Marvel Studios' Loki aired its season one finale on Wednesday, and the ramifications of it are still being felt across the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The new episode brought Loki Laufeyson's (Tom Hiddleston) story into uncharted territory, and also introduced a new character who is expected to play a big role in the larger franchise going forward. The Loki finale arguably kickstarted a narrative that could play out in other projects — and it just might have further set up a long-rumored Young Avengers project 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 and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) come face-to-face with He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors), a version of Kang the Conqueror. As He Who Remains told the duo, he was the winner of a massive multiversal war with other variants of himself, and his creation of the Time Variance Authority and the protection of the "Sacred Timeline" is the only thing preventing those other variants from attacking. Sylvie still wanted to kill He Who Remains, which caused a conflict between herself and Loki, until she used a Tempad to send him back to the TVA. Sylvie then killed He Who Remains, and the multiverse spun out as a result.
While we've only barely seen what the other variants of He Who Remains could be like, those who are familiar with Kang's illustrious comic lore have already begun to speculate. While Kang's variants range pretty wildly in terms of time periods and goals, one version of the character who is particularly a fan favorite is Iron Lad. Created by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung in 2005's Young Avengers #1, Iron Lad was a younger version of Nathaniel Richards who crossed paths with the adult version of himself and realized that he didn't want to be a villain. After traveling to present day Earth-616 and finding that the Avengers had disbanded, Nathaniel decided to form the Young Avengers, recruiting heroes such as Wiccan, Patriot, and Asgardian.
Now that Kang definitively exists in the MCU, and it's clear that multiple incarnations of the character can pop up at one time, some have begun to wonder if Iron Lad couldn't be that far away. After all, there has been speculation for several years that the Young Avengers could take shape either in the movies or on Disney+. Phase 4 of the MCU has definitely helped that speculation, with Billy Maximoff/Wiccan (Julian Hilliard), Tommy Maximoff/Speed (Jett Klyne), Eli Bradley/Patriot (Elijah Richardson), and Kid Loki (Jack Veal) already introduced, and characters such as Kate Bishop/Hawkeye (Hailee Steinfeld), Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), Riri Williams/Ironheart (Dominique Thorne), America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), and Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) all on the way. Now that Iron Lad possibly exists in the MCU — and could potentially helping form the team from the beginning — we'll have to wait and see exactly how that team takes shape.
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