After a few bumps on the road from Marvel Studios’ live-action series, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is looking toward a bounce-back with the release of Loki Season 2 on Disney+. When Season 2 debuts on Oct. 6, it will have been over two years since we last saw the God of Mischief, at least in his dedicated medium. Naturally, there’s more than enough time to refresh your memory before Marvel’s latest series drops.
Here are the essentials as you brush up your knowledge ahead of Loki Season 2.
The 2011 film not only introduced the God of Thunder to the MCU but also served as the debut for the continuous thorn in his side, which is his adopted brother, Loki. With an ambition to be a ruler in his own right, we see Loki slowly become the mischievous villain that will soon have him go toe-to-toe with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Rewatching Thor should give fans a refresher on what drove Loki to be troublesome in the first place and how far he’s come since.
The Avengers (2012)
Loki’s attempted invasion of Earth was the creation event that brought together Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Though the first few MCU films served as standalone origin stories, their first battle with Loki initiated the ever-expanding cinematic universe that we know today. Audiences are treated to a deeper dive into Loki’s complexity and psyche in the first chapter of The Avengers films. At the same time, a critical moment in the movie catalyzes his future arc.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Feel free to revisit 2013’s Thor: The Dark World if you wish, but it’s 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok that adds a new layer to the Thor franchise and the God of Mischief. In teaming up with his brother to defeat a more significant threat in Hela, the Goddess of Death, this film marks the actual start of Loki’s redemption arc in the MCU as he begins to grow past his more troublesome mistakes of old.
In addition to his story arc, Loki’s comedic banter with Thor is top-notch, with much praise given to Taika Waiti’s direction and vision in the franchise's third chapter.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
After Loki meets his unfortunate but noble demise at the hands of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, audiences are introduced to an alternate-timeline version of the God of Mischief. The Avengers’ time heist causes a version of 2012 Loki to escape after the battle of New York with the Tesseract in hand, and it serves as a direct prelude to Loki Season 1.
Fans who were distraught at the loss of the God of Mischief in the previous film were reassured by this alternate version of Loki, who would be along for the ride as the MCU shifted toward the Multiverse Saga.
Loki Season 1 (2021)
There is no shocker here, but Season 1 of Loki is a must-watch and the most crucial storyline to refresh yourself before Season 2 airs. The show takes place immediately after 2012’s Loki’s escape with the Tesseract in Endgame, as Loki is immediately captured by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) for breaking the “sacred timeline.” As he becomes a part of the TVA, Loki is introduced to multiple “variants” of himself across different timelines and dimensions.
The Disney+ series also serves as a teaser introduction to what will become the MCU’s most formidable adversary since Thanos, the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
By no means is it the most vital MCU film to date, but Quantumania did give the first live-action introduction of Kang the Conqueror, portrayed by Jonathan Majors. While Ant-Man, The Wasp, Cassie Lang, and others attempt to stop Kang from escaping the Quantum Realm, the film surprisingly serves as a direct set-up for Loki Season 2. In one of the film's post-credit scenes, we see a Kang variant named Victor Timely, who will serve as a foil to both Loki and Mobius, portrayed by Owen Wilson.