Richard E. Grant’s Classic Loki is a comic book accurate version of the God of Mischief. But exactly how powerful is he in the Loki show?
It was thanks to the power of Classic Loki that Tom Hiddleston’s hero was able to prevail in Loki episode 5. Played by Richard E. Grant and official named Classic Loki in the episode 4 credits, the character was one of four Loki variants encountered by the main protagonist after being pruned by the Time Variance Authority. Despite only being around for one full episode, Grant’s Loki character has already endeared himself to Marvel fans.
While trapped in the Void, Loki learned that Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) isn’t the only variant of himself who doesn’t look like him. His experience in the Void taught him that there are an untold number of Loki’s in the multiverse whose lives took different turns than his own. One thing that most of them share though, is that they’re supposed to die at the hands of Thanos (Josh Brolin). According to Classic Loki, dying to the Mad Titan would have been his fate had he not used his illusion magic to survive the fight on the ship. Because of his decision, he was able to live in exile for years. It was only when he tried to leave his isolation that he was subdued and subsequently pruned by the TVA.
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Alongside Kid Loki (Jack Veal) and Alligator Loki, Richard E. Grant’s character accompanied Loki and Sylvie on their quest to get past Alioth, and gave his life for them and his new home when they reached the end of their journey. His use of magic was what provided them the edge they needed to beat Alioth and find out what’s beyond the Void. In that moment, Classic Loki proved himself to be a force to be reckoned with and simultaneously raised questions about his capabilities and how they compare both to Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, as well as the character from the comic books.
Why Classic Loki Is So Much More Powerful
Classic Loki put up a remarkable display of his magical prowess during his face-off with Alioth. Using his vast command over the magical arts, Loki created a massive illusion of Asgard that is seemingly beyond the limitations of the God of Mischief that viewers are familiar with. What he was able to pull off in the episode made it abundantly clear that he’s the most powerful Loki in the MCU. As for why that is, it’s quite possible that the primary reason for the divide between Classic Loki and all the others (particularly Hiddleston’s) is his age. It’s worth noting that Asgardians aren’t immortals who live forever; they have lifespans just like anyone else and show their age as they get older (albeit at a much slower pace than humans). Case in point: Odin (Anthony Hopkins), who has the appearance of a much older man because he’s been alive for thousands of years longer than his children.
With that in mind, it makes sense that similar to the situation with Odin, Classic Loki (who is played by a 64-year-old actor) has lived a much longer life than the other characters. Escaping his fate on the Grandmaster’s ship explains why he outlived all other known MCU iterations of Loki. There’s no telling how many centuries he spent on that planet after the Thanos fight. Being lonely, he could have devoted a large portion of his time to developing and improving his magical powers. Due to his advanced age, he had time to transform himself into a much better sorcerer than he was when he fought Thanos.
In addition to that, it may be that Classic Loki really is naturally stronger in magic than Hiddleston’s Loki. His high power level may be one of the elements of his character that was included in the show in an effort to make him more similar to the villain from Marvel Comics. As indicated by his name and costume, Classic Loki is intended to be a homage to the original character, who is indeed a lot more formidable than the MCU incarnation.
Classic Loki’s Comics Powers Explained
Loki in Marvel Comics has many of the same abilities as the ones seen in the MCU. On top of his enhanced strength and durability, Loki can shapeshift into nearly any form he chooses, even that of a fearsome dragon. One of his best assets is his illusions, which are so well-crafted that even Odin has been fooled by them in the past. Illusions serve him greatly in combat as they enable him to create lifelike clones of himself that help distract from the real threat. Plus, he can manifest all sorts of different elemental and energy forms, including ice, fire, stone, and more. Mind-control is another tool at his disposal – and he doesn’t need the Mind Stone to make it work. Also, by channeling his magic through his hands, Loki can emit devastating energy blasts strong enough to floor heroes as powerful as Thor and even cosmic powerhouse Silver Surfer. For the most part, his energy attacks are shown to be green in color, not unlike Classic Loki’s attacks in the Disney+ show.
The MCU Finally Admitted How Powerful Loki Should Be
Loki has a reputation as Thor’s greatest enemy in Marvel Comics for a reason. With his understanding of the magical arts, he can match spells with the best sorcerers in the Marvel Universe, including the Sorcerer Supreme. He may not be quite as good as Doctor Strange, but he can certainly hold his own in a magical duel, as proven by their fight in Strange Tales #182. By Strange’s own admission, Loki was one of most challenging opponents he had ever encountered in his superhero career. He claimed that he had never before come so close to defeat. That’s in stark contrast to what happened between their MCU counterparts in Thor: Ragnarok, which delivered an impressive moment for Strange and an equally embarrassing one for Loki, who was effortlessly dispatched by his adversary.
This wasn’t the only time where Loki was shown to be inferior to the villain from the comics. What Marvel did with Classic Loki, on the other hand, is a perfect example of what the God of Mischief should be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hiddleston’s Loki has barely utilized the full breadth of the comic character’s magical arsenal. Energy blasts are a favorite attack of his in the comics, but have been altogether avoided in the movies. The same criticisms can’t be made of Richard E. Grant’s take on the villain, who unleashed powerful energy blasts and weaponized his talent for illusions in an extraordinary manner in Loki episode 5.
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