Why Loki is still the MCU’s best villain
When the Marvel Cinematic Universe began, it was an experiment. Could a brand new studio replicate the interconnected feel of the comics in a live-action setting? Could this studio develop franchises that exist on their own but also populate and intersect with their other films? It seemed like a magical idea, but it worked, and the 2012s Marvel’s Avengers was the proof. Almost ten years have passed since that moment – the ultimate payoff of the biggest bet – one thing is clear: Loki, the devious trickster and god of mischief who ultimately forced Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to stand down. reunite, is still the best villain in the entire MCU.
During the first two phases of the burgeoning film franchise, many villains from each film were frequently fired. Articles and articles on Marvel Studios’ “villain problem” have been posted fairly regularly, but even then everyone agreed that Tom Hiddleston’s Loki left a mark like no one else. So what was the difference? What prompted him to work on screen when so many other batting attempts had resulted in a puff rather than a home run? Naturally, this is in large part due to Hiddleston’s portrayal of the character, exploiting every facet of his personality, but to that end, it has to be explained why Loki is so much more loved and even has this depth: Marvel Studios has allowed him to to see her.
Like so many superhero movies that came before them, many villains who appeared opposite the heroes were either killed after their one appearance or simply sidelined at the start of the MCU. Jeff Bridges’ Obadiah Stane exploded in the first Iron Man and Hugo Weaving’s red skull disappeared into the cosmos in Captain America: The First Avenger. The latter would return after being recast, and many more from Phase 1 have either reappeared or are expected to be back. But Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is different, since he debuted in 2011 Thor be the main antagonist of The Avengers, finally coming back for Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, and both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame where he acted as a foil, a friend, and even receiving dramatic death (twice).
With multiple appearances, Marvel Studios gave Hiddleston the ability to add layers and flesh out what made Loki thrill. He’s had the opportunity to play the hero more than once, to be a comedic relief, to make fun of his brother’s heroism, to be the butt of a joke, to make Loki feels alive. The god of mischief has become a character in his own right; someone who could appear anywhere, just like the version of the character who has become a Marvel Comics staple. By embracing the limitless potential of Loki’s being and the ways in which he could navigate the many storylines of the MCU on his own, Marvel Studios actually replicated the comic book formula perfectly and made one of their villains more popular. than some of their heroes.
Some might think that by that same notion, Josh Brolin’s Thanos could very well be the best villain, which is certainly true given the years of teasing his arrival before he finally directs. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. The Mad Titan had added depth in both Avengers movies, sure, but overall his character’s pathos was at the heart of those specific films, and in the end he was still mostly just “the bad guy.” Meanwhile, Loki transcended the antagonistic tag over the course of his many appearances, becoming a character beyond definition. Plus, unlike Thanos, Loki continues to have fun. In fact, her Disney + TV series is coming very soon, and apparently it’s slated to continue beyond one season.
Even on the film’s singular definition, there can be arguments made for villains who are better or even more empathetic than Loki in any guise, and they are probably right. Black Panther‘s Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan, remains a highlight for the MCU, as Jordan’s solid performance convinced many fans to his line of thinking despite being the “bad guy,” while Spider-Man: HomecomingAdrian Toomes, played by Michael Keaton, delivered the kind of enemy who felt real, dangerous and human to his hero, making it seem like the stakes were high in a subgenre lambasted for its predictability.
Overall though, and given that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is perhaps the greatest painting of all time in popular media, Loki is the best the MCU has brought to life. He reflects the base of comics by appearing regularly on several titles, always stays interesting thanks to always fresh material, and his popularity has surpassed countless other characters who have been the stars of their own films. All of this combined, Loki was given the opportunity to become three-dimensional and more than just “Thor’s little brother and sometimes the villain” by Marvel Studios, a company that has eclipsed the frequently published “villain problem” of their past. by investing time and care in a character. Imagine what Marvel villains could look like if they were all given the same level of material.
Loki debuted on Disney + from Wednesday June 9.
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