From the episode’s very name to the first on-screen appearance of the “Thanoscopter,” Loki‘s fifth episode offered countless Easter eggs and surprises for Marvel fans. However, out of all of the strange and marvelous things tucked away within the episode, one thing stood out among the rest as the most shocking: the reveal of the obscure and almighty villain Alioth. While Classic Loki (portrayed by Richard E. Grant) was quick to fill us in on what Alioth is — “a living tempest that consumes matter and energy” — we know you probably have a lot more questions regarding, well, Alioth’s whole deal, for lack of better words. While we might not be wearing any cool, golden horns (unfortunately), we’re here to tell you what you need to know about Alioth, their role in the comics, and the trouble their appearance could spell out for the MCU.
Whew, thanks. So first things first: I’ve never heard of this thing! Where is it in the comics exactly?
If you haven’t heard of Alioth, do not feel bad. Firstly because you should never feel bad about not knowing something, and secondly because Alioth is pretty obscure! Alioth made their first appearance back in 1993’s Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #1, a story arc all about — wait for it — Ravonna Renslayer. In the story, Ravonna (aka Terminatrix) has essentially gained control over all of time and Kang the Conqueror’s (don’t worry, we’ll get back to him) kingdom of Chronopolis. However, as soon as she gets power, she is challenged by both forces in the future and in the past: Revelation (a version of her future self) and the almighty Alioth.
Alioth is the first character who has essentially broken free from the restraints of time. They are a “trans-temporal entity,” existing across timelines as the mass devouring storm we see in Loki. Another interesting fact about Alioth is they also negate temporal energy, making it impossible for people to travel to a time prior to their existence — even Kang. As such, they have an empire even larger than Kang the Conqueror’s and are essentially the only thing that scares the ruthless warrior, leading Kang to create a powerful barrier that prevents Alioth from entering his domain.
Wait, you said Kang again and you promised you’d talk about him more. Who’s that?
Similar to Thanos, Kang the Conqueror (real name Nathaniel Richards) is a major villain for the Avengers and The Fantastic Four. While he doesn’t have any powers per se, the man is an absolute genius, as well as an expert scholar and a master physicist specializing in time travel and engineering. When it comes to what you need to know about him right now, keep in mind two things: the time-traveling conqueror is hopefully in love with Ravonna Renslayer, and is scheduled to make his big MCU debut in 2023’s Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, in which he will be played by Lovecraft Country’s Jonathan Majors.
Wow, so a lot comes back to Ravonna here, huh?
Absolutely. Alioth, Kang, and Ravonna all go hand-in-hand and while they’re not on the same side most of the time, none of ’em are great…usually. I don’t know, man, Marvel is weird. Anyways, remember how I mentioned before Kang created a barrier preventing Alioth from entering his domain? Good! Little more backstory time.
So despite turning him down when he first comes to conqueror her father’s kingdom, at a certain point in the comics Ravonna ultimately sacrifices herself for Kang, proving she does in fact love him despite her not be very eager to say so. When she does, Kang decides to find divergent versions of her to try to keep her in his life. One of them is smitten by him and stays with one version of him as his princess. However, Kang finds another Ravonna variant that is in stasis, and despite him wanting to free her, he messes up his chances to and she remains in that state until she is freed by someone else. Needless to say, Ravonna is pretty upset with him. So much so that she decides to become Terminatrix and fight Kang. After defeating him, she places Kang in stasis and secretly takes over his empire by continuing to use his name. Once she assumes control, she finds out about the nefarious force that is Alioth — but only after she’s essentially destroyed that barrier keeping them away.
A future version of Ravonna — Revelation — then reveals herself, as well as the fact that she is actually the widow of Kang in another dimension who is in charge of leading his former kingdom against Alioth, the prime version of “Kang’s Empire” (aka the one current Ravonna, or Terminatrix, is running), and — wait for it — the Time Variance Authority. When Revelation heard Alioth was free and going to destroy every version of Kang’s empire, she summoned some Avengers (War Machine, Thunderstrike, and U.S. Agent) and sent them to tell Terminatrix she needed to restore Kang from his stasis.
This is so much.
Yeah, it really is, so while we could go on, let’s stop here and go over what this could mean for the MUC.
Thank god. So, what does it mean for the MCU?
It means we have a ton more to think about, and while I know that’s a cop-out answer, it’s the truth. Marvel could go so many ways and all of it would make sense. Firstly, they could keep up the show’s current portrayal of Alioth as more of a guard dog, presumably for Kang. It could be that in the MCU, Alioth is holding back Kang more so than Kang is holding back them, meaning that once Loki and Sylvie get rid of it, Kang is released. If that’s the case, that arguably makes Loki the most important Disney+ series yet, as it will essentially set up a major phase four villain. It could mean the Ravonna we see is the one that becomes Terminatrix (after all, she does love terminating people) and she will end up playing a bigger and perhaps more evil role in the series. We could even see Revelation and/or Kang in the next episode. All in all, it’s looking like Loki somehow ended up the Disney+ show not to miss, despite it seemingly being a spinoff series on a deceased character. We’ll have to wait until next week’s series finale to see how it all plays out.