This text accommodates spoilers for Loki episode 1.
Loki episode 1 “Glorious Purpose” has a whole lot of exposition to get by way of. Throwing the Marvel franchise’s God of Mischief into the orderly bureaucratic nightmare that’s the Time Variance Authority is a enjoyable thought. However coping with time journey on any degree creates some storytelling complications.
Fortunately, Loki breakout star Miss Minutes (voiced by Tara Strong) arrives early on within the proceedings to supply a useful rationalization on what the TVA is and how they keep the Sacred Timeline sacred. Utilizing animation straight out of a Sixties public service announcement, Miss Minutes particulars how the universe was as soon as dominated by a number of timelines vying for supremacy till the Time Keepers stepped in to type every part out.
Now the TVA makes positive the Sacred Timeline runs easily and stamps out any threats. However what sort of threats are there to the Sacred Timeline, precisely? If the Sacred Timeline is…effectively, sacred, and a part of the Time Keepers’ divine plan, how may something intrude with it? That’s the place Variants and Nexus occasions are available. Miss Minutes and her animated brief clarify these ideas as effectively, however right here’s a extra detailed model of exactly what a Nexus occasion is.
Although more often than not the Sacred Timeline chugs alongside in response to the Time Keepers’ grand design, every so often a person and their pesky free will can interrupt that timeline with their actions. That is known as a Nexus occasion and might be one thing as grandiose as beginning a warfare or so simple as being late to work. People who have interaction in Nexus occasions are often known as Variants. Loki turned a Variant by choosing up the Tesseract and fleeing within the alternate model of 2012. The truth that this was a Nexus event but the Avengers’ extensive meddling in the timestream was not is an efficient instance of simply how arbitrary the Sacred Timeline might be.
The TVA has been charged with figuring out Nexus occasions and stamping them out by any means mandatory. It’s because if a Nexus occasion is left “untreated” for a sure period of time, it would create a complete new timeline separate from the Sacred Timeline. The Time Keepers’ fastidiously curated monoverse timeline then runs the danger of turning into a full-on multiverse of timelines. And nobody needs that…save for Loki, Marvel followers, and Marvel execs who will definitely be certain that we get a multiverse in time for Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Talking of “Insanity,” Miss Minutes even mentions that a number of timelines will result in it.
That is possible why Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) appears at a little bit line graph on his system when investigating a Nexus occasion in sixteenth century France. Presumably, he’s ensuring that this Nexus occasion hasn’t carried on lengthy sufficient to create a brand new timeline. A Nexus occasion’s potential to create a brand new timeline can be possible the place it drew its identify from. A “nexus” is a connection, a hyperlink, or a collected group or sequence. The purpose the place a brand new timeline branches off from the Sacred Timeline would subsequently logically be known as a nexus of the 2 timelines.
This isn’t the primary time we’ve heard the phrase “nexus” in Marvel’s Disney+ sequence. Again in WandaVision’s seventh episode, there was a pharmaceutical commercial for a drug known as Nexus. The advert copy learn:
“Feeling depressed? Just like the world goes on with out you? Do you simply need to be left alone? Ask your physician about ‘Nexus’ – a novel antidepressant that works to anchor you again to your actuality or the fact of your selection. Negative effects embody feeling your emotions, confronting your fact, seizing your future, and probably extra melancholy. Nexus: as a result of the world doesn’t revolve round you. Or does it?”
Being anchored again to your actuality or the fact of 1’s selection undoubtedly appears apt for the idea of Nexus occasions launched in Loki. Nexuses have additionally been part of Marvel comics for many years. “The Nexus of All Realities” first appeared in 1972’s Concern #11. This was a cross-dimensional gateway the place all attainable realities intersect. Moreover, Wanda Maximoff is sometimes called a “Nexus Being ” since she operates as a multiversal anchor. Kang the Conqueror (quickly to be performed by Jonathan Majors in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania) is one other Nexus Being.
Principally, dialed all the way down to its most literal interpretation, a nexus is the purpose at which two ideas, realities, or bodily manifestations meet. For the TVA’s functions in Loki, Nexus occasions are the purpose through which new timelines emerge from the Sacred Timeline. Will these new timelines result in new universes all through the following section of Marvel’s Multiverse of Insanity storytelling? Will Wanda play a extra direct position as Na exus Being in contacting new universes to be reunited along with her Westview youngsters, Billy and Tommy?