Making Mischief

Loki theory fixes the most annoying thing about WandaVision

Tom Hiddleston says there’s a lot of glean from the logo of Loki.

Marvel Enterprises/Kobal/Shutterstock

Before Skrulls started their secret invasion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki was the original shape-shifter. Now, a new interview with Tom Hiddleston teases that the Disney+ series Loki will make more use out of its title character’s changing appearances — and you only need to look at the movie’s logo to see it happening.

What Happened? — In the upcoming June 2021 issue of Empire, Hiddleston dished on the meaning of the show’s chaotic logo, one that almost looks like a ransom letter. Hiddleston said the logo “seems to refresh and restore,” which is intentional.

“The font of how Loki is spelled out seems to keep changing shape,” Hiddleston said. “Loki is the quintessential shapeshifter. His mercurial nature is that you don’t know whether, across the MCU, he’s a hero or a villain or an anti-hero. You don’t know whether you can trust him. He literally and physically changes shape into an Asgardian guard, or into Captain America repeatedly. Thor talks about how he could change into a snake.”

Hiddleston says that Loki’s powers are what defines his series, Loki on Disney+, debuting June 11.

“I think that shapeshifting logo might give you an idea that Loki, the show, is about identity, and about integrating the disparate fragments of the many selves that he can be, and perhaps the many selves that we are,” he said. “I thought it was very exciting because I’ve always found Loki a very complex construct. Who is this character who can wear so many masks, and changes shape, and seems to change his external feeling on a sixpence?”

Tom Hiddleston will return as Loki in Loki on Disney+. But what else will Loki look like?Marvel Studios

What’s in a Logo? — Ever since Marvel released the logo of Loki, fans on Reddit have gone deep into figuring out the sources for the different fonts that make up the logo. Fans have discovered the fonts come from a few specific Marvel films like The Incredible Hulk (2008), Thor: Ragnarok, (2017), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), and even Iron Man (2008).

Even before the trailers for Loki, fans already guessed the series would have some kind of zig-zagging setting that would find Loki displaced across time and space (and possibly showing up in different Marvel movies, Avengers: Endgame style). But Hiddleston’s Empire interview points more to the logo illustrating how Loki sees himself, rather than when and where Loki physically appears.

It’s an introspective interpretation, but it still teases something fun about Loki that will give it an edge over WandaVision and the still-airing The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Cameos, baby!

WandaLoki There is healthy speculation, dating back a year ago, that Loki will have different kinds of Loki. Kid Loki, Old Loki, Lady Loki — the multiverse is replete with Loki. But Hiddleston’s specific mention of the times Loki used his powers to imitate familiar faces (like Captain America, in the best scene in all of 2013’s Thor: The Dark World) is compelling for Loki.

Hiddleston isn’t saying it in these exact terms, but it’s more than likely Loki will have a few surprise cameos based on how Loki can easily change his appearance on a whim.

While cameos don’t make a show great, it is a crucial part of the fun of a Marvel show. And thus far, in the cameo department, the Disney+ shows have fallen short. True, Evan Peters appearing in WandaVision was a mind-melting moment. But as fans slowly discovered in the narrative of the series, Peters wasn’t actually Pietro but a nobody named “Ralph Bohner” (who was playing Pietro, as the semi-meta nature of WandaVision goes). This is also the same show where Paul Bettany teased a major cameo, only for everyone to learn Bettany was talking about himself.

So with WandaVision having come and gone without a blockbuster cameo that meets fans’ expectations, it’s possible that Loki — a show that will deal with Loki’s ever-changing sense of identity — will have at least one huge surprise fans don’t already know is in the pipe.

What do the different fonts of Loki hint about the new Disney+ series?Marvel Studios

The Inverse Analysis — The quality of a TV show is not judged by how it pleases existing fans with surprises like big cameos. But with standards set by shows like The Mandalorian and even WandaVision, you can’t blame fans for setting such expectations for themselves. Loki at least seems to promise something big happening in that spirit, even just for fun. And if it doesn’t, well, you can’t blame Loki for being mischievous and clever. That’s just Loki being Loki.

Loki will begin streaming on Disney+ on June 11.