We all have to admit, Loki's journey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one that proves that the wheels of fate go up then down. His character has been through a major development throughout the years. With an upcoming titular series, Loki is back in the MCU through Disney+. To finally settle the controversy, is Loki a villain or good guy in the MCU?
The quick answer would be both. Not to confuse anyone but Loki is literally both a villain and a good guy. From the start to his demise in Avengers: Endgame, Loki went from end to end of the spectrum of good and evil as he traversed the MCU all these years.
Quick preview of who he is, he is the adopted brother of Thor who was taken by Odin as he was abandoned after the Battle of Jotunheim secured the defeat of the Frost Giants. Loki is a Frost Giant who grew up under the guidance of Odin and Frigga as their own. Loki has the God of Mischief moniker being full of tricks and using such to his advantage.
Is Loki a Villain in the MCU?
Yes, in the film where he debuted, Thor (2011), he was established as a villain when he went against Thor claiming he's a god and demands to be treated like one. He formed jealousy with Thor when Odin wanted Thor to be the successor to the throne. Loki wanted to be more than a brother of Thor and wanted the throne for himself. While Thor was sent to Earth and Odin is in a coma, he took the throne.
It did not end well for Loki in the film when Thor arrived back to Asgard and learned about what Loki has been doing all along, as Loki brought Laufey to Asgard only to betray him and he planned to aim the power of the Bifrost bridge to Jotunheim. Thor and Loki had a face-to-face and later resulted in what seems the demise of Loki when he let go of Thor's hand at the edge of the Bifrost bridge.
We see him again in Avengers (2012) and this time, he's bringing havoc to Earth. With his scepter, he manipulated Eric Selvig and even Hawkeye to carry out his plans of opening a portal on Earth. He wanted the people to bow down to him only to be stopped by the Avengers. He was successful, though, in bringing the chitauri to Earth, as the Battle of New York ensues.
This is where Loki went to become a full-on villain, facing the OG Avengers. Still, he was no match for Hulk as he was waived in the air and to the ground repeatedly, even calling him a puny god. He was then taken by Thor back to Asgard where he was imprisoned.
Is Loki a Good Guy in the MCU?
In Thor: Dark World (2013), we see Loki back and this time, he is on his way to redemption when he was approached by Thor to help stop Malekith and the dark elves. Side by side, Thor and Loki fought. He even took a deadly blow to ensure that Thor gets to be successful in his plan on the Battle of Svartalfheim. This time, he died as a good guy, or so we all thought.
All this time, everyone thought Loki was dead. He went on to steal the throne, take the appearance of Odin, and bring Odin to a care home on Earth in Thor: Ragnarok (2017). When Thor returned to Asgard after defeating Surtur, he figured out that it was Loki leading the place. Thor and Loki go to Earth only to find that the care home was destroyed. When they found Odin, it was just in time as he was dying.
Upon the death of Odin, Hela arrived and made everything worse. Loki, trying to escape, called for the Bifrost to open and sent Hela to Asgard while he and Thor were thrown to Sakaar. Loki was with the Grand Master while Thor had to be a prisoner. When it was time to get back to Asgard, Loki betrays Thor again, but this time, Thor was prepared and left him with a neurotransmitter.
Freed by the other prisoners of Sakaar, Loki took the ship where the Asgardians would then escape. He fought alongside Thor this time and even summoned Surtur to fulfill the prophecy of Ragnarok. Being really close to the tesseract, Loki took it before everything else falls into ashes. By the time they all escaped, Thanos arrives on their ship.
In the introduction of Avengers: Infinity War, Loki did not bow to Thanos without a fight, he was full-on a good guy now, even telling Thanos that he will never be a god. This is when Loki finally faces his demise. He even said to Thor before his death that the sun will shine on them again.
By the time of Avengers: Endgame, the Loki that escaped was his 2012 self, and such is the one who'll be facing the Time Variance Authority in the upcoming titular series of Loki. This was the time when he was still a villain. It was the Loki who just attacked Earth in the Battle of New York with the chitauri attack and always being drawn to the tesseract, it was Loki who took it and made the Avengers go further back in time.
Now in his very own show, it is possible that Loki will be a good guy fighting off the baddies and trying to make amends for his mistakes. In the trailers of Loki, it can be seen that he still brings trouble but also, he is also expected to do some good as he convinces the Time Variance Authority of his capabilities and carrying out the plan.
Are you rooting for Loki to be a villain or a good guy in the upcoming series of Loki? Loki premieres on June 11, 2011 via Disney+.