After a few days spent theorizing about the shocking appearance of Lady Loki/Sylvie at the end of Loki’s most recent episode “The Variant,” fans have scoured the episode for a slew of additional Easter Eggs and jaunty pop culture nods. “Loki’s premiere set a bountiful precedent for Marvel Easter eggs,” Screen Rant wrote of last week’s episode “with the TVA corridors proffering nods to both MCU history and the character’s dense comic book lore.” The Marvel Studios tradition of packing an episode chalk-full of references and Easter Eggs continued this week with “The Variant.”
— Loki (@LokiOfficial) June 17, 2021
A few locations in Loki’s “The Variant” piqued fan interest, starting with the 80s’ Renaissance Faire in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. According to Nerdist, the town has appeared in comics as the birthplace of Wendell Vaughn also known as Quasar. Furthermore, Nerdist referred to Quasar as a “a fave of [comic] writer Mark Gruenwald,” who shares the same Wisconsin hometown as the fictional character. Gruenwald himself served as the basis on which the character Mobius M. Mobius – played by Owen Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Wedding Crashers) in Loki – was designed.
— chris eliopoulos (@ChrisEliopoulos) June 18, 2021
A visit to Ravonna Renslayer’s – played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, The Morning Show) – office served as a veritable playground for Marvel fans seeking hidden clues and references. From her hexagon-shaped coasters to her impressive collection of variant trophies – which seemingly includes a pair of roller skates from a comic-book variation of Iron Man’s suit – the scene in Renslayer’s office provided many pause-worthy moments from fans, via Nerdist. Screen Rant even presents a theory that comic-book character Kang the Conqueror may serve as one of the TVA’s time-keepers, a theory extracted from Renslayer’s reverence (as the two are romantically involved in the comics) and the slight-resemblance to Kang in one of the three statues in her office. Though Marvel keeps many details of their productions under-wraps, it was announced last fall that Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country, Da 5 Bloods) will be playing Kang the Conqueror in the next Ant-Man film, though there’s now a faction of Loki fans who believe an earlier appearance of the actor is in store.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) June 18, 2021
When Tom Hiddleston’s (The Avengers, Crimson Peak) God of Mischief was sentenced to TVA desk-duty at the agency’s library, fans spotted a wave of additional references. “The number 372 hangs prominently in the background,” Screen Rant notes of the scenery around Loki’s work station “this is most likely a nod to the corresponding 1986 issue of The Mighty Thor, in which the TVA’s Justice Peace plays a major role.” When Loki extorts the Ragnarok file from a Monster’s Inc-esque receptionist, there’s plenty of recognizable tidbits in the document, a prevailing favorite being a reference to Thor: Ragnarak’s ragtag hero-team The Revengers.
The last major sequence in “The Variant” came when Loki and the TVA agents arrived at a Roxxcart shopping mall in a distant-future and imminently-flooded Haven Hills, Alabama. Unlike Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Haven Hills appears to be completely fictionalized, however the Roxxcart store itself has interesting ties to Marvel comics, via Den of Geek. Roxxon is an menacing corporation in Marvel lore that has been glimpsed briefly in other MCU projects, thus visiting a Roxxcart in the 2050s “proves that Roxxon will become more influential in future films” (Screen Rant).
Of course, the events that unfolded in the Roxxcart have left fans in suspense from the bombing of the Sacred Timeline, the appearance of Lady Loki/Sylvie and the ominous mutterings of TVA agent C-20. While fans wait on the edge of their seat to find out more about this Loki variant, clues about her timeline antics were dug-up by fans watching the Disney+ series with a fine-tooth comb.
— GR 62 ✵//Loki Era (@Ganesha_062) June 16, 2021
While many of the targeted time periods in the variant’s attack relate the earth history as we know it – such as Christopher Columbus era Portugal or 1980s Japan – there were also plenty of fictional locations that Lady Loki targeted, which MCU fans will find familiar. “Vormir (the Soul Stone planet), Asgard, Thanos’ home of Titan, Xandar, Ego the Living Planet, Sakaar, and Kree-occupied Hala,” were all sent a reset-bomb at various points along their timelines, via Nerdist. Interestingly, 1947 New York received a Nexus event as well, a time-period relevant to founding S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Peggy Carter, who some fans believed was brought in as a variant in the background of Loki’s premiere episode, via Comicbook.
— beth (@vaneIIoki) June 9, 2021
The chaotic chain of Nexus events created by Lady Loki could be how the MCU introduces the long-awaited multiverse, if the character herself did not already spring-forth from a multiverse timeline. Many thought Evan Peter’s (X-Men: Days of Future Past, American Horror Story) appearance in WandaVision would confirm the multiverse, though he turned out to be a multiverse red herring. However, the importance of Nexus events to the future of the MCU was referenced as an advertisement in WandaVision.
While fans attempt to decipher the many Easter Eggs from Loki’s “The Variant” and the ways in which they may relate to the future of the MCU, many have also enjoyed the fun non-Marvel references to popular culture in the episode such as the inclusion of Bonnie Tyler’s “I Need a Hero” and Casey’s reverence for Boku above his Infinity Stone paper-weights.
Since Wednesdays are now the new Fridays at Disney+, Loki fans can expect another Easter Egg hunt in the series’ next installment on June 23.