Loki remained true to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe by including several references and easter eggs. But which ones stood out most to fans?
Loki did not shy away from its ties to the greater MCU. Not only did the series give nods to the first three phases, but it also expanded on ideas introduced and cleared up some lingering questions.
These nods came in both quick visuals or more extended gags, and some were incredibly obvious. However, there were also others that were so subtle that audiences easily missed those references. No matter their size or importance, the references included were all huge fan-favorite moments.
In the fifth episode, there is a collection of giant stone heads in The Void. A gigantic Yellow Jacket helmet was among them, almost identical to Darren Cross’s in the first Ant-Man movie. The slight differences can be attributed to being from either a separate timeline or an effect of pruning.
Either way, it was a clear enough depiction that not only was it a great call back, but it also gave the fandom even more of a question as to whether or not Cross will be back as Yellow Jacket in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.
Kang the Conquerer, a Marvel comic favorite, has been announced as the villain of the upcoming Quantumania movie. When the Time Keepers are shown, one of them is a blue Kree; it is implied that Kang somehow is one of the Time Keepers.
This feeling among the fandom seemed to have been confirmed when Ravonna Renslayer popped up as a Time-Variant Authority judge. In the source comic books, Kang and Ravonna have a well-established relationship. With these two subtle nods, the audience is sure that some great Kang The Conquerer storylines will come.
Loki, Frost Giant
Mobius gives a briefing of the many different Variant Loki’s that the TVA could run into. One of those Loki’s is a full-on frost giant, who has at some point, in a different universe or timeline, fully embraced his identity as a frost giant from Jotunheim.
The fans loved this throwback as the last time the MCU showed frost giant Loki was in the original Thor. Although it may not have any bearing on the franchise’s future, it is always nice to see the past movies remembered as the interwoven universe moves forward.
Ineffectual Infinity Stones
The realization in “Glorious Purpose,” that the Infinity Stones have no power in the TVA is what finally gets Loki to realize exactly how powerful the TVA is. It is also the moment that the fans realize there is a new phase coming into the MCU, leaving some major questions about future storylines.
The Infinity Stones have consumed the first three phases of the MCU and were the most powerful objects in the original timeline. With the nod being placed so early in Loki’s run, they made it clear to everyone that for the upcoming Phase 4, anything already established can be rewritten as the studio begins to lean more into the mysticism of Marvel.
Ax The Axe
One of the best nods to the MCU came courtesy of Loki and Scott Lang. When talking about the two Tony Stark’s from different times being in Avengers Tower, Loki states that there was no way not to know about it, as you could smell two Tony’s.
This was something Scott Lang also echoed in Avengers: Endgame when he was ant size. After he snuck in old Tony’s suit to cause a distraction for the Tony from his timeline, he declared that the Axe body spray was distracting and calling it out by name. It’s these sort of subtle nods that fans greatly appreciate and led to many laughs.
Miss Minutes’ ‘Mad Multiverse’ Reference
Episode one introduces the audience to Miss Minutes, who breaks down who the TVA is and what is happening. She explains a sacred timeline they are tasked with protecting, introduces nexus events and breaks in the sacred timeline, and that the TVA deals with them to help prevent many issues (including a multiverse madness and war).
This is a not at all subtle nod to the upcoming sequel to Dr. Strange, which will bring Steven Strange and Wanda Maximoff back to the big screen in Dr. Strange In The Multiverse of Madness.
Episode 3 of Loki, “Lamentis,” had Loki and the powerful Sylvie traveling on a train to an apocalypse on the titular planet. Loki was honoring his Asgardian upbringing and drinking in the lull between battles as they were riding and getting to know each other.
At one point, in a direct replay of a scene from the first Thor, Loki really enjoys his drink. He then throws the glass down on the floor, breaking it, and yells, “Another!” This is exactly what Thor did in the diner with Selvig, Jane, and Darcy after he first tasted coffee.
As the fifth episode opened in The Void, the camera panned over a lot of trash and rubble, included a completely smashed Sanctum Sanctorum. The last time audiences saw the headquarters of Dr. Strange and the Masters of the Mystic Arts was during Avengers: Infinity War in New York City.
Like much of the city, the Sanctum Sanctorum was destroyed in the initial fight between Tony, Strange, Wong, Spider-Man against Ebony Maw, and Cull Obsidian members of Thanos’ Black Order. However, it’s unclear if this was that exact Sanctum or one from another timeline.
Enduring Roxxon Corporation
Episode two’s showdown took place at a Roxxcar Superstore, one of the arms of the Roxxon Corporation. The business was a staple on the ABC series Agent Carter, the biggest rival to Stark Industries (then run by Howard Stark). Keeping with the Stark theme, Roxxon also appeared in all three movies in the Iron Man trilogy.
Iron Man and Iron Monger fly past a Roxxon Corp building the final fight in the first movie. In Iron Man 2, when Tony participates in the Grand Prix, there was a Roxxon sponsored race car. Finally, in Iron Man 3, the final face-off between Tony and Hammer happens on a Roxxon Corporation oil tanker.
In Loki, there is a lot of discussion about Nexus Events. Nexus Events are when a Variant steps outside of the sacred timeline and puts all of existence into jeopardy. The TVA exists to prevent these deviations. The idea of Nexus did pop up in WandaVision in one of its faux-commercials as an antidepressant.
In a larger sense, and a nod only truly devoted MCU fans would catch, Nexus Events were first introduced into the MCU in Thor: The Dark World. When the likable Thor character Darcy finds Dr. Erik Selvig, he is in a psychiatric hospital in London and wrote all about Nexus Events on a chalkboard.
Loki crashes into a desert scene after picking up the tesseract in an obvious homage to where the MCU started. As he crashes down from the tesseract teleportation, there are definite vibes from that cave escape scene in the first Iron Man.
The confusion and wonder at his location even echoes those feelings seen on Tony’s face after he ripped off the mask from that original, very rudimentary suit built while he was a prisoner. Fans loved to see that 13 years later, the MCU remains true to its roots by remembering the man who started it all.
Everchanging Glorious Purpose
There is no surprise that Loki’s most popular motto and catchphrase played a huge role in his solo series. From the first time audiences fell under Loki’s spell in Thor, he has stated that he is “burdened with glorious purpose.” He always seemed to think this meant that he was meant to become a tyrant over those deemed less than himself.
By the time the series ends, it appears that, like the fan-favorite God himself, his motto has changed to mean something less sinister and more positive – to help keep the sacred timeline safe.
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