This article contains spoilers
Loki season two continues to drop Easter eggs left, right, and center, but in its second episode the show happily climbs aboard Marvel’s “running gag” bandwagon by throwing in a visual reference to one of the MCU’s most divisive movies: Eternals.
During the opening scene of this week’s Loki, the God of Mischief and his TVA analyst BFF Mobius (Owen Wilson) travel back in time to capture the slimy Brad Wolfe (Rafael Casal), a TVA hunter and variant who has absconded to a past point on the Sacred Timeline to build the life he never got to have as a 70s movie star.
At the premiere of his latest film, Zaniac, Loki and Mobius roll up to the red carpet, but not before passing a range of posters advertizing upcoming feature presentations, one of which happens to star Kumail Nanjiani’s Bollywood actor Kingo from Eternals! You can take a closer look at the poster below, as it was captured on set during production on Loki season two.
Kingo's posters featuring on Loki season 2 set…👀 first GOTG holiday special now Loki 🤔🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/oSFy5R4eTn— eternals comfort (@eternalscomfort) July 3, 2022
Loki certainly isn’t the first MCU Disney+ project to reference one of Marvel’s most divisive Phase Four movies, and Kingo himself has been referenced twice before. Ms. Marvel name-dropped him last year when Kamala Khan unwittingly called out his immortal nature by mentioning both “Kingo Senior” and his “son”, while the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special went down the same visual route as Loki, positioning “Kingo Junior” film posters in the background during Drax and Mantis’ stroll around Hollywood. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law also opted to include an Eternals nod when a news side-bar noted a “giant statue of a man sticking out of the ocean” – a reference to Tiamut’s frozen Celestial corpse, which was abandoned in the sea at the end of the 2021 movie.
Despite these references becoming quite common in the MCU now, it’s still not entirely clear what kind of future Marvel is planning for the Eternals. The immortal synthazoids were admittedly a divisive addition to the sprawling cinematic universe, and their blockbuster movie got a fairly lukewarm reception at the time, creating an origin story that juggled the introduction of over ten new characters and that didn’t seem to have many ramifications for the MCU.
Personally, I really enjoyed Chloé Zhao’s Eternals, and it does seem like the fandom has softened on it since its release. Hopefully, the Easter eggs and references scattered throughout these Disney+ shows hint that Marvel will eventually take a gamble on at least some of the characters the film set up in the future, and it seems clear that Nanjiani’s Kingo is still living rent-free in their heads during the roll-out of MCU Phase Five!
Loki season two stars Tom Hiddleston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, Tara Strong, Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Martino, Jonathan Majors, Rafael Casal, Kate Dickie, Liz Carr, and Ke Huy Quan, and is streaming now on Disney+.