Marvel-ous Miniseries: The good, the bad and the Loki

An evaluation of Marvel's Disney + miniseries released so far, and a look forward to the highly anticipated release of Hawkeye at the end of November

Rahul Binov
4th November 2021
Credit: IMDb
The Marvel cinematic universe has time and time again been able to capture hearts and minds across the world, with its stint into television being no different. From the patriotic yet relatable undertones of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to the sandbox ‘anything goes’ setting in What if, the Disney + shows allow the interested viewer to delve deeper into MCU lore and expand upon the stories we love.  

Personally, I was always a fan of Captain America, not just as an individual but as an idea. In The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, I appreciated how they contrasted the concept of Captain America (a white, blue-eyed, blond-haired figure that represented the way America saw itself) with the realities of how America truly was. The Falcon knew that taking up the mantle as an African American was a difficult one, and the plight of Isaiah Bradley, a former super soldier who was rewarded for his service with torture and imprisonment, only made that choice harder.  

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier - Credit: IMDb

It’s the difficult choices the characters must make, the weight and doubts that fill their minds despite being literal superheroes, that make the shows so great. The duality of their hero persona and human frailty. We aren't just exposed to their great feats and actions but to the weaknesses that maintain their relatability to us.  

Even the God of Mischief reveals to us that despite his cold and narcissistic persona, even he can care for others, fall in love (though I suppose it was technically with himself!), and then be willing to sacrifice that love. Loki also has a lot of potential, revealing a whole new dimension of narrative material available for the producers to delve into with the multiverse, and I’m excited to see where they take it. However, I do think they should be careful to not take the story too far, risking it becoming contrived and farfetched.  

Loki - Credit: IMDb

Marvel's What If simply expanded on the multiverse of possibility given to us by Loki and hearing The Watcher ponder 'the question' was a fun experience, though admittedly some episodes were more compelling than others. It seemed as if some of the ideas pitched were randomly picked out of a hat at a Marvel board meeting and served more to amuse than to really draw fans in.   

Overall, the shows have been a stellar success so far, and the up-and-coming Hawkeye certainly has big boots to fill. Clint Barton was always a welcome character, determined and heroic despite a shady past, and a comic relief that helped sustain that humour we all love. It would certainly be interesting to see more depth to his character as he goes on a rampage after the Blip took his family from him, which was clearly his only stabilising element in a life otherwise filled with constant danger and otherworldly threats. Seeing Hawkeye slip back into that inner killer would be a stark contrast to how we normally recognise him and it truly is a hair-raising idea.  

Marvel Studio's Hawkeye - Official Trailer, Disney +
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