By: Eammon Jacobs
Cast your mind back to April 2019 when Avengers: Endgame arrived in cinemas and you watched Earth’s Mightiest Heroes travel through time in an attempt to assemble the Infinity Stones. Did you ever imagine that after Loki would get his own TV show when he escaped with the Tesseract during the Time Heist? Just over two years later and the titular God of Mischief’s solo series is about to launch on Disney Plus, picking up right after the moment of his escape in Endgame, with the Time Variance Authority apprehending him at their headquarters because his very existence disrupts “the proper flow of time.” Oh dear.
The first trailer already revealed that Mobius M. Mobius (a gleeful Owen Wilson) enlists the fan-favorite Asgardian to help the TVA fix the new branches of reality that were created when Loki picked up the Tesseract. And so, the questions begin. So far, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has only teased the idea of the multiverse and alternate Earths - it hasn’t actually travelled to them. But all that is about to change. The first footage from the show has already given us a glimpse of at least one other timeline, clearly shown as Loki lands in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic version of New York - complete with a ruined version of Avengers Tower in the background. But what about actual alternate versions of Marvel heroes or villains?
Well, our theory stems from a singular line in the trailer from Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s TVA agent, Ravonna, who says “You really believe in this Loki variant?” The word ‘this’ clearly implies that there are multiple variants because of the villain’s actions. Did Loki’s initial escape create multiple versions of the Asgardian running amok through the cosmos as time keeps splintering and creating new realities? If that’s the case, then our bet is Loki will be tasked with tracking down and erasing these alternate variants of himself.
Kevin Feige has already hinted at the multiverse and alternate Lokis in Entertainment Weekly’s preview of the Disney Plus series, saying; “Part of the fun of the multiverse and playing with time is seeing other versions of characters, and other versions of the titular character in particular. He’s been around for thousands of years. He had all sorts of adventures. Wanting to fill in the blanks and see much more of Loki’s story [was] the initial desire [for the series].”
And given the huge, blockbuster-sized budgets of the Marvel Studios TV projects it wouldn’t be surprising if Feige recruited some of the MCU's biggest stars to play alternate versions of themselves in different timelines.
But which specific versions of Loki will we meet during the time-hopping adventure? Well the most notable one would be Lady Loki, who has been rumoured to be a part of the series ever since Yesterday star Sophia di Martino joined the show. Throw in the fact that her costume in previously leaked set photos looked suspiciously like a sleeker version of Loki’s typical gold and green garb, and hey presto, Lady Loki.
Plus, the end of the trailer directly pulled from the 2016 ‘Vote Loki’ storyline from the comics where the God of Mischief ran for the US Presidency. The snippet of footage saw Tom Hiddleston decked out in the same green three-piece costume and gold crown combo from the comic - while also wearing a ‘Vote Loki’ badge. We’d put money on this being a Loki variant who’s attempted to conquer Earth using different methods.
And of course, like any Marvel project, the goal is always to look ahead to what’s next. And with both Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on the horizon, it makes perfect sense why the MCU is starting to prepare audiences to see alternate characters on the big screen. After all, if Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield do return to the fray as their respective Spider-Men (a rumour that just won't go away, despite recent denials) then some serious leg-work needs to be done to put the multiverse in the spotlight beforehand.
And who better to make the overarching plot exposition go down well than the charming Tom Hiddleston and the delightfully devilish Loki?
Loki debuts on Disney Plus on 9th June – see our Loki release schedule for more information. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now. Visit our Sci-fi hub for all the latest news, or find something to watch with our TV Guide.