How the Events in Loki Will Affect Marvel’s Phase 4
Last Wednesday the first season of Loki came to an end. While much of the show seemed to happen outside the realm of time, with little impact in the MCU, the ending of episode 6 unleashed an effect that will have consequence in the upcoming releases.
To recap, Marvel’s Loki follows the Loki variant that got ahold of the Tesseract when the Avengers traveled back in time during Avengers: Endgame. This Loki is recruited by the Time Variance Authority, a.k.a. TVA, to capture another Loki variant, a she-Loki called Sylvie. Loki and Sylvie end up uniting forces to unmask the truth behind the TVA. The last episode shows them traveling to the Citadel at the End of Time, where He Who Remains is the one controlling the Sacred Timeline. This new character gives both Loki variants the opportunity to take over his job, but consumed with revenge, Sylvie kills He Who Remains. Her actions result in the split of the Sacred Timeline and many different branches of it. This event will influence the future of MCU’s Phase 4.
Loki is the third installment in Marvel’s Phase 4 and its last episode arrived just in time to tease fans on what is coming next: the Multiverse. To understand where all this is coming from, it is important to know that He Who Remains is not the exact replica from the comics. Instead, this character is being mixed with Kang the Conqueror. Loki’s He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) has also been casted to play Kang in Antman and the Wasp’s upcoming film. In Loki’s last episode he explains that he has been protecting the timeline from worse versions of himself to avoid another multiverse war. After being murdered, the door for those evil versions is open which is where Phase 4 is heading. We get to see how Sylvie’s actions affected the TVA when Mobius is unable to recognize Loki in the show’s ending scene.
With the multiverse now created, it brings the question of how the upcoming Marvel projects will move forward. While Marvel is keeping much under wraps, there are some titles whose involvement we can assume in the multiverse. I have divided them in the following:
- What If… – Marvel has announced that this cartoon show explores how major moments in the MCU would have happened if they had gone differently. This leads us to believe that this show could be the first installment to the multiverse where the audience gets a glimpse of alternate timelines.
- Spider-Man: No Way Home – Marvel has teased the existence of a spider-verse, and after Loki’s ending, it is safe to assume that this is how Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Toby Maguire will join forces.
- Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness – The title of the movie says it all.
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – Since this movie and Loki share the same actor and a variant of the same character, we can infer they are related. Where the worst version of Kang will be playing the villain and maybe where the multiverse problem will be solved.
- Eternals – All throughout Loki the existence of the beings that ‘created it all’ was discussed, with the TVA thinking that these were the Time-keepers, but the true creators are the Eternals. While not much has been disclosed about this movie, in the trailer they mention that Steve Rogers is gone, placing the movie in a time post-Endgame. Although we cannot say with certainty whether this title will delve in the multiverse, the voice-over in the trailer that says “We have watched, unguided we have helped them progress and seen them accomplish wonders. Throughout the years we have never interfered – until now”, makes it seem like they might.
This category, as the title implies, are the movies and shows where we probably won’t hear the multiverse mentioned. Many of these will focus on the character themselves and the journey they are going on rather than the whole MCU. But because this is Marvel there is still a chance that they will work their way into it.
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Hawkeye, and Ms. Marvel will all be stories about new superheroes. Though the main focus will be introducing them, there is no way of knowing whether these stories are happening on the main timeline or one of the branches.
- Thor: Love and Thunder – Avengers: Endgame ended with Thor joining the Guardians of the Galaxy, so an appearance from them is expected. But the film will follow Thor and Jane’s transition into Mighty Thor. Not enough time to add the multiverse.
Not enough information:
Sadly, there are some movies and shows that won’t be released soon and thus, there is not enough information to formulate a theory. These are:
- Moon Knight
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
- The Marvels
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3