[Editor's note: The following contains spoilers for Loki episode 6, "For All Time. Always."]
Meet Kang…sort of! Loki's season finale—not a collection finale, because it seems—introduced our essential Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) to the Citadel on the Finish of Time, the place, shockingly, Jonathan Majors made his MCU debut, straight-up serving in a purple-and-gold cape combo that makes Physician Unusual seem like he works at a Dwelling Depot. It's nice, and Majors principally carries half-hour of the episode on magnetism alone, however is the Lovecraft Nation star taking part in time-traveler, supervillain, and Improbable 4 relative Kang the Conqueror, as was reported last year together with the information he'd seem in Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania? The reply is as difficult because the multiverse itself. Though Majors does drop the phrase "conqueror" in there, he by no means mentions the title Kang, as an alternative going by the extra enigmatic title "He Who Stays." That occurs to even be the title of a relatively minor Marvel comics character, first showing in Thor #245 by author Len Wein and artist John Buscema, who was revealed in these pages to be the mastermind behind the Time Variance Authority. That character decidedly doesn’t seem like Jonathan Majors. That character appears to be like like this:
However just like the comedian guide model, Majors' character does exist on the very finish of time, sowing the seeds of each occasion to occur throughout all of time. As he explains, the much-discussed Multiversal Warfare was fought between completely different Variants of himself, a battle that solely ended when this particular Variant was in a position to harness the facility of the time-eating monstrosity, Alioth. (The massive scary smoke monster that ate Richard E. Grant.) If we take his phrase at face worth, it is a "good" Variant, with far worse variations of He Who Stays ready within the wings to trigger all-out multiversal chaos. All that he and the TVA does—the pruning, the manipulation, the refusal to let Owen Wilson experience a jet-ski—is to make sure these Variants stay at bay. Sylvie, being a deeply traumatized hothead, instantly punts Hiddleston's Loki into one other timeline and stabs He Who Stays within the chest, formally branching the Sacred Timeline in numerous instructions and kicking off a Multiverse of MadnessTM.
So what does this imply for the long run (and previous and current) of the MCU? Effectively, the Majors we met within the season finale is useless, however his extra menacing Variant—those they've constructed statues for in no matter timeline Loki landed in at episode's finish—definitely feels just like the franchise's subsequent Thanos-sized Massive Dangerous. The character continues to be going to be round for the third Ant-Man movie, which doesn't hit theaters till 2023, however he's additionally clearly going to play into the occasions of Sam Raimi's upcoming Physician Unusual three-quel, fairly actually subtitled Within the Multiverse of Insanity. On the identical time Marvel confirmed Loki season 2, the studio additionally dropped the news Tom Hiddleston will seem in Multiverse of Insanity alongside the already-confirmed Elisabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, immediately tying that third Benedict Cumberbatch standalone movie to the Disney+ Marvel exhibits.
It's additionally necessary to notice that a big portion of Loki's story, particularly on this season 1 finale, was dedicated to explaining in nice element what Variants are; to creating positive the viewers positively, positively understood that the identical precise character can exist in numerous universes however look and act in a different way. Why? Earlier than Multiverse of Insanity debuts—and nicely earlier than Kang dives into Quantumania—we now have to make a cease at Spider-Man: No Way Home, which all stories point out will function quite a lot of Peter Parkers, they usually ain't all gonna' seem like Tom Holland.