This Loki article contains spoilers.
The fourth episode of Loki, “The Nexus Event,” has a lot of shocking moments. Mobius got vaporized while giving a defiant speech. Lady Sif showed up, proving that she didn’t become the Mark Brendanawicz of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The post-credits scene went all “Into the Loki-Verse:. Owen Wilson said, “How?” and it sounded as delightfully weird as when he says, “Wow!” But one of the bigger moments was the big revelation about the Time-Keepers.
After one of them was beheaded, it turned out that the trio of time gods weren’t actually real. They were just animatronics, ruling over the timeline like a slightly more sinister version of Rock-afire Explosion. That leaves us with more questions about what’s really going on.
First off, were the Time-Keepers ever real? The MCU has a habit of teasing established comics canon, telling a lie, and then later revealing the perceived truth in another form. The Mandarin doesn’t truly exist in Iron Man 3, except now he does in Shang-Chi. The Skrulls aren’t our enemy, only they will be down the line. Mysterio was lying about the multiverse, but we know the multiverse has existed and will exist again. Vision wasn’t truly resurrected, but now he is.
So the Time-Keepers may be more than just a red herring. It’s possible they did exist at one point or will in the future. In the meantime, who is really pulling the strings in the Time Variance Authority? Who is the true villain?
Kang the Conqueror
We already know that Jonathan Majors will play the role of Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Not only is Kang one of the biggest Marvel villains yet to hit the big screen but he’s also the one synonymous with “evil time travel.”
Plus, in the comics, Kang has a relationship with Ravonna Renslayer. As it is right now, he’s the boogeyman to fans, as even if he isn’t behind everything, he certainly has to be linked to the TVA’s exploits somehow. There’s no way this show doesn’t at least get the ball rolling towards his big introduction on the big screen.
Perhaps the TVA is Kang’s failsafe. If a time traveler were to take over the world at some point, he’d probably want to put something in place to stop others from ousting him. If he wanted to, say, build an organization designed to keep his timeline intact and wipe out any threats to his rule, a fake religion built on goon squads and bureaucracy sure would do the trick.
Judge Renslayer is already a pretty big villain, but how high up the ladder is she? It could be that she’s the latest top dog keeping the illusion going. I’m sure we’ll find out more of what makes her tick in the next episode, but the sky is the limit for how much authority she has in the TVA.
Still, she was repeatedly clowned by Sylvie in battle. Whoever is in charge of this mess is definitely someone who’s going to have more power to go with their stature.
We haven’t had nearly enough of Miss Minutes, but we know enough about her to be very, very confused. As she speaks the narrative of the one, true timeline, she’s more than just a charming cartoon character. She’s also somewhat sentient in a really off-putting way.
Basically, Miss Minutes is the old-timey cartoon version of Jor-El’s crystal ghost form, used entirely for propaganda. We don’t know her limits. We don’t know what makes her…tick. Could this be an Agatha situation where the comic relief side character is more ominous than the viewer initially realized?
Personally, she reminds me of that singing clock from Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, so I instinctively expect the worst from her.
I hate to bring up anything Fantastic Four after the whole WandaVision/Reed Richards debacle, but hear me out on this. So much of the TVA points to Dr. Doom’s comic book exploits.
In the big 2015 Secret Wars storyline, Doctor Doom started his own multiversal cult as part of his plan to create one singular reality/timeline, with him ruling everything as God. And he did this alongside future multiverse peruser Dr. Strange. He’s also an expert at creating fake robotic stand-ins.
Aw, who am I kidding? They wouldn’t waste Doom on a project like this. But still, if Renslayer ever name drops “Rabum Alal,” I’m going to lose my mind.
When our Loki found out why he was recruited, he was driven by the feeling that he wanted to show himself as the superior Loki. The best version of himself. Since then, we’ve seen his female counterpart, his child counterpart, his gator counterpart, his Thor-like counterpart, and his ridiculous-looking old man counterpart, not to mention all the others the TVA clip showed for him early on.
Another Loki being behind everything makes all the sense. Initially, it would be the “best” version of Loki, but considering what the show’s really about, the protagonist would be taking on what is actually the “worst” version of himself. The monster he had been trying to be. The one who would go out of his way to have other versions of himself destroyed. Why? No competition.
Loki wants to overthrow the Time-Keepers. Perhaps he already did.
He’s going to be the, “It’s not lupus,” of Disney+ Marvel shows (or the Red Herring for fans of A Pup Named Scooby Doo). I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t throw him on this list.