Loki: Kang / Young Avengers Theory Explained (Nerdist News w/ Dan Casey)

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Nerdist 20 July, 2021 - 05:00pm 50 views

Is Loki Season 2 confirmed?

Update: Marvel confirmed Loki Season 2 with a post-credits stinger at the end of the Season 1 finale. ... You read that right: Loki Season 2, which will star Tom Hiddleston reprising his role from the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, is currently in some stage of pre-production with a target shooting date of January 2022. inverse.com'Loki' Season 2 release date on Disney+ confirmed in major leak

Has the MCU Been Stuck in a Time Loop This Whole Time?

ScreenCrush 20 July, 2021 - 07:01pm

Episode 6 of Loki reveals that the “Sacred Timeline” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is actually a carefully maintained falsehood, designed to protect the one man who created the TVA: Jonathan Majors’ He Who Remains. When the title character(s) arrive at He Who Remains’ citadel, they see that that the timestream appears around it like Saturn’s rings. It loops around the citadel in a perfect circle, not like a straight line that goes on into infinity.

So does that mean that the heroes of Marvel have been trapped in a time loop this whole time? And what happens to that loop now that Sylvie killed He Who Remains, kicking off the return of the multiverse? That’s the topic we discuss in our latest Loki video, which considers how He Who Remains controls the Sacred Timeline, and what happens now that he’s gone. Watch it below:

If you liked this video about how the Marvel Cinematic Universe is maybe a giant time loop, check out more of our videos below, like why Loki is the rightful ruler of Asgard (sorry Thor), our video on the ending of Loki and what it means for the future of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and our breakdown of Episode 4’s ending. Plus, there’s tons more over at ScreenCrush’s YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to catch all our future episodes. The entire season of Loki is now available on Disney+. Marvel’s next series, What If...?, premieres on Disney+ on August 11.

Loki: 10 Things That Annoyed Even Dedicated Fans | CBR

CBR - Comic Book Resources 20 July, 2021 - 07:01pm

However, like any MCU product, there are things in the show that annoyed even the most dedicated fans of the show and the MCU, with some being much more egregious than others.

So, when fans got nothing more about this wonderful new variant of Loki, a lot of them were quite annoyed by that. Sure, there's a Funko Pop coming out and fanfic, but people want some official sources for Alligator Loki information.

This hope was seemingly dashed by his death, which was an amazing scene but also cut off hopes of seeing the character. Now, with the ending of the season, there's a chance he may return but the fact he was killed in the first place wasn't great.

The MCU is at its worst when it pays lip service to the comics without using the elements in any kind of intelligent way and this was just one example of Loki doing that. It wouldn't be the last either.

The MCU does this more often than its most ardent fans like to admit and while they are definitely setting some things up with the character for the future, that doesn't make her portrayal in the present any better. There were a lot of interesting things that could be done with the character but the show did the opposite of all of them.

Sure, they aren't related, so it isn't that kind of taboo, but it still seems pretty weird because they are technically the exact same person. It's just a very weird thing that turned a lot of fans off, especially since the two characters kissed in the finale.

Sylvie proved to be much different than the Lady Loki version of the character from the comics and that was a great thing. She made such a huge splash and while the show spent a lot of time with her, for a lot of fans, it just wasn't enough.

If they were in the Void, why hadn't they figured out a way to suborn Alioth? If one Kang could figure out a way to get it to his bidding, why couldn't another? The writers must have thought the whole thing with the Void was clever but it actually opens up a lot of questions that break the whole show and this is just one of them.

As smart and powerful as he was, there's no reason why he couldn't have figured out a way to deal with Alioth, and barring that, why was he subservient to other Lokis? The way they set him up and revealed things about him were two very different things and weren't really compatible.

The MCU went with hand waving all of that away by using the Multiverse to explain it. It's also a much easier explanation than the time travel one, as time travel can get confusing. However, time travel has been a part of pop culture for a long time and the fact the MCU felt the need to change this makes it look like they think MCU fans aren't smart enough to understand more complicated time travel stuff.

While there are no guarantees other versions of Kang will act this way, if it's popular, there's a good chance this will be the portrayal of the character, which isn't a good thing. It takes a great villain and makes him into yet another jokey, one-dimensional MCU villain.

Kate Herron On the 'Loki' Finale, Season 2, and Handing Off the Reins

ELLE.com 20 July, 2021 - 07:01pm

The director of the hit Marvel Studios Disney+ show walks us through the finale—and shares her hopes as she hands off the reins.

If she could turn back time, there isn't much Loki director Kate Herron would do differently. She transformed a beloved side character into a protagonist. She blessed Marvel fans with their first canonically bisexual character. And she introduced the multiverse, drafting up perhaps one of the biggest cliffhanger reveals since the end of Avengers: Infinity War. In other words, Herron's Loki was a humongous deal, even by Marvel's increasingly oversized standards.

Still, it's not easy for the director, who's also known for her work on Sex Education, to hand off the reins. Herron has revealed to press that she has no plans to return for Loki season 2, preferring to leave the chaos of the multiverse to the whims of another. Marvel just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and she has other characters to conquer. But the MCU will continue to feel her impact for years to come, should the studio's Phase 4 become a Phase 5, 6, 7 and 8.

After Loki season 1's momentous finale—in which Jonathan Majors appears for the first time as a variant of Kang the Conqueror, named He Who Remains—ELLE.com grabbed some time with Herron to learn what went into such a carefully crafted reveal. And the director took a few moments to say goodbye.

I knew from day one. I think we were always ironing out story in the sense of, we wanted to get there in the best way. But it was always the intention that they would meet He Who Remains at the end and the multiverse would be born. So I knew that massive secret going into it, yes, and I'm very honored that I got to be part of launching that part of the next phase.

I would say [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige, his whole company is very collaborative. He has his plan and his design for where he wants the films and the TV shows to go with these characters, but it's really a collaborative studio. And it's generally I think always a case of ”best idea wins.” None of the creative team ever felt we were being restrained. On our show, we had a producer called Kevin Wright who was an executive at Marvel, and he essentially was steering the Marvel side of things and making sure that, yeah, we weren't venturing places we couldn't, but also he was so key in the story as well.

I just thought it was so funny, and I loved it. And I loved as well how [Richard E. Grant] played it—it’s how we talk to pets, like, “Oh, they feel like this,” and the owner would be like, “Well, no, that’s not what they’re saying.” That felt very real.

I've always been a fan. It's how I got the job because I saw Tom [Hiddleston] in Thor, and I was like, “Oh, this is such an interesting interpretation of the character.” I was just so excited with what Kevin Feige was doing with him in the MCU, and I think Tom’s performance brought such empathy and wit and charisma to this amazing character. But at the same time I loved the vulnerability there and the pain. It was so exciting to me watching him go from villain to antihero over the last 10 years. So when I found out they were making a show about Loki, I was very determined to get in the room for it, and they luckily met me and here I am. I would say I chased heavily after it as a Loki fan.

I have an “emotion Bible” I wrote when I was working on the show to help me track where characters were at different points in the story. With Tom—for example, that speech he gives to Sylvie at the very end of the show? That was something we were working on right up to the day we filmed it. The line, "I just want you to be okay," that came from Tom. I love that the Loki we have at the end doesn't want the throne, when in episode one he does.

Something that I thought was cool that I wanted to bookend was: The first thing said to Loki in our show is, “Who are you?” And we end on the same line as well at the very end: “Who are you?” And I think that's sort of the big question of the whole show.

On the one hand, yes, as a fan I'm like, “Oh wow, this is a big responsibility.” But I think the fun thing in [He Who Remains] being a variant—which alleviates some pressure, not all pressure, but some pressure—is that he's a variant of his own kind, so he's He Who Remains. He’s not Kang.

Working with Jonathan, he's one of the greatest actors out there. So I think, for me, it was just about giving him the space to play. He improvised a lot of lines around the wonderful script. Even in his clothes by Christine Wada, I loved that you can't necessarily place his outfit in time or a specific culture because he's this character that's lived across so many different lives. But also the clothes have a pajama-like quality to them because he lives at home. So I think, in the hands of an actor like Jonathan, that's just really fun, working out where do we go big and where do we make it small and draw the audience in.

She has that amazing moment with [Mobius] in episode six where she's like, “You betrayed me.” And I completely agree with her! He betrayed their friendship, and he sided with Loki, and when she's making these decisions she does think it's for the sake of the Sacred Timeline. So I'm excited to see where she'll be going.

It was important to acknowledge because it's founded in the comics. Loki has been written as bi, he's also been written as pan, and it just felt like this is a show about his identity, so let's acknowledge it and make it canon. You can never predict how people are going to feel, but we assumed that probably there'd be discussion around it just because it is a big moment for him.

So there’s a shot of Loki in episode six that was so important to me. It’s toward the end when [Sylvie has pushed him back through the TemPad portal] and we push in really slowly on him because he's gone on this amazing journey. He found someone he connected with, and he looks heartbroken. But it was important to show that “Lokis always survive,” and so you have that moment where he collects himself and thinks, No. I still have fight. And I’m going to fight.

So, for me, I’m excited to see, where is Loki? Where are they going to take him? We've done so much groundwork in his character, I'm just excited because I feel like there's so much more about his identity to be explored.

And then all these amazing other characters we have: Where did Ravonna go? Who is B-15? Where are Mobius and Sylvie? We leave her in the Citadel, and she looks shell-shocked and full of pain, and she's on a much earlier part of her journey [than Loki] in terms of self-healing, so I think it'll be really fun to see where she ends up going. I'm really proud to have been part of Loki's story. I gave it everything in my heart and my soul. I'm excited to see what fresh eyes will bring.

The Marvel Multiverse and the meaning of Earth-616 explained

GamesRadar+ 20 July, 2021 - 06:34pm

How did the Marvel Comics Multiverse begin, and how did the Marvel Universe get the name Earth-616?

Loki didn't bring the Multiverse to the MCU though - it's come up a few times, with the first hints coming as early as 2013's Thor: The Dark World. After being explicitly introduced and expanded upon in Doctor Strange and Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Multiverse got a big reference in Spider-Man: Far From Home that took long-time comic book readers out of our seats, but which may have gone over the heads of more casual fans.

The film's villain, Mysterio, claims to be a hero from another world who came to the core MCU timeline. Despite the fact that he's, well, straight-up lying, Mysterio makes an interesting comment before his ruse is uncovered, telling Peter Parker that the MCU exists in the reality given the numeric designation "Earth-616" in the Multiverse.

And there's the big moment, the semi-obscure comic book reference that left us scratching our heads, and just a bit on the edge of our seats.

And, weirdly for Mysterio, the number was also part of the Easter egg that hinted at the existence of the MCU Multiverse in The Dark World, appearing written on a chalkboard covered in Dr. Erik Selvig's notes.

But who gave the Marvel Comics Earth that number? How many worlds are in Marvel's Multiverse? And what does this have to do with Alan Moore, co-creator of Watchmen? We'll dig into the Marvel Comics history of the Multiverse - including the mystery surrounding its very origins - right now.

The roots of Marvel's Multiverse go back to the earliest days of Marvel Comics itself, back in the '60s. Though it wouldn't be formally named till later, the core Marvel Universe's first brush with another reality happened all the way back in 1962's Strange Tales #103, in which Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four is transported to an alt-universe called the Fifth Dimension, later designated Earth-1612 of the Multiverse.

After that, 1963's Fantastic Four #10 sent Doctor Doom to the microscopic realm of Sub-Atomica. And that same year in Fantastic Four #19, the team found themselves sent back through time to face Rama-Tut, a time-traveling villain later revealed as one of the many identities of Kang the Conqueror, progressed the idea even further by showing the so-called 'Other-Earth' where Kang resides. Again, 'Other-Earth' was later incorporated fully into the Multiverse under the numeric designation Earth-6311.

Then, 1964's Strange Tales #126 ramped the concept of Marvel's alt-realities up again by sending Doctor Strange into the Dark Dimension, home of his arch-foe the Dread Dormammu - an alternate world full of non-euclidean geometry, and incomprehensible cyclopean architecture rendered to psychedelic perfection by artist Steve Ditko. 

From there, Reed Richards led the Fantastic Four to pioneer Multiverse travel again in 1968's Fantastic Four Annual #6, in which he built the first machine designed to travel between realities, taking his family into the Negative Zone, an antimatter universe full of deadly horrors. 

And in 1969, The Avengers took the leap, traveling to 'Earth S' (later numbered Earth-712), the home of the Squadron Supreme, analogs of DC's Justice League who later went on to headline their own title set on Earth-712 - and who recently played a key part in yet another alt-reality tale in this summer's Heroes Reborn limited series. 

(Check out the Squadron Supreme's own complicated history.)

Then the '60s became the '70s, and a new crop of writers came to the Marvel Universe with more outlandish, cosmic visions than even Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had already pioneered, and with that, the Marvel Multiverse broke wide open.

Throughout the decade, writers introduced numerous alt-realities as elements of new stories, and many previous concepts, like Sub-Atomica (which became part of the Microverse), were revisited and expanded upon. All of this culminated in 1977's What If? #1, which launched a whole ongoing title showcasing alternate versions of the Marvel Universe where characters and events that readers knew took on wildly different identities or outcomes.

Though by the '80s the Marvel Multiverse was technically in full swing, with writers free to come and go from any universe they could dream up for their characters. But this created something of a creative double-edged sword, where Marvel's Multiverse was wide open to writers, but the rules that would later define it - and even the term 'Multiverse' - hadn't yet been codified. A Multiverse of madness, so to speak.

So how did the Marvel Universe become Earth-616, and how did the other Earths get their numbers?

Though the Marvel Comics Multiverse was wide open for creators by the '80s, unlike Marvel's closest rivals DC's version of the concept, the mechanics, specific worlds, and implications of the Multiverse hadn't been cataloged and codified (and been totally broken) by the publisher yet.

This started to change around the time Marvel kicked off What If? in 1977, with editor Mark Gruenwald - known for inspiring Mobius M. Mobius of the Time Variance Authority or TVA, recently adapted in Disney Plus' Loki show - laying out a concept that included a nested version of multiple realities, which incorporated most of Marvel's alt-realities and dimensions up until that point, using the term 'Multiverse' for the first time. 

Gruenwald's structure extrapolated past the Multiverse into what Gruenwald coined an 'Omniverse,' which, in Gruenwald's estimation, branched out past just the worlds of Marvel's Multiverse to encompass all possible worlds of fiction - even from other comic book publishers - as well as the actual real world that we all live in.

The numbering of the Marvel Multiverse has a separate, somewhat mysterious origin all its own, which starts in what may as well have been another reality for Marvel Comics at the time - the UK.

In the '60s, '70s, and into the '80s, most Marvel Comics were not directly imported to the UK and other overseas markets on a one-to-one basis. Instead, overseas publishers would license Marvel's stories for republication, sometimes localizing, re-editing, or collecting the stories in different ways than US fans got them. Over time, Marvel UK became something of its own separate side-branch of the Marvel Universe, with its own unique characters and titles that were tied to their US equivalents, but who very rarely crossed over in their early years.

Numerous British and UK-based creators who went on to become top names in the mainstream industry got their start working with US publishers through Marvel UK before branching out across the pond - including none other than Alan Moore, co-creator of Watchmen, known for his knack for breaking down, rebuilding, and redefining superhero concepts through a more nuanced lens.

In fact, it was partially Moore who named the Marvel Universe 'Earth-616,' in 1983's Daredevils #7 (a Marvel UK anthology title that had no relation to the singular blind hero Daredevil) in a story featuring Captain Britain, who had been established as just one of multiple heroes guarding their home realities across the Multiverse as part of the Captain Britain Corps.

However, there's a bit of mystery and controversy around how the Earth-616 designation first made it into Captain Britain, and why that particular number was chosen. Alan Davis, the story's artist, claims it was Moore's predecessor as Captain Britain writer David Thorpe who first coined the term, though Moore maintains he came up with it himself.

According to Moore, the number 616 was chosen at random to avoid using the terms 'Earth-One' or 'Earth-Two,' as used by DC. However, there are alternative ideas about how the worlds of Marvel's Multiverse get their numbers. A common belief is that the number 616 was chosen to honor the year and month of Fantastic Four #1's 1961 debut, which launched the Marvel Universe - and indeed some of Marvel's numbered worlds get their designations from this formula. 

However, in a 2020 interview, Thorpe himself seems to settle the entire dispute on some level, agreeing with Davis that he is the one who invented the term 'Earth-616.' Thorpe states he came up with the number through numerology, of which he was a student at the time, subtracting the number 50 from the number 666 (a number tied to Christian theology) to arrive at 616 as the home reality of the Marvel Universe - though he also accedes that it was indeed Alan Moore who first put the term in print, leading to the term being adopted on a larger scale.

Whatever the nuances of its true origin, the term 'Earth-616' was taken as canon into the broader Marvel Universe just a few years later when Captain Britain became a core member of the US-published Marvel mutant team Excalibur, with none other than Alan Davis helping codify the concept's relation to the wider Marvel Universe as the artist of Excalibur alongside longtime X-Men writer Chris Claremont.

From there, Marvel's other realities were mapped out and numbered behind the scenes, with realities that have debuted since getting numbers derived by their creators. And though there have been attempts to alter the Earth-616 designation along the way, it's stuck around as canon - apparently even into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least on some level.

In the years after the 616 became mainstream Marvel lore, whole separate universes of continuity sprung up, such as the Marvel 2099 line, which took place in a possible future timeline, and the Ultimate Comics line, which was an entire parallel Marvel Universe based on Earth-1611.

And for the most part, the Marvel Multiverse and its numbered realities have stuck around - more or less...

In 2014, Marvel Comics launched a limited series titled Secret Wars, which took its name from a Marvel event 30 years earlier. In that story, all the worlds of Marvel's Multiverse are essentially destroyed one-by-one, with the last shreds of existence saved by Doctor Doom, who uses his mastery over science and magic to pull the remaining pieces of the Multiverse together into a single hodge-podge reality called Battleworld.

When the dust cleared on Secret Wars a year later, the Marvel Multiverse had been totally demolished, not too different from DC's 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths. However, instead of rebooting its continuity or shying away from a reborn Multiverse the way DC did for decades after Crisis, Marvel immediately rebuilt its Multiverse, taking the opportunity to incorporate aspects of alt-realities, such as the Ultimate line which ended with the collapse of the Multiverse, into its core Earth-616 continuity.

Interestingly, however, some of Marvel's top creative executives at the time, chief creative officer Joe Quesada and executive editor Tom Brevoort, also took the opportunity to divest and downplay the term 'Earth-616' and the other numeric Multiverse designators from use on the page, having publicly stated their own distaste for the terminology.

Though the change has stuck around somewhat on the page, with the Multiverse numbers rarely getting any references these days, the 616 terminology has become more prevalent than ever outside of Marvel Comics thanks to its use by Marvel Studios - who have not only namechecked the concept on film at this point but who named a whole behind-the-scenes documentary show Marvel's 616 after the idea.

Now, the MCU is diving straight into the Multiverse concept in a big way, with Loki opening the door, to be followed by an animated adaptation of What If…? later this year. And weirdly, that means that the MCU origins of the Multiverse essentially mirror the way the concept came to the page in comic books. 

There's one big, odd MCU/Marvel Comics coincidence (or planned synchronicity?) between the kick-off of the MCU Multiverse and its comic book counterpart. As in the MCU, one of the first characters from another reality introduced in Marvel Comics was a variant of Kang the Conqueror. In comics, this variant was Rama-Tut, while in the MCU, it's He Who Remains (himself a bit of a mash-up between the comic book character of that name and Kang's comic book variant Immortus). 

Kang's reality of Earth-1612 was one of the very first alt-realities explored in Marvel Comics, though it wasn't numbered until many years later in What If? Vol. 2 #39, in a story titled 'What if the Watcher saved the Multiverse?"

In that story, Uatu the Watcher - the cosmic observer who is but one of many Watchers who catalog the Multiverse, vowing never to interfere - breaks his oath and steps in to stop a war between Kang and Immortus that causes wild, branching realities to spawn.

Sounds quite a bit like the premise of the MCU Multiverse laid out in the final episode of Loki, in which countless variants of Kang are vying for Multiversal conquest, doesn't it?

With Loki have opened the door to the MCU Multiverse, and What If…?, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania all set to follow up directly on the story of the Multiverse, it looks like the MCU is about to get a whole lot bigger - maybe a full-on MCMU?

Kang gets mentioned a lot when it comes to the Marvel Multiverse and he's going to play a big role in the MCU probably for years to come. We explain exactly who Kang is and what his powers are to get you ready for Marvel's next big-screen big bad

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Loki Finally Proved Why He's The Best Loki Variant

Screen Rant 20 July, 2021 - 10:08am

In Loki's finale, the God of Mischief played by Tom Hiddleston finally proved that he was the best of the Loki Variants by showing he had the willingness and capacity to grow and change for the better. Fascinatingly, this Loki Variant from 2012 evolved in a manner similar to how the original Loki changed before his death in Avengers: Infinity War. The Loki Variant's transformation even echoes what Thor (Chris Hemsworth) said to the Loki he knew in Thor: Ragnarok.

Loki introduced the concept of Loki Variants and cleverly juxtaposed the God of Mischief Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have come to love with multiple versions of all shapes and sizes from across the Multiverse. Loki's main counterpart in his Disney+ series is Sylvie (Sophie Di Martino), a female Variant who has spent her long life running from the Time Variance Authority and plotting vengeance against the Time-Keepers. Loki also showcased other memorable Loki Variants such as Classic Loki (Richard E. Grant), Kid Loki (Jack Veal), Boastful Loki (DeObia Oparei), President Loki (also Tom Hiddleston), and even Alligator Loki. The question of who is the "superior Loki" was posed in episode 2 after the God of Mischief became a consultant for the TVA and it became a running joke as more (and stranger) versions of Loki turned up.

Loki's transformation was completed in the season 1 finale, "For All Time. Always," when the God of Mischief rejected He Who Remains' (Jonathan Majors) many offers of rewards such as the Throne of Asgard, his own Infinity Gauntlet, and even Loki and Sophie becoming the new leaders of the TVA. Loki had already developed romantic feelings for Sylvie, but even more importantly, the God of Mischief had come to realize the folly of his whole life: his belief in his "glorious purpose" was just a personal quest to find happiness and fulfillment that he will never achieve through conquest and evil deeds. This was the breakthrough Loki tried to convey to Sylvie, who believed he just wanted a throne. But Loki didn't want a throne or power; what was important to him was that Sylvie didn't make the terrible mistake in thinking her vengeance against He Who Remains would make her happy. Tragically, Sylvie behaved as a Loki must: She banished Loki and killed He Who Remains, which completely upended the Sacred Timeline.

Despite Loki's heartbreak, he has indeed changed for the better. Loki learned the meanings of love with Sylvie, friendship with Mobius (Owen Wilson), and sacrifice. The only other Loki Variant who constantly questioned what it means to be a Loki was Classic Loki in The Void. He was disgusted by the greed and foolishness of the other Loki Variants and saw the same ugliness within himself. Classic Loki achieved a higher form of nobility by finding his own "glorious purpose" and sacrificing himself to Alioth so that Loki and Sylvie could find the Citadel at the End of Time.

After losing Sylvie, seeing the Sacred Timeline transformed, Mobius and the TVA no longer knowing who he is, and Kang Variants about to ignite a new Multiversal War, the 2012 Variant may feel like he's an epic failure as a Loki. But on an important, personal level, Loki evolved into a far better Loki than he ever was before. He's the best Loki Variant, and that may be just what's needed to save the Sacred Timeline in Loki season 2.

Loki will return for season 2 on Disney+.

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