Marvel in its Phase 4 decided to take the MCU into the small screen and as such we have already seen three new tv shows; Wandavision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki. Over the past 6 week, many of us have been watching every episode of Loki, eagerly trying to figure out all the mysteries presented to us whilst at the same time enjoying the story being told. The last episode has left many questions unanswered, some that will be undoubtedly unsolved in the next season and future film installments of the MCU, however some of them can be clarified with some basic knowledge from the comics. Well fear not fellow fans, I will attempt to explain those things in the following article, as well as give some of my thoughts on the series. Before you read on, let me warn you, there will be spoilers ahead.
Loki picks up right after Endgame aswe see a 2012 Loki that escapes his fate when a tesseract ends in his hands. This Loki however is quickly apprehended by the TVA, an organization tasked with keeping the “Sacred Timeline” flowing correctly and eliminating any variant. Loki soon finds himself in a struggle to find who is behind the TVA, to discover the truth, all whilst dealing with a female variant of himself and a multitude of different Loki’s, including an alligator Loki.
The series ends with a bang, with the reveal of a new villain that will clearly be a driving force in the upcoming phase of Marvel, but we also see the start of the multiverse. The multiverse in the MCU is something that all fans of comics have been eagerly awaiting as it is something that permeates all of comics since almost its inception (this can also be said for DC Comics). The idea of different universes all existing within the setting of Marvel has always been particularly attractive since this means that the options for stories are limitless. The full craziness of comics, something that has been somewhat tempered in the MCU as it is very hard to translate, can now be fully displayed and this is exactly what happened in Loki why I particularly enjoyed the tv show.
Loki is a greatly produced show, with amazing performances and a compelling story, but as a fan of comics the thing I loved the most was its connection with comics. The series is full of nods towards famous comic book stories, taking inspiration from iconic stories such as «Loki: Journey into Mystery» . This can especially be seen in the fifth episode, an episode full of easter eggs. From all the different Loki’s such as Kid Loki or Classic Loki (who has an epic scene and is very reminiscent to the Loki that led to the formation of the Avengers on the comics), to small details such as frog Thor (one of weirdest and funniest moments in comics), or the famously iconic Thanos helicopter. It even brings some obscure characters such as Alioth, a character closely associated to one of the greatest villains in Marvel, Kang the Conqueror.
Kang was the great surprise of the last episode as we see that a version of this famous character. But just who is Kang? Kang in the comics is Nathaniel Richards, a scientist from the 31st century that after gaining access to a time machine will travel back in time and become a Pharaoh for some time before trying to return to his time and ending up in a ravaged future where he quickly takes over and establishes a galactic empire and becoming known as Kang the Conqueror. Kang soon realizes that it is better to rule am Earth that is less ravaged and more fertile, leading to a clash with the Avengers. From then on, he becomes a classic enemy of the Avengers. But also, the Fantastic Four, as the heroes battle him but also different versions of Kang such as Immortus, Rama-Tut and even having to deal with a council of Kangs from different universes. Does this seem a bit like an insane concept of a character? Well, my friends, welcome to the more weird side of comic book stories in Marvel.
Kang is an exciting inclusion to the MCU as he offers limitless possibilities, the one we see in the Loki series is one that has defeated other versions of himself and has not yet fully fallen into his “conqueror” ways, or if he has, this seems to be in the past. This a wearier version, one that seems to be obsessed with protecting everyone from the different versions of himself. His death at the end of the episode, marks the start of the multiverse and the arrival of the different versions of Kang, something that is hinted at towards the end of the episode when Loki finds himself in a TVA with statues of Nathaniel Richards wearing something that seems similar to the classic outfit worn by Kang the Conqueror.
Loki has opened the door to an infinite number of possibilities in the MCU, something that will continue to develop in the “What If…?” series that will drop in august and the upcoming Spiderman, Ant-Man and Dr. Strange film, as well as a future season 2 of Loki. Now that we have a multiverse happening, we have been given a doorway towards integrating the X-Men and the Fantastic Four in the MCU. The future of the MCU is going to be delightfully crazy and looking back to Iron Man in 2008, it is crazy to realize what Marvel has pulled off. The complete and utter craziness in comic books is now ready to be taken to a different medium, years ago it seemed impossible to think that this could be done in a manner that made sense and yet, 13 years later, here we are. Welcome all to the madness of comic books, welcome all to the multiverse of madness.