Marvel’s third show in Phase 4, Loki has been nothing short of drama, chaos and variants. After the conservative sitcom tone of WandaVision and FTWS, Loki has turned up the notch considerably. The god of mischief’s time heist is taking him on a journey that is setting the tone for the Multiverse of Madness. Although the phrase “multiverse” might not be used in the series, there have been so many hints and timeline jumps in just four episodes than there were in all of the first three phases. If you’re not an eagle-eyed Marvel fan, then you might certainly have a hard time keeping up with all the subtle clues and Easter eggs Marvel likes to hide.
However, seeing as Marvel’s Phase 4 & 5 is about to explore a more cosmic reality, connecting the dots properly will ensure you don’t get lost along the way. We’ll look at some major clues from what we’ve seen so far and try to figure out which characters Marvel could be introducing to the MCU soon.
After episode 1 of Loki introduced us to the Time Variance Authority (TVA), we’ve learned that they might not be as powerful as we think they are. But most importantly, that someone else might be actively manipulating them for a greater cause. Ravonna Renslayer has featured as mediator for the TVA since episode 2 although she has a very different character arc in the comics. In the comics, Ravonna is Kang the Conqueror’s longtime girlfriend and the two have gone on several intergalactic escapades together. However, in Marvel’s creative style of deviating from the source material, it’s no surprise that Ravonna is playing a different role.
After our current MCU’s living Loki variant escapes from the TVA, we are introduced to Lady Loki a.k.a Sylvie (Sophie Di Martino) as she plots to take down the TVA. Her plan fails,.but not before she reveals that the TVA and the Sacred TimeKeepers might in fact be a big hoax. After their big reveal in episode 4, Sylvie and Loki manage to cook a plan and fight off Ravonna and her minutemen.
Lady Loki then beheads the center TimeKeeper with a perfect sword throw, revealing that they were just robot-like Animatronics – which was a relief. Unfortunately, Ravonna managed to prune Variant Loki into what seemed to be another timeline before Sylvie apprehends her.
Many Marvel fans have been excited because the clues in the Loki series continue to point towards the introduction of Kang the Conqueror. For those not familiar with the comics, Kang the Conqueror is an old villain in Marvel Comics who first appeared in #8 of The Avengers in 1964. Originally born as Nathaniel Richards, Kang was a 31st-century scholar and supposed grandson of Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards. Kang is best known for inventing the time-travelling machine and his numerous time heists.
After he gets tired of living in a 31st-century utopian timeline, he invents a time-travelling device that allows him to travel to other timelines, most of which are either war-torn or going through conflict. Of course, his escapades lead him into several confrontations with the TVA as well as the Avengers. But Kang the Conqueror’s powers and abilities are what make him a very exciting addition to the roster of big-screen MCU villains.
Watch: The MCU’s Next Big Villain: Kang The Conqueror
Like Wanda, Kang the Conqueror is a Nexus being –meaning that they can travel through multiple dimensions without any considerable self-damage. This also makes them very formidable targets for the Time Variance Authority.
Considering how close Lady Loki came to overthrowing the TVA, could it be possible that Kang the Conqueror has in fact tried and conquered the TVA?
Kang was first introduced in episode 1 of the Loki series as one of the Sacred timekeepers. During Loki’s TVA hearing, the centre Timekeeper’s face behind Ravonna looked a lot like an animated version of Kang. And after episode 4 revealed that the minutemen were actually humans who had been kidnapped and brainwashed, we might discover that everything we think we knew about the TVA is false.
Watch: Kang The Conqueror Controls The TVA
The preview of episode 5 teases more Kang the Conqueror hints as one clip shows Loki’s handler-turned-friend, Mobius M. Mobius racing towards a Sphinx-shaped statue (In the comics, Kang the Conqueror owned a Sphinx-shaped spaceship). Since it’s been confirmed that pruning doesn’t actually obliterate anyone, it’ll be interesting to see how Marvel intends to spin it from here.
The Lokis Analysis
Although the numerous hints in Loki point towards a Kang introduction, we know Marvel likes to drop hints just to get the fans excited -just like they did with The Mandalorian in Iron Man3 and Memphisto rumors in WandaVision. Also, we know Kang the Conqueror has been confirmed as the villain for Antman3: Quantamania, which is scheduled to premiere sometime in 2023. Combine that with information that Marvel plans to use Ant-man 3 as a bigger blockbuster, and it becomes less likely that Kang the Conqueror would make any live appearance in the Loki series.
Now with Loki already renewed for a second season – scheduled for 2022 – any involvement from Kang at this point might be nothing more than peripheral. Kang the Conqueror’s timeline hopping skills and duplication ability make him a very interesting villain. In the comics, he created duplicates of himself as he hopped through different timelines and faced off against the Avengers many times as he tried to conquer Earth.
With Kang’s pedigree, its hard to see him being used as a small scale villain and since he isn’t exactly a nemesis of Ant Man, his involvement in Ant Man 3: Quantamania heavily points to a new supporting cast – say Fantastic Four or perhaps a mutant?
Kang’s affiliation with Doctor Doom in the comics might also be a storyline Marvel might be looking to explore.
But since Quantumania is obviously going to take place in the Quantum Realm, could the TVA be located somewhere in the Quantum Realm too? If it is, it might explain Kang’s heavy influence in the TVA although that would mean that Loki would introduce Quantumania instead of the Multiverse as we previously thought.
Watch: Quantum Realm & Kang
There have been several other hints at different points of the series with links to other Marvel characters. One major landmark was the Roxxcart superstore in episode 2 of Loki which is a subsidiary of Roxxon mobile – Marvel’s favourite evil organization. The Roxxon name has featured in other Marvel movies and series such as Iron Man 2 & 3; where they sponsored a Formula one car and executed an accountant on Roxxon television.
With so many characters and storylines linked with the Loki series, it’s hard to predict where it might go from here.