The next chapter in the MCU’s Disney+ adventures is incoming, and Loki may be the most curious yet. While it is clear that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) will be on a time-bending adventure to fix chaos created by his own hand, what isn’t so clear is what chaos has actually been unleashed. While that can be frustrating, it’s a perfect breeding ground of speculation. After combing through all the previews, interviews, and the comics—here’s our own speculation on what to expect from Loki.
First off, the TVA; or the Time Variance Authority. Originating in the comics, the TVA takes the role of “time police” in the Marvel Universe. However, they don’t tend to be very good at their jobs seeing as their appearances have been few and in between the long running and constantly time-manipulated universe. That said, their claims of authority over time do put them into the crosshairs of other characters such as the time hopping warlord Kang the Conqueror, who is currently slated to appear in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, played by Jonathan Majors.
Another notable callout regarding them is their leadership, the Time Keepers. In the comics, the Keepers are created by the TVA’s final director to protect the next universe, but it wasn’t long before they started meddling in the prime Marvel Universe. This involved recruiting a time traveler named Immortus to their cause and instructing him to prevent none other than the Scarlet Witch from having children due to her reality warping powers. As WandaVision viewers know, that doesn’t go as planned at all. That Immortus, by the way, is an alternate version of the aforementioned Kang. Speaking of alternate versions …
Throughout the previews of Loki, the trickster god is seen wearing a jumpsuit marking him as a “variant.” This almost certainly points to the fact that the series will be following a pre-Infinity War version of the character – but it doesn’t mean that’s all that it means. There’s just as likely a chance for Loki to encounter other Loki’s, and the comics have plenty of alternate Loki’s to explore: from a gender-bent Loki using the body of Lady Sif (Jaime Alexander) that could be used to explain the character’s absence in more recent Marvel films to the very enticing notion of the younger reincarnation of Loki that starred in Journey Into Mystery in the late 2010’s.
Using a teen Loki would be particularly noteworthy as it would continue the streak of having a member of the Young Avengers appearing in each Disney+ series—joining Wanda Maximoff’s impossible children Billy and Tommy from WandaVision and Isaiah Bradley’s grandson Elijah from The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. In fact, Teen Loki is the inciting force behind one particularly excellent run of Young Avengers that also involved dealing with Billy Maximoff’s potent powers, something that seems particularly relevant to the current MCU status.
To go out on a further limb, there’s a decent chance at least one Loki seen in the trailers isn’t the one that is the series lead. Multiple trailers have given a brief glimpse at a “Vote Loki” pin wearing Loki, directly referencing the 2016 miniseries of the same name—which featured the trickster using a fluke of his own revival to run for United States President. While it’s possible this is our Loki, it’s just as possible he is a variant encountered on his adventures.
The Cloaked Person
As much as Loki might only like to talk to himself, we do know that there’s at least one threat that’ll be encountered while trying to repair time. Trailers have shown brief glimpses of a cloaked person purposefully obscured by darkness, which is definitely code for “not good.” This might be the trickiest part of what’s been shown to decode, because the possibilities are pretty endless. Before folks start shouting “Mephisto!” at their TVs again, there are some decent possibilities.
First off, our mystery person could themselves be a Loki variant like discussed before. Notably, more recent incarnations of the character, beginning with Teen Loki in Journey Into Mystery, have been hedging in a more ambiguous direction with Loki’s affiliations; to the point where a more evil leaning version gets directly involved in the follow up series Agent of Asgard. A more villainous Loki variant may indeed be concerned in the trickster’s more upright actions, especially since this would be Loki’s second time through the MCU’s redemption arc, and try to interfere.
Alternatively, this person could be a vehicle for delivering some juicy twists on what we know about the MCU. Following Marvel’s obtaining of the rights to a character from the Spawn universe named Angela, writers added her to the Asgard canon by revealing that once the Marvel Universe had ten realms instead of nine, with the tenth being a realm of angels. Angela would not only be a warrior from this realm displaced by reality warping events, but would also turn out to be a daughter of Odin, making her Loki’s adopted sister. Admittedly, “Odin has a secret daughter” is a plot point that made it into Thor: Ragnarok already, but this series’ Loki doesn’t know that, does he?
There is another decent possibility but they’re going to require their own explanation:
Briefly in some Loki trailers, we see a building with giant “Roxxcart” branding on the front. For those of you who didn’t watch any Agents of SHIELD or Agent Carter when you realized they weren’t going to tie that much into the MCU films, Roxxcart is almost certainly a subsidiary of Roxxon, a corporation that’s popped up a bunch across those series particularly. However, it seems more likely that Loki won’t be referencing the company’s past transgressions and instead will be pulling from writer Jason Aaron’s truly mythic Thor run at Marvel.
The saga began with Thor: God of Thunder, which featured Roxxon in its third arc. In this arc, Thor had consistent run-ins with new Roxxon CEO Dario Agger in what could only be described as thinly veiled stories about climate change—until it was revealed Agger had sold his soul to become a minotaur of myth. Despite being able to become a bull monster, Agger has been much more a thorn in the side of good by being a ruthless businessman. His silver tongue and inflated ego would make a particularly interesting foil not to Thor but to Loki, who he hasn’t had much interaction with in the comics as of late.
What really makes this a possible connection though is it’s already been confirmed that God of Thunder’s first arc and follow up series (simply retitled to Thor) will serve as inspiration for Thor: Love and Thunder, particularly the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster to play out that follow up series hook of Foster gaining Thor’s power. Given the scale and quality of this particular era of Thor comics, it would make sense Marvel would want to mine as much as possible.
While all of this speculation has grounding in what footage of Loki has been shown, it has been at the cost of ignoring a lot of the destruction that is also within the trailers. Whatever happens in Loki, there will almost certainly be a MCU CGI big threat ready for the end and based on scenes of New York being destroyed and planets raining purple fire, whatever it is, it’s a heavy hitter.
The obvious guess? Loki is finally going to be held accountable for working with Thanos at the time of the first Avengers movie, since a couple of Infinity Stones could very easily do the kind of damage in that footage. However, in the interest of being interesting, a separate theory:
During the Marvel Comics event Fear Itself, readers learned about Odin’s older brother—it turns out the guy really likes hiding family members. The brother, Cul Borson, is also referred to as The Serpent and serves as a god of fear. In the pages of Fear Itself, Cul uses dark reflections of Thor’s Mjolnir to turn heroes and villains into terrifying monsters and beings inspiring and feeding off of fear induced by his invasion. This culminates in raising his own “Dark Asgard” and attempting to conquer all the realms and rule via terror. He is ultimately defeated by Thor at the temporary cost of the hero’s life, but sure enough, Teen Loki plays a part in bringing him down.
There is the extremely thin possibility that Loki’s time gallivanting leads to unleashing a threat like The Serpent, and force our character to really face the consequences of his actions.
Correct predictions or not, If Loki is anything like the previous MCU series on Disney+, fans are in for several weeks of hype and unexpected reveals. Fans might be able to figure out where the series is heading, but there’s a good chance we’ve only scratched the surface. That is what makes these series a very interesting piece of the MCU, even if we don’t get the theories confirmed that we want.
Loki premieres on Disney+ this Wednesday, June 9.