I just finished watching the first season of Loki. I actually grew up with a subscription to Thor comics. The Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is obviously way different.
They had this character go through changes and growth over the series of films. Considering his first movie, the Avengers, he was happy with trying to get the earth enslaved and killing zillions of people in the process. But he had some comic moments in between some brutal moments. Probably if Hulk hadn’t smashed him up, that would have been the end of the character. So a CGI moment made that career.
But since the series deals with time, they jump around it a lot. The Loki that is in the show isn’t the one who grew and changed in the Thor/Avengers movies. Because they didn’t happen yet. This is the one who had JUST tried to enslave earth. Literally he was in handcuffs after his failed assault and he escaped to do this tv show. But yet he was way softer and growier than even the most touchy-feely last incarnation.
Which, I guess is fine.
My main issue with the show is how it works just like WandaVision. The kind of bad guy in this is The One Who Remains. Who is pretty much an alternate version of Kang the Conqueror. Who was pretty much the time travel baddie in Marvel. And while he started out as a basic time travel villain in comics (I’m one step ahead of you…) he morphed over the decades to be a really in-depth look at time paradoxes and such. The whole alternate realities and branching realities and infinity issues.
That’s stuff that creeps up in the edges of my writing. Especially with my work-in-progress.
But Kang isn’t the real bad guy. Just like WandaVision was fighting the witch Agnes Harkness, the real bad guy was Wanda. Wanda enslaved an entire city of regular folks. Agnes was at most an enabler. In Loki, the exact same thing happens. Slyvie, who is an alternate, female Loki, is the bad guy. And just like WandaVision, she’s portrayed as a good guy even when she’s heinously evil.
Of the many reasons I’ll always be single is because both those shows had a scene I absolutely despised but which must have gotten high focus group marks because they keep using it. There was a point in Loki, where the god of mischief, a mass murderer and narcissist, turns to Sylvie and explains it’s not about power, or a con, or saving the universe, or being good, it’s about “wanting the best for you,” my sweet love. Literally nothing matters except your happiness. Obliterating quadrillions of lives doesn’t matter next to my fake-blonde Sylvie.
And during that unbelievable scene, the woman in question says, essentially, “yes, nothing matters except me.”
The Sylvie character keeps trying to say Kang is bad because he’s controlling lives. She had a bad childhood because of him. And in return, she is willing to quite literally end of all reality. And we have seen her murder countless people like nothing. And she’s portrayed as a good guy.
There was a similar scene in the much-missed Marvel tv show, Legion. Where the guy is going, literally, nothing matters except you, my sweet love. Even though she conspired with the man who tortured him for decades. He wants to please her so much, oh, worthy female. And the woman says, no, you don’t matter. I’d rather work with the guy who tortured you, your innocent sister, and an entire country over centuries.
Like, holy hell. And like all the others, she’s a good guy for doing that.
I don’t know if this is #metoo or woke or what. But that’s three shows that are otherwise pretty solid, where a woman gets to be an unbelievably selfish planet/universe/multiverse destroyer and we’re supposed to think she’s the good guy because she’s pretty. Or something. I mean, the soft music is there, the camera angles, it’s really obvious when they want you to feel a certain way. And I’m like, wait a minute, this person is beyond sadistic.
Male Loki was bad. He was a bad person. But they made him go through some transformative processes, realistic or not. Female Loki was bad. She was a bad person. She stayed super bad and got far worse. She was dooming literally everyone in every universe because she…I mean, there wasn’t really a point. There is nothing that the Kang character did that she didn’t do vastly worse. He even pointed this out and they all look slightly ashamed. And then even knowing what was going on, she was like, “meh, don’t care.”
I mean, she murdered like four random people maybe 15 minutes earlier. And she was like, you were bad to me when I was a kid. Not personally. But your policies. And I’m so pissed about it, that I’ve relentlessly murdered otherwise decent people in my quest to murder you.
How is this supposed to be someone we look at and admire? Or look at and not want dead? Let alone have the main character prostrate himself and say she’s the most important thing ever never bever.
The combination of male Loki going, nothing matters except the love I feel for the female version of me, and the female version going, nothing matters at all except me being bent, really left a bad taste in my mouth.