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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is well into its second era of films, with the Multiverse Saga building up to the epic two-part event, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars (which will act as the ultimate conclusion to Phase 6).
With the introduction of the Multiverse, there has also come the concept of variants from alternate realities who mirror the characters from the MCU’s main timeline, known as Earth-616. There have already been dozens of variants introduced in the MCU so far, and Marvel fans should know exactly who these characters are and where they come from.
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The 2014 Jumpers
Avengers: Endgame introduced the concept of multiple timelines after the Avengers used time travel to gather the Infinity Stones and reverse Thanos’s Decimation. During their Time Heist, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes accidentally made it possible for a version of Thanos and his armies from 2014 to follow them back to their own timeline (culminating in the epic Battle of Earth).
Among these variants that made the jump from 2014 to 2023 were Thanos, Ebony Maw, Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Cull Obsidian, Gamora, and Nebula, as well as thousands of nameless soldiers from the Sakaaran, Chitauri, and Outrider armies. All but Gamora were killed by Tony Stark’s use of the Infinity Gauntlet, wiping them out of existence and creating a new timeline in 2014 where Thanos and his armies never existed.
The TVA Agents
The Disney+ series Loki introduced viewers to the Time Variance Authority, a law enforcement system set up by He Who Remains to keep order in the Multiverse by pruning any branches to the Sacred Timeline (Earth-616). However, the final episodes of the first season revealed that the agents of the TVA were variants themselves.
Most notable among these variants are Mobius M. Mobius, Ravonna Renslayer, and Hunter B-15, though it can be assumed that every agent in the TVA is, in fact, a variant from a pruned timeline. Each agent had his or her memory wiped upon arriving in the TVA, serving the Timekeepers with no knowledge of their former lives.
The Escaped Loki
During the 2012 prong of the Avengers’ Time Heist in Endgame, Tony Stark accidentally loses his grasp on the briefcase containing the Tesseract, which ends up directly at Loki’s feet. A branch timeline is thereby created when the captured God of Mischief steals the Space Stone and teleports away, with his adventures comprising the events of the Loki Disney+ series.
Although this timeline was quickly discovered and pruned by the TVA, the Loki variant that created the branch continues to explore the Multiverse. It is this version of Loki that discovers the Fortress containing He Who Remains and who will likely play a major role in the future events of the Multiverse Saga (including the upcoming season 2 of his self-titled series).
The Lokis In The TVA File
After joining the TVA to help search for his rogue variant, Loki sits in on a mission briefing with certain other agents, including Mobius. During this briefing, Mobius shows holo-images of certain known Loki variants from various timelines, including a soccer-playing Loki, a Hulked-out Loki, a Loki with a beard and green suit, a Frost Giant Loki, and a Loki wearing traditional Viking warrior garb.
While none of these variants physically appear onscreen, their presence in Mobius’ catalog confirms their existence somewhere in the MCU. However, since the TVA is aware of these variants and their timelines, it is very possible that all those shown in Mobius’s presentation have indeed been apprehended and pruned.
Sylvie Laufeydottir is a female variant of Loki who hails from the pruned timeline of Earth-TRN866 (with TRN standing for “Temporary Reality Number,” indicating that Marvel Studios has not yet officially named the timeline). She was abducted from her world by the TVA as a child, leading her to devote the rest of her life to wreaking havoc throughout the Sacred Timeline.
Loki would eventually fall in love with his female variant, leading to the creation of a massive Nexus Event that sparked the events that would culminate in him and Sylvie discovering the existence of He Who Remains. Sylvie killed this variant of Kang the Conqueror, unleashing complete chaos in the Multiverse.
Unknown Earth (Pruned)
Richard E. Grant made his MCU debut in the final few episodes of Loki, portraying a version of the character that adheres more closely to his comic book counterpart (both in personality and design). This version of Loki, known as Classic Loki, follows many of the same life events as his Earth-616 counterpart but survived the events of Avengers: Infinity War.
Classic Loki lived the remainder of his life in solitude on a deserted planet but was eventually discovered and arrested by the TVA, who sent him to the Void. There, he befriended several other Loki variants, eventually sacrificing his life to help two reach the Fortress at the end of time.
Unknown Earth (Pruned)
Boastful Loki, portrayed by DeObia Oparei, is a Loki variant who, as his name implies, has many lofty claims about his life before being arrested by the TVA. This variant claims to have defeated many enemies, including Captain America and Iron Man, and even asserts that he once wielded the completed Infinity Gauntlet (although it is unclear whether any of this is true).
Regardless of Boastful Loki’s true accomplishments, he was nevertheless found and arrested by the TVA, leading him to survive among other variants in the Void. Although he betrayed his allies, he is believed to still be alive somewhere in the Void following the events of Loki’s first season.
Unknown Earth (Pruned)
Kid Loki, portrayed by Jack Veal, is a Loki variant who still assumes the form of a child, though it is unclear what his true age really is. This version of the character created a Nexus Event by killing his adopted brother, Thor, when they were still children. He was eventually pruned by the TVA, ending up in the Void.
The fate of Kid Loki remains ambiguous following his appearance in the first season of Loki. He elected to remain in the Void rather than escape with two of his variants, claiming that the place had become his home. He is assumed to still be surviving in the Void in the current MCU.
Unknown Earth (Pruned)
Alligator Loki is a version of the God of Mischief, with whom audiences immediately fell in love. As his name would imply, this variant of Loki is indeed an alligator, though he appears to retain the same level of sentience and intelligence as his humanoid variants.
Little is known of Alligator Loki’s past, though it is implied that he was pruned by the TVA after eating a neighbor’s cat, implying against the popular belief that he hails from a universe that is not entirely composed of animals. He remains with Kid Loki in the Void after the events of season 1 of Loki.
Unknown Earth (Pruned)
President Loki is a variant of the God of Mischief who found himself imprisoned in the Void by the TVA. This version of the character appears to have at one point run for the office of President of the United States, mirroring the 2016 Vote Loki comic book storyline wherein the god of mischief runs for president on the platform that citizens should vote for a candidate unafraid to lie to them.
This Loki variant appears to have survived in the Void for some time, gathering a posse of his other variants during his time there. He confronts a rogue group of variants with his forces, though he is betrayed and loses a hand to the anger of Alligator Loki. It is unknown if he survived the events of Loki’s first season.
The Lokis Of The Void
Various Earths (Pruned)
While in the Void, Loki comes across several variants of himself, as the various Gods of Mischief appear to have a special talent for surviving in the direst of circumstances. Among those he meets are the followers of President Loki, who are revealed to themselves be variants of Loki.
These variants are presented in clothing meant to differentiate each from the main Loki, though it is unclear exactly what separated each from the Sacred Timeline. These variants eventually betray President Loki, leading to an all-out brawl that undoubtedly left many of them dead.
Unknown Earth (Pruned)
While Loki primarily centered around the variants of the eponymous God of Mischief, a single Thor variant managed to sneak his way into the fifth episode of the series. A frog version of Thor can be seen buried underground in the Void for a brief moment, desperately trying to reach his hammer.
In the comics, Frog Thor is a version of the God of Thunder, who has been turned into a frog by his brother Loki. Although many viewers mistook this character for Throg, a completely separate version of Thor from the comics who is actually football star Simon Walterson, this is indeed Frog Thor (as evidenced by Chris Hemsworth voicing the character in the episode).
He Who Remains
He Who Remains is a variant of Kang the Conqueror, a time-traveling warlord who sparked the events of the first Multiversal War. He Who Remains created the TVA, assuming the guise of the three Timekeepers, and wrote a script that became the Sacred Timeline.
Loki and Sylvie uncover He Who Remains’ Fortress at the end of time in the series finale of Loki, where he reveals the truth about the TVA and offers them a choice between joining him and killing him. Sylvie chooses the latter, unraveling the multiverse and setting into motion the events leading up to the next Multiversal War. He Who Remains continues to be a major portent of things to come as fans eagerly await Kang’s debut in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
During the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter Parker and Doctor Strange accidentally caused several variants with ties to Spider-Man to come to their world. Among these was the villainous Doctor Otto Octavius, otherwise known as Doctor Octopus, with Alfred Molina reprising his role from Spider-Man 2.
This version of Doctor Octopus hailed from Earth-96283, set in Sam Raimi’s trilogy of films centered around Spider-Man, and was plucked from the timeline moments before his death. He was, however, cured of his condition by Earth-616’s Peter Parker, allowing him to return to his home timeline with hopes of surviving the events of his original death.
In No Way Home, Willem Dafoe returns as Norman Osborn (a.k.a. the Green Goblin, one of Spider-Man’s greatest villains of all time), after portraying him in Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy. Norman was plucked out of his timeline by Doctor Strange’s botched spell only moments before his death.
This variant of Norman Osborn succumbed to his darker half, killing Earth-616’s Aunt May and nearly killing his own universe’s Spider-Man before being cured. Doctor Strange’s second spell returned him to his universe, with the Goblin Formula no longer influencing his thoughts and actions. It is assumed that he now survived the events of the first Spider-Man film.
Rhys Ifans returns as Dr. Curt Connors, a.k.a. the Lizard, during the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. His variant hails from Earth-120703, the setting of Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man films, and apparently was taken from his timeline before he was cured of his lizard condition by Peter Parker.
This version of Dr. Connors remains true to his vision of desiring all of humanity to be transformed into Lizards, eventually teaming up with the other multiversal villains to avoid being cured by Peter Parker. He does receive the cure regardless, returning to his human state before being sent back to his original timeline.
Jamie Foxx’s Electro, formerly known as Max Dillon, from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, returns during the events of No Way Home. He, like the other villains, found himself taken to Earth-616 shortly before his would-be death at the hands of Spider-Man.
This version of Electro differs from the original by adhering closer to the comic book version of the character, embracing a classic design and power set. He is, however, cured by Doctor Octopus during the final battle, taking away his powers of electricity. He eventually returns home powerless, but supposedly survives the events of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
After his appearance in Spider-Man 3, Flint Marko, otherwise known as the Sandman, returns in No Way Home, with Thomas Haden Church reprising his role. Despite his heroic turn in Spider-Man 3, Marko lashes out against the three Spider-Man variants in No Way Home, who he believes will keep him from returning to his daughter, despite their efforts to the contrary.
Because of his opposition to their plan, the Spider-Man variants battle Sandman and his compatriots, leading all of them to be cured of their powers by the film’s end. Sandman presumably is sent back to Earth-96283 to live out the rest of his days with his daughter, albeit without the powers that he once had.
Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man
No Way Home left fans astonished with the return one of the greatest live-action depictions of Spider-Man ever, Andrew Garfield. Hailing from Earth-120703, this Peter Parker variant was snatched away from his homeworld by the aftereffects of Doctor Strange’s botched spell.
This version of Spider-Man is revealed to have grown cold and bitter after the death of his girlfriend Gwen Stacy. He began to stop pulling his punches against his enemies, perhaps even killing certain villains in his Rogues Gallery. Nevertheless, his adventure with other Spider-Man variants appears to have reinvigorated his love for heroism, sending him on a brighter path after No Way Home’s ending.
Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man
After over a decade since his last adventure as Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire returns in No Way Home. Hailing from the Earth-96283, the same universe as Doc Ock, Green Goblin, and Sandman, this version of Peter Parker, dubbed “Peter 2,” helps his variants stop the multiversal villains from causing more havoc.
As the more weathered and senior Spider-Man, Peter 2 offered his experience to his younger variants, hoping they didn’t make the same mistakes that he once did. It is implied that he has been Spider-Man since he was last seen in Spider-Man 3, making for a superhero career of over two decades, leading many fans to hope to see his return in Avengers: Secret Wars.