Here’s everything you need to know about Marvel’s Brad Wolfe, following on from his debut in Loki season 2 episode 2. Spoilers ahead for the new episode, of course.
Despite obviously having the ugliest logo, Loki has cemented itself as the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s best TV series. In fact, if you’re taking the (brave) decision to rewatch the Marvel movies in order, you simply have to include Loki in all the fun, too, because it’s just so important for the plot of Marvel Phase 5 and beyond with its exploration of multiple timelines and the involvement of Kang. But first, before we get to any upcoming Marvel movies, we really need to unpack the story behind Loki’s Brad Wolfe and what it means for the future.
Brad Wolfe’s role in Loki explained
Brad Wolfe is the identity of X-5 in the MCU’s Sacred Timeline.
Loki and Mobius uncover X-5 (the Variant who works as a hunter for the TVA) in London while attempting to track down Sylvie before Dox gets to her first. There, they find Brad Wolfe at the premiere of the movie Zaniac in which he plays the titular monster. They capture Wolfe, thanks to Loki’s magical trickery, and bring him back to the TVA for investigation to figure out what’s going on, and learn what he knows.
We discover that Brad Wolfe is the life X-5 would have lived on the Sacred Timeline until the Variant was kidnapped and brought to work for the TVA. Like the rest of the Variants who work for the TVA, including Mobius, X-5’s identity as Brad Wolfe is how his life was supposed to unfurl and is what his ‘destiny’ had in store for him before the machinations of the Time-Keepers: he was meant to be a famous, charismatic actor starring in the in-universe movie Zaniac, not a temporal agent. X-5 resumed this life as Wolfe after ditching his hunt for Sylvie.
In the end, Loki extracts the information he wants from Brad Wolfe by force. He discovers that Sylvie is living a new life on another branch of the timeline, and Brad Wolfe finds her whereabouts before bailing on the TVA to become the Zaniac actor again.
So, what does all this mean for the MCU?
Brad Wolfe’s appearance in Loki could shift the course of the MCU, because it looks set to change the course of Loki and Mobius’ future.
In particular, Brad Wolfe was able to get under Mobius’ skin when probing him about the life he was supposed to lead in the Sacred Timeline. This prompts Loki to ask Mobius the same question, wondering whether or not Mobius is curious about his identity on the Sacred Timeline.
Mobius says no, but it seems almost inevitable that he’s going to want to explore what his life really would have been like prior to his involvement in the TVA. That could see Mobius wanting to leave the organization to pursue the life he was supposed to live. That would be a pretty intriguing plot point, right? Would Loki support his decision or want to keep his buddy by his side?
It could end up having huge repercussions for the best Marvel characters in the series if it comes true: all this room for maneuver is what makes the show so great, as we say in our Loki season 2 review.
Brad Wolfe in Marvel Comics history
In the Marvel comics, Brad Wolfe has a different story, albeit with some similarities.
Importantly, after the character was introduced in the early ’80s in a Thor comic, he was still an actor who starred in the fictional movie Zaniac. However, he struggled to come to terms with who he was, with the line between his on-screen persona and actual identity being blurred.
Brad Wolfe began to believe that he really was the monster named Zaniac, and became violent acting out the movie’s script for real. He battled Thor, and was eventually possessed by a demonic force that wanted to kill Jane Foster.
That’s everything you need to know about Brad Wolfe in Loki. For more time-traveling fun, see our picks for the best sci-fi series. Or, prior to the release of The Marvels see what else is new on Disney Plus this month, before learning about why Loki season 2 is under so much pressure after a quality first season. If that’s not enough, you can read our interview with Loki producer about TVA being the new SHIELD.