Spoilers! What that mystery 'Loki' character means for Marvel's trickster god

·2 min read

Spoiler alert! The following contains details from Episode 2 of Disney+'s "Loki."

This wasn't the Loki you thought you were looking for.

The second episode of Disney+'s "Loki" (now streaming) has Marvel's sometime-villain (Tom Hiddleston) traveling through time with Mobius (Owen Wilson) of the Time Variant Authority in search of another Loki "variant" who's wreaking havoc on the "sacred timeline." Loki and Mobius finally track the Loki down in a big-box store in the mid-21st century, but what they find isn't what either of them expected.

When our Loki finally sees the visage of his variant enemy, it's not Hiddleston in a different costume but a woman sporting the trickster god's signature headwear. Yes, the villain variant is "Lady Loki," a female version of the character played by Sophia Di Martino. At the end of the episode she detonates a few fancy time-travel bombs that caused the timeline to diverge into many other, not-so-sacred timelines.

Once again, Tom Hiddleston plays the eponymous trickster.
Once again, Tom Hiddleston plays the eponymous trickster.

In the comics, Lady Loki is a reborn version of the Loki we know and love. She has the same personality and powers – shapeshifting, creating illusions, other sorcery and magic – as the male version of the character. She is tricky, cunning and sometimes acts as a villain, sometimes as an antihero and occasionally even a hero.

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In the new series, it appears that Lady Loki's intentions are villainous, at least for now. She's murdering TVA agents and messing with the sacred timeline the TVA is sworn to protect. But to believe she is evil is to assume that Mobius and his friends at the TVA are the good guys. While they seem like they're protecting people by maintaining their timeline, they also belong to an authoritarian organization, following the orders of unseen entities and handing out extrajudicial executions left and right.

With so many timelines emerging after Lady Loki's actions, fans can only wonder how many more Lokis we will see. Will Kid Loki, a favorite from the "Young Avengers" comics, show up? What about Old Loki? King Loki? A slew of Lokis could show up.

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Lady Loki's appearance is huge development for the series and the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. The diverging timelines hint at Marvel exploring a multiverse: The next Doctor Strange movie, due in March, is called "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" and is scripted by "Loki" head writer Michael Waldron.

How our original Loki will respond to seeing this other version of himself remains to be seen. There are four episodes left in the series, so there's plenty of time to get into time-travel trouble.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Loki' twist: That last minute character shock explained (spoilers)

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