Loki Introduces Marvel’s Post-Apocalyptic Superhero


A location seen in the Loki trailer hints that the series could be headed to the timeline of Killraven, Marvel’s post-apocalyptic superhero.

A location in the Loki trailer indicates that Phase 4 of the MCU is headed to the timeline of Killraven, Marvel’s post-apocalyptic superhero. In Marvel Comics, Killraven is a sword-wielding hero who exists in an alternate future. With Phase 4 set to play out in a big way through the Disney+ series, which are quickly becoming as integral to the MCU as the movies, it wouldn’t be surprising if the TV shows introduced new characters that haven’t been announced yet.

Killraven’s world is one of many places that could be visited in Phase 4, especially since the multiverse is key to many of its upcoming projects, including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Spider-Man 3, and Loki. Being a TV series, there will be a lot more room for him in Loki than there would be in the movies. In the upcoming Disney+ series, which is expected to release sometime this year, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) will be sent on a time travel adventure. The show will follow the exploits of the 2012 Loki that escaped SHIELD custody in Avengers: Endgame. The trailer for the show has confirmed that the character will end up in the crosshairs of the Time Variance Authority (TVA), an organization from Marvel Comics whose purpose is to police the timestream.

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Related: Loki’s Time Travel Should Introduce Thor’s Kids In Phase 4

The various places shown in the Loki trailer suggest that his story will take him to multiple time periods and other realities. One particular shot showed New York City in ruins. This has caused many to speculate that the series will be taking a different look at the battle with the Chitauri in The Avengers that Loki himself started, but it may be much more than that. It could also lead to Marvel bringing in another comic book hero, Killraven, to life in the MCU. Here’s who Killraven is, how he could work in the MCU, and why he feels like a good fit for Phase 4.

Killraven In Marvel Comics Explained

The story of Killraven serves as Marvel Comics’ adaptation of H.G. Wells’ iconic science fiction novel, War of the Worlds, which was about the Earth being invaded by an army of Martians. Marvel’s version, which began in 1973’s Amazing Adventures comic book series, took place after the Martians’ successful takeover. The central protagonist was Jonathan Raven, a.k.a. Killraven, a skilled swordsman struggling to survive in a world ruled by Martians. Because of experiments that were conducted on his body, Killraven possesses a unique superpower: he can telepathically control the minds of Martians.

After years of being forced to entertain them as a gladiator, Killraven escaped from captivity and formed a band of freedom fighters who became committed to ridding the Earth of its alien conquerors. In the stories, Killraven and his allies traveled across the eastern United States, battling all sorts of extraterrestrial bounty hunters, cyborgs, and monsters. During this time, his primary mission was to locate his long-lost brother, unaware that he had sold out to the Martians.

As a character who lives in an alternate future, Killraven exists apart from most Marvel superheroes, but that hasn’t stopped writers from finding ways of teaming him up with its A-list heroes. In one of his most memorable stories, he joined forces with a time-traveling Spider-Man in the 1976 comic, Marvel Team-Up #45. In the early 2010s, some time-travel shenanigans involving Kang the Conqueror briefly put him in the present day, where he was able to meet the Avengers. Killraven was also seen as a member of a future team of Avengers in the miniseries, Avengers Forever.

Related: MCU Theory: Loki Becomes More Evil (Because He’s Shown Infinity War Death)

Killraven’s Timeline Can Flip The Avengers’ Ending

The idea of Marvel using Killraven in Phase 4 doesn’t mean it needs to adapt War of the Worlds, nor does it need the Martians. The best way for him to work on the small screen would be for Marvel to flip the ending of The Avengers. Similar to the What If? comic and the animated Disney+ series of the same name, Marvel could use alternate realities in Loki to examine different outcomes of past MCU stories. And the inclusion of post-apocalyptic New York City in the Loki trailer indicates that the show will be doing just that. It looks like Marvel will be exploring a timeline where the Avengers failed to defeat the Chitauri. That would explain why the city appears to be destroyed.

If that’s the case, Marvel could use this alternate ending to The Avengers to tell Killraven’s story – but without the Martians. What Loki is doing being a combination of The Avengers and Killraven’s comics makes perfect sense, especially since post-apocalyptic New York City was the setting for a number of Killraven stories. When using him, the Martians could easily be swapped out for the Chitauri. Loki could find himself in a world not unlike Killraven’s, with the biggest difference being that it’s the Chitauri who are enslaving humans. Such a scenario would be interesting, because it would force Loki to truly comprehend the consequences of his actions. He didn’t have to do that in the MCU’s main timeline because he was defeated before things could go that far, but Loki could provide Marvel with an opportunity to really dive into the destruction he nearly caused.

What Killraven Could Mean For The MCU

It’s possible that Loki could spend an episode (or two) in this alternate version of New York City ruled by the Chitauri. While there, audiences could meet the MCU’s version of Killraven. If so, he could be a fun guest star for Loki to both team-up with, and fight. As a hero, it’s likely that they’d work together at some point or another during Loki’s stay in his future, but a conflict between them feels all but assured. After all, Loki would be directly responsible for the Earth’s downfall, and that would be good enough reason for Killraven to turn against him if he were to discover the truth about his role in the Chitauri invasion.

It’s worth discussing how important Killraven would be going forward. He may not be needed for anything more than a guest-starring spot, but the focus on time travel and alternate realities in Phase 4 would certainly leave the door open for more appearances. It could be that the events of Loki will put in motion a trip through for time for Killraven, because it may not be Marvel’s plan to keep him in his own timeline. He could get a cameo in Doctor Strange 2, or Loki could set him up to be involved in some capacity in the fight against Kang in Ant-Man 3. Another possibility that Marvel may be willing to explore in Phase 5 is a solo project for the rebel hero. If he is used in Loki (and is received well by viewers), he could wind up with his own Disney+ show. A post-apocalyptic Marvel show centered on a group of freedom fighters would certainly be a fascinating addition to Marvel’s Disney+ lineup.

More: MCU Theory: Endgame Creates Both Thor And Loki’s Phase 4 Villains

  • Black Widow (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022

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