Loki Episode 2 References the TVA's Marvel Comics Debut in Thor #372

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Loki Episode 2, "The Variant," streaming now on Disney+.

The second episode of Loki sees the God of Mischief settling into his new role at the Time Variance Authority and comes with all the Easter eggs fans have come to expect from a Marvel Studios project. After the first episode spent much of its runtime establishing the metaphysical mechanics of time, reality and the multiverse, "The Variant" takes more time to explore the day-to-day running of the TVA as Loki gets used to his new place as an asset for the organization. And when he's put to work in the archives by Agent Mobius, the episode even drops a subtle reference to the TVA's comic book origins.

In the comics on which Loki is based, the TVA assume much the same role as they have done so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series, acting as a time-spanning bureaucracy tasked with governing the course of time. But while TVA has had run-ins with numerous Marvel heroes, including the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, She-Hulk and Deadpool, their origins in the lie with Loki's brother, Thor.

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Early on in "The Variant," following a botched first mission, Loki is tasked with looking through the TVA's case files on the murderous variant of himself -- revealed to be Lady Loki at the end of the episode -- who he's been tasked with helping the TVA capture. When Mobius leaves Loki to get on with his work, looking for anything the TVA might have missed in their previous encounters with the other Loki, the number "372" can be seen in large luminous lettering in the background. This presumably indicates the floor of the TVA's vast headquarters on which the archives are situated. However, it's likely also a nod to the TVA's first named appearance in Marvel Comics in 1986's Thor #372.

While the TVA's first actual appearance was in Thor #371 -- and elements such as the Time-Keepers, which would later become connected to the TVA, were introduced even earlier -- it was in issue #372 that the organization was first named and officially introduced to Marvel Comics readers. The issue saw Thor clashing with authoritarian TVA agent Justice Peace, who was essentially Marvel's time-hopping take on 2000 AD's Judge Dredd. Though Thor and Peace started off as enemies, they later aligned on a time-traveling mission to save Jane Foster from the entity known as Zaniac. It seems unlikely Loki will be drawing much on this particular storyline, but it is worth noting that both Thor #372 and Episode 2 of Loki feature a villain who possesses the bodies of others to commit their crimes.

RELATED: Loki Debut Blows Away Sweet Tooth, Shadow and Bone Premiere Numbers

Small nods to Marvel's Comics in the MCU, such as this reference to the TVA's origins in Loki, are a fun way to wink to the fans and offer a reminder that the creative teams at Marvel Studios have done their homework. Moments like Episode 1's animated "explainer" video about the Time-Keepers show just how heavily Loki is drawing on its comic roots, while still finding fresh ways to reimagine that source material for a new generation of fans.

Loki stars Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Sophia Di Martino, Richard E. Grant, Sasha Lane, and Eugene Cordero. New episodes air Wednesdays on Disney+.

KEEP READING: A Loki Guide: News, Easter Eggs, Reviews, Recaps, Theories and Rumors

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Andrew Gladman (97 Articles Published)

Andrew Gladman is a writer and filmmaker based in the UK. He has previously written for Heroic Hollywood, authored a series of short stories and holds a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He is a co-founder of Final Frame Cinema Ltd and his debut short film, The Mechanical, is set for release in 2021. When he's not writing stories, he's usually devouring them, be it in the cinema, his beloved local comic book store, or just at home in front of the TV!

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