One of the joys of a giant, sprawling franchise like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that after a while, it becomes a world unto itself with a history and set of cultural in-world references. But because this is a franchise based in the world of comics, one that stretches back nearly a century, there’s a double layer of sources to pull from. With the advent of TV series on Disney+, drawing both from the MCU’s established world and the comics, there are more callbacks than you can shake a stick at. And yet, the franchise does a nice job of not overdoing it. The Marvel easter eggs in Loki, for example, are the fabric of the established world and sprinkled in just lightly enough as not to distract from the main plot.
Warning: Spoilers for Loki Season 1 follow. Loki is a slightly different beast than the previous Marvel outings on Disney+. Both WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier were stories inspired by the events on the big screen that were conceived and written to tie back to future big-screen adventures. (Falcon, for instance, followed its finale not with a Season 2 renewal, but the announcement of the feature film, Captain America 4.) But Loki is separate from the big screen world by the very nature of its outside-the-flow-of-time setting. That means the easter eggs aren’t there as clues about to what’s to come in Phase 4 at the movies, but instead are first the moral equivalent of establishing shots before subtly calling back to things only hardcore fans will get.
Let’s run down all the Marvel easter eggs in Loki Season 1
Loki Episode 1 Easter Eggs
Loki's premiere opened with a pair of MCU references, first to his capture in 2012's The Avengers, when Loki was given center stage as the villain, and then to the redux of the same scene from Avengers: Endgame when he escaped.
These clips were only the tip of the iceberg in an episode filled with entire scenes from Marvel's big-screen films. Other movies that warranted clips throughout the hour included everything Loki has ever been in. For instance, the episode covered the scene from Thor when Odin blessed both Thor and Loki as well as Frigga's death scene from Thor: The Dark World. It also showed Loki and Thor making up in Thor: Ragnarok and Loki's death scene from Avengers: Infinity War.
But it wouldn't be a Marvel show if those were the only easter eggs in the hour. After all, these clips of previous films aren't exactly hidden; essentially, they're plot point reminders for those who haven't had time to do a rewatch or never saw the Thor films.
The other easter eggs in this episode are less in your face. For instance, when Loki arrived at the TVA, he was asked if he is a fully organic being. Loki responded by asking, "Do a lot of people not know if they're robots?" That's a reference to the Life Model Decoy program from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., in which robots replaced several characters. (They were, in fact, unaware that they were robots.)
Another callback can be found in the Miss Minutes video, when the Timekeepers were introduced. Fans of the older animated series will recognize that the animation in this sequence is a direct recall to the 1960s era Saturday morning Marvel cartoons.
Then there are the silly things, like the Josta that Mobius is constantly drinking. The short-lived 1990s era soda is a cult-favorite; fans even had a decade-long quest to bring it back. That Mobius drinks this short-lived soda (because he can travel to the ‘90s wherever he wants and pick it up) is just one of the hints of the benefits of time travel.
And of course, there are the hints of stories untold, like Casey's desk drawer full of Infinity Stones ("We get those all the time!"), or the revelation that there's another Loki that the TVA is hunting. How many times has Loki screwed with the timeline? Do they all stem from Avengers: Endgame? Only time (heh heh) will tell.
Loki Episode 2 Easter Eggs
Episode 1 showed footage of the events of Loki’s past and future selves. Episode 2 had the paperwork. Loki pulled out the entire file on the destruction of Asgard, and fans got several new details and fun facts about the end of Loki’s home planet. For example, file IPB-ASG-001 noted Asgard’s population was 9,719 at the time of its demise, which the TVA determined to be a “Class 7 apocalypse.” Also, eagle-eyed fans may have caught the references to the “Revengers.”
In depressing news, *all* the “apocalypses” from the period Mobius and Loki run through from 2047-2051 are climate-related. Thanks for the heads up, I guess? Also, the hurricane is a “Class 10 apocalypse,” which is lower than the fall of Asgard, which tells us the numbering system is likely descending, not ascending. I wonder if what just happened to the sacred timeline is a Class 1.
In more discontinued food from bygone eras, Loki added Boku, the juice box for adults and a 1990s fad. It disappeared in the early aughts, but TVA members still go back and grab cases when they can. Speaking of foods, let’s talk about Roxxcart, the big-box store run by Roxxon. The company started as Marvel comics’ parody version of Exxon but eventually has became the stand-in for all Giant Evil Corporations. In current times, it is the stand-in for Amazon. Big-box stores can’t be far behind.
But wait, there’s more. Loki quoting “Where there are wolf’s ears, wolf’s teeth are near,” directly references the real god Loki, who is associated with wolves. Note also, Mobius calls Loki a “little ice runt,” another callback to his origins. Also, in the paperwork shown in Episode 2, the female variant they’re chasing after is labeled Sylvie Laufeydottir, a direct reference to Loki’s last name being Laufeyson, the abandoned son of the Frost Giant Laufey. As for the Variant’s first name, Sylvie, the theories on that are worth their own post.
And finally, let’s talk about all those branches the show took time to label as the timeline went haywire: Vormir, Asgard, Jotunheim, Hala, Xandar, Ego, and Titan. Of course, fans have seen most of these before. Asgard is in the Thor franchise; Hala is the Kree homeworld in Captain Marvel; Xandar is the Nova Corps’ homeworld in GOTG; Ego is Starlord’s planet-father in GOTG2; Vormir is where the soul stone resides; and Titan is Thanos’ homeworld in Infinity War and Endgame. But Jotunheim is a new location, home of the Frost Giants and technically Loki’s actual homeworld. Interesting.
Loki Episode 3 Easter Eggs
This episode’s easter eggs begin right away, with the needle drop for the opening credits. This is one of the very few times the MCU has not used the Marvel “fanfare” over its logo reveal. Instead, the honor went to “Demons” by Hayley Kiyoko. The song worked in two ways here. One, it’s a Loki-specific jam. (sample lyrics: “Please forgive me, I’ve got demons in my head, tryin’ to eat me, tryin’ to feed me lies until I’m dead.”) Two, Hayley Kiyoko is a queer icon, and to open the episode where Loki confirms his bisexuality with a song by her was a foreshadowing of the later conversation.
Speaking of which, Loki’s sexuality was already confirmed in the comics, in Young Avengers #15, where a younger version of Loki goes around hitting on anyone who will sleep with him. Now it’s confirmed in the MCU as well. And even better, it had the lighting to back it up.
In the straight from Thor-to-Loki easter egg, there’s Loki’s call for more booze: ANOTHER! For those keeping score in the game of Odinsons vs Drinkware, the score is two-nil. In other references, I hope everyone caught Loki landing after being thrown out of the train is the exact same shot and angle as the “I have been falling for thirty minutes” moment in Thor: Ragnarok. (Though it was a big missed opportunity that he did not complain “I have been walking for thirty minutes,” when traveling with Sylvie.)
And finally, speaking of Loki drinking, the Norwegian slang for “drunk” actually translates in English to “full.” (Also the “Asgardian” song Loki sings is actually in Norwegian, just filtered through Hiddleston’s accent.)
Loki Episode 4 Easter Eggs
Episode 4 of Loki opens with a shot of Young Sylvie, detailing the moment she’s snatched away by the TVA. Look closely at the toys she’s playing with: There’s a wolf, representing Loki’s patron animal Fenris, as well as a Valkyrie toy, representing the awesomeness that is Tessa Thompson. But that’s not only the only glimpse of Asgard fans got this week. Loki also gets shoved into a previously unseen memory with a cameo from Sif (Jaimie Alexander), beating Loki on an endless loop. That “Loki cuts Sif’s hair” story is straight out of 13th century Norse mythology, by the way, and has been retold in the Marvel comics.
Loki refers to the number of times he’s died in the MCU when he declares that he dies a lot, and it never sticks. That includes his death in Infinity War, which didn’t stick either, since he now stars in his TV series. Likewise, Loki’s referring to partnerships being “all a means to an end” is almost certainly about his alliance with Thanos. Oh, and that “death” fake-out at the end of the episode? The shot and angle of Loki being stabbed in the back by Renslayer is a recreation of Loki killing Coulson in The Avengers. Funny, Coulson also cheated death and wound up leading a TV series about an MCU bureaucracy...
Further, Mobius notes the TVA has been keeping tabs on Kree, Titans, and vampires, as Hunter B-15 scrolls by the planet Morag from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The MCU has introduced the Kree in Captain Marvel, and Thanos is a famous Titan. But there haven’t been vampires, at least not yet. Consider this another in a series of occasional reminders that Blade is coming.
In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam Wilson says the big three always causing trouble are aliens, androids, and wizards. This week’s android Time-Keepers reveal proves that Sam knows what’s what.
And finally, there’s the big mid-credits scene, which is just littered with easter eggs. There’s the broken Avengers Tower in the background, proving this is a “Battle of New York gone wrong” timeline. But everyone’s talking about all the excess Lokis who turned up with it, including Classic Loki in the yellow and green suit, Boastful Loki with the golden Mjölnir, Young Loki from the Young Avengers, and Crocodile Loki, because why the hell not.
Loki Episode 5 Easter Eggs
If the first four episodes of Loki were about average on the comic book connections, Episode 5 went overboard both with Lokis and easter eggs. The Void was chock-full of both, to the point of silliness. If there is a realm that is nothing but easter eggs, this was it. Buckle in.
Let’s start with the episode title: “Journey Into Mystery” is the original Marvel comic that introduced Norse mythology as part of the comic book universe and might explain why there’s a random Mjölnir hanging out. It’s also the revived title Marvel’s been using for the Kid Loki series; plus, the sword he carries (and gives to Loki) is Laevateinn, his primary weapon from that run. Likewise, President Loki is from the 2016 Vote Loki comic run, though his hand getting chewed off isn’t from the comics; that’s just yet another in the MCU’s running history of amputations.
As for the Void’s blighted landscape of nothing but references, this place has a little bit of everything. There’s the THANOS copter, which the Titan used to get around NYC in the 1970s; Yellowjacket’s helmet from Ant-Man; and Ronan’s flagship, the Dark Aster, crashed off in a corner. There’s also a severed head from the Living Tribunal, a cosmic entity whose entire job is to handle the multiverse. (One assumes this was the first thing the TVA pruned to hide the evidence of multiversedom.)
In real-world items, there’s the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sphinx, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, and Stonehenge. The ship that falls from the sky is the USS Eldridge, famous for being the rumored subject of the Philadelphia Experiment. There’s also a pirate ship that looks suspiciously like Jack Sparrow’s The Black Pearl, a real-world item in the Disney franchise universe.
In food and drink from other eras, Young Loki is drinking a box of Hi-C Ecto Cooler from the 1980s. That’s an excellent double reference to both the juice drink of choice of the time and Ghostbusters. Loki is drinking RoxxiWine, which one must assume came from Roxxcart. Also, please note that Frog Thor (Throg) is seen in a jar labeled “T365” (for the comic issue in which he was introduced) in the Loki lair. There’s also a Polybius arcade machine, an urban legend from the 1980s that the Men in Black supposedly watched because it drove players mad. Whether or not that’s supposed to be a Mobius/Polybius joke is up to you to decide.
Speaking of Mobius, the man who played Lighting McQueen in Cars is driving the MCU version of Pixar’s famous easter egg, the Pizza Planet mobile. Also, note the license plate says “GRN W1D.” Yet another Loki Variant? No, that’s a reference to Mark Gruenwald, on whom the comic book Mobius was based.
As probably everyone will note, both the Void and Alioth are from adventures involving Kang the Conqueror, and the castle at the end is suspected to be Castle Limbo. Also, the “Avengers tower” everyone identified last week is Qeng Tower, which is what the Avengers Tower became after Tony Stark accidentally sold it to Mr. Gryphon, the alias of Kang the Conqueror when he was masquerading as a CEO in NYC.
Finally, I hope you all caught the portrait of Stan Lee hanging in the TVA headquarters. It’s around the 9-minute mark. You’re welcome.
Loki Episode 6 Easter Eggs
First things first, let’s talk about that opening sequence. This is the second time Loki has changed up the famous Marvel intro fanfare, although this time it wasn’t with a new song, but rather dialogue snatches from all over the MCU timeline. Fans could have been forgiven for assuming this was a new addition, since the first few lines are classic Marvel moments. But as the sequence went on and voices from the real world, like Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai, showed up, it was clear this was a journey through time and space as all the multiverses were crossed into The Citadel at the End of Time. (Also, I love that the song was “It’s Been a Long, Long Time,” from the very end of Avengers: Endgame with Peggy and Steve dancing.)
Speaking of The Citadel at the End of Time, while fans are probably screaming at the reveal of a Kang variant, the name this one takes for himself, He Who Remains, and his castle are lifted directly from the comics and the TVA lore. In the comics, He Who Remains is the last survivor of a great multiverse cataclysm (though not the war described in Loki), who starts the TVA and creates the Time-Keepers to protect the multiverse from future catastrophes. The show also alludes to Time-Keeper lore with a broken extra fourth statue, as He Who Remains initially made four Time-Keepers, one of whom was banished. Also, don’t sleep on his green-and-purple outfit, which is straight out of the comics and hews closely to the one worn by the Kang who conquers the TVA.
(Also, I doubt this was intentional, but the windows behind Kang form Mickey Mouse ears, and Kang lives in the House of Mouse on Disney+.)
Fans may remember an old pen marked FDR High School lying around in the show’s early episodes. At the time, I wondered if it was an easter egg, but couldn’t find any evidence of it. It turns out, it was a clue about Ravonna Renslayer’s authentic self before she was captured by the TVA. Although that’s all made up and not from the comics (Renslayer is Kang’s lover in the comics), her old name is not: Rebecca Tourminet is a Renslayer alias.
When it comes to Kang, the use of the multiverse and He Who Remains as a variant is undoubtedly intentional, as Kang has many variations throughout the comics. The Council of Cross-Time Kangs (the meeting of the minds He Who Remains shows Loki and Sylvie) is a real thing in the comics. The villain has appeared as Immortus and Rama-Tut, the former of which is the Kang who takes over the TVA (although the statue in the TVA at the end of the episode is believed to officially be “Kang the Conqueror.”) There’s also Iron Lad, who is a Young Avenger (because the MCU needed more hints of that), and Nathaniel Richards, whose last name will thrill any Fantastic Four fan. Loki might just be setting up for all of them to show up in Season 2.
All episodes of Loki Season 1 are streaming on Disney+.
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