Loki is just the worst. And people love him for it.
We’ve watched the Marvel supervillain kill Agent Colson, betray his entire family and try to enslave the planet. But just let him crack a joke or offer up a smarmy smile or try to do the tiniest bit of good in the universe, and all is forgiven. Why, this self-proclaimed god of mischief was even rewarded for all his bad behavior with his very own Disney+ television show. Is he the show’s hero? Its villain? Both?
That’s part of the fun (and, perhaps, frustration) of Disney+’s Loki: trying to figure which side of the moral ledger the trickster is playing on this time around. He offers a template for a certain kind of antihero—a fellow who switches white and black hats as often as he switches shapes.
Back in the day, you could reliably count on entertainment’s villains to stay villainous. You’d cheer for the good guy. You’d boo the bad ‘un. Good was good, evil was evil, and never the twain would meet.
But now, of course, they meet all the time. Today’s heroes and villains blur the line between the two—sometimes in the space of an old-fashioned commercial break.
Some would argue that this trend reflects our own human soul. When Loki himself says, “No one bad is ever truly bad, and no one good is ever truly good,” he echoes two critical elements of Christian thought: We are all fallen, but we all have the hope of redemption. Other folks, though, might say that these antiheroes muddy the lines of right and wrong themselves.
The Plugged In team tackles Loki on The Plugged In Show this week, and along the way we unpack this deceptively complex topic. It’d be good if you did, and maybe even educational, too. (And check out the links for everything else we talked about this week in the Episode Notes below.)
- Gift of Any Amount Offer: Burning Bush 2.0 by Paul Asay
- Interaction question: Do you think the trend toward glorifying antiheroes is a good thing or something to be concerned about? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram.
- Plugged In Review: Loki
- Plugged In Review: Thor
- Plugged In Review: Thor: The Dark World
- Plugged In Review: Thor: Ragnarok
- Plugged In Review: The Avengers
- Plugged In Blog: “Thor: Ragarok Hammers Home Win”
- Plugged In Blog: “Forget About Saving the World. The MCU is All About Family”
- Plugged In Review: Cruella
- Plugged In Review: Maleficent
- Plugged In Review: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
- Plugged In Review: The Descendants
- Plugged In Review: Descendants 2
- Plugged In Review: Descendants 3
- Plugged In Review: 24
- Plugged In Review: The Dark Knight
- Plugged In Review: Watchmen (movie)
- Plugged In Review: The Boys
- Plugged In Review: Joker
- Focus on the Family Article: “Coming Home: An Invitation to Join God’s Family”
- Focus on the Family: Setting Media Standards
- Focus on the Family: Making Wise Entertainment Choices
- Plugged In: Tech Guide