The specter of Kang the Conqueror, aka He Who Stays (Jonathan Majors), looms giant over the Loki Season 2 premiere. Though he’s by no means bodily seen all through the episode, statues of him are repeatedly featured and an audio recording of a dialog between him and Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Uncooked) is briefly performed. In a single chilling scene, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) even reveals that He Who Stays’ creation of the Time Variance Authority was purposefully lined up with photographs of the secretly pretend Time-Keepers.
Mix all of those moments with the glimpses of Victor Well timed, considered one of Kang’s many variants, featured all through the early Loki Season 2 trailers, and it appears protected to say that Majors’ Marvel Cinematic Universe villain goes to play a significant position within the Disney+ sequence’ latest episodes. As inevitable as that final result appears, although, it’s price noting that Loki Season 2 would probably be higher off with out Kang the Conqueror. Certainly, if the Loki Season 1 finale proved something, it’s that the Disney+ sequence’ weakest component may simply be the MCU itself.
When it aired for the primary time in July 2021, the Loki Season 1 finale felt like an unexpectedly large MCU occasion. The episode’s introduction of He Who Stays and foreshadowing of Kang the Conqueror’s violent quest for multiversal domination appeared to sign the fast begin of the MCU’s new, Infinity Saga-level arc. Over two years later, nonetheless, the influence of Loki’s Season 1 finale has been significantly diminished by the truth that the occasions of it haven’t actually had a lot of a tangible impact on the MCU at giant.
Marvel has merely didn’t justify or comply with by means of on the dread-inducing urgency of the Loki Season 1 finale’s closing moments. Consequently, whereas many nonetheless agree that Loki Season 1 is the very best Disney+ title that Marvel has launched, its fame has taken a slight hit within the two years because it concluded. Now, due to the more and more rocky franchise storytelling of the MCU, it looks like Loki Season 2 is already in peril of struggling an identical destiny. That’d be an unlucky final result, too, as a result of Loki doesn’t really want Kang or the Multiverse Saga to achieve success. Quite the opposite, Loki stays one of the vital purely gratifying titles that Marvel has launched over the previous 5 years.
The sequence options one of many MCU’s strongest ensemble casts and a setting that’s as intriguing and seemingly limitless as it’s aesthetically pleasing and distinctive. The present might very effectively maintain itself solely on each the charisma of its lead stars — particularly Owen Wilson, Tom Hiddleston, and Ke Huy Quan — and its enjoyable, wacky time-travel adventures. With its propulsive, time-slipping plot and quite a few, genuinely humorous moments between O.B. (Quan), Mobius (Wilson), and Hiddleston’s God of Mischief, the Loki Season 2 premiere proves that.
Its Season 1 finale has compelled Loki to proceed exploring the influence of a number of main moments, nevertheless it’d be within the present’s greatest curiosity to maintain its deal with Victor Well timed, Kang, and He Who Stays as restricted as doable. The sequence boasts one of many strongest foundations of any Disney+ title of latest reminiscence, however the extra that Loki tries to make itself look like a narratively integral addition to the MCU, the extra it hinges its success on the franchise’s precise interconnected storytelling. A couple of years in the past, which may not have been a lot of a danger, however it’s now.
Not like a whole lot of different MCU titles, Loki doesn’t want any better narrative significance to look worthwhile, both. The sequence is so genuinely participating and enjoyable that it could possibly perform as a standalone time-travel journey present if it desires. In reality, it appears protected to say that Loki Season 2 might be higher off if it tries to be simply that — and nothing extra.