The upcoming Loki series will bring a new Loki to the forefront. But, now the question is will it be just one new Loki or more than one?
The character of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has made a clear mark in our minds with its brilliant portrayal. And the upcoming Loki series, releasing on June 11, 2021, will bring the character in its own standalone show. However, what compels us to think is the fact that when does the show take place in the MCU timeline, provided that Loki died in Avengers: Endgame? Herein comes the Loki “variant” theory.
Watch: Marvel Studios’ Loki | Official Trailer 2 | Disney+
What is a Variant?
Loki will introduce us to the Time-Keepers who seem to serve the purpose of an authority responsible for taking care of the timeline. In other words, they ensure that yesterday is in the past and tomorrow is in the future. Basically, there should be one timeline. But through external interference, this timeline can form branches that lead to other timelines. And a variant is a version of a person, from the original timeline, who has emerged from one of the branched timelines. All this can cause a hotchpotch which the Time-Keepers are responsible to manage.
How Come Loki Gets a Variant?
Let’s take a walk down the memory lane to Avengers: Endgame. We all remember how Loki stole the Tesseract while the Avengers were trying to acquire the Mind Stone from the past. This wasn’t supposed to happen, right? How else could one reason his death right at the beginning of the movie at the hands of Thanos? This is exactly the trouble that the Time Variance Authority (TVA) is going through and for which Loki is responsible.
The moment he stole the Tesseract, he changed his own future. This Loki, the Loki “variant”, never met Thor in Thor: Ragnarok. He didn’t even face Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. So, in short, this Loki is from an alternate universe and not the one with the Avengers.
Loki Variant in the Comics
The Loki variant is new to the MCU but not in the comics. Since Loki’s inception in 1962, he has taken many forms due to various reasons, like supernatural spells, time travel and actions of other beings, like Asgardians. Here are three Loki variants that might appear in the upcoming Disney+ show.
Loki Variant: The President
There is a scene in the trailers that shows Loki running for president. This is adopted from a popular comic series Vote Loki. The second trailer shows “president” Loki threatened by Sakaarian scrappers, of Sakaar, the same place where he travelled to, in Thor: Ragnarok. This might be because this Loki is from a different timeline.
Loki wouldn’t really be the God of Mischief if he couldn’t cheat Death itself. And this is just what he did in 2010’s Siege storyline when he manipulates his sister Hela, the Goddess of Death, and removes his name from her book. After his “apparent” death, Loki is reborn as an innocent child with no memories of his former life. However, his fellow Asgardians don’t trust him. And although he is mischievous, he uses his mischief to help others. Eventually, the ghost of Loki’s former self, Ikol, took over kid Loki and he goes back to the dark side.
The God of Heroism and Truth
A surreal variant of Loki appears in Loki: Agent of Asgard. In its AXIS storyline, spells by Doctor Doom and Scarlett Witch invert magic and turn the heroes bad and the villains good. Thus Loki turned from the God of Mischief to the God of Heroism and Truth. He was even able to lift the Mjolnir.
Loki and the Endgame Theory
In Avengers: Endgame, Steve Rogers goes back in time to place the different Infinity stones in their respective timelines. But the Loki variant seems to say that maybe Cap wasn’t really successful in doing it. Instead, Mobius recruits Loki to help untangle the hotchpotch in the branched timelines, something that he is responsible for, even if partly. Then will we see Loki face meet Captain Rogers? Or any other Avenger? My dear, only time will tell.