by Paul Deeter
It's April 5th and we're luckily just shy of April Fool's Day. If a Marvel announcement was set for some sort of prank, oh boy, there might have been a nerd reckoning. So this morning, through a shared link from my brother, I was lucky to catch the newest Marvel Studios' project trailer, for Loki. This series, which was announced back in November 2018, has had its fair share of rumors and murmurs through the grapevine but what the studio had left us with for over two years was a title, with a particularly clever font. While some fans of the MCU on the Internet took to making memes about the play on font-type with the series title, others took it to mind to question whether or not it was a clue as to the mixed bag of surprises we might expect from this series. After all, we are watching a full show with our favorite Marvel trickster, who in this newly dropped trailer jokingly questions why nobody can seem to trust him. And it's through his tricks that worked the character's way into our heart, after a bumpy start in 2011's Thor as the jaded brother to our lead's heroic arc, we get him a solid role in 2012's The Avengers by Joss Whedon. While the film has gone on to some degree of disdain over time and is certainly outshadowed by almost every other Marvel project since, Loki gets a fair shake here at the villain role. He's got some major charisma which works his way into leading an army and almost ending the world. And because of his overall charm and wit, we somehow call back on him to be our sidekick time after time over the next 8 years of Marvel films. Literally a year after his attack on Thor and the gang, Thor asks for Loki's help in 2013's Thor: The Dark World (underrated in my opinion) and is responded to with this smarmy reply: "you must be truly desperate to come to me for help." And yeah, pretty much that's the case for a lot of movies to come.
Part of me would argue that the overall talent Loki's Tom Hiddleston brings to his role is part of why he keeps getting attention project after project from the MCU. Hiddleston was a mostly underknown UK actor until his casting in Thor and ever since has commercially and critically succeeded in roles inside and outside the MCU. It was only inevitable too, with the MCU's decision to work with Disney Plus+ on future series put out by the studio rather than sticking only to big budget movie theater releases, that a fan-favorite like Loki would get his chance back in the sun. Afterall his final line in Avengers: Infinity War was "I assure you brother, the sun will shine on us again." (I get chills still.) I should also note, after a brief discussion with my mother on the status of Loki, he was killed off just like Vision was in Thanos' bloody path to peace in the same film. However just like Vision is quoted saying something to the effect of having 'said goodbye to Wanda before, they may yet say hello again', what is dead is never truly dead in Marvel just as it was in Game of Thrones. So let's grab some popcorn, replay the Loki trailer for a 616th time and talk theories!
Why is Loki back, and how?
This may not come to as much surprise to hardcore Marvel fans, but in Avengers: Infinity War we do see Loki dead by Thanos' hand in the introduction to the movie. (No more tricks). However, when the post-snap Avengers go on their time heist, they return to 2012 to retrieve the Tesseract which has the space stone inside of it. Their mission is less than successful though, at least in 2012 when they return to the arrest of Loki and retrieval of the stone near the end of the original movie. Some goofiness ensues including the greatest scene of all time in cinematic history: when Captain America fights Captain America. However, due to a slip of the hand, 2012's Loki manages to get a hold of the Tesseract, and create a wormhole to escape New York. It's here that we can assume 2012 Loki becomes the existing Loki, as it's put in the Marvel Cinematic Fandom Wiki:
Loki took the Tesseract and used it to open a portal and escape his confinement. After Thor managed to reboot Stark's Arc Reactor, he turned his back to see that Loki was already gone. Teleporting away with the Space Stone, Loki created a branched reality in the alternate timeline.
Just like Cap goes back to enjoy life as Steve Rogers, Loki has control of his timeline again, but who's to say what he does with it.
2. Who is Mobius, and what is the Time Variance Authority?