Maxximilian Seijo, Andrés Bernal and Scott Ferguson plunge into the latest Disney Plus streaming series, Loki (2021), as part of their ongoing examination of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). For all its deliciously queer aesthetic & political potentials, they argue, Loki represents another MCU tragedy about the promise & perpetual failure of social contract theory, and fascism’s seductive exploitation of that failure. In doing so, they critique how the show’s neoliberal and tacitly Deleuzean conception of time as “univocal difference” problematically pits care against heterogeneity in a zero-sum trade-off between fascism and democracy. At the same time, they suggest that Loki’s polyvalent and often-campy aesthetics nevertheless express new longings for alternative modes of questioning and organizing the world.
Music: “Yum” from “This Would Be Funny If It Were Happening To Anyone But Me” EP by flirting.