Marvel’s upcoming Loki series on Disney+ can take the villain-turned-antihero and make him a real hero, using the Agent of Asgard comics series as a model. Disney recently held its end-of-year Investor Day webcast and dropped a number of new announcements and first-look footage for upcoming Disney+ series. In the massive news drop was the first trailer for Loki, and from all indications, it looks as though things are about to get extremely interesting for the God of Mischief.

The series’ timeline is one in which Loki never experienced the loss of his mother, Frigga, in Thor: The Dark World or his father, Odin, and entire home in Thor: Ragnarok. It will feature the 2012, Avengers-era Loki who hasn’t yet started on his redemption arc; he’s the still mad-as-a-hatter version of the character under the influence of the Mind Stone. It’s led a number of fans to fear the series will undo all the work Loki did to redeem himself over the last few movies and undermine the ultimate sacrifice of his life given in an attempt to save his brother and remaining people. The concern is understandable. It’s in Loki’s very nature to be a manipulative wild card.

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However, Loki has the opportunity to show it’s in the demigod’s nature to be a hero, too. This timeline’s Loki steals the Tesseract and escapes S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, only to wind up in the custody of the Time Variance Authority, or TVA. The interdimensional watchdog agency exists to patrol the boundaries between alternate realities and keep order. A chaos monster like Loki with a magic cube that allows him to bend space and bounce between dimensions is quite literally their worst nightmare. Yet, it’s Loki getting arrested by the TVA that may very well offer him the chance for redemption. That’s because it appears as though Loki will be Marvel Studios’ live-action loose adaptation of the Loki: Agent of Asgard series.

The Agent of Asgard series takes place after Loki died and was reincarnated. It depicts him searching for a way to redeem himself. In order to wipe clean his slate of all his past sins, Loki becomes an agent for the All-Mother, traveling from Asgard to Midgard on various missions. With each successful adventure, one sin is erased from the afterlife’s record book. With Loki being taken into custody and a deal being brokered, it appears the TVA will take the place of the All-Mother in the TV series, with Loki carrying out crucial missions for them, instead. Even if it’s more of a forced sentence of penitence rather than the one he embarks upon willingly in the comics, it doesn’t mean it won’t lead to redemption at the end. It’s clear from the recently released trailer Loki is on some larger mission, and if it’s work for the TVA, then it’s a job for the greater good – even if he makes a little mischief along the way.

Why Would The Time Variance Authority Work With Loki?

Still, it’s somewhat strange an organization like the TVA would trust a trickster like Loki to work for them. Even without the Tesseract, Loki still has magic powerful enough to escape their custody. The TVA will have to be facing a monumental challenge to give Loki the interdimensional equivalent of a plea deal. Similarly, Loki will need something major to agree to the deal. The key may very well be in two moments in the trailer. They both hearken back to storylines from Agent of Asgard that built to Loki’s redemption arc: the shot of Loki as he turns away from the Avengers footage and the mysterious hooded figure.

In the scene in which Loki’s actions during the Battle of New York are played back to him, Loki turns away from the screen. The look on his face at that moment isn’t that of a man annoyed he’d been beaten by the Avengers, but of shame. It mimics the events of Agent of Asgard, in which a younger, more chastened Loki is ashamed of the actions of a past version of himself. He wants to wipe the memory of that past self from the minds of everyone – except he finds wiping his past clean isn’t as easy as he thought.

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Who Is The Hooded Figure In The Loki Trailer?

That’s where the hooded figure comes in. Marvel doesn’t spotlight characters in their trailers if they’re not important, and when they obfuscate a character’s face or identity, it’s usually because they know fans familiar with the comics will figure out a good chunk of the story if that character is revealed. That means the hooded figure is probably someone fans would immediately recognize. It’s likely an individual on Loki’s long list of enemies.

For a long time, Marvel’s M.O. was to use doppelgänger villains: baddies that were mirror images of the heroes they faced. While Marvel moved away from the practice toward the end of Phase 2 and into Phase 3 as it was growing redundant, bringing it back for Loki in particular would make a lot of sense, especially if the series is borrowing from Agent of Asgard. In the comic books, the younger version of Loki who is working to redeem himself and forge his own path learns an older, more malevolent version of himself has been continually messing with events in order to ensure the younger Loki becomes an evil villain rather than a redeemed hero.

It would be both fitting and right if the hooded figure in the trailer were none other than an alternate, evil version of Loki himself. It’s worth noting fans have speculated for months that Richard E. Grant’s mystery character is “Old Loki,”, a.k.a. King Loki, exactly like the Agent of Asgard comics. There’s virtually no one better for the TVA to enlist to fight older Loki than Loki himself. As Bruce Banner once said of Loki, his mind is like a bag of cats. There’s no one better to predict what he might do next than himself. If it is indeed an alternate version of Loki wrecking things, “our” Loki may very well want to stop him in order to rehabilitate his image after the events of the Battle of New York. He’s also arrogant enough to want to wipe out someone he’d likely see as an elderly impostor ruining his good name, even if that impostor is actually himself.

Loki Could Be A Hero In The Disney+ Series

That dynamic would also create layered character development for Loki, who has long been one of the most interesting figures in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, but one little explored, a morally gray character who serves as the Magneto of the Thor franchise. In Agent of Asgard, Loki literally fights himself in a way that symbolizes his greatest enemy will always be within. It’s hopeful and heartbreaking to see Loki trying so hard to be good but continually undermined again and again by his own hand. It’s simply his nature, one that has been shown repeatedly in the comics. He’s desperate to be a good man but is pulled to the dark. He decides to give in to his “evil” nature only to be moved to heroism. The lesson he ultimately learns is that people are their natures, demigods maybe more than anyone else, but individuals are also who they choose to be.

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There’s a golden opportunity here for Loki to finally choose to be a hero. He could set aside his identity as a disgraced son who does what’s right because he’s seeking revenge for his mother. He could even stop being an antihero who screws up his courage at the last moment to join the fight with his brother and their people. Instead, he could be a true hero: a man who starts out being put over a barrel by the Time Variance Authority, but eventually grows into a person who makes the conscious choice to do what’s right. That’s really what being a hero is, and with Loki, the God of Mischief has a chance to be exactly that.

Key Release Dates
  • Black Widow (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
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