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How Loki Could Affect Every Future MCU Phase 4 Project

"Loki" went out with a bang in its season finale, which established the creation of the multiverse and introduced He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors), a variant of Kang the Conqueror, into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These massive developments changed the game for this franchise forever and they came in the wake of a program whose each episode delivered memorable moments and characters (Miss Minutes! Alligator Loki! Sylvie!) that seem destined to impact the wider MCU. With the dense world of "Loki" established, one can't help but wonder how this show will affect the rest of the franchise.

Considering the expansive amount of creative endeavors Marvel Studios has scheduled for Phase 4, "Loki" and its weird mind-bending world is bound to factor into at least some of them. But how? What are the exact ways Loki and his Time Variance Authority companions could wiggle their way into the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? To answer that question will require doing a deep dive into each of these Phase 4 projects, starting with one that will take the audience straight into the multiverse...

What If...?

In the wake of the Season 1 finale of "Loki," the placement of "What If...?" in the release schedule of Phase 4 for the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes more sense than ever. What better way to follow up the establishment of multiple universes in this franchise than with a TV show all about exploring alternate versions of famous Marvel scenarios? Among the alternate timelines promised: one where Peggy Carter gets that super-soldier serum and another depicting T'Challa becoming Star-Lord.

The program will even see Tom Hiddleston reprise his role of Loki for an episode, though Tom Hiddleston has said this won't be the same Loki from the "Loki" TV show. Specifically, "What If...?" will explore "what if Loki wasn't adopted?" per quotes from Hiddleston posted by Comic Book Resources. The same interview saw Hiddleston noting that this show will ripple out through the broader Marvel Cinematic Universe. "Loki" is having an expansive domino effect on the larger franchise, and that includes all the multiverse shenanigans contained within "What If...?"

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

In the comics, the powerful Ten Rings utilized by the Mandarin come from outer space through the alien Axonn-Karr. How much of that origin story will make it to the screen in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" is still unknown, but the fact that the Rings will be on the arms of Wenwu (the MCU's equivalent of the true Mandarin) rather than his fingers indicates drastic reinvention. Perhaps the rings will emanate from the multiverse splitting — an easy way to tie the mythology of the Ten Rings organization into the cosmic MCU.

Beyond the potential for a new origin story for the Ten Rings, so far, it appears that the plot for "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" will be largely disconnected from anything involving alternate realities. However, this movie arriving in the wake of the "Loki" Season 1 finale means it's not hard to imagine a mid- or post-credits sequence that reflects the creation of the multiverse.


Plot details for Chloe Zhao's "Eternals" are pretty scarce. However, the official synopsis for the film notes that "an unexpected tragedy" is responsible for bringing these cosmic superheroes together. What exactly that "tragedy" could be is unclear, but after the Season 1 finale of "Loki," it could be the creation of the multiverse itself. That would certainly be a momentous enough event to get Sersi and the other Eternals involved in the affairs of Earth.

Additionally, the fact that the Eternals have existed since the dawn of creation means they might have interacted with the "Loki" character He Who Remains, aka Kang the Conqueror. By embracing these sorts of connections, not only can the ripple effects of "Loki"  be reinforced, but having the Eternals interact with ancient cosmic forces would be an effective way of signifying to the audience just how long these characters have existed in the MCU.

Ms. Marvel

Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel looks primed to deal with the multiversal aftershocks of "Loki" through her feature film debut in "The Marvels." Before then, though, the character will appear in her own solo Disney+ TV show, "Ms. Marvel." If the program follows the earliest solo comics for this character, then the show will feature extremely grounded adventures concentrated on Khan's neighborhood rather than alternate dimensions.

However, that doesn't mean "Ms. Marvel" will be entirely outside the ripple effects of "Loki." After all, before she gets superpowers, Khan is an ultra-fan of all the Marvel superheroes, particularly Captain Marvel. Perhaps a reference to the events of "Loki" will appear in "Ms. Marvel" as a way of signifying this character's deep knowledge of the Marvel Universe. There's also the possibility that Ms. Marvel may get a slightly tweaked origin story for her MCU debut. If this version of Kamala Khan isn't an Inhuman as she is in the comics, and thus won't get her powers through exposure to Terrigen Mist, perhaps the aftereffects of the multiverse's creation will be responsible for transforming her into Ms. Marvel.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Marvel's kept a tight lid on any plot details for "Spider-Man: No Way Home," but thanks to the loose lips of Alfred Molina, it's been revealed that the feature will involve the multiverse. The actor confirmed that his Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus character from "Spider-Man 2" will make his way into the MCU. The presence of Doctor Strange in "No Way Home" makes it further clear that the web-crawler will be grappling with all kinds of alternate universe problems stemming from "Loki" — including the rumored presence of older "Spider-Man" baddies like Willem Dafoe's Norman Osborne/Green Goblin

Rumors have also persisted that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's versions of Spider-Man will cross into the MCU in an event that parallels the Spider-Verse storyline from the comics. Garfield has denied that he'll be appearing in "No Way Home," but the fact that such casting can even be considered a possibility is due in no small part to "Loki" opening up the multiverse.


Hawkeye is regularly depicted as out of his depth in battle against aliens, robots, and all kinds of otherworldly threats. The character's Disney+ program "Hawkeye" could use the aftermath of "Loki" as another great super-heightened backdrop to emphasize Hawkeye as the ultimate underdog.

Though that sounds like a slam dunk connection on paper, it's likely "Hawkeye" will only have the barest, if any, connections to "Loki." The "Hawkeye" show will feature the debut of Kate Bishop in the MCU and appears to draw heavily from Matt Fraction and David Aja's 2012 run on "Hawkeye." That comic book storyline was far more interested in the complicated dynamic between Clint Barton and Bishop than having them face off against multiversal threats. There may not be much room, if any, for the events of "Loki." Plus, the officially confirmed cast for the show includes no one portraying cosmic figures, making it even more unlikely "Hawkeye" will be touched much by "Loki."

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Out of all of the MCU's Phase 4 movies, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is the one that will most likely grapple with the ripple effects of "Loki." After all, it's right there in the title. Plus, "Loki" head writer Michael Waldron is one of the screenwriters on the film, and he's been open about how it'll allow him to clean up "[my] own mess" after leaving the MCU in chaos, so expect plenty of "Loki" ties. On top of all that, Tom Hiddleston is reportedly appearing in the film as Loki.

One other way "Doctor Strange" will utilize the newly crafted multiverse will be the introduction of America Chavez, a superhero who has the power to leap across different universes. It wouldn't be surprising if the Time Variance Authority shows up in "Multiverse of Madness," but with or without them, this film is clearly tied heavily to the events of "Loki."


Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk is coming to the MCU with her own Disney+ program, a half-hour legal drama whose ten-episode first season will focus primarily on the character's exploits in the courtroom. Given the more low-key focus on the show, as well as the presence of characters like Mark Ruffalo's Hulk and Tim Roth's Abomination, "She-Hulk" has its hands full on a storytelling level, and it's hard to tell how exactly, if at all, the world of "Loki" could intersect with Walters and her mission to be the best lawyer possible while also being a gigantic green superhero.

Still, never say never in the MCU. After all, the Hulk already has experience with traveling through time thanks to the events of "Avengers: Endgame." Perhaps his exploits will lead to a connection, however minor, with the characters and events of "Loki." Besides, once Kang's let loose in the MCU, who better to keep him in line than a pair of Hulks?

Thor: Love and Thunder

Tom Hiddleston himself has confirmed Loki won't be appearing in "Thor: Love and Thunder," a first for the "Thor" franchise, but that doesn't mean the movie will be devoid of connections or references to "Loki." It's easy to imagine that the multiverse would be on Thor's radar, though it could be even more a factor with regards to the feature's villain.

"Thor: Love and Thunder" baddie Gorr the God Butcher has several superpowers in the comics — and one of those abilities eventually involves being able to travel through time, a skill that allows different versions of Thor from various points in time to meet. It's not much of a stretch to imagine that the film incarnation of Gorr could end up traveling across the multiverse to slaughter any and all gods in his path. Plus, the loss of Loki in between "Thor" movies is bound to be referenced at some point.

Moon Knight

Throughout his time in the comics, Moon Knight has been no stranger to alternate universes, so his upcoming Disney+ series seems primed to incorporate some elements of "Loki." After all, if various Lokis can exist at once in "Loki," who's to say the "Moon Knight" TV show won't take a cue from the character's exploits in comics storylines like "Secret Wars" and feature several different versions of Moon Knight?

The sudden introduction of other universes could also feed into the sense of uncertainty that underlines Moon Knight's adventures in any medium. Typically, all that ambiguity comes from the character's multiple personalities, but adding the multiverse to the equation could only exacerbate all that unpredictability. Though these are all enticing ways "Loki" could impact "Moon Knight," there's also a dense amount of lore and superpowers the show will have to establish for his first live-action appearance. Bringing the character into the multiverse may have to wait for future seasons or movies.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is shrouded in secrecy, with official story details nonexistent and news of returning cast members trickling out slowly. Thus, it's difficult to predict how "Loki" could impact "Wakanda Forever," especially since the original "Black Panther" didn't interact heavily with the cosmic side of the MCU. However, that doesn't mean Loki can't or won't impact this motion picture.

Shuri could be the key to some kind of connection. Given that she's been dubbed the "smartest person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe," she's likely the kind of person that the Time Variance Authority keeps an eye on. On the other hand, the fact that "Wakanda Forever" has to grapple with the loss of Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa and has the dense lore of Wakanda to explore makes it likely that "Loki" connections will be minimal to nonexistent.

Secret Invasion

Nick Fury last appeared in the MCU during "Spider-Man: Far from Home," seen working alongside Quinten Beck/Mysterio, a figure he believed to come from an alternate universe. A few twists and turns later, it turned out Beck was just a disgruntled former Stark Industries employee — and that wasn't the only trick up the movie's sleeve. A post-credits scene revealed that "Fury" had actually been the Skrull Talos in disguise the whole time. Both Fury and Talos are conscious of the idea of a multiverse, which could have an impact on one of the Disney+ programs dropping during Phase 4 of the MCU. 

In "Secret Invasion," which will feature both Fury and Talos, perhaps elements of the plot will involve the assortment of separate universes that sprung up after the death of He Who Remains. Marvel chief Kevin Feige has confirmed that "Secret Invasion" will follow its comics source material by focusing on a Skrull sect that has assumed the identities of Earthlings, but who's to say this story won't involve the multiverse somehow? Very little gets past Nick Fury, after all. With the fabric of reality folding in new directions, he's almost certain to be involved.

The Marvels

After "WandaVision," Monica Rambeau has plenty of experience with reality-warping individuals. The mid-credits scene of that show, in which Rambeau is seemingly invited to work with Fury and the Skrulls, indicates she'll be even more immersed in the cosmic side of the MCU when she reappears in "The Marvels."

It's also likely this film could see Captain Marvel dealing with the aftereffects of "Loki." In "Avengers: Endgame," Captain Marvel said the reason she hadn't been seen on Earth in years was because not every planet has Avengers to protect them. Those planets may need Captain Marvel's help in all the multiversal chaos. Perhaps a "Loki" character — such as Ravonna Renslayer — could be an antagonistic character for the Marvels. There are many ways "The Marvels" could intersect with "Loki," but these feel especially likely.


Soon to be featured in a Disney+ program starring Dominique Thorne in the title role, the superhero Ironheart/Riri Williams has only existed since 2016. Even in that short span of time, the character has managed to appear in the animated properties "Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron" and "Marvel's Spider-Man." Each of them offers their own spin on her origin story, which differs from the comics source material. Though certain details (like the passing of Williams' father) recur with each iteration of Ironheart, the variations, including the name for the A.I. in her suit, suggest that Marvel will be flexible with the details of Ironheart's story.

This is all to say that it wouldn't be surprising for the first live-action incarnation of Ironheart to come with its own twist on how Riri Williams got herself a suit of armor to rival Tony Stark's — perhaps one that involves elements from "Loki." Maybe she comes from an alternate universe. Maybe she's been seen as a dangerous variant by the Time Variance Authority in the past. The possibilities are endless.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Before he appeared as He Who Remains in the season one finale of "Loki," Marvel announced that Jonathan Majors would play Kang the Conqueror in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania." This alone makes it apparent how "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" will connect with "Loki," as our heroes will be forced to confront a variant of He Who Remains.

Of course, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" was always likely to confront side effects of the creation of the multiverse even, if they weren't related to Kang. The end of the first "Ant-Man" was all about traveling to the Quantum Realm; voyaging into other realms of existence was also the crux of the climax of "Ant-Man and the Wasp." With the multiverse unleashed, it makes sense for Scott Lang and company to expand their forays into other realms of existence. "Quantumania" director Peyton Reed has said that this "Ant-Man" installment will be a "bigger, more sprawling movie than the first two," which could create enough space for the cosmic threads of "Loki" to be woven in.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

So far, there's no reason to expect "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" will be heavily impacted by the events of "Loki," especially since writer-director James Gunn has had said the script for the project hasn't changed since 2018. It wouldn't be impossible for "Loki" to spill over into "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," but the odds do seem fairly low.

If there's any influence from "Loki" on "Vol. 3," it'll probably come from how closely linked the Guardians and Thor have become. Thanks to the last two "Avengers" adventures and "Thor: Love and Thunder," these cosmic oddballs will have spent a lot of time with the God of Thunder. Having had such a heavy familiarity with staples of the "Thor" franchise could increase the possibility of seeing "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" involve some mention of Thor's half-brother and the events of "Loki." Still, it might be best to expect "Vol. 3" to adhere to the largely standalone nature of its predecessors. 

Fantastic Four

Though "Loki" served as the first live-action appearance of Kang the Conqueror in the form of He Who Remains, the cosmic villain has existed for decades in Marvel Comics. A version of the character, named Rama-Tut, introduced the world to Kang in "Fantastic Four" #19, forever tying Marvel's First Family to one of the publisher's most significant villains. It won't be at all surprising to see the "Fantastic Four" moving involve a variant of Kang in some way — especially since he's also likely related to FF patriarch Reed Richards (it's very complicated).

Even beyond Kang, the Fantastic Four are bound to be impacted by "Loki," given how this team has always been focused on cosmic escapades in the comics. The team would've been exploring alternate dimensions and messing around in time even if "Loki" had never happened. Establishing concepts like the Time Variance Authority in "Loki" just set up even more material for "Fantastic Four" to play with whenever it arrives in the MCU.