Loki is basically Marvel's version of Rick and Morty - a comparison that has never been more appropriate than after Loki Episode 5, "Journey Into Mystery". SPOILERS FOLLOW! The 2012 version of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) woke up from apparent death/deletion by the Time Variance Authority, only to find he'd been transported to some strange other realm - one populated with even more Loki variants than he could imagine. Needless to say, Loki-to-Loki relations were not ideal, with plenty of backstabbing and betrayal taking place. In the end, though, Loki and his new crush Sylvie managed to change the scope of things in a heady time-twisting way.
Take away the name "Loki" in that explanation above, and substitute "Rick and Morty" and you would easily have fans believing it was the synopsis for an actual Rick and Morty episode.
Loki's entire premise - one variant Loki getting arrested by a bureaucratic organization that polices timelines - always sounded a bit Rick and Morty-esque, but the last few episodes have really hammered home the comparison in some significant ways.
First - and most obviously - the amount of wild fun Loki has had with variant versions of characters is something that only Rick and Morty has done, as well. Rick and Morty hopping through alternate universes (sometimes meeting and/or replacing their alternate selves) is some of the series most distinctive (at times thought-provoking) humor. Loki has fully embraced that kind of sci-fi madness, with Episode 5 going so far as to arguably give ode to Rick and Morty's "Council of Ricks" episodes, which see the main Rick battling variant versions of himself who have banded together to form their own society (sound familiar?).
However, the reason why Loki is like Rick and Morty goes deeper than just the sci-fi hijinks or meta riffs on things like franchise continuity - it also has to do with the central characters of each respective show. Rick Sanchez and Loki are both unapologetic narcissists with considerable knowledge and power, battling against the weight of cosmic forces in a constant attempt to escape and/or thwart authority. Both have questionable ethics when it comes to killing, deception, and mind games - and both definitely have some serious family issues that have largely left them estranged from their closest kin. And yet, both Loki and Rick are loved for being the flawed protagonists that they are. It gets even better when those flawed protagonists are partnered up with good foils (Morty, Sylvie) who call them on their stuff.
All in all, it's been great to see Marvel embrace the same kind of zany (and slightly demented) sci-fi richness and humor of a show like Rick and Morty - and it's only about to get weirder in Episode 6!
By the way: If you are wondering why Loki Episode 5, in particular, feels like Rick and Morty - it's not a coincidence:
If you haven't watched #rickAndMorty you might not have been familiar with @TomKauffman, who wrote today's episode of #Loki ("wrote the hell out of it", as my friend @DA_Osorio said). You're familiar with him now! This was a monster of an episode. Let's get Kauffman some buzz!!— Charles Murphy (@_CharlesMurphy) July 7, 2021
Loki is streaming on Disney+.