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And now, the six merry murderesses of the Cook County Jail in their rendition of: some Avengers meta.

So in my last post I mentioned that Loki's plotting didn't seem to be about power or vengeance as much as a test of: "Will you still love me if I do this?" I think that's true for Tony, too. Granted, I don't ship Tony/Loki, because much as I love Loki he is a vicious little shit and more because I have Tony/Steve feelings leaking out my ears, but I can understand the appeal. They're quite similar in a lot of ways, aren't they? Both too smart for their own good, filled with that potent mix of arrogance and self-loathing, and always testing the limits as they play the same game - "Will you live me if I do this?"

Will you love me if I get drunk and embarrass you in public? Will you love me if I commit an act of war? Will you love me if I snort a line of coke off a hooker? Will you love me if I take my brother's throne? Will you love me if I try to kill you? Will you love me if I give you bigger, better, faster ways of killing?

There's a parallel there, but maybe one that can't be stretched too far. Loki, I think, was given the answer yes, at least from his brother and mother; Tony, if we extrapolate from his characterization and from the comics, heard no. It's disingenuous to say that testing those limits is the only reason for their behavior, but I think that basic drive comes from wondering if your family really does love you, no matter who you are or what you do. After that it's all about escalation.

Then they both have a turn - Tony's three months in Afghanistan, Loki's discovery of his heritage - and an event horizon. Tony's, I would argue, is when he returns from captivity and instead of using his physical and psychological trauma as an excuse to descend further into excess, calls a press conference and immediately takes responsibility for what his company has done in his name and puts a stop to it. Loki's is the moment he decides to push that button on the Helicarrier and send his brother tumbling thirty-thousand feet to possible death. Point of no return, right?

And there's another difference - they both asked will you love me if I... and Loki got a yes (whether he heard it is another matter) and Tony got a no and after they were cast into the darkness, it was Tony who decided to lay his life on the line. Loki kept up the escalation game, because he found out that he really was what he'd feared to be all along - a monster, not because of his actions, but simply in and of himself. He finds out he's a Frost Giant and his first instinct is to instigate genocide, such a sane and healthy reaction.

I think that's why Loki in The Avengers (Marvel's The Avengers? WHAT COULD WE NOT FIT JOSS WHEDON PRESENTS STAN LEE'S THE AVENGERS ON A TICKET STUB) is not quite at the point I'd like to see him. In his best stories he likes to play the game for its own sake and happens to be a vindictive, vicious little shit on top of that. I'm curious if, having passed his own event horizon and thrown all caution to the wind, we'll start to see Hiddleston play up that selfish amusement even further.

In other news, sometimes I have feelings! But no clean dishes. :(


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