Now that Deadpool is officially an (R-rated) part of the MCU, Wade Wilson’s unhinged antihero can be a perfect replacement for Tom Hiddleston’s Loki.

Now that Deadpool is officially an (R-rated) part of the MCU, Wade Wilson’s unhinged antihero can be a perfect replacement for Tom Hiddleston’s mercurial Loki. The MCU was reshaped recently as the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, ended an age of fan speculation by confirming that Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool would be joining the MCU and bringing his infamous R-rating with him.

Deadpool’s two cinematic outings to date saw Ryan Reynolds put in career-defining work as the infamous “merc with a mouth”. In recent months, the character’s fate was uncertain due to Fox’s merger with Disney, given the adults-only content Wade Wilson’s movies to date included. Now that Deadpool’s place in the MCU is confirmed, the character could be a perfect replacement for the anti-villain Loki, who is effectively being retired to a small-screen series of his own this year.

At his best, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki was utilized as a multi-film franchise character in the MCU. Loki popped up throughout the series on both sides of all manner of conflicts and was always able to lend a helping hand, be a thorn in someone’s side, or land a witty quip depending on what the storyline required. Never content with just being part of the Thor franchise, Loki was a recurring character throughout the entire MCU. Due to him getting his own show, he’s likely to be separated from this original role as a supporting cast trickster capable of playing all sides off of each other. Fortunately, that is just the role that the character of Deadpool would excel in.

Outside of the original Avengers movie, Loki was never really fully a villain or a hero, and that’s what made him one of the most interesting recurring characters throughout the MCU’s history. The best answer for the pressing question of how Deadpool would best be integrated into the MCU is for the series to copy that sort of dynamic. The MCU should make Deadpool a recurring character, like Loki, who pops up on various sides in different fights instead of a more conventional, cut-and-dried hero. This is especially important given a conventional approach would arguably never be the best use of the erratic, fourth-wall-shattering Wade Wilson.

If the MCU resists the allure of turning Deadpool into one of the X-Men, another addition to the already sprawling Avengers line-up, or the leader of a new, third superhero team, the series could instead utilize Reynolds’ sardonic antihero as it did Hiddleston’s. This move would also make the most of Deadpool’s character in the process. By having Deadpool clash with heroes and villains in equal measure and allowing the chaotic character to pop up all over the place, the MCU can keep the playful tone established in the character’s first two cinematic outings and hold onto his star power. This would also reflect how various MCU movies allowed Hiddleston’s Loki to shine, despite how long it took for the character to get a starring role of his own.