The God of Mischief is back and he’s been burdened with the glorious purpose of continuing Marvel’s streak of streaming domination. With Tom Hiddleston once again suiting up as the tortured Asgardian villain-turned-almost-hero, there’s been non-stop speculation from fans as to what kind of misadventures this version of Loki Laufeyson might get into when Disney grants him his own time-traveling TV series on June 9th.
The trickster god is an admitted pathological liar and chronic ne’er do well, so it’s almost impossible to predict what he’ll do — and more importantly, why he’ll do it — when he’s forced to team up with the Time Variance Authority to correct some anomalies his “rebirth” probably caused. (Remember: we’re working with the “old Loki” here whose plot to destroy New York City and rule Midgard failed pretty spectacularly early in the Avengers’ run.) But luckily, there are plenty of clues to be found in the comics that might better prep us for the mayhem and multi-verse pandemonium that’s undoubtedly in store. We’ve sifted through some of the character’s biggest comic book story arcs to see what the future might hold for Marvel’s favorite Rock of Ages cosplayer.
Loki: Agent of Asgard
One of the more visionary reworkings of the Marvel villain to date, author Al Ewing’s time-hopping espionage thriller seems like the obvious source material for much of the action we’ve seen so far in trailers for the upcoming Disney series. In Agent of Asgard, Loki accepts a mission from the All-Mother to protect Midgard. With each good deed done, one of his previous crimes is erased. The comic is basically an excuse to force Loki to confront past versions of himself in order to become a better, more virtuous being which feels aligned with visuals we’ve seen from the show’s previews. Fans have already theorized that alternate versions of the shape-shifting charlatan might pop up in the series (Sophia Di Martino, blink twice if you’re the real Lady Loki!), and the Asgardian’s back-and-forth friendship with Owen Wilson’s Agent Mobius channels his partnership with a human in the comics named Verity Willis who could always tell when she was being lied to. One especially powerful call back is a scene in the trailer that seems to reference a metaphorical space in the comic storyline where he’s forced to confront past versions of himself in order to defeat a truly evil future iteration, eventually renaming himself as Loki, God of Stories. It’s a mind-bending ride but it would nicely set up a second season — one that’s already been greenlit by Disney — and really, would you expect anything less from the MCU’s biggest drama queen?
Again, there are some fairly obvious references to this four-part comic book series written by Christopher Hastings that seem to be beating us over the head in the show’s trailer. His shredded three-piece suit, his political pin, a horde of Viking supporters that unexpectedly turn on him. If Loki is making a run for President of the United States as he did in Hastings’ satirical arc, it’s obviously not going well. More than likely this is just another version of Loki that the current time anomaly must “fix” but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t hyped to see the silver-tongued deity woo the masses with his political prowess.
The Fantastic Four And The Time Variance Authority
Technically the Time Variance Authority was first introduced in a Thor storyline but we didn’t really learn about this bureaucratic organization tasked with balancing multiple universe timelines until Issue 353 in Volume 1 of the Fantastic Four comics. That’s when Wilson’s Agent Mobius was first introduced as the team found themselves on trial for crimes against synchronicity. It’s here we learn about the Minutemen — agents of the TVA that are both human and machine — and the Null-Time Zone, a place existing outside time that serves as the TVA’s home base. It’s a safe bet that most of the backstory of the TVA and Mobius will come from these early Fantastic Four outings.
This Stan Lee creation marks the first mention of Ravonna Lexus Renslayer, the character Gugu Mbatha-Raw is reported to be playing in the Disney series. Now, the Ravonna here is markedly different from Mbatha-Raw’s antagonistic time judge, but it can’t be a coincidence that the showrunners named her after a royal, superhuman being with ties to Kang the Conqueror. We know that Jonathan Majors has been cast to play the legendary villain in next year’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, another Marvel entry dealing with the multiverse, so it stands to reason that he might be introduced at some point in Loki and his unrequited romance with Renslayer would be the perfect preview. We know that Loki will lead into Doctor Strange’s multiverse adventures, why not Ant-Man’s as well?
Secret Wars: The Last Days of Loki
A few months after the events of Agents of Asgard, Loki returns under his new moniker as the “God of Stories,” a changed being. Sort of. He’s still devious and untrustworthy, but he seems to be intent on destroying a genocidal version of himself named King Loki who’s conquered Earth and seeks to destroy Asgard, if not the entire Multiverse itself. Plenty of fans have speculated that Lady Loki — a version of the character first introduced in an Avengers: Disassembled storyline — might be the “greater threat” the TVA has enlisted Loki’s help in fighting but we think there’s a strong possibility the main villain of the series might be King Loki. He’s an adversary that only Loki can really hope to beat, which explains why instead of the TVA deleting the Asgardian from the timeline altogether — something they might normally do — they’re content to work with him to bring down an even worse version of the character. The King Loki storyline also feels like the kind of insular arc that could give Loki the kind of meatier, meaningful journey he deserves while keeping the main MCU timeline relatively intact.
Whether any of these storylines come to fruition or these predictions pan out, Loki is shaping up to follow in WandaVision’s footsteps, giving us the kind of weird AF interpretation of a fan-favorite MCU figure we’ve been missing from our own timeline for quite some time.