“Puny god. “
It’s not just a bit of the iconic, oxymoronic Hulk language – it’s a shorthand for the most important moment in the fictional life of Loki Laufeyson. This line, from 2012 Avengers, is mumbled by Mark Ruffalo’s big green raging monster just seconds after unleashing one of superhero cinema’s most memorable shots, transforming the supremely arrogant god of Tom Hiddleston, who spent the film dominating his superiority over an entire planet, into a divine chew toy whose biggest impact on the universe is likely to be the bumps his bruised body leaves on the floors of Tony Stark’s penthouse. The accompanying reaction plan, which sees Hiddleston making full use of his large eyes and resilient face to convey a deep sense of “What just happened to me?” Not only cements the truth that Loki’s claims of master’s wickedness were just another self-imposed illusion: they also make it clear that there is so much cartoon character hidden in his DNA frost giant. Lying in a Loki-shaped hole, he’s not, and never could be, the big bad of anything. Instead, he’s the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s answer to pop culture’s pompous, prissy, and everlasting biggest loser of all time: Daffy Duck.
Don’t believe us? Watch Hiddleston’s body language in the first moments of his brand new Disney + show, who sees the renegade Asgardian pushed through an assembly line of trap doors and bureaucratic contraptions so ridiculous he might as well have been Raymond Scott’s “The Powerhouse” play below. Invaded on all sides by a universe of absurdity, Hiddleston lets his lips show through as a physical actor, with each attempt to reaffirm his dignity, whether with a haughty look or an accusing finger pointed at the sky, colliding with an even more warm against the powers that be. It’s the moment of the ‘puny god’ in miniature, and repeated endlessly – and a classic page from the ever-staged aquatic bird book by Mel Blanc, the master of asserting “I deserve respect. ! faced with a universe which never ceases to give it a definitive character, joyfully insensitive « Non. »
Part of the joy of Loki is to see Hiddleston leave that part of the character in the foreground, playing in the insecure goofball that peeks through all that arrogance, chuckles, and big pointy hats. It is a register in which he has already worked, notably in that of Taika Waititi. Thor: Ragnarok– but never with so much foolishness and sweat as when he was shoved into the hands of the Time Variance Authority, an organization which treats the alleged “god-king” with all the indifference with which he has so casually dismissed all of them. these pathetic earthlings. Hiddleston can turn the aristocratic blue blood on and off as if he had it on tap, and his chess cycle in ” Glorious goal”Is a minor master class to inflate a prodigious ego, only to deflate it like a whoopee pillow that crumbles every time he remembers how unimportant, it is in fact for the universe as a whole.
Owen Wilson’s Agent Mobius says the same, in the extended interview that forms the bulk of Lokifirst episode of. Apparently a scholar of everyone’s favorite adopted Asgardian, Mobius has precisely defined Loki’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: he’s the heel, the guy who loses “to make others better.” (The Daffy, to get back to the metaphor, to the various bugs of the Avengers.) It’s kind of a purgatory to be trapped in, one the god himself sees in time-lapse when left to look to the future on which he inadvertently dodged: Loss, loss, redemption… and then one more, terminal, loss, one last sacrifice to make sure his doofus brother has good motivation to fight when the Infinity war rolled. But there is also a kind of paradoxical power on the side of the perpetual loser, the one that Hiddleston, and Loki, seem eager to tap into. After all, who actually love Bugs Bunny ?
It’s not easy being an underdog in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a world where even brave poor Peter Parker is the handpicked offspring of the richest man on the planet. In other words, the only way to be a lovable loser is to lose, and that’s an edge that Loki has cornered the market for. (In fact survivor all his encounters with various superheroes probably help him; being an MCU villain is a good trick, as the old saying goes, but you can usually only do it once.) Loki has spent the past nine years as a punching bag for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, dusting himself off again and again regardless. Sure, he’s a jerk – and, as Mobius returns more than once, a killer – but most of all, that means it’s easier to see our own inner Daffys reflected through him. Combine that with his other big advantage – Hiddleston himself, who has spent the better part of a decade finding all of the silly, scary, sad and human aspects of the character he exhibits in “Glorious Purpose” – and you have what might be the biggest paradox of all: a world where Daffy Duck – or his puny, but godly equivalent – might actually clinch a victory.