Today’s Loki trailer has skyrocketed the hype surrounding Marvel Studios’ much-anticipated third Disney Plus TV series. The promo did a good job of teasing what’s to come without giving much away, but the new look has arrived with the confirmation of one character featured in the show, and their identity reveals a major connection to one of the MCU’s biggest upcoming villains. Namely, Kang the Conqueror.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s character, a member of the Time Variance Authority, goes unnamed in the trailer itself, but official promo photos that accompanied its release (see below) label her as Judge Renslayer. This name will raise alarm bells for anyone familiar with Kang from the comics and appears to confirm that Mbatha-Raw is playing the MCU version of Ravonna Renslayer, the love interest of the time-traveling tyrant.
Traditionally, Kang has had an unrequited love for Ravonna, who’s the daughter of King Carellius, the ruler of the only kingdom on the 40th century Earth that Kang has not conquered. However, in later stories, the attraction is mutual. In one arc that may prove relevant to Loki, Kang goes back in time to save Ravonna’s life, with his actions causing divergent realities: one where they both survive and end up together, and one where she’s frozen in a state of limbo and a heartbroken Kang goes on a quest for vengeance.
As the trailer makes clear, Loki is all about variations and divergences in the timeline. It’s possible that it’ll set up Kang’s motivations and backstory in the MCU, then, ahead of Jonathan Majors’ debut as the villain in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. It seems likely that Mbatha-Raw could return as Judge Renslayer in future projects, too, possibly including Ant-Man 3.
In any case, we’ve got a while to theorize about this stuff, as Loki won’t be premiering on Disney Plus until June 11th. In the meantime, new episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier arrive weekly.