Spoilers for Loki episode 5 follow. If you haven’t watched the episode, check back in after you’ve seen it.
The time travelling Marvel villain, played by Lovecraft Country’s Jonathan Majors, is due to arrive in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Now, a couple of new Easter eggs have seemingly sealed the deal in terms of an earlier-than-expected appearance.
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki arrives in The Void in the Disney Plus series’ penultimate episode. There, the Loki Variants are tormented and pursued by a smoke monster that wouldn’t look out of place on the island in Lost.
That’s Alioth. Or, if you’ve read the comics, you might know him best as Alioth the Usurper. There, his form is the same – purple smoke monster – but his history is significantly deeper than an all-powerful force of nature.
Alioth has a storied rivalry with Kang the Conqueror, with each using temporal shenanigans to expand their own empires. In essence, Alioth ruled the distant past and put a stop to Kang from ever going too far out of his comfort zone across the centuries – something which forces the supervillain’s hand. Kang even goes as far as putting up a block to stop Alioth from entering his domain.
Sound familiar? Alioth’s function in Loki is similar; he’s there as a roadblock to stop Loki from getting to reach the person supposedly behind everything. Given the ties between Alioth and Kang, the smart money is going to be on the latter showing up in the residence glimpsed at the episode’s end.
Tellingly, there’s also another Kang Easter egg tucked away in the episode. The opening moments see a ‘Qeng’ building lying in ruins in The Void.
#LokiITS QENG ENTERPRISES NOT AVENGERS TOWER!!!!Owned by Nathaniel Richards AKA Kang The Conqueror!!!!! pic.twitter.com/ZrLi0vGNvTJuly 7, 2021
Again, this is another reference pulled from the comics. Qeng Enterprises is owned by Mr. Gryphon, AKA Nathaniel Richards, AKA an alternate version of Kang the Conqueror after his self was split into different beings. Don’t ever try telling me the comics are easy to follow.
While that’s likely just a cute nod to Kang’s past, the evidence is seriously mounting up. After all, Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Judge Renslayer has ties to Kang in the comics, and her own Hunter number is a reference to Renslayer’s first comic book appearance alongside the villain. Then, there is a 31st Century weapon in the Loki premiere. Where does Kang hail from? You guessed it: the 31st Century.
It’s either a concerted effort on Marvel’s part to misdirect us before the finale or maybe, just maybe, Kang the Conqueror is ready to start conquering the MCU.
Find out when the finale drops with the Loki release schedule.