Beyond holding one of the most lucrative box office hauls in film history, Avengers: Endgame expertly planted the seeds for the MCU's first three ventures on Disney+.
While Wanda Maximoff and Sam Wilson's paths were more concretely outlined, Loki's leap from the silver screen to streaming was a bit more mysterious. Rather than take him forward, head writer Michael Waldron was tasked with patching up the intentional plot hole left by 2012 Loki's Tesseract escape.
The God of Mischief's timeline breach gets mopped up almost immediately in the series premiere, but the residual effects of Loki's meddling are still unraveling.
A house is only as strong as its foundation.
Speaking on SCADFILM's Storytellers Series, Loki creator and head writer Michael Waldron detailed his experience inheriting the title character's story from where he was left in Avengers: Endgame.
When asked about inheriting a time travel "plot hole," Waldron expressed how piggyback storytelling is "ultimately a benefit" while also joking that any issues from the jump aren't necessarily his fault.
"You have people you can blame everything on. That's healthy (laughs). Avengers: Endgame laid a foundation for time travel that we were able to take and then build upon."
The series creator went on to praise Marvel Studios for its inter-connectivity:
"That's what's amazing about the MCU is that you feel like a comic writer. You're inheriting these characters and stories from other writers, often times from people you admire."
Waldron fits well within Marvel's ecosystem, understanding the benefit of having a creative Parliament that aims to "plus" MCU stories:
"You come to a point when you realize that you're going to get notes, and you're going to have to make changes regardless. The best thing you can do to survive that is to look at every note as an opportunity to make what you're working on better."
Regarding picking up the baton for characters like Loki and Doctor Strange, Waldron noted the balance of servicing the past while crafting the future:
"Those are established characters. Actors and directors and writers have already brought them to life. You just want to do justice to them, which takes a lot of the pressure off, but it can be tough. You want to service what's come before while also telling a new story."
ONE STEP BACK, TWO STEPS FORWARD
While it appeared to be a prequel/else-worlds story from promotional material, Loki's existence outside of time and space makes its MCU impact all the more up in the air.
Regardless of where it ends, Waldron was burdened with beginning the show eleven years in the MCU's past. Unlike Sam and Wanda, who had the freedom to journey wherever they pleased after Endgame's credits rolled, Loki's dine-and-dash at Avengers Tower needed to be resolved before this series could get moving.
Once Waldron got his main character out of his Endgame corner, the chains came off in terms of creativity.
Some franchises suffer when they pass the creative baton to new writers and directors, but the MCU is quite the opposite.
Whether its Kenneth Branagh, Taika Waititi, or the Russo Brothers directing Tom Hiddleston, he always feels like the same Loki. Waldron's "inheritance" of this character has allowed him to continue the legacy his predecessors set up, while also taking him to new heights.
Loki's next episode airs this Wednesday, streaming exclusively on Disney+.