New Marvel Series Streams on Disney Plus / Gracie Lee

 A new television series from the Marvel universe aired on Disney Plus’s ‘silver screen’ this summer. Season one of Loki featured six episodes and was released on June 9, 2021. Its credits include director and executive producer Kate Herron, producer and president of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige, and head writer Michael Waldron. The cast stars familiar faces, like Tom Hiddleston, and newcomers Owen Wilson as Mobius, Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer. 

Loki is not Marvel’s first attempt at a television series. WandaVision, nine episodes, has had a place on Disney’s popular streaming service since it aired on Jan. 15, 2021. It starred Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, who reprised their roles as Scarlet Witch and Vision. It won an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain, MTV Movie Award for Best Fight, and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series. Matt Shakman directed, with Jac Schaeffer leading the writing team.

Loki’s plot centered on the protagonist’s adventures after he stole the Tesseract and escaped from the Avengers in Avengers: Endgame (2019). The Time Variance Authority (TVA) is an organization dedicated to keeping everyone and everything on their sacred timeline. They caught Loki after his transportation to an otherworldly desert, and he spent the remainder of the season as “the variant.” The TVA gave him the difficult choice of helping them fix the timeline or facing deletion from existence. 

            In comparison to Marvel’s past productions, the CGI and costumes matched fans’ high standards. “I just love Loki from an aesthetic point of view,” Olivia Dosda, a sophomore, gushed. “The color palette and the costume design and the set design is all so amazing.” Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson’s on-screen compatibility did not disappoint–thanks in part to their acting chops and a script brimming with clever quips and inspirational pep talks. Due to the nature of the narrative’s time travel, this version of Loki is similar to what fans saw back in 2012. He is feisty and contains some ulterior motives–but does not lack character development. “Tom Hiddleston’s acting is enjoyable, and the effects are even better than WandaVision’s. The show’s finale is much more satisfying than WandaVision’s as well, and I loved the way the multiverse was tied in,” Mary Margaret Freeman, a sophomore English major at MC, said.            

           WandaVision’s episodes emulated those of mid-20th century classics, like I Love Lucy and Leave It to Beaver. The pair live an idyllic life as a couple in their quaint ’50s neighborhood, but sense deep down that something is not quite right with their perfect world. As a result, the costumes and sets are a far cry from Wanda’s scarlet cloak and Vision’s robotic gizmos. However, loyal audiences recognized Wanda’s magic powers and familiar red hair.

           The release of both series brought both anticipation and apprehension to viewers.

“Of the three recently released Marvel TV shows, Loki ranks the highest in my list. The episodes were well-paced and well-written, and the concept was charmingly original,” Freeman said.                                                    

           Others had more mixed emotions. “[It] might be an unpopular opinion, but I think the way Disney/Marvel is using all their old characters is getting a little old and kinda like a ‘money-grab,’” Austin Frisbie, a junior, said. “They’re just going by a formula for their movies and the shows.”               Marvel kept the details of Loki’s storyline under wraps for as long as possible until it aired. The release dates for season two of Loki are no different, but Marvel creators have affirmed tentative plans for its reprisal in 2022. “This new set-up for phase four of the MCU is exciting, and this show was a perfect lead-up to the new films,” Freeman said.

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