As Tom Hiddleston’s Loki travels beyond the looking glass, he uncovers an entire world of other Lokis, as well as a whole world of Marvel Cinematic Universe Easter eggs.
Caution: spoilers ahead for Loki episode 5
After last week’s sparse offering, Loki episode 5 presents a whole smorgasbord of MCU Easter eggs, including some of the show’s strongest Marvel references to date. In episode 4, Loki and Sylvie successfully disclosed the truth about the TVA, revealing that the enigmatic Time-Keepers were staffed solely by previous variations who had been cruelly stripped of their memories. The couple’s pleasure was short-lived, however, as Loki was caught off guard by Ravonna Renslayer and pruned out of existence… or so we thought. Loki (along with everything else that ever ended up on the receiving end of a TVA pruning) was actually banished to the Void at the end of time as a dumping ground.
The complete Scooby Gang is reunited in this week’s “Journey Into Mystery,” with Loki, Mobius, and Sylvie teaming up to escape the Void and find the true power behind the TVA. They’re joined by a slew (or whatever you want to call it) of Loki Variants culled from a variety of alternate MCU timelines. The Lokis overcome a lethal guardian and their own obstinate tendency of stabbing each other in the back by calling on the power of love and friendship to take the next step in their quest for a beautiful purpose.
“Journey Into Mystery” is packed with Easter eggs relating to the MCU, Marvel comic culture, and even real-life history, as you’d expect from a Void universe littered with the remains of chopped histories. All of the references, nods, callbacks, and in-jokes we found in Loki episode 5 are listed below.
Journey Into Mystery
Even Loki episode 5’s title is an Easter egg. “Journey Into Mystery” is a phrase many Marvels fans will recognize as a comic title that began in the 1950s, subsequently becoming one of the company’s leading publications. It was through Journey Into Mystery that Thor made his debut in 1962, as did Loki (in his current form) a few months later.
The remains of Stark Tower may be seen in the backdrop behind Richard E. Grant and his fellow Lokis in the episode 4 post-credits sequence, but “Journey Into Mystery” allows a closer look, exposing an Easter egg inside the Easter egg, to paraphrase Mobius. The tower is obviously decorated with “Qeng,” which is a tribute to Qeng Enterprises, the corporation to which Tony Stark sold his renowned tower in a 2015 Avengers comic run. Mr. Gryphon, a mystery alter persona of Kang the Conqueror who remained stuck on Earth in the twenty-first century, was the Qeng CEO. Is this proof that Kang’s invasion was already a Nexus event? Is Qeng Tower a foreshadowing of the purple conq?
According to the show’s new monster, the TVA has been trimming the Lost island. The biggest issue Loki has in the Void isn’t harsh weather or crippling existential self-doubt; it’s the realm’s guard dog, which is specifically meant to keep any trimmed Variants from escaping. Alioth, a smoky and destructive cloud capable of ripping through whatever the TVA tosses in its path, is this foul-tempered monster. Alioth is a purple-hued cloud with crimson eyes that first appeared in the Marvel comics in 1993 as a rival to Kang the Conqueror. Alioth, who is unbound by time, has a vast temporal empire, although his MCU counterpart appears to be a more mindless villain…
Several enormous stone heads protrude from the earth as the Lokis quintet travels across the dark meadows of the Void. Yellowjacket, the Ant-Man villain, owns one of them. Yellowjacket, played by Corey Stoll in the MCU, was given a subatomic crushing by Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang and hasn’t been seen since. While the size-altering abilities of Yellowjacket’s outfit are very probably to blame for this Loki Easter egg’s enormous size, there are a few other possibilities for how it ended up in the Void. The TVA either pinched a Variant Yellowjacket or the original Yellowjacket crossed the Quantum Realm to reach the end of time.
The ruins of the Thanos-Copter are one of the best Easter eggs in “Journey Into Mystery” (and Loki in general). The decaying remnants of a gaudy yellow chopper with “Thanos” painted on the side can be seen sitting in the Void universe. This is a homage to the Thanos-Copter, which made an ill-advised debut as the Mad Titan’s preferred form of transportation in 1979. Readers criticised the sight of a prominent Marvel villain fumbling around on a helicopter, and it has since been thrown to the trash can of odd and quickly forgotten unsuccessful experiments. In an amusing turn of events, it appears that at least one Thanos Variant attempted to build a chopper but was disallowed by the TVA. That’s We can all agree that pruning is a good thing.
The audience sees a cross-section of detritus buried beneath the Void world as the camera pans down into the Lokis’ bowling alley lair, and strewn across the terrain are plastic lunch plates and juice boxes right from TVA headquarters. It’s unlikely that the Minutemen and analysts broke Time Variance laws with their own lunch equipment, but it’s possible that they became lazy and started trimming their waste instead of properly disposing of it. Every TVA recruit believes that their magical time wand can disintegrate matter, thus it’s only natural that they’d use it to dispose of trash.
TVA lunch trays aren’t the only worthless relics found inside the Void. Thor’s legendary hammer, Mjolnir, can be found compacted in the dirt. It’s unclear whether Mjolnir was merely sent to the Void along with a Variant of its Asgardian owner, or whether the hammer itself became a Variant for some reason. Loki, on the other hand, gives one suggestion as to who the weapon might have belonged to…
A pint-sized Throg, who is a hybrid of a frog and the God of Thunder, is desperately trying to reach the full-sized Mjolnir. Simon Walterson was a person who was magically changed into a frog and subsequently given Thor’s powers after acquiring Mjolnir. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s also a Variant. The jar of Asgard’s Amphibian is labelled “T365” in Loki’s Throg scene. This is a reference to Thor #365 from 1986, which was Throg’s first appearance in a comic book.
The four Variants are treating themselves to a box of “Roxxiwine” as they descend into the Lokis’ typically diverse headquarters – even Alligator Loki is taking part in the hedonistic revels. Roxxiwine is a reference to an earlier Loki MCU Easter egg: Sylvie’s discovery at the Roxxcart mall. The Roxxon corporation is well-known in Marvel comics, and their appearance in the MCU has been teased since Iron Man’s solo films. Loki continues to hint that the corporation will gain more clout in Earth’s future.
Captain America, Iron Man, Infinity Stones
DeObia Oparei was credited in the German credits as “Boastful Loki” when he appeared as a Loki Variant clutching a Mjolnir-esque hammer during the post-credits of episode 4 as a Loki Variant holding a Mjolnir-esque hammer. And it’s evident why, as the Variant has a cavalier relationship with the truth that rivals Jay from The Inbetweeners. Oparei’s character was pruned for defeating Iron Man and Captain America and then collecting all of the Infinity Stones as a prize, according to his character. Obviously, this did not happen, but those are some excellent name-drops.
With derelict boats and UFOs strewn across the horizon, the Void is home to a lot of intriguing real-life mysteries. The Polybius arcade game machine visible behind Richard E. Grant when the five Lokis are discussing their various Nexus events is one of the most clear connections to a true conspiracy theory. Polybius was purportedly an arcade game that entranced players for some sinister unknown reason before mysteriously disappearing without a trace. Stranger Things fans will love this urban legend: it appears that Polybius’ disappearance was caused by TVA tampering.
Ecto Cooler Hi-C
Loki has a running comedy about limited edition or discontinued short-lived drinks from previous times. Mobius and his Josta were first, followed by Casey drinking down a Boku juice, and now Kid Loki has acquired an Ecto Cooler Hi-C. In 1989, these delectable beverages were produced in conjunction with the film The Real Ghostbusters.
Loki’s Alternate Death (Did It Happen?)
When Richard E. Grant’s Classic Loki recounts how he got to be a resident of the Void, it’s the most interesting dialogue between Lokis. Instead of flinging daggers, this Loki used his power to create a compelling illusion that even Thanos couldn’t see through, allowing the God of Mischief to survive the events of Avengers: Infinity War. The scene not only alludes to a pivotal event in the MCU’s history, but it also suggests a way prime Loki might have evaded his fate. If the regular MCU Loki refined his magic powers in between Avengers movies, he, too, could have faked his death.
Classic Loki’s Exile
Classic Loki also describes how, following his improbable survival, the foolishness of his methods became apparent. The Variant banished himself on a distant planet, far from his fellow Asgardians and beyond the reach of the TVA, but was enticed out of hiding by a yearning to see Thor once more. While the God of Mischief has been exiled from Marvel comics on multiple occasions (obviously), this plot is strikingly similar to Kid Loki’s original arc with Ikol. Though he attempted to pursue redemption through action rather than exile, the reborn trickster recognised his elder self and decided to choose a different road, his desire to avoid causing mischief and win Thor’s confidence is mirrored throughout the storey. Gr. Richard E.Though he attempted to find redemption through action rather than exile, the reborn trickster saw his elder self and decided to follow a different road, his desire to avoid causing mischief and win Thor’s trust is repeated in the tale Richard E. Grant’s character regales in “Journey Into Mystery.”
God Of Outcasts
Classic Loki, in his self-pity, declares that he and the other Variants are only Gods of Outcasts, not Gods of Mischief. This remark appears in the Loki #5 comic from 2019, in which the character laments his status as someone that other outcasts see themselves in, and vice versa. Surprisingly, in live-action, the line has two meanings. Loki and the other Variants are now gods in a universe full of forgotten histories, cities, and peoples, making them Gods of Outcasts in the most literal sense.
Vote Loki & Bearded Loki
After the four Loki Variants revealed last week, the Void introduces a total of nine new Loki Variants, who first appear as part of Boastful Loki’s short-lived revolt before becoming embroiled in a violent fight. While not all of these are based on Marvel canon, at least two of them have been seen previously in some manner. The group’s leader, represented by Tom Hiddleston, is based on the Vote Loki narrative, in which Asgard’s God of Mischief runs for President of the United States in a meta societal satire on modern politics.This Variant appears to be mostly real, from the suit to the badge. The bearded gentleman with horns and sunglasses standing second-from-right in the manhole photo is another Loki that viewers may know. He was originally seen among the TVA’s collection of Variant Loki holograms.
Pizza Planet Truck
It’s all Disney these days, whether it’s Marvel or Pixar. Mobius arrives for Sylvie’s rescue in a pruned pizza truck, in a stunning case of Easter egg crossover. Though not identical, the design has a close resemblance to the famed Pizza Planet truck that first appeared in Toy Story and has since become a frequent Pixar Easter egg. The rocket is replaced with a slice on the roof, and the vehicle’s design isn’t dissimilar to Pixar’s well-worn delivery van. Has the casting of Woody and Buzz for Spider-Man: No Way Home been confirmed?
Vote Loki’s Hand
During the multi-Loki brawl, Alligator Loki snaps Vote Loki’s hand clean off, putting Spider-three-way Man’s finger-pointing battle to disgrace. This is most likely a reference to Loki pretending to cut off Thor’s right hand during their Oscar-winning performance in Thor: The Dark World’s last battle, but the Alligator wasn’t fooling around for the would-be President. The loss of Loki’s hand might also be a continuation of the MCU’s Phase 2 limb loss motif, which Kevin Feige has said was meant to be a Star Wars reference.Thor (albeit his death was staged), Bucky Barnes, Groot, and Aldrich Killian were among the victims. The presidential Loki Variant, if he’s left-handed, can now be added to that list.
Hula Girl On The Dashboard
The interior of the truck Mobius commandeers contains a Hula Girl ornament on the dashboard, as if the Pizza Planet connection wasn’t enough of an Easter egg. While this is a regular sight in some parts of the world, it has appeared in a number of Marvel Cinematic Universe films. The same figurine was shown in WandaVision when Darcy and Vision team together to hijack a truck, and it was integrated into the TAHITI programme that restored Phil Coulson after he was killed by Loki in The Avengers.
The USS Eldridge
The USS Eldridge, which falls from the sky and is quickly consumed by the ever-hungry Alioth, is the second significant real-world mystery inside the Void. The Eldridge was allegedly made invisible as part of the “Philadelphia Experiment,” but we now know it was all along the TVA.
Given the number of amazing Easter eggs on Mobius’ pizza truck, it’s a miracle it travels as quickly as it does. The registration GRN W1D is briefly seen while the vehicle is parked during the Alioth coAnflict in the episode. This is a love letter to Mark Gruenwald, the Marvel comic book writer who not only developed Mobius M. Mobius’ physical form, but also co-invented Alioth in the 1990s. Gruenwald is already mentioned in Loki, with the renaissance fair in episode 2 taking place in the writer’s hometown of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Loki’s Past Betrayals
A tragic and romantic storey Loki tells Sylvie that he has deceived everyone who has ever loved him, and he isn’t exaggerating. Even this Loki, whose MCU career is limited to The Avengers, managed to betray his adopted family by allowing the Frost Giants to attack Asgard, then murdering his original father for good measure before conspiring against his home world in 2011’s Thor. Loki subsequently shamed his family by joining up with Thanos (whom he also planned to betray, but who was not a loved one).
A massive metallic structure can be seen to the left of picture, underneath the hill the heroes are standing on, as Team Loki (feat. Mobius) prepares to face the terrifying Alioth. The Dark Aster, Ronan the Accuser’s spacecraft from Guardians of the Galaxy, was destroyed during the Battle of Xandar, and this looks suspiciously like it. Ronan must’ve strayed from that deadline at some point, requiring the TVA to intervene and prune the spacecraft, guaranteeing that Guardians of the Galaxy was released on schedule.
The Living Tribunal
Another stone skull appears on the battlefield during the climactic fight of “Journey Into Mystery,” but this one has enormous implications for the MCU. The multi-faced statue has one side covered and the other open, eerily similar to Marvel’s Living Tribunal. The Living Tribunal, another cosmic, time-defying creature, is essentially the multiverse’s balance-keeper, intervening when a single force grows too large for its boots and threatens to destabilise reality. Only real, he’s the TVA’s Time-Keepers. The TVA’s pruning of a statue dedicated to the Living Tribunal could indicate that they’re attempting to obliterate any mention of the multiverse’s true origins.The TVA’s pruning of a statue dedicated to the Living Tribunal could indicate that they want to obliterate all references to the multiverse’s true omniscient guardian.
The instantly recognisable design of SHIELD’s helicarriers has long been a popular Easter egg, with Deadpool even choosing one of these bases as the backdrop for his final battle. While Loki and Sylvie are battling Alioth, another downed helicarrier can be spotted in Loki’s Void domain. SHIELD’s shenanigans could have irritated the TVA in a variety of ways.
Loki’s latest Easter egg hunt wouldn’t be complete without some Norse mythology references. Loki obtains a golden blade from Kid Loki before embarking on his fatal expedition to escape the Void. Loki sets this little blade ablaze when Sylvie needs a distraction to enchant Alioth, waving it around like a red rag to a temporal bull. This artwork could have been influenced by the fabled Norse weapon Laevateinn, which was fashioned by Loki himself and is supposed to have a burning blade in certain accounts.
Classic Loki Rebuilds Asgard
Richard E. Grant’s Classic Loki helps his younger counterparts by grabbing Alioth’s attention in order to go out in a blaze of glory rather than continue existing miserably in the Void. He accomplishes this by employing sorcery to conjure up a completely realised Asgard, complete with royal castle. While it’s nice to see Loki’s home world again, summoning Asgard speaks to Classic Loki’s frantic desire to return to Asgard.
The Power Of Holding Hands
Everyone knows that holding hands strengthens mental powers, so Loki and Sylvie closely clutch each other’s paws in their simultaneous effort to enchant Alioth. This artwork is a nod to Guardians of the Galaxy, in which Peter Quill and his new allies fought Ronan the Accuser by holding hands and wielding the great Power Stone.
Alioth had previously shown Sylvie a glimpse of a mystery area beyond the curtain of the Void in “Journey Into Mystery.” When the enchanted guard dog settles down and reveals the road to the true Time-Keeper, her theory is proven correct. Everyone’s favourite suspect is Kang the Conqueror, and the castle at the end of the void could be a replica of the villain’s comic-book citadel, which serves as his headquarters as a quantum Emperor.