Well well well. After the bombshell ending of Loki Episode 1 informed us that – SPOILER ALERT – the murderous variant attacking TVA agents is none other than another Loki, Episode 2 made good on that promise. In an instalment that took in a 1980s Renaissance Fair, the destruction of Pompeii, and an extended salad analogy (poor Agent Mobius), we were introduced to an unfamiliar face with a very familiar name. But who is this so-called Lady Loki, how does she differ from her comics counterpart, and do we know for sure that she is a Loki variant? Let’s get stuck in…
Who Is Lady Loki?
If we believe everything we’ve been told so far – and there are significant reasons why we shouldn’t necessarily – the character we meet in the final minutes of the episode is another Loki variant, one who’s very different to any others who have been invoked so far. Earlier in Episode 2, we saw glimpses of a Tour de France Loki, and one who looked like he’d done some major bulking up on steroids – both wildly different from each other and our central Loki variant, but crucially all bearing the face of Tom Hiddleston. Not so with the variant causing some pretty intense mischief in the episode’s closing moments. No, this Lady Loki (or is she?) is played by Sophia Di Martino – who might be wearing a very Loki-like costume sports a headband with some gold horns, but crucially doesn’t look similar to Hiddleston, and has a blonde bob instead of OG Loki’s trademark jet-black locks. How curious.
Lady Loki has long been a presence in the comics, but not as a variant – rather, as Loki-prime with a female appearance. (The character is canonically gender-fluid on the page, which was also referenced in Episode 1 of Loki – zoom in on his TVA file.) There, Lady Loki does indeed have black hair – though the MCU presenting its own twist on characters from the comic books is nothing new. Notably, Di Martino’s character – simply called ‘The Variant’ in the credits – does have Loki-like powers, shown as being able to take over people’s consciousnesses as OG Loki did in Avengers Assemble (albeit with the Mind Stone).
If there’s any reason to doubt whether this even is Lady Loki, it’s not just that she doesn’t necessarily look like Loki – it’s because the people who told our Loki that she’s also a Loki are the TVA, the timeline-steering agency who should be viewed with a hefty degree of scepticism. In a post-WandaVision world, we can’t accept at face value that characters are who we’ve been told they are. Hopefully Episode 3 will clue us in further on The Variant’s identity – and if she is Lady Loki, maybe we’ll learn what sort of alternate timeline would create such a Loki, why she’s running loose, and why she’s so intent on bombing the Sacred Timeline. Curiouser and curiouser.
That’s the big talking point for this week – but here are some other questions to ponder until next Wednesday.
Do the Time-Keepers actually exist?
Again, how much can we trust what we know about the TVA? For all the talk of the Time-Keepers – whose presence is felt in statues and wood-carvings seen all across the TVA – this week we learned that Agent Mobius has never actually met them face-to-face, and that it’s Gugu Mbatha Raw’s (pretty suspicious) Revonna Renslayer who acts as a go-between for the space-lizards and Owen Wilson’s detective. Which begs the question: do they actually exist, or is the entire TVA a front? We still don’t know where – or when, or how – the TVA actually is, or how much of it truly exists beyond the corridors and offices Loki has walked so far. It’s something to ponder as the weeks tick on – is the TVA everything we’ve been told it is, or is it really something (or, someone) else?
What’s the deal with Roxxcart?
In a sentence that would be incredibly weird if it were about any other show, Episode 2 saw our time-variant Loki come face to face with (the possible) Lady Loki variant in a future-Earth supermarket in 2050, by the name of Roxxcart. It’s just a little easter egg, but comics fans will likely have zoned in on the ‘Roxx’ part of that name – not in the WARMACHINEROX sense, but in that Roxxon has long been a shadowy energy company in the Marvel Comics universe. There have been mentions and glimpses of Roxxon elsewhere in the MCU – the Iron Man movies, Agent Carter – but it seems feasible that, by 2050, Roxxon would have diversified into some kind of major conglomerate, with various different businesses portfolios including mega-supermarkets. That’s capitalism, baby!