Episode 6 of “Loki” introduces a character titled He Who Remains as the leader of the Time Variance Authority, an organization in charge of time and extradimensional travel that serves as the backbone of the plot of “Loki.” While He Who Remains is a distinct Marvel character with his own unique backstory, “Loki” viewers with Marvel comics knowledge quickly recognized Episode 6’s He Who Remains not as the character from the comics, but a version of Kang, the Conqueror.
Not only is the inclusion of Kang significant for story reasons, but it marks the first proper inclusion of what was once a Fox-owned character in a Disney project. In 2015, James Gunn revealed that Kang was among the characters off-limits to him in the conception of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (via TechTimes). Kang’s inclusion in “Loki,” then, is the first time the results of the merger have directly impacted MCU canon.
Fans expect the debut of Kang to have significant reverberations in future MCU projects. Kang is already confirmed to be a part of “Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” but given the character’s breadth of power in his comic book source material, he’ll likely remain a steady presence beyond just the next “Ant-Man” film. “Loki” star Tom Hiddleston described Kang to Marvel as a “character of such breadth, and depth, and charisma, and intelligence” and noted that his portrayal by actor Jonathan Majors “blew us all away.”