Episode 5 of Loki introduced audiences to a variety of new Gods/Goddesses of Mischief. Everything ranging from a comic accurate Classic Loki to an Alligator wearing the iconic Asgardian horns. In the middle of all of those variants was a Loki that made the most of his screen time in an episode filled with Easter Eggs and new characters.
"Boastful" Loki was first introduced in the post-credits stinger of Episode 4 alongside Classic, Kid, and Alligator Loki. With a set of fur shoulder pads, green plaid, a leather tasset, and a familiarly mighty hammer, this variant of Loki instantly captured the attention of the Marvel Cinematic Universe faithful.
The person behind the variant is DeObia Oparei, and his excitement toward playing this character can only be outmatched by the excitement from the fans.
A NEW KIND OF LOKI
DeObia Oparei is "for sure" ready for more Boastful Loki.
The Loki actor spoke with The Direct about his character's place in the MCU and how the outpouring of fan messages makes him even more eager for a return in the long-rumored second season:
"For sure. Just in terms of the outpouring that I've received from people who have been messaging me and saying, 'Wow you know, I suddenly feel seen...' Black and brown MCU fans [saying], 'I suddenly feel seen or suddenly feel validated, I suddenly have a costume that I can cosplay...'"
Oparei is the first Loki Variant of color to appear in the series. His excitement to be the face of that representation is through the roof, and he is so proud to be able to be that capstone for black and brown MCU fans around the world. And his reach into minority communities did not stop there.
"LGBTQIA people, you know messaging me by the hundreds and just saying, 'It's so great that somebody who identifies as queer, who expresses themselves in a gender fluid way, is a Loki Variant. You can't imagine how amazing we feel, see you, and you're out.'"
A major milestone of Loki is the identification of the title character as bisexual and gender fluid. DeObia Oparei being a queer person of color playing a version of one of the most beloved characters in the MCU is another highlight of that milestone. Oparei has seen the response from those communities and understands how much people want more of that.
"I feel the character brings the goods, just speaking in terms of flat-out presentation and portrayal and interpretation. I think that character, you know, caught the imagination of so many people. I mean, that's why I now have a Funko Pop character, because it's the people lobbying for it, [asking] 'Well, where is Boastful Loki?... I think we're at that time now where people are clamoring for those things that I represent, those things that Loki represents, and I would hope that continues."
MCU REPRESENTATION BY WAY OF LOKI
Phase 4 of the MCU has been taking every opportunity to speak to real-world conversations. WandaVision tackled depression and grief in a way no comic book IP had ever done. The Falcon And The Winter Soldier did not shy away from the racial implications of a Black man being Captain America. And Black Widow was a commentary on human trafficking and the power of women, a sentiment that spoke louder than ever.
Loki is no different in that it has made it a point to raise the question of "who are you?". Which is such an important query for everyone, but especially the LGBTQIA+ community. Oparei feels that he has opened the door for so many MCU fans that had never been represented on the big screen before Boastful Loki popped up. And the outreach has surpassed his Twitter DMs.
It was recently announced that through popular demand, Boastful Loki will be receiving his own Funko Pop! toy. This was the result of other Variants such as Classic and Kid Loki getting their own toys with an omission of Boastful Loki. Story-wise, it makes sense seeing as Boastful Loki was the only one of the original Loki Variant Quartet that did not make it out of the Loki royal rumble. That goes to show how important this character was to so many fans around the world.
Another great show of appreciation for a character that frankly did not get nearly as much screen time as others, is the recent addition of the #BoastfulLoki emoji on Twitter. It is this kind of fan power that makes the MCU so special. And after The Direct spoke with Oparei, it is clear how special this moment is for him and the communities he openly represents.