The MCU Has A New Most Powerful Superhero, But At What Cost?

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After a phenomenal Loki season 2 finale, the MCU now has a new most powerful superhero – but it has unsurprisingly cost the former God of Mischief everything. Loki season 2, episode 6, “Glorious Purpose,” certainly delivered on its title, as it saw Loki fulfill just about the most consequential purpose possible. After several centuries and countless attempts at trying to enlarge the Temporal Loom, Loki and his friends learned that all their efforts were for naught in the face of an infinitely branching timeline. This led Loki back to He Who Remains and an impossible choice: accept the certain doom of countless timelines, or accept the Sacred Timeline.

There emerged, however, a third option. This option would remove He Who Remains and the Sacred Timeline from the equation, ensure the survival of Sylvie and everyone Loki held dear, and ensure that truly free will would reign in an infinitely branching multiverse. The problem was that something needed to replace the Temporal Loom, to maintain and give life to the branches of the timelines. This is the purpose that Loki was destined to fulfill, as he took his place at the heart of all timelines, thereby allowing them to branch indefinitely with him as their caretaker.

The inordinate level of power that Loki was afforded when he gained control of his time slipping was always going to have significant consequences. The ability to hop to any point in any universe is a power that can’t be overstated, and one that already made Loki one of the most powerful characters in the MCU. Learning throughout the finale to exert his control over time only made Loki even more powerful, raising the stakes further as to what his fate could be. To have the character assume control over the multiverse, then, is not an entirely surprising turn of events.

It is almost impossible to imagine a hero that now so much as holds a candle to Loki and his influence. As the linchpin of the multiverse, whose branches glow with his green magic and branch into a tree shape reminiscent of Yggdrasil, the World Tree, Loki has transcended. Now that he has control of the entire multiverse, however, this carries pretty hefty implications for the future of the MCU.

In the comics, the Beyonder is one of many cosmic entities that is nigh-omnipotent. He is one of a race of the same name who exists outside of Marvel’s multiverse, and who exerts his will over the multiverse’s inhabitants, essentially treating them as playthings. This led him to create Battle World, where he forced Marvel’s heroes to duke it out as part of the Secret Wars run of comics – before being usurped by Doctor Doom. While Loki certainly doesn’t seem to harbor any evil within him any longer, there are a few key clues to suggest that he, in his new state of omnipotence, is the MCU’s version of the Beyonder.

For one thing, he now exists in a space “beyond” the multiverse (hence the name). For another, the Beyonder, who exerts control over the multiverse in the comics, is something of a trickster himself, with a penchant for chaos – which is also the core motive behind Loki taking his newfound position. Finally, the Beyonder is the one responsible for bringing about the events of the Secret Wars comic arc – a story that is conspicuously close in the MCU timeline. Either way, Loki is now at least as powerful; yet these powers come with a heavy toll.

Loki’s Ending Doomed Him To An Eternity Alone
Loki sits alone as the caretaker of timelines in Loki season 2 episode 6
One of the core narrative threads of Loki was watching its main character come to terms with the fact that he cares deeply about his friends, and is terrified of being alone. This ending, which sees him sitting alone on a throne in a space beyond time, is especially poignant given that the series went to great lengths to establish how much of a sacrifice this means Loki has made. To bring about the conditions in which Sylvie and every other inhabitant of the multiverse can live freely, Loki has taken on the burden of an eternity of loneliness; a sacrifice that, for him especially, measures up to any ultimate sacrifice made by other fan-favorite heroes in the MCU.

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