Jonathan Majors made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as the character in the “Loki” Season 1 finale, which began streaming Wednesday. A gasping OMG moment? Absolutely. Totally surprising? No. Not when you consider how much Kang’s Marvel comic book existence has to do with time as power and the fragility of time being the central element of the Disney Plus show.
But why does Majors making his first appearance as Kang feel like such a moment? Two reasons. One: our “WandaVision” hangover. Remember all of those Mephisto rumors? So many of us were so sure Marvel’s top devil was the bad guy pulling the strings. After each episode, the show sent us into YouTube deep-dive madness, so we could search for clues as to how things would end. And everyone was preaching the church of Mephisto, especially after Paul Bettany trolled everyone by saying he worked with someone he always wanted to work with in the final episode (he was talking about himself). But the “WandaVision” finale gave us only a bridge to the “Doctor Strange” sequel in which Elizabeth Olsen is set to co-star and a very cool-looking West Coast Avengers-style white Vision.
Secondly, ever since it was confirmed that Kang was the next big-time MCU foe — one who would maybe even be the antagonist for a new generation of Avengers if they are reassembled on-screen — it was assumed that he would do so in theaters, not on Disney Plus.
Majors appearing as Kang in the “Loki” finale is like Luke Skywalker showing up in “The Mandalorian” with a red lightsaber instead of a green one. This is not only a big moment, it’s one of certification. It shows Marvel Studios and its Disney Plus series aren’t just chapters in between the films, they are moments that will directly affect the next decade of the MCU in theaters, as well.
Another factor setting this season of “Loki” apart from its Disney Plus predecessors “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is that there will be a Season 2.
Six episodes was never going to be enough for all of that time-bending, and an announcement of Season 2 was revealed in a finale post-credit scene. We now know multiple seasons are possible for other future MCU/Disney Plus shows, whether that be “Hawkeye,” “Ms. Marvel,” “She-Hulk” or “Ironheart.”
For now, we are left with this “Loki” finale that serves as a master class in what villainy looms in the future of the MCU.
Majors’s performance, in comic-book-appropriate purple, was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what he will bring to his many upcoming performances as Kang, whose origins were revealed as being in the 31st century of the MCU. He warned both Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (the female Loki, played by Sophia Di Martino) that the easy thing to do would be for them to take over managing the sacred timeline. Any other option could lead to more chaos. The key element to “Loki” all season has been variants. Different versions of one’s self in a multiverse of possibilities. Kang’s variants, he says, are to be feared. They scare even him.
Sylvie, determined to destroy the person responsible for her being on the run through time her whole life, doesn’t care. She banishes Loki and kills Kang in front of her. Kang, knowing a much more dangerous variant of himself is now coming after his pending death, has one thing left to say.
“I’ll see you soon,” he says.
It’s a parting shot that signals the next great evil coming, while giving a preview of what is likely to be the next great MCU performance.