“Is this Hel?”
“Am I dead?”
Both reasonable questions from our Loki variant, wondering aloud after getting pruned by Ravonna Renslayer. And within seconds, the God of Mischief receives an ominous answer. “Not yet,” a voice replies. “But you will be if you don’t come with us.” As Loki looks up, he sees this incredible crew standing before him:
After all the delightful chaos of the fourth episode of Loki, the show saved one last surprise for its first post-credits scene of the season: the introduction of four new Loki variants.
While Sylvie remains in the Time Variance Authority, demanding answers about the all-powerful organization’s secret origins, Loki has found himself in a strange new land, with equally strange new companions. It’s unclear where or when exactly these five Lokis are, and whether this post-apocalyptic realm is where everyone winds up after getting pruned or if it only contains the exiled Lokis scattered across the multiverse. That building on the far right in the screenshot above looks like it could be Avengers Tower (or Stark Tower, as our Loki would recognize it), which would place them in New York City, but the condition of everything around the Lokis looks even worse than the city did in the post-Snapture world of Avengers: Endgame.
But the credits at least provide us with some descriptors for the rest of this new team: Classic Loki, Kid Loki, and Boastful Loki. (Though, of course, the most intriguing member of them all is our CGI member in the front: Gator Loki.) With a little help from the comics, let’s take a closer look at our four new Lokis.
The oldest, and goofiest-looking, Loki of the bunch is played by none other than Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant. The actor was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 2018 film Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and now here he is, cosplaying as an early iteration of the God of Mischief.
Loki’s first appearance in Marvel comics was so long ago that the company was still known as Timely Comics. His 1940s debut came in the pages of Venus, a comic revolving largely around Greek mythology. Loki, God of Evil, was the ruler of the Underworld in Venus, bearing little resemblance to the character as we know him today. It wasn’t until he was reintroduced in 1962’s Journey into Mystery that Loki became the trickster who would fight his brother Thor and the Avengers for decades to come:
As you can see from the comic book cover, Classic Loki is heavily influenced by this early version of the character—at least in terms of appearance. What remains to be seen is whether this variant shares more than just looks with this version of Loki. Unlike Tom Hiddleston’s Loki in the MCU, or even the character in more recent Marvel comics, the earlier version of the God of Mischief is hardly an antihero at all. He’s your classic, dastardly villain who tries (and fails) to kill Thor and take over Asgard time and time again. He’s a pretty big jerk.
But it’s also possible that Classic Loki shares some similarities with another version of Loki from the comics. King Loki was first introduced in 2014’s Loki: Agent of Asgard not as an enemy of Thor but as a foil to a younger, more noble reincarnation of Loki. And as I mentioned in my mid-season post last week, he travels through time to manipulate events in the future, all while attempting to set his younger self back on a path toward villainy. With the central focus of Loki being largely about what ultimately defines Loki, it’s possible that this evil variant is here to remind our protagonist of his darkest nature.
In stark contrast to the older Classic Loki, we have Jack Veal’s Kid Loki, a fan favorite from the comics. In 2010’s Thor no. 617, after one of Loki’s many comic book deaths, Loki is reborn as a child in Paris. He has no recollection of his past life, save for the nightmares of his former self’s many crimes, and is hustling people on the streets when Thor tracks him down and helps restore some of his former identity:
While this younger version of Loki is still very much a trickster, Kid Loki actually tries to do some good for a time after Thor brings him back to Asgard. Even when he sees that every Asgardian hates his guts and distrusts him for all of his previous misdeeds, Kid Loki still does his best to help Thor and protect Asgard from all of the inevitable threats that await them.
Without getting too deep into the comic book weeds of it (because let me tell you, the weeds are thick), Kid Loki later essentially merges souls with his former evil self. And although his true intentions are as mischievous as always, Kid Loki eventually has a part in reassembling the Young Avengers after the group disbanded.
Kid Loki’s comic book ties to the Young Avengers will very likely play into his role in the MCU, should he remain beyond the events of Loki. While no project has been officially announced yet, Marvel has slowly been assembling its young superhero team since WandaVision introduced Billy and Tommy Maximoff. Assuming that the twins can still be saved by their reality-bending mother, they could be joined by Elijah Bradley, a.k.a. Patriot, who played a minor role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. And beyond those three, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) is set to make her debut in the upcoming Hawkeye Disney+ series, America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) will make her first appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and the recently recast Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) is set to take on a bigger role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here, though. Before Kid Loki can make some superfriends around his own age, the Loki variants need to find their way out of whatever forsaken realm the TVA has cast them off to.
Unlike Classic Loki and Kid Loki, Boastful Loki doesn’t seem to have a clear comic book counterpart, which leaves a little bit more flexibility for head writer Michael Waldron and Co. Played by DeObia Oparei (Game of Thrones, Sex Education), Boastful Loki appears to be wearing some Asgardian-style clothing, but more notably, he also looks to be wielding quite a large hammer. While it’s certainly different in appearance, could this hammer be this Loki variant’s own version of Thor’s most worthy weapon of choice, Mjolnir? If that is indeed the case, then this variant may bear even more similarities to the God of Thunder, who is certainly about as boastful as they come. At the very least, coupled with the fact that Classic Loki is holding no more than a bag and Kid Loki is a literal child, Boastful Loki looks primed to be the muscle of the group. Then again, who knows what Gator Loki is capable of...
In this week’s recap, I wrote that “I have approximately 100 questions about the existence of this reptile variant.” I wasn’t kidding. And while I won’t list them all, here are 10 of them:
- Can Gator Loki perform magic? (I know I already asked this on Wednesday, but I need to know immediately.)
- Can Gator Loki speak? It seemed as if the voice in the post-credits scene came from Grant’s Classic Loki, but you never know!
- Does Gator Loki come from a line of Asgardian alligators?
- Who forged this mighty helmet that he wears? Please tell me there’s an Asgardian alligator blacksmith.
- Is Gator Loki actually Kid Loki’s pet? Or does he just get tired of sprawling around everywhere and needs a little lift from time to time? (OK, I know that’s two questions, but now you see why I have so many of them.)
- If all Lokis are likely adopted, as both our Loki variant and Sylvie are, then is Gator Loki adopted too? Is he part Frost Giant as well? (Frost Gator?)
- Does Gator Loki have anything to do with that time when Loki turned Thor into a frog? (This anecdote seemed to be a throwaway line in Thor: Ragnarok, but it really happened in the comics.)
- What kind of mischief does Gator Loki get into?
- Does Gator Loki do the Loki thing where he raises his arms? Because I think the only thing that I want to see happen more than Owen Wilson’s Mobius riding a Jet Ski is watching this alligator lift up its little alligator arms in an arrogant, yet regal fashion.
- Is there a chance that Gator Loki is really nothing more than an alligator wearing a mini Loki helmet? It’s certainly possible, but if that’s the case, it would all be an even bigger disappointment than Thor 2.