If you made it through all of Loki episode 4’s credits—and if you didn’t, let’s chat about the proper way to watch a Marvel show—then you know what’s got fans in a tizzy this week: a bombshell mid-credits scene that reveals more about the franchise’s future than any of the preceding 45 minutes. Marvel loves these teases almost as much as it loves Spider-Man reboots.
But this particular mid-credits scene offers more to chew on than the many clues we’ve watched before, in large part because it’s bolder, quirkier and more chaotic. It gifts fans with not one but three new cameos—including an eyebrow-raising appearance by Gosford Park actor Richard E. Grant. What’s he doing in that delightfully ill-fitting neon spandex, you ask? Let’s explore the possibilities.
Spoilers ahead for Loki episode 4.
The final seconds of “The Nexus Event” confirmed what we already guessed: Loki, though “pruned” by the Time Variance Authority, is still alive. (This also means that Owen Wilson’s character, Mobius, must be alive somewhere, too.) Although he’s been banished from the TVA’s headquarters to some unknown realm, Loki’s body and mind are still intact. It appears “pruning” is not so much a death sentence as a teleportation device.
Where he is now, we can’t be sure. The landscape looks vaguely like a post-apocalyptic New York City; peep the dilapidated skyscraper on the right side of the screen, and you’ll notice it bears resemblance to Manhattan’s Stark Tower. But the three faces staring back at our favorite Loki variant are completely unfamiliar.
The one in the middle is the easiest to identify. A teenager with floppy black hair and a horned sigil adorning his chest and forehead, this must be Kid Loki (sometimes known as Teen Loki and played by Jack Veal in the show), a younger version of the “real” Loki and an iteration who joins the Young Avengers in the comics. To his left is a mystery character (Deobia Oparei), reminiscent of Thor but with a golden hammer and a more stoic demeanor compared to Chris Hemsworth’s affable God of Thunder. They’re accompanied by Alligator Loki–either that, or a pet with a penchant for hats.
Finally, there’s Richard E. Grant’s character on the right. Draped in the iconic original Loki garb from the earliest comics, this aging variant is decked out in canary yellow and forest green, his long, scowling face perhaps only matched by the length of his gleaming horns.
This ensemble of Loki variants, all in one place, is almost certainly a foray into the much-hyped multiverse Marvel has been assembling since the Avengers: Endgame credits went black. There are rumors that Tom Holland’s next Spider-Man film, Spider-Man: No Way Home, could feature multiple actors from reboots past, including Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, but Loki—and “The Nexus Event” in particular—is our first confirmation that several versions of our heroes (and villains) can co-exist in one space.
Grant’s character, in particular, deserves further study. His designation as “Classic Loki,” dressed in his costume circa the Jack Kirby era, gives us a few hints about his personality. Long before Tom Hiddleston turned Loki into an empathetic (and much-swooned-over) antihero, Classic Loki was an irredeemable king in a yellow cape. He was much more Joker than jester, a tyrant rather than a lost and suffering child. His relationship with Thor was not one of distant brotherly love but fiery hatred. Grant’s irritable frown hints that this Loki variant isn’t likely to appreciate the younger’s wisecracks and quips. If he’s helping our beloved Loki, he likely has an angle that doesn’t involve saving the world.
It’s also worth noting that Classic Loki’s death in the comics gave way to Kid Loki’s first appearance. The two are tied across the timeline, which could explain why they’re allied in “The Nexus Event.”
The only variant we’re missing in this family reunion is Sylvie, who’s stuck back at the TVA headquarters with Judge Ravonna Renslayer. But I can’t imagine she’ll stay away for long. This show is headed directly for timeline chaos, and Sylvie wouldn’t dare miss out on the fun.
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