Marvel’s ‘Loki’ Could Be Hiding Its Main Villain in Plain Sight

Thus far, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been mostly concerned with its iconic heroes. Only one major MCU project has focused on a Marvel villain. But Loki aims to open up a whole new world of storytelling for the MCU. The Disney+ show tackles alternate timelines, time travel, and the multiverse much more directly than any previous MCU project. But it could be the third consecutive Marvel series to feature a surprise villain.

[Spoiler alert: The following article contains spoilers for the first episode of Loki.]

'Loki' stars Tom Hiddleston and Sophia Di Martino bump elbows while standing in front of a display of the show's logo
‘Loki’ stars Tom Hiddleston and Sophia Di Martino bump elbows while standing in front of a display of the show’s logo | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Where does Marvel’s ‘Loki’ fall in the MCU timeline?

Phase 4 of the MCU hasn’t even headed to theaters yet. But already, fans are questioning how the Disney+ series fit within the established Marvel canon. Whereas WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier explicitly take place in the weeks and months following Avengers: Endgame, the temporal setting of Loki is a bit more complicated. On its face, the series picks up from the moment 2012 Loki (Tom Hiddleston) escapes.

But considering its primary setting is the Time Variance Authority, the show also exists — much like Captain America (Chris Evans) — out of time. There’s no telling what shenanigans Loki will be up to during the course of the show or what ramifications they could have on the larger MCU. And likewise, its existence outside of the “sacred timeline” means literally anything is possible, something viewers should bear in mind going forward.

RELATED: Does ‘Loki’ Undermine the Deaths of 2 Key Avengers?

Fans think Lady Loki is the show’s main villain, but what if she’s a red herring?

For obvious reasons, Marvel has kept details about Loki under wraps. However, with the casting of Sophia Di Martino (Yesterday) and the MCU Loki’s recently confirmed gender-fluid status, many fans are convinced they know who the actor is playing. In the comics, Loki at times takes a female form, known as Lady Loki. Since the first episode of Loki confirms the TVA is after a version of Loki, some believe it is Di Martino as Lady Loki.

However, with the Disney+ series’ history of plot twists, it’s best to expect the unexpected. That said, here’s a theory, one shared by Still Watching podcast host Joanna Robinson. What if Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius isn’t who he says he is. With Marvel’s emphasis on Loki’s shape-shifting ability and fluid identity, it’s easy to imagine Mobius is just another version of Loki who has infiltrated the TVA under an assumed identity.

Within the multiverse, there appear to be infinite Lokis. Perhaps one concocted a scheme to conquer the multiverse. And Mobius/Loki hopes to recruit Hiddleston’s Loki to join the cause. If the character’s ambition has always been to rule, the notion of potentially presiding over the multiverse could be too tempting to resist. After all, the Loki fans have followed in the MCU might be one of the only ones to achieve redemption.

RELATED: Marvel’s Tom Hiddleston Reveals the ‘Strange and Surreal’ Experience of Playing a Character that Isn’t Loki

Tom Hiddleston’s Owen Wilson impression makes this twist perfect

On a meta-level, seeing Wilson transform into Hiddleston would be an ironic turn of events. The two actors first worked together on 2011’s Midnight in Paris. And since then, the Marvel star has gained notoriety for his array of celebrity impressions. Hiddleston has even performed Loki’s speech from The Avengers as Wilson.

So there’s a very real possibility — if this theory about Mobius pans out — that Hiddleston’s Wilson impression could come to bear on the latest Marvel series. Hiddleston notably gave Loki lessons to the cast of the Disney+ show. If some of them turn out to be Lokis in disguise, that approach would make a lot more sense.