How the Loki Finale Sets Up Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

The Season 1 finale of Marvel Studios' Loki debuted on Wednesday morning, and fans are still processing all of its various reveals tied to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the events of the series have largely existed on the periphery of the main, 2023-set events of the post-Avengers: Endgame franchise, that hasn't stopped them from making a pretty profound impact. One element of the season finale, in particular, has kickstarted a new array of possibilities for the MCU going forward — and it just might have provided the best setup yet for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania along the way. Obviously, major spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Loki, "For All Time. Always." below! Only look if you want to know!

The episode saw Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia di Martino) traveling to a castle at the end of time, where they believed that the person responsible for the creation of the Time Variance Authority would be residing. Soon, that theory proved to be true, as the pair met He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) — also known as Immortus, an older version of Kang the Conqueror. He Who Remains recounted his own history, that he was a scientist in the 31st century who accidentally discovered alternate universes, just as various variants of himself from other universes did the same. The menagerie of them briefly joined forces and formed a council, before disagreements led them to have a multiversal war. He Who Remains won the war after harnessing the power of Alioth, and used it to preserve the Sacred Timeline and create the TVA, in order to prevent his other variants from entering it. As He Who Remains told Loki and Sylvie, his death would be the only thing standing in the way of those other variants appearing, and the multiverse as a whole being exposed.

Ultimately, Sylvie did decide to get revenge on He Who Remains, stabbing and killing him — and causing the multiverse to be unleashed as a result. The episode ended with Loki having returned to the TVA, albeit a wildly different one that featured a statue of one of He Who Remains' variants, Kang the Conqueror.

This whole episode added interesting context to the fact that Majors' Kang has been long-confirmed to appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which is expected to debut in theaters in 2023. While a lot is still unknown about the upcoming film, the idea of Kang going up against Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), and company has definitely been weird enough to intrigue fans, especially when we didn't know exactly how Kang was going to be established in the MCU. Now that the Loki finale has laid the basic framework for how Kang's various duplicates work, the answer seems a bit more clear. There's a chance that the Kang we meet in Quantumania is the younger version of the man who would become He Who Remains, and that the events of that film just occurred eons before his death in Loki. There's also the chance that Quantumania's Kang isn't He Who Remains at all, but another variant of the character from an alternate universe who has come to conquer the main timeline. Depending on exactly when Loki Season 2 debuts, there's a chance we could get even more clarity before the film too.

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Season 1 of Loki is now available to stream on Disney+. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is set to be released on February 17, 2023.