The Inverse Review

4 reasons Loki is Marvel’s best Disney+ show so far

After two efforts with mixed results, Loki appears to be Marvel’s first truly great Disney+ streaming series.

Rejoice, feeble humans. Loki is finally here!

The Marvel series about everyone’s favorite God of Mischief premieres June 9 on Disney+, and here at Inverse, we were lucky enough to see the first two episodes early.

That’s not quite enough to write an actual review, but we still have plenty of opinions about Loki to share. So here are four early reactions to Marvel’s new show from the Inverse TV and Movies team.

4. Loki is The Mandalorian for Marvel fans

The Mandalorian.Lucasfilm

Loki somehow succeeds at being the most approachable Marvel product in years. By immersing itself in the tangled timelines and events of previous MCU installments, the series smartly subsumes all that canon and turns into a springboard to tell more interesting stories.

The scope feels bigger than your average Marvel epic, but the character stakes feel more intimate. For the bloated, self-referential MCU brand, Loki is doing what The Mandalorian did for Star Wars — the diehard fans will be happy, but the show already feels more timeless because you’re hardly thinking about Easter eggs or connections to other Marvel junk. A brave, bold, and chaotic new path for the MCU, Loki is like the soft Marvel reboot we didn’t know we desperately needed. — Ryan Britt

3. Loki does something Marvel hasn’t done since Captain America 2

Captain America: The Winter Soldier.Marvel

For starters, I’ll just echo what everyone else is saying: Owen Wilson and Tom Hiddleston are incredible together. With that out of the way, what stands out the most about Loki is how aggressively it deconstructs Loki as a character.

WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier gave us a chance to finally get to know characters who previously existed only on the sidelines. Loki, on the other hand, is taking a character we already know a lot about and challenging the things that define him.

It reminds me a bit of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That film took everything Steve Rogers built his identity around (Peggy Carter, his unerring duty to his country) away from him and forced him to change and emotionally grow. What happens when you take Loki’s delusions of grandeur away from him? When you render all his tricks ineffective and turn his conception of power upside down? We’re about to find out. — Alex Welch

2. Loki fixes Marvel’s biggest Phase 4 problem

Loki.Marvel

Marvel’s two previous shows have both felt like three-hour movies stretched into six-hour miniseries. WandaVision was a fun mystery box concept that took way too long to unravel, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was a B-tier action movie with some interesting political ideas and way too much buildup to a mediocre finale. But with Loki, Marvel finally finds its streaming series sweet spot.

The plot of Loki is, in a word, fast. The first episode is an entertaining exposition dump that sets up enough loose threads for an entire phase of Marvel movies, and Episode 2 ends on a cliffhanger that most shows would save for their season finale.

If those first two episodes are any indication, Loki may finally solve Marvel’s streaming problem by creating a show that actually feels like a show. The fact that it's also a joy to watch is just an added bonus. — Jake Kleinman

1. Loki is Marvel’s best buddy comedy ever

Owen Wilson and Tom Hiddleston in Loki.Marvel

Loki completely sheds any semblance of genre in the first few minutes. It’s a time travel show and a sci-fi show, but there are elements of crime thrillers, whodunits, and even clip shows. Where the show shines, however, is in the dialogue. As a longtime fan of head writer Michael Waldron’s ability to write banter, I wasn’t surprised to see Owen Wilson and Tom Hiddleston turn a TVA office into a Waiting for Godot-like two-hander, bouncing off one another with no need for showy action or special effects.

It’s no wonder why Waldron likened the “love story” in Loki to the cat-and-mouse dynamic of Catch Me if you Can. Mobius and Loki both have their own agenda, but there’s begrudging respect between the two. It’s almost a friendship. Of course, it’s a friendship predicated on Loki being in Mobius’ custody, but it’s got buddy comedy vibes even still. — Dais Johnston

Loki premieres June 9 on Disney+.