you how this Loki variant came to be.
This way, you won’t be confused about the events that happened to some other Loki in some other timeline.
In preparation for the new series, Disney is also releasing two new episodes in its Marvel Studios: Legends series focusing on Loki and The Tesseract. So if you don’t have time to rewatch the movies at least give these short episodes a watch before Loki.
When and where can you watch Loki in Australia?
Given that Disney now wholly owns the MCU it should come as no surprise that Loki will be premiering exclusively on Disney+. This is also where you can find the Marvel movies mentioned above so at least all the content is together in one place.
Loki will kick off its first episode on June 9, 2021, and will air weekly on Wednesdays for the duration of its six episodes.
Episodes typically drop in Australia around 6 pm AEST/5:30 pm ACST/4 pm AWST and you can find them all over on Disney+.
This article has been updated with additional information.