How Loki Sets Up Annihilation and a Massive Cosmic Marvel Story

Earlier this year, Michael Waldron said Loki would have lasting ramifications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As it turns out, Waldron happens to be the head writer on both the Tom Hiddleston-starring series and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and it's more apparent than ever the two will be tied pretty close together. If the latest episode of Loki was any indication, the show may have also already set the stage for one of Marvel's most popular cosmic story arcs.

Slight spoilers up ahead for Loki Episode 3. If you've yet to see "Lamentis," proceed with caution.

As the episode's name suggests, Loki (Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) manage to find themselves on Lamentis-1, one of the moons of the planet Lamentis. They've traveled to 2077, where Lamentis is in the midst of an apocalypse, and chunks of the planet are crashing down towards Lamentis-1. Over the course of the episode, the duo then tries everything in their power to get off the planet, because their stolen TVA device has, conveniently enough, no more juice in its battery.

You see, Lamentis has only appeared in one issue in the Marvel Comics canon, the prologue issue to Annihilation: Conquest. Interestingly enough, this is a story that directly has to deal with a futuristic apocalypse.

Reeling from the events of Annihilation, Annihilation: Conquest features Ultron and the Phalanx as the story's primary antagonists as they attempt to take over worlds with a tech-based approach compared to the buggy organic approach of Annihilus.

What's interesting about both Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest is that the stories largely reimagine Marvel's cosmic stories. Between the two stories and their associated tie-ins, virtually all characters involved got modernized looks, or are introduced back into the canon after years floating in the ether of the Marvel Comics library of characters. The vast majority of modern cosmic Marvel stories — including the popularization of the Guardians of the Galaxy — can be traced back to these two stories.

Because we know Lamentis does, in fact, implode in the year 2077 with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that means the door is now open for Marvel Studios to do at least a semi-accurate adaptation of Annihilation: Conquest — all thanks to the one simple mention in an episode of Loki.

Though the line connecting Point A to Point B here is razor-thin, Kevin Feige himself has gone on record saying the Marvel Studios is increasingly interested in nonlinear storytelling.

"Certainly this film and this story is a particular case for Natasha," the producer said at the time. "But the notion of exploring the past, present, and future of the MCU is certainly in the cards for all of our characters. This particular story of this particular cast is very personal, very specific to Natasha."

Connecting Loki to Annihilation: Conquest might be quite the stretch, but at least the man himself has said it could "certainly" be "in the cards."

The first three episodes of Loki are now streaming on Disney+. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.

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