Loki encountered Kang for the first at the end of the first season of his show. Their meeting was eventful, but not altogether violent. That’s relatively counter to how they’ve met in Marvel Comics, where at once point, the Trickster God overcame Kang without breaking a sweat.
In the MCU, Kang has been positioned as one of the best Marvel villains. A nigh-omniscient who exists throughout time and space, he presents all sorts of threats to the universe established when you watch the Marvel movies in order.
Loki finds out first-hand how powerful the being is in his Marvel series, killing He Who Remains only to find himself transported to another timeline where Kang rules supreme. As two of the best Marvel characters, their meetings have always been worthwhile, except for that time in the ’90s where Loki essentially absorbed Kang like Kirby.
In Heroes Reborn, a late ’90s crossover comic that featured Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld, your favorite Marvel heroes were transported to an alternate universe after losing to Onslaught (this is the extreme CliffNotes version). While there, they live regular lives, but some start to figure out something else is happening.
The plot involves Kang and Mantis – yes, the same one from the Guardians of the Galaxy cast – being villainous lovers who’re on the run from the Avengers. They manage to avoid threats until a mysterious figure gets to them in Avengers #8, by Walter Simonson and Michael Ryan.
Suddenly, they’re turned into energy that gets sucked by whoever this thing is. Spoilers: it’s Loki who goes on to repeat this process with several more of Marvel’s best and brightest. Really, the whole idea represents the kitchen sink approach from the ’90s, where Marvel and DC were throwing everything at their roster to see what stuck.
Heroes Reborn doesn’t have a lot worth revisiting, but this moment, in light of Marvel Phase 5, really sticks out. I can’t imagine the MCU ever going quite this weird and left-field unless in an extended dream sequence where it was clear nothing mattered.
But then, we had WandaVision and Doctor Strange 2. You could very easily argue the former is one of the best horror series on Disney Plus, and the latter the best horror movie to come from the franchise, so maybe I’m being cynical.
Either way, it’s something to keep in mind as we get closer to the Avengers 5 release date and Secret Wars release date. Everything could be solved if the heroes let Loki have a go! Loki season 2 starts streaming on Disney Plus from October 6. Check out our guide to The Marvels to keep making yours Marvel.