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Loki episode 6 reveals the MCU's next big villain: What it means

Who plays the new villain and what are his comic origins? Let's break it down.

Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
Expertise Film and TV Credentials
  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset
3 min read

Sylvie and Loki meet the man at the end of time.


The finale of Loki brought the six-episode first season of the Disney Plus series to a spectacular end. Aside from leaving us with the confirmation of a second season, the final episode heralded a new villain for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Who is he? Who plays him? What are his comic origins?

Let's discuss in the spoiler-filled territory below.

Warning: Spoilers ahead


The main thing we know is he likes apples.


Who plays He Who Remains?

Loki and Sylvie enter the citadel at the end of time, where they find an eccentric, apple-munching man in lordly robes. The actor who plays the scientist known as He Who Remains is Jonathan Majors.

Majors is best known for starring in The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019), Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods (2020) and for playing Atticus Freeman in HBO's recently canceled Lovecraft Country (2020).

Who's the character in the comics?

Although his other name is never referred to in the finale, He Who Remains' comic counterpart is Kang the Conquerer. The version we meet is a scientist from the 31st century who had the grand idea to create the Time Variance Authority to prevent evil variants of himself from destroying the multiverse.

In the comics, Kang is a baddy also from the 31st century who's faced off against the Avengers many times (and in many incarnations) since his '60s debut.

To really deep-dive into Kang's comic origins, head into potential MCU spoiler territory here.

What did Sylvie unleash?

Thanks to Sylvie's decision to kill He Who Remains, the multiverse can now branch freely. He Who Remains is no longer there to keep his evil variants in check -- by feeding them and their timelines to Alioth, that big purple people-eating cloud.

We'll likely meet the evil variants in Kang the Conquerer form, free to run wild and cause havoc, no doubt giving the Avengers their next big headache.

When will we see Kang the Conquerer next?

Deadline had reported all the way back in September that Majors would be playing Kang the Conquerer in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

The threequel doesn't yet have an exact release date, but it'll arrive sometime in 2023, following a host of other MCU movies, including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Will we see Kang appear in one of his variant forms in the Doctor Strange sequel? Maybe.

When's season 2 of Loki?

In a tiny mid-credits scene, we see official confirmation there'll be a season 2 of Loki. This makes it the first MCU series to have a follow-up season on Disney Plus (not including animated series What If...?).

When will we see it? We don't know yet. What we can go off are reports that development began in November, indicating the show's timeline is as meticulously planned as the Sacred Timeline.

As for other Marvel Disney Plus series, WandaVision was only intended as a limited miniseries. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has yet to confirm more episodes or whether there's a chance the story will be continued in a big-screen adventure starring Anthony Mackie as the new Captain America.

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