Eight years ago, it was the day of the Thor: The Dark World premiere in London’s Leicester Square. Thanks to Skype (for some reason), I’d been put in the press line-up where I’d get to meet and talk to the talent. And I was there for Tom Hiddleston. Earlier that day I’d been passed an advance copy of the next day’s issue of the Marvel Comics title Young Avengers, featuring the new look of Loki, by nefarious sources. And I wondered what his reaction might be to the new Loki, aged up from the child version of the character we’d seen in recent years, but also not the elderly fellow more familiar to the Loki books. Instead, it was a younger Loki with a large double horned helmet that still showed off his hair.
But Tom Hiddlestone was late. Arriving at the premiere, he whooshed past everyone. So, because I was a little nimbler back then, and several shades of stupider, I decided to jump the rope, whizz around the security guards, and take my chances. Thankfully, because this is Britain, I wasn’t tackled to the ground by Disney goons or shot by trigger-happy officers. Tom seemed genuinely delighted (or faked it very well) and this visual got picked up by the jumbo screens around the square so all the crowd could see what was going on. It was quite a look. At which point Tumblr fell over. So if you want to know where Tom fell in love with a big horn/visible hair look of Loki?
We have that moment captured forever… and with the debut of Loki on Disney + tomorrow, it’s a great excuse to drag it out again.
As the comic’s writer Kieron Gillen would later say, regarding spoilers, “The thing you have to bear in mind as a creator is as much press as a story spoiler can get (including something being given away in Previews) a huge chunk of the comics audience don’t follow everything. Or even anything. The first they see of a cover is the NEXT MONTH page. So while the people who are deeply embedded are pulling apart every hint, the majority simply aren’t. As much as the noise online may give the impression otherwise, it’s just not how it works. Hell, I still get people asking me since when Loki is a kid. Our plan is simply to keep quiet and not add our own volume to the signal, and so the proportion of people who just follow us and not the rest of comics don’t get infected. Unless it gets stapled to the chest of a movie star at a premiere the day before the issue comes out and broadcast around the Internet at the speed of lust, we should be fine.” Sorry, Kieron. Still, it all worked out, right?