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Loki Easter egg might have already set up Marvel’s next Thanos-level villain

Loki Kang the Conqueror
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Loki spoiler warning! The following contains discussion of the Disney Plus show's opening episode – turn back now if you have not seen it!

The TVA is on the hunt for someone or something causing chaos across time in Loki – and an Easter egg from the premiere might have just heavily hinted at the mystery figure’s identity: major Marvel villain, Kang the Conqueror.

At the very end of the Loki premiere, the Minutemen stumble across a scene of destruction and a hooded figure in 19th Century Oklahoma. There, they scan a futuristic-looking weapon and discover it has temporal signatures in line with the "third millennium."

Loki Kang the Conqueror

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Not only is that further forward than any point we’ve seen in the MCU, it’s also typically the origin point for Kang the Conqueror. Kang, for the uninitiated, is a time travelling supervillain who hails from the 31st Century; he laments his current Earth’s fate and decides to travel back in time to conquer Earth when it was in its prime during the age of heroes. In terms of power, potential, and ambition, he's matched only by Thanos and a select few in the comics, and that should translate to the big (and small) screen at Marvel Studios.

Kang, then, could be at least one of the figures involved in Loki’s main time travel mystery. Adding further credence to the idea is that Kang has already been cast in the MCU. He’ll be played by Lovecraft Country’s Jonathan Majors and is confirmed to appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

But he could be set to show up even earlier – and there are more interesting ties to the character found in Loki. One is the character of Renslayer, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. In the comics, she was once the lover of Kang, and there’s clearly more backstory to be mined there in live-action should the opportunity present itself.

There are also a handful of fans who believe that one of the Time-Keepers introduced in Miss Minutes’ TVA monologue towards the beginning of the episode bears a striking resemblance to a certain Kang.

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So, might Marvel have already secretly introduced its next Big Bad? It’s not beyond the realms of possibility. After all, everything from Secret Wars to different types of Loki Variants have all already been teased – and it’s only been one episode. Only time will tell if the villain shows up in future.

For more on all things MCU, check out our guides to Marvel Phase 4 and how to watch the Marvel movies in order.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.