Disney+ is five episodes deep into its most recent MCU series Loki. And there is only one left in Season 1. As the story moves towards its grand finale, it’s done everything in its power to obscure who the true villain behind the TVA is. And the end of Episode 5 left Loki and Sylvie in the position to finally pull back the curtain. While it’s unlikely that the Wizard of Oz is waiting, the series has been working overtime to make fans think it’s Kang.
Kang the Conqueror has been set to debut in the MCU for a long time. As a consummate time traveler, having him appear in a series rooted in time travel would seem to make sense. But just because an MCU series on Disney+ starts dropping hints doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Just ask anyone who watched WandaVision. But if the big bad of Loki isn’t Kang, the series has been fighting really hard to make fans think it is.
Who is Kang the Conqueror?
Kang has long been a thorn in the Avengers and the Fantastic Four respective sides, appearing as early as 1963 in the comics. That being said, they often don’t know it’s him. He has popped up in a multitude of forms, both as a hero and a villain. While he primarily shows up as Kang the Conqueror, he’s also appeared as the Scarlet Centurion, Victor Timely, Immortus, Rama-Tut, and Iron Lad.
His real name is Nathaniel Richards and may in fact be a descendent of Reed Richards, aka Mister Fantastic. A 31st Century scholar, his fascination with time travel led him to try and build a temporal empire. Kang’s advanced weaponry and skill at manipulating time have allowed him to achieve that goal on multiple occasions. Battling him has proven to be a challenge for all of Earth’s contemporary heroes.
Ravonna was the first big Kang connection
When comic book fans heard the name Ravonna Renslayer in Loki, their ears immediately perked up. For the series, she is a judge with a Time Variance Authority. Ravonna is simultaneously devoted to the TVA but also wants to find out the truth behind it. That being said, her goals do not align with those of Loki and Sylvie. Renslayer does not want the TVA taken down. In fact, she may be making a play for its power.
In the comics, Ravonna Renslayer was a princess from one of the kingdoms Kang attempted to annex in the 40th century. He immediately fell in love with her. She did not return his affections. Their history together becomes extremely complicated after that, so much so that it’s hard to picture one without the other. Her appearance in the show could easily be a Kang connection, though there are no guarantees.
And then there’s Alioth…
The end of Episode 4 showed Loki getting pruned from the timeline. He ended up in a dumping ground at the end of time called the Void where the TVA sends the nonsense they don’t want to deal with. Apparently, that includes a butt load of Loki variants and Mobius. On that word is Alioth, a living tempest that devours everything the TVA sends to the Void. It’s also the guard dog for whoever is behind the TVA.
Alioth was not created for Loki. It was a trans-temporal being in the comics with a kingdom that dwarfed Kang’s as well as power that the Conqueror feared. This was a being of extreme power that could annihilate reality. While the Loki version of Alioth is a little different than the comic version, that doesn’t mean the potential connection to Kang isn’t there.
If not Kang, then who?
So far, the series has put a lot of time and effort into making fans think that Kang is behind the TVA. Or, at the very least, that he’s connected to it in some fashion. As it stands right now, Kang is scheduled to make his debut in the upcoming film, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. That doesn’t mean that an appearance in Loki in one of his many alternate forms is out of the question.
At the same time, that doesn’t mean that another MCU villain couldn’t behind the TVA. No one knows exactly what happened to Yellowjacket after he was forcibly shrunk out of reality in the first Ant-Man film. And his helmet was spotted in the Void. Time has no meaning in the Quantum Realm. If Darren Cross ended up there, he could have built the TVA from the ground up. That might not be the answer fans want, but it could be the case.