Loki, Loki, Loki, what kind of trouble have you gotten yourself into now. The sterling second episode of the newest Disney+ MCU series dropped and it’s a total delight. Action, drama, time travel, and a lot of wonderful Loki moments, the second episode might even be better than the season premiere. And like every awesome MCU series so far, it was also chock-full of comic book nods, deep cut Easter eggs, and hints of what’s to come. So let’s get to it!
An Easter Egg of Time and Place
The episode begins at a Renaissance faire in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1985. Not only is this a very fun place to start any superhero shenanigans, but both the time and place are likely Easter eggs. In Marvel lore, Oshkosh is where Wendell Vaughn’s mother resides. The possessor of the alien Quantum Bands, Wendell is better known as the cosmic superhero Quasar, a fave of writer Mark Gruenwald. The creator launched a Quasar solo series 1989. If you’ve read any of our explainers or our last Loki Easter egg round-up, you’ll know that a lot of Loki comes from Gruenwald’s work. That makes this little location Easter egg a pretty sure bet. And who knows, maybe a certain Wendell Vaughn will turn up as a TVA worker in future episodes?
Our second egg here comes from the date. Marvel 1985 is a pretty great Mark Millar and Tommy Lee Edwards comic from 2008. The story follows a young boy who finds a collection of comics and eventually realizes the villains from the Marvel world are trying to take over the real world. It’s a dynamic multiverse tale that features some of the biggest superheroes and villains from the MCU.
Holding Out for Hero
As the mystery Variant Loki takes down TVA agents, we hear this iconic song. Not only is this Bonnie Tyler classic a timeless banger, but it is probably best known to most people under the age of 25 as the song from Shrek 2. Seeing as the crew is at a renfaire which is thematically and era appropriate to Shrek 2, we think this is a reference to that. Either way, it’s a really, really great scene that will likely go down in MCU history.
Why Does Mobius Love the ’90s So Much?
Something very interesting about Mobius M Mobius is his ’90s fetish. While the ’90s in comics was a huge and impactful period, we’re learning that the TVA manager really loves anything from the ’90s. Last week it was Josta Soda, this week it’s jet skis. Could this just be a reference to the extreme era of comics creators? Or is it a hint to when Mobius himself was created? Could it be that the TVA has only been around since then?
Kiss That Baby Goodbye!
Speaking of that jet ski, a very famous and very funny Marvel cover features one. At the height of his ’90s fame, Jim Lee—with Klaus Janson—created one of the best comic covers of all time: Punisher War Journal #19. The cover shows Punisher riding a get ski with the unforgettable caption: “You’ve Just Rented a Jet-Ski to the Punisher. Kiss That Baby Goodbye!”
No, this doesn’t mean the Punisher is going to show up. Maybe the Loki creative team have never even been blessed by this cover. But if you bring up a jet ski in a Marvel series, we’re going to bring up this very, very good cover.
The Variant Lokis
We see a few different Lokis here. While none of them seem to be immediately comics relevant, they are fun. Note: some of the numbers designated to the Variant Lokis that were seen in the holograms were mixed up and repeated. We did our best to grab what we could! We also definitely made up all of these monikers.
#L6792 – Normal MCU Loki / Dark World
#L1247 – Tour de France Loki
#L6792 – Hell Hulk Monster Loki
#L6792 – Green Suit Beard Loki
#L7003 – Sexy War Loki
An Interesting Reflection
We also see another interesting number on Hunter B-15’s little screen, we see the date April 12 (04.12). This is the reverse of December 12 (12.04)—the last date of the Loki variant (in France). Seems interesting to note at least.
In her role as the apparent head of the TVA, we learn Ravonna gets to keep the souvenirs from TVA missions—including the ones run by Mobius. Owen Wilson’s agent is less than happy about that as we learn when the pair meet in her office. One of the most obvious collectables that she has is a random roller skate. To old school Iron Man fans this can only mean one thing: a reference to when Iron Man had jet powered roller skates in his suit. First debuting in Tales of Suspense #40, the skates appeared sporadically in the Avenger’s first decade, including here during the “nose” era in Iron Man #81. While this might seem random, the TVA plays with some of the most fun and silliest bits of Marvel lore so we’re taking this one.
Yes, more hexagons show up this week! But the most prominent of all is in Ravonna’s office with the coaster that Mobius uses. We get a giant long close up on the coaster, so it seems like we’re supposed to notice it. Will we ever learn why the hexagon became the shape du jour of Marvel? Maybe not, but it’s a cool shape so we’re actually okay with it.
“Loki Is an Evil Scourge.”
Ravonna seems very anti-Loki, have you noticed? She describes Loki as an evil scourge during her chat with Mobius. And, of course, two Marvel characters share the name Scourge; our minds went there straight away. There’s the mask-wearing master of disguise and then the one you’re more likely to think of: Skurge. While this might not be a direct reference to Karl Urban’s comedic henchman in Thor: Ragnarok, he was so charming—in a himbo henchie kind of way—that we immediately thought of him. Seeing as Loki is obviously also in Ragnarok, thinking this is a little reference is in no way a reach.
Name Association Game
While Mobius is in Ravonna’s office we see a Franklin D. Roosevelt High School pen. While hundreds of schools are named after the president, the focus on this pen seems relevant. Franklin is the name of Reed and Sue Richards’ kid, and they’re ancestors of Kang the Conqueror… Also, behind Loki at his desk is the number #372, which is definitely a reference to the second appearance of the TVA in Thor #372.
Destruction of Asgard
Loki’s cool theory about the Variant hiding in apocalypses comes with a reference to Ragnarok. In case you’ve forgotten, that was the destruction of Asgard in the third Thor movie.
Roxxcorp / Roxxcart
We already spotted the massive Marvel corporation in a Loki trailer, but the way they’re utilized is really fun. The futuristic shopping center is like a nightmare Walmart. And it’s where we finally meet the Variant Loki.
Journey into Mystery Returns
This season has already included a few fun Journey into Mystery Easter eggs. The reason for that is because it’s the comic where both Loki and Thor hail from. The #26 on the door at Roxxon likely refers to Journey into Mystery #26. The stories include “The Man From Out There” and “The Machine.” The latter is particularly interesting as it features a bureaucratic scientific community that creates a calculator that gets bored with them and transports itself to another world. Good sci-fi weirdness.
There She Goes, There She Goes Again
And there it is guys, the big reveal that Lady Loki is the Variant Loki the TVA has been looking for. As Loki and Hunter B-15 head into the strange world of Roxxcorp, they face the Variant. Loki eventually reveals them to be an unexpected—yet utterly expected—version of himself. Lady Loki has long been a fan fave so this makes a lot of sense. What her role will be is yet to be seen. But we do know her plan: she dropped multiple reset charges throughout history and set off multiple new timelines!
Timelines Lady Loki messes with:
- 1492 Portugal: In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue… not from Portugal, but his colonization of the West Indies in 1492 did encourage Portugal to draw up a treaty claiming ownership of vast swaths of land. Which is terrible.
- 2301 Vormir: The planet where the Soul Stone was hidden in Avengers: Endgame.
- 1551 Thornton, USA: ?
- 1999 Cookeville, USA: ?
- 2004 Asgard: This could be a reference to the young Thor series from 2004, Thor: Son of Asgard.
- 1390 Rome: Papal drama was occurring as Pope Boniface IX “saw to it that Ladislaus was crowned King of Naples at Gaeta on 29 May 1390.
- 1984 Sakaar: The battle planet we visited during Thor: Ragnarok and the setting of the now-classic Planet Hulk comic book story arc.
- 1808 Barichara: The Cabrera municipality was set up on this date.
- 1208 Porvoo: A city in Finland, but this date would have been pre-colonization by the Swedes.
- 1382 Ego: Whatever it is, this occurred on Kurt Russell’s living planet as seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
- 1982 Titan: This is the moon orbiting Saturn where Thanos hails from. It’s also the setting of Marvel’s first graphic novel, The Death of Captain Marvel by Jim Starlin, published in—you guessed it—1982.
- 1947 New York: There was a smallpox outbreak in New York during 1947, but it’s also a key location for Agent Carter!
- 1984 Japan: There were multiple disasters and new incoming political figureheads this year.
- 0051 Hala: This is the home planet of the Kree.
- 1999 Kingsport, USA: ?
- 1991 Xandar: Homeworld of the Nova Corps. In 1991’s Quasar #20, the Fantastic Four teamed up with Quasar in an issue set between Earth and Xandar.
- 2005 Beijing: In the comics Beijing sometimes holds the Eighth Gate a transdimensional portal.
One Last Comic Book Reference
Ravonna Renslayer’s Hunter helmet in her trophy case says A-23. This is a reference to her first appearance in Avengers #23. This continues a nice trend of the MCU shows using A numbers to signify little Avengers Easter eggs.
New creator credits:
Olivier Coipel and J Michael Straczynski: Co-creators of the mid-00s Thor series where Asgard was reestablished in Oklahoma and Lady Loki first debuted.
Steve Englehart: Co-creator of Roxxon.
Featured Image: Marvel Studios