It might not seem like it at first. As of late, Marvel has taken hit after hit, especially after Secret Invasion, what looked to be Marvel's most promising series in ages, went down like a lead balloon after that ending.
In Loki season 1, we left the god of mischief (played by Tom Hiddleston) in dire straits after Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) effectively broke time by killing He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors), shattering the Sacred Timeline and jumpstarting a multiverse war.
Loki arrived back at the TVA unrecognisable to his friends, including Mobius (Owen Wilson), and was alone with the knowledge that infinite variations of He Who Remains (or Kang the Conqueror) are on the way.
As predicted, He Who Remains returns (in a sense) in season 2 and it feels disconcerting, to say the least, to watch Jonathan Majors in a starring role given the real-life circumstances currently surrounding him.
Majors was arrested in March this year and charged with assault and harassment following an altercation with a woman in a New York apartment.
Majors has denied the allegations against him, with a spokesperson saying: “He has done nothing wrong,”, and adding: “We look forward to clearing his name and clearing this up.” The next key hearing for his case is set for 25th October 2023.
Executive Producer Kevin Wright has recently addressed the arrest, telling Variety: "I know as much as you do at the moment. It felt hasty to do anything without knowing how all of this plays out."
Whether Majors will stay in the role long-term remains to be seen. For now, the actor is prominent in season 2, first appearing in the series a couple of episodes in.
Season 2 kicks off immediately where we left off, with Loki back in the TVA and slipping through time after the timeline was shattered. He and Mobius enlist the help of OB (played by Ke Huy Quan), with the trio faced with a seemingly impossible task - saving the soul of the TVA itself. No pressure.
After so many swings and misses for the MCU, Loki season 2 feels reassuringly familiar yet excitingly new. The first four episodes offered for review feel a lot more localised than season 1 (get ready to spend a lot of time at the TVA), but that does nothing to diminish the sheer scale of the show - one of its key draws. We're introduced to new concepts and characters, and taken on a whole new journey but it's still so very...Loki.
Loki himself is a bit different, too, after his traumatising experience at the end of time. By the end of season 1, you'd be forgiven for wondering whether our anti-hero had turned just a tad actually heroic - but don't worry. There are some tantalisingly villainous scenes coming up for him.
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Plus, with much of the heavy lifting out of the way in season 1, particularly in the building of Loki and Mobius's relationship, Hiddleston and Owen are free to play around with their chemistry, providing some brilliant and genuine laugh-out-loud moments amid the chaos - and adding Quan to the mix works beautifully.
Meanwhile, after her starring role in season 1, Di Martino is slightly underused, but still has a key part to play.
Crucially, unlike so many Marvel shows we've seen of late, the pacing doesn't feel like an issue. There is a slight loss in momentum at the beginning of season 2 after the world-ending stakes at the end of season 1, but the show quickly finds its stride again and by episode 3, gets into the heart of the story.
Of course, a lot still depends on what the final two episodes bring to the table. While we now know the season will be left open-ended (presumably ahead of an upcoming season 3), here's hoping the powers-that-be have allowed it to stand on its own, rather than being just a necessary bridge between season 1 and season 3.
But it seems the god of mischief is very much back in business.
Loki season 2 will start streaming on Disney Plus on 6th October 2023. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now.