Deep cut characters everywhere but not a clue who they are? Well, if this is you then you’re in the right place. The newest Loki trailer is filled with exciting action, cool comics nods, and deep cut Marvel characters. While we all know the God of Mischief here, we also meet the proper leader of the Time Variance Authority, Mobius M. Mobius. But this piece is not about him. Nope, as much as we’re looking forward to seeing Owen Wilson and Loki banter each other to within an inch of their lives, this story is about Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
Thanks to some press images we know she’ll be playing a character called Judge Renslayer. And while it’s unclear if it’s a simple nod, a character announcement, or something more complex, we’re here to explain why that name could have big implications for the Marvel Universe.
Who is Ravonna Renslayer?
The futuristic Princess made her debut in 1965’s Avengers #23. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, she was the daughter of one of Kang the Conqueror’s minions, King Carelius. Her wild comic book history saw her as both an unrequited and requited love interest of the time-travelling despot Kang. But she was also a shape-shifting, armor-wearing sci-fi heroine in her right.
Her powers are vague—superhuman durability, anyone?—but she is a weapons expert and utilizes a selection of impressive futuristic tech when she’s battling. Her relationship with Kang has been fraught. He’s imprisoned her and put her in stasis. She’s sacrificed herself for him. They’ve regularly been lovers throughout multiple eras. One thing is key, though. Wherever Ravonna is, Kang usually follows. That links the upcoming Loki series to Ant-Man: Quantumania, in which Kang will play the villain.
When it comes to Kang, Ravonna can be both friend and antagonist; she has even fought him under a superheroic guise. During the Terminatrix Objective, she took on the titular mantle and fought other time conquerors herself. She did this alongside U.S. Agent and War Machine. In an echo of the MCU’s Loki, she has even run Kang’s Kingdom before growing tired and reviving him. Basically, Ravonna is one of the Marvel Universe’s weirdest and most fun anti-heroes. So it’s all the more exciting to see her at least referenced in the name of a character played by one of our favorite actors. But what does it all mean?
How might she come into play in the MCU?
In the comics, Ravonna and Loki are not closely connected. The big thing here is Kang. We know that Jonathon Majors has been cast as the iconic Fantastic Four villain—and extended family member—for the Ant-Man sequel. So the fact that Mbatha-Raw has been given this name seems unlikely to be a coincidence.
That said, we don’t know if she is playing Ravonna or perhaps is just named after a known character—like the The Falcon and the Winter Soldier character Selby. In the comics, Ravonna has never worked for the Time Variance Authority. In fact, those multiversal masters are not fans of Kang and have often tried to stop his time-traveling shenanigans. That adds an interesting potential for conflict, or a new way for Ravonna and Kang to cross paths in the MCU.
Including a character called Renslayer in the Time Variance Authority is an interesting choice. It becomes even more so when we look at the history of the Judges. They’re violent, aggressive, and over-the-top lawmakers riffing on Judge Dredd. It’s a far cry from Ravonna’s royal origins, but does immediately put her on a collision course with Kang; it’s a direct gateway to the multiverse and different eras of history.
If you know the history of Kang, you know he’s a prolific time-meddler. He will likely take advantage of the chaos kicked off by Loki and the Avengers in Endgame. Perhaps, just like in the comics, Ravonna will be in cahoots with Kang. But we’ll have to wait until the show hits in June to know for sure.
Featured Image: Marvel Studios