Category: MARVEL

Loki Episode 6 – For All Time. Always

In his return to MARVEL blogging, Gavriel takes a deep dive into the season finale of Disney + series Loki. As if pointing out loads of hidden details wasn’t enough, Gavriel also speculates about what this might mean for the future of the MCU.

18th July 2021

By Gavriel

It’s Been A Long, Long Time

The episode begins with the song “It’s Been A Long, Long Time”, first played in Captain America: The Winter Soldier but more memorably when Cap dances with Peggy at the end of Endgame, possibly creating at that moment a new timeline.

Loki

Iconic Sounds

As the MARVEL title animation comes into focus we hear famous lines from each character as they begin to appear. But as the camera pans out and shows the Sacred Timeline in its entirety circling the “time citadel” the sounds merge and become a cacophony. Perhaps this represents the simultaneous occurrences of all these events and time as a whole from the perspective of the one who remains. From Spider Man’s web shooter to Peter Quill’s dance-off and “the friend from work” line, the sequence pays homage to the entirety of the MCU. Fun fact: a make-a-wish kid visiting the set of Ragnarok came up with that line, which is arguably one of the more iconic lines from the MCU.

Expanding the Loki “verse”

The voices then transition away from MCU lines to the words of notable people. Philosopher Alan Watts begins: “We think of time as a one-way motion from the past through the present and on into the future.” Watts argued that time wasn’t the past affecting the future but an imaginary concept we perceive from the present. Niel Armstrong’s first steps from the moon are recorded as a mysterious ship flies by, and then Greta gets a word.

Malala is also heard followed by Mandela as Tchaikovsky’s music from Swan Lake is heard. Putting on my English Literature student cap, this might represent the battle between light and dark. In a sense, this is like this variant of Kang’s battle with other, worse variants.

Beethoven’s Für Elise is then heard as we see two adjacent black holes. We zoom into the next black hole as we hear “GLORIOUS PURPOSE” screamed by the older, variant Loki.

Ravonna

In her initial conversation with Miss Minutes, Ravonna seems to have no clue who “he” (He Who Remains) is. However, when she has her chat with Mobius she seems far more agitated. She is certain that “he” is the only one with free will and she is determined to find him, disappearing off perhaps to find a variant of Kang.

Ravonna came from FDR high school, where she was the principal “Rebecca Tourminet”, an alias she uses in the comics. She is Kang’s love interest in the comics, and her search for free will might lead to her entanglement with Kang at some point down the line.

Kang/He Who Remains Explained

Kang the Conqueror was a scientist who discovered alternate universes and made contact with other versions of Kang. They were all narcissists and started fighting with each other, naturally. This version, “He Who Remains”, won their war, and he uses the TVA to keep his throne secure. When he is no longer able to control the timeline, the other Kang’s start fighting again.

“He Who Remains” is a variant of Kang the Conqueror. Jonathan Majors has been cast as Kang for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and his character in episode 6 was dressed like Immortus (another variant of Kang). He refers to himself as a “Conqueror”, and the light initially casts his face in blue which makes him look like his comic-book costume.

He snaps at Sylvie, calling her a murder and a hypocrite, similar to Kaecilius calling the Ancient One a hypocrite in Doctor Strange. The breaking of the timeline is depicted similarly to lightning, which is also seen in Doctor Strange when the Ancient One slows down time as she dies. At this point, neither He Who Remains nor the Ancient One can see beyond this point. When Loki returns to the TVA it has already changed.

That Was Loki Very Deceitful

When Sylvie stabs He Who Remains he winks and says “see you soon”. This scene is executed chillingly. She truly had no free will in their battle. Kang well and truly was in control the whole time, and in spite of his inability to see the future he set up a scenario in which he, and only he, could win.

Kang’s offer to promote Sylvie and Loki is backhanded. Their affection for one another (albeit somewhat inappropriate) makes them Nexus beings with immense powers when together. Kang probably realises this and thus drives a wedge between them the entire episode masked by his candid attitude. Now Kang can return in an even more dangerous form.

Loki and Sylvie

Despite their odd relationship, it is strange to see them fight. Their fight is undoubtedly a callback to Loki a few episodes back when he calls love a ‘dagger’. Up close you can see yourself in it and it is beautiful (Loki and Sylvie kiss). But, when you reach for it you bleed (Sylvie pushes Loki through a time-door).

Classic Loki’s wisdom reigns supreme. Blades are worthless against a Loki’s magic. However, Loki learned the key lesson Sylvie laid out for him at the beginning of the series – it truly isn’t all about Loki. Hopefully, we can see more of the duo in season 2 of the series. It will probably come out just before the next Ant-Man and the Wasp in early 2023.

Multiverse

Loki’s return to the TVA shows on the monitor many branches overlapping, and in our cosmic view of the multiverse, many sections are red. Perhaps this is an explanation for Scarlet Witch hearing her children calling out in the post-credit scene of Wandavision? Perhaps this will also explain how Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx will appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home. We should get a trailer for that soon.

Mobius and B15 don’t know who Loki is and the timekeeper statues are replaced by a statue of Kang the Conqueror. Its true creator (Kang) is now for all time, always. Well, at least until he is inevitably dethroned in a possible Fantastic 4 movie, or any other movie really. It does seem as if Kang has the potential to be the next big bad of MARVEL.

If you have any questions or theories feel free to email us at decablogs10@gmail.com and I’ll be sure to respond.

You will never be a god me,

Gavriel

Black Widow Movie Review

Warning: Spoilers! Nilesh this week gives us his thoughts on MARVEL’s latest blockbuster, Black Widow. Released just last week, the movie is already a fan favourite.

17th July 2021

By Nilesh

Black Widow (Movie, 2021) | Trailer, Release Date, & More | Marvel

Fan favourite character Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, finally got her highly anticipated and long-awaited standalone film. It only came 11 years after her introduction in “Iron Man 2”. The events of this film take place following “Captain America: Civil War” in 2016, in which the Avengers are disbanded via a disagreement over the Sokovia Accords. This is prior to her death in “Avengers: Endgame”. (Seriously, 2 years on, that cannot be classed as a spoiler).

A star-studded cast is assembled around Scarlett Johansson includes Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova), David Harbour (Alexei Shostakov), Rachel Weisz (Melina Vostokoff), and Ray Winstone (Dreykov).

The Good…

The opening credits scene is by far my favourite scene of the movie. It captures the trauma that Natasha and Yelena had to endure in their Red Room training to become assassins for the main villain Dreykov. Polaroids depict the true cruelty of the child kidnapping and antagonises Dreykov from the get-go. Not only this but he is shown with numerous world leaders (e.g. Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin). All this is accompanied by the main theme song for the film, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” originally by Nirvana but performed by Malia J. This perfectly sets the nostalgic and harrowing theme of the film.

Florence Pugh’s performance as Yelena was also a standout in this film. Her on-screen chemistry with both Scarlett Johansson and David Harbour led to some comedic moments to break the ice in an otherwise serious film. One moment, in particular, is distinctly memorable. This being an exchange with Natasha at a corner shop where Yelena mocks Natasha for having a “superhero pose”. This becomes a running gag throughout the film, in which its climax is when Yelena herself ends up doing a superhero pose. She immediately regrets her decision, shrugging it off in disgust.

And The Bad…

However, there are some major problems in this film. Primarily, the plot is very thin and uneventful. The movie took some time to reveal the true endgame (pardon the pun) of the plot. When it finally did it was the stereotypical superhero plot: hero seeks vengeance on a figure from their past for causing them pain in life. The fate of Black Widow is already known in “Avengers: Endgame”. Therefore, the writers did not have much room for creativity in the storytelling of this popular character. It felt, in a way, almost like a filler film. The MARVEL fans have demanded this solo Black Widow film for so long. But, now it is here it feels slightly underwhelming.

Dreykov

Moreover, certain characters are extremely underdeveloped. Dreykov, who is the main villain makes a brief cameo at the beginning of the film and then does not appear for the next 90 minutes. There is very little substance to his character and no clear origin story is given. Without a doubt, Dreykov is one of the worst villains to be written into existence by MARVEL Studios.

An Underwhelming Taskmaster

Taskmaster, who is a masked combatant that can mimic your every move, is severely underwhelming. No dialogue, no character, no evil. This is a character I found very difficult to antagonise as there is so little flavour to it (even when it is hunting down Natasha). The grand reveal of the identity of Taskmaster ends up being Dreykov’s daughter (who Natasha believes she had killed in an attempt to assassinate Dreykov). Natasha, throughout the film, had been struggling to come to terms with this killing. She gets her salvation in the end by freeing her from the villainous clutches of her father. She too had been manipulating similar to Natasha and Yelena and thousands of other Widows across the globe.

Is Black Widow A Filler Film?

MCU’s phase 4 has taken route on Disney’s new streaming service Disney+, with the introduction of new series such as Wandavision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki. This signals an evolution in the everchanging MARVEL Universe, following the end of the Avengers era. This film, however, is very much a blast from the past and takes a deeper look into the origins of the elusive Black Widow. In my view, this film fails to meet its hype and does a disservice to its extremely talented cast. As I have previously mentioned, this film feels like a filler and does not seem like a proper goodbye to the much-loved Black Widow and Scarlett Johansson from the MCU.

A Return For The Widow?

A silver lining, perhaps, is that indicated by the post-credits scene, Yelena will return in the upcoming “Hawkeye” series, which will debut on Disney+ in the not too distant future.

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