Just How Excited Should We Be About Loki‘s Newest Character?

Photo: Courtesy of Disney+.
Spoilers are ahead for Loki episode 2. With the explosive arrival of a new villain on the Disney+ series Loki, the Marvel multiverse is finally open for business. The Variant Loki that the TVA is hunting happens to be a woman, played by Sophia Di Martino (who you may know from Flowers). The woman Loki's arrival means big things for the series — and the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. So let's get into it.
Based on her horn-rimmed attire and apparent status as a Loki Variant, it seems somewhat likely that Di Martino's character is Lady Loki, a term you may have seen thrown around in fan theories following the first few trailers. Lady Loki in Marvel comics is, in the most simplistic sense, a woman reincarnation of Loki, who is canonically gender fluid in the comics and in the television series, at least according to Loki's Time Variance Authority (TVA) file.
A reveal like this automatically gets wheels turning. Could Lady Loki square off against Jane Foster's (Natalie Portman) Thor in 2022's Thor: Love and Thunder? Could she be the new Loki? After all, we just got Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) as the new Captain America. To all this I say, let's not get too carried away. Tom Hiddleston doesn't appear to be going anywhere. After leaving and returning to the character multiple times in the last decade, the actor recently told Entertainment Weekly, he's "open to anything" regarding playing Loki in future MCU projects. It's also really not uncommon to see new Lokis pop up in the comics, including a teenager called Kid Loki who fights alongside the Young Avengers.
What is worth noting, however, is that sharp-eyed fans noticed that while Di Martino is credited as "The Variant" in the English credits of Loki, the German credits for episode 2 credit her as "Sylvie." (Marvel pro-tip: Always watch through the credits.) Sylvie is another Marvel character entirely, who is sometimes known as Enchantress and has connections to Loki.
It's entirely possible that the Loki costume worn by Di Martino's character in episode 2 is a deliberate misdirect, for Loki and Mobius (Owen Wilson), and the fandom at large. There were also a few notable details in the episode that suggest this character may not be a Variant. For one, she did not seem too pleased about being called Loki when she was possessing the Roxxcart store employee named Randy. It also doesn't make a ton of sense that the woman Loki Variant would have blonde hair and speak with an American accent — especially because Di Martino has English accent.
For now, however, let's assume that the woman Di Martino's playing is a version of Loki no matter what she's called. In the comics, Sylvie is a creation of Loki's, but she could just as easily be a Variant in the MCU. That change would give the character more agency, for starters, considering she's no longer a magical product of Loki's, and instead a formidable rival.
The concept of Variant Lokis was also notably raised this episode. Loki's number one fan, Mobius, scrolled through a couple of Loki variants while giving a presentation on the scamp's range early in the episode. One Loki Variant simply wanted to be a competitive cyclist and won the Tour de France before getting pruned from the timeline, and we also saw that Loki has taken myriad shapes and sizes throughout time. It would stand to reason that, because of all of this, a blonde, American Lady Loki isn't out of character for the God of Mischief. And if that is the case, Di Martino's arrival has major implications for the MCU's Phase 4, which began with WandaVision. The introduction of variants could allow for multiple versions of any previous Marvel hero or villain, alive or dead. Enter, the multiverse.
Spider-Man: Far From Home teased the multiverse, but the concept of another Earth ended up being one of several lies Quentin "Mysterio" Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) told in order to entice Peter Parker (Tom Holland) into his villainous trap. Still, Marvel comic fans have known for a while that the multiverse is coming to the MCU and the next Spider-Man film, No Way Home, so far appears to be actually crossing into multiverse territory by casting actors from other Spider-Man franchises to reprise their roles. The Amazing Spider-Man's Jamie Foxx is reportedly coming back, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and Alfred Molina confirmed his return as Tobey Maguire-era Doc Ock during a Variety panel in April. Though not confirmed, a slew of other past Spider-verse actors are also rumored to return.
If that didn't make everything clear, the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel is pretty blatantly titled Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. It reportedly features the live-action debut of Miss America Chavez, a young superhero played by Xochitl Gomez (from The Babysitter's Club on Netflix) who can kick her way into parallel universes — like, with her feet. Plus, the upcoming Ant-Man & The Wasp sequel, subtitled Quantumania, reportedly cast Lovecraft Country's Jonathan Majors. While his character is officially unknown, early reports suggested Majors will play Kang The Conqueror, a supervillain who traverses the multiverse.
And whether Di Martino is Lady Loki, Enchantress, or a hybrid character, one thing is abundantly clear: she just created the multiverse by bombing the TVA's sacred timeline and sending it branching in dozens of directions. If the TVA isn't able to prune them all before it's too late, the madness may already be here.

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