Marvel’s Loki Episode 1: MCU Easter Eggs and Reference Guide

This text comprises nothing however spoilers for Loki episode 1. We’ve got a spoiler-free review here.

Marvel’s Loki episode 1 has lastly arrived on Disney+! And within the grand scheme of issues, this one is way nearer to WandaVision than The Falcon and the Winter Soldier when it comes to its tone, weirdness, and total sense of thriller. The halls of the TVA are filled with obscure Marvel Comics lore and hints of what’s to return for the MCU, and we’re right here to try to show you how to make sense of all of it.

The MCU and Loki Timeline

It’s acceptable that the very first thing we see in Loki is a scene from Avengers: Endgame, the time-iest, wime-iest Marvel film of all of them (thus far) and whose timeline branching/headache inducing time journey guidelines are essential to the central ideas of Loki.

Mainly, an important factor to recollect right here is that this ISN’T the Loki who died in the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, however quite the Loki who had solely JUST been a supreme dick within the first Avengers motion pictures. And as we see on this episode, TV Loki has not lived by means of the occasions of Thor: The Darkish World or Thor: Ragnarok (each of which we see proven to him by Agent Mobius) nor has he um…died by means of the opening of Infinity Conflict. But. Which helps clarify why he’s extra incorrigible than ordinary. 

We wrote about this in more detail here.

The Time Variance Authority (TVA)

The Time Variance Authority was created by Walt Simonson within the pages of his legendary run on Marvel’s Thor comics (severely, it’s top-of-the-line of all time) again in 1986. They’ve made sporadic appearances in Marvel Comics continuity since then, all the time of their inimitable and quirky type. They’re a much bigger deal now, though.

In the event you’d have advised us again in 2008 when Iron Man got here out that the TVA could be the central piece of a Loki TV collection, properly…

Owen Wilson as Mobius

You imply Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius, TVA bureaucrat extraordinaire, and he of the great onscreen chemistry with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki? THAT Mobius M. Mobius? Properly, sure, he’s certainly from the comics.

In reality, within the comics, all middle-management TVA “workers” look precisely like Mobius. This was a loving nod in the direction of the good Marvel author/editor Mark Gruenwald, keeper of Marvel continuity within the ‘80s and ‘90s (and in addition creator of one of many longest and finest runs of Captain America comics, however that’s a narrative for an additional time). It seems that within the MCU, there’s just one Mobius, however who can inform with the TVA, proper?

Anyway, it’s fairly cool that Owen Wilson is principally enjoying a legendary Marvel Comics author, by means of a enjoyable little meta lens.

Gugu Mbatha-Uncooked as Ravonna Renslayer

Gugu Mbatha-Uncooked (who you should still finest know from Black Mirror’s standout San Junipero episode) performs Ravonna Renslayer, a former TVA Hunter-turned-judge. Within the comics, Ravonna was a time-traveling princess linked to Kang the Conqueror, however Loki’s model of the character is sort of completely different – at the very least thus far. We do know that there’s some Kang-flavored stuff coming up in Ant-Man 3 although, so watch this area.

Mbatha-Uncooked has famous that the character has plenty of future MCU potential, so we assume we’ll be taught much more about her in upcoming episodes.

Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15

So far as we will inform, Wunmi Mosaku’s Hunter B-15 isn’t instantly based mostly on anyone Marvel Comics character. However her basic badassery and take-no-shit-from-anyone perspective feels faintly paying homage to Justice Peace, the very first TVA agent who was ever launched, again within the first TVA story from the aforementioned Walt Simonson Thor run.

The Time-Keepers

In Marvel, the principle universe was created after the warmth loss of life of the earlier one. The final dwelling worker of that actuality’s TVA, often known as He Who Stays, created the Time-Keepers to be able to shield the brand new timeline. His first try led to the Time-Twisters, who have been flawed and used their logic and authority to destroy sure realities. They have been launched in Thor #282, the place Thor cut up their actuality in two. Within the actuality the place the Time-Twisters have been destroyed, He Who Stays changed them with the extra improved Time-Keepers.

Whereas comparatively extra benevolent than their multiversal rivals, the Timekeepers did oppose the Avengers within the miniseries Avengers Endlessly, which was primarily a storyline put collectively to elucidate away sure problems with Avengers continuity.

Miss Minutes

The “orientation” video that Miss Minutes reveals to new Variants consists of a few enjoyable nods to Marvel stuff of the previous…

A robotic that appears suspiciously like HERBIE from the Hanna-Barbera Unbelievable 4 cartoon is right here. That is now the 2nd Marvel Disney+ present to tease Unbelievable 4 stuff, nevertheless it’s a VERY protected wager that the generally-despised HERBIE will all the time/solely be a part of some alternate FF universe…or will he?
The 2 warring armies we witness look like the Kree and the Wakandans. Whereas that standoff hasn’t occurred within the comics to the very best of our data, Ta-Nehisi Coates simply wrapped up a protracted and wonderful run of Black Panther comics the place Wakanda grew to become the inspiration for a colonial intergalactic empire, so perhaps this can be a tease for Black Panther 2.

Additionally, it’s fairly cool the way it switches to a retro 4:3 side ratio for this phase, completely in step with the general aesthetic of the TVA. 

Oh yeah, and simply as everybody suspected however Marvel refused to verify when Miss Minutes’ voice was first heard in the trailer, that’s Tara Robust doing the honors.

The Marvel Multiverse

So, the TVA is accountable for ensuring “the sacred timeline” stays intact. That “sacred timeline” is the principle continuity of the MCU. They’re doing this as a result of nexus occasions create new timelines, they usually’ve had issues with that earlier than.

To provide you a small pattern, the “important” Marvel Comics continuity timeline is known as “Earth-616,” whereas the MCU is “Earth-199999” So this implies the “sacred timeline” referred to right here is designation 199999.

This all occurred attributable to a multiversal battle. This appears to be a shout out to Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers/New Avengers run, which culminated in 2015’s Secret Wars. On this storyline, entropy was spreading by means of the multiverse and was inflicting alternate Earths to collide. Both each realities could be destroyed or one actuality would stay on by annihilating the opposite. This led to the mainstream Marvel Universe and the Final Marvel Universe going to battle with one another because the final realities standing. Due to the efforts of Dr. Doom, Dr. Unusual, Molecule Man, and later Reed Richards, a brand new important timeline was created within the aftermath.

It additionally may be one thing of a reference to “Timequake,” a five-issue story arc that befell within the problems with What If #35-39 again within the Nineteen Nineties. It concerned a plot by the Time-Twisters and Immortus utilizing varied gamers from alternate timelines as pawns. They have been ultimately thwarted by Uatu the Watcher, the TVA, and a last-minute intervention from the Timekeepers themselves.

Nexus

In accordance with the TVA orientation video and its large Jurassic Park vibes, Variants trigger Nexus occasions – unauthorized branches within the timeline – typically simply by being late for work! If the phrase “Nexus” is ringing a bell, it’s as a result of we beforehand noticed it manifest in WandaVision in the course of the antidepressant business within the seventh episode. 

In Marvel Comics, the Nexus of All Realities first appeared in 1972’s Concern #11. It’s a cross-dimensional gateway that gives entry to all attainable realities and is a spot the place all of the realities of the multiverse intersect (amusingly, Howard the Duck was dropped at Earth within the comics through the Nexus of All Realities) Wanda Maximoff is sometimes called a “Nexus Being”, a multiversal anchor who protects us from threats outdoors our actuality.

At one other level in the course of the TVA orientation video, Miss Minutes says {that a} Nexus occasion that’s left unchecked may department off into “insanity” main to a different multiversal battle. It’s in all probability not an accident that the phrase “insanity” is used right here, as subsequent March we’re getting a film referred to as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Is it a fairly protected wager that in some unspecified time in the future throughout this collection the TVA goes to fail of their mission to maintain the timeline sacred? Will a Loki Variant be accountable?

Oh, and talking of Physician Unusual…

The Nightmare Division

Mobius makes reference to one thing referred to as “The Nightmare Division,” which is presumably a part of no matter bureaucratic cosmology exists behind the scenes of the MCU. The inter-dimensional being often known as Nightmare is a key foe of Doctor Strange. Hmmmm…

Mephisto? Nope!

Now, we all know that all of us had enjoyable speculating about Mephisto’s inclusion in WandaVision, and a giant ol’ red-horned satan in a stained-glass window on this episode certain is gonna have everybody doing the Leonardo DiCaprio pointing meme. However sadly, of us, this ain’t a Mephisto reference.

“The satan within the church really genuinely is coincidental,” Loki director Kate Herron tells us. “That’s meant to be a reference to our present. It’s a metaphor for Loki with the horns and, you recognize, he was forged out of heaven so that’s coincidental.” 

Subsequent time, child…

And to suppose that again when Avengers: Infinity Conflict was on the way in which, individuals have been speculating that Loki could be taking the Mephisto function from Infinity Gauntlet. I assume we have been only a few years off.

Kablooie

Consider it or not, the blue mouth gum that the variant Loki items form of has a comics connection. Not as in it’s a Marvel easter egg or something, however in that it looks like a nod to one thing that was omnipresent in previous comedian books.

Y’see, again within the day, each comedian had an advert web page that was nothing however novelty items: pleasure buzzers, whoopie cushions, X-ray glasses (which you will acknowledge because the Den of Geek emblem), and gum that may flip the unsuspecting recipient’s mouth blue or black. Loki, in true trickster vogue, gave this poor little French child a few of that novelty gum, leaving him with a blue mouth.

It’s a intelligent nod to a chunk of comedian guide historical past, and one which’s extraordinarily acceptable for the God of Mischief.

DB Cooper

The present depicts an actual occasion on this episode, because it reveals that Loki was in truth famed skyjacker DB Cooper. For individuals who won’t know, a properly dressed and well mannered man often known as “Dan Cooper” hijacked a aircraft flying between Portland and Seattle on Nov. 24, 1971. His grasp plan was to flee with $20,000 in money and parachuted out of the aircraft someplace over the Pacific Northwest…and was by no means heard from once more.

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Finally, a portion of the money that was recognized as being a part of Cooper’s haul was discovered within the woods (therefore the traditionally correct depiction of the money scattering as Loki is yanked away by the Rainbow Bridge), however Cooper himself was by no means really positively recognized. So actually, the concept that it may need simply been Loki having some enjoyable is as believable a proof as any.

Chalk this up as one of many great DB Cooper pop culture moments!

The Posters

The vaguely dystopian propaganda vibe given off by the posters that line the partitions of the TVA isn’t any accident. We sense components of The Prisoner right here, with a few of the messages feeling like they might have come from “the village” of that collection.

However Loki director Kate Herron has cited different sci-fi influences that may all line up with this together with Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, Blade Runner, A Clockwork Orange, and extra! 

We’ll have extra from Ms. Herron in regards to the influences of the present quickly!

Aw, What’s within the Drawer?

Apart from the MANY Infinity Stones in Casey’s drawer, there’s additionally a medallion, a cross, and what seems to be a dagger of some variety. This can be a stretch however…is that this a touch that Dracula is coming to the MCU within the Blade film and (okay, nice, nice we’ll cease).

All jokes apart, this tracks pretty properly to how we all know the Infinity Stones work within the comics. In Secret Wars, Battleworld was comprised of the bits and items of the multiverse that Doom and Dr. Unusual may save earlier than it was annihilated by the Beyonders. Unusual suspected that Doom (all highly effective on the time) would possibly must be taken down in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later, so he made certain to seize a set of Infinity Gems to make use of on him. Nevertheless, they solely labored of their house actuality, so on Battleworld, that meant that in case you traveled to a special land with the Stones from the primary, they’d cease working on the border. 

Casey’s drawer appears prefer it’s stuffed with inert stones from variant timelines that don’t work as a result of they’re now not linked to their house realm.

Who’s Casey?

Casey is performed by Eugene Cordero. He’s been in so many issues together with The Mandalorian Season 1 however it’s possible you’ll know him finest as Pillboi in The Good Place. He’s superb and a giant fave at Den of Geek.

And was {that a} nod to Scream when Loki tells him “I’ll intestine you want a fish?” 

Josta

A favourite drink on the TVA is Josta, which was one of many first “vitality drinks” earlier than these have been actually a factor. It was manufactured by Pepsi and solely briefly out there within the mid-to-late ‘90s, again when every little thing needed to be “excessive.” It’s fairly humorous that along with utilizing outmoded analog know-how, the TVA additionally consumes outmoded smooth drinks. We guess it’s fairly straightforward to get no matter you want when you possibly can go wherever on the timeline.

Miscellaneous Time Fragments

There seems to be a variant Skrull within the ready room of the TVA when Loki is first introduced in. He’s the man within the tracksuit.

After we go to Salina, OK (1858) on the finish of the episode, there’s a really cool piece of Jack Kirby-lookin’ know-how laying round. What the hell is that, a shovel?

Salina is a pair hundred miles east of Broxton, the spot in Oklahoma the place Asgard reemerged after its Disassembled-related remaining Ragnarok within the comics. Coincidence? In all probability.

The results for not having a ticket throughout your TVA orientation are solely SLIGHTLY extra extreme than those Indy dished out to a deserving Nazi in Indiana Jones and the Final Campaign. “No ticket!”

It additionally units up a enjoyable parallel to Thor on Sakaar from Thor: Ragnarok. Like Thor, Loki is a confused prisoner in a weird new land, given an introduction through household leisure (theme park darkish trip/Fifties-style cartoon), solely to comprehend how critical shit is by seeing a fellow prisoner get horribly vaporized close by.

The entitled jerk who will get vaporized by the TVA is known as Martin. He doesn’t seem to have any significance to the bigger Marvel Universe, however his dad is on the board of Goldman Sachs…don’t know in case you’ve heard. Martin is performed by Josh Fadem, who it’s possible you’ll acknowledge as one among Jimmy McGill’s faculty scholar cameramen on Better Call Saul. He has additionally voiced characters on American Dad and The Powerpuff Women.

Spot something we missed? Tell us within the feedback!

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