'Loki': What Is The Time Variance Authority?
Let's get the lowdown on these new players in the MCU.
Of all the reveals at Disney Investor Day, one of the most surprising, yet welcome, was the reveal of the first Loki trailer, set to hit Disney + sometime next year. And, the trailer looks set to bring another new organisation into the MCU.
While WandaVision will introduce S.W.O.R.D, Loki will heavily feature the TVA, or Time Variance Authority. But just who are the Time Variance Authority?
Here's what we know.
The TVA exists to monitor disturbances in the multiverse
The Time Variance Authority is an organisation created in the far distant future. It exists to monitor the many different realities in Marvel's multiverse, and keep any timeline interferences to a minimum. In truly drastic circumstances, the organisation can completely eliminate a timeline seen as too dangerous. Most of the TVA's employees are bred for their roles in the organisation, or in many cases, cloned from the same genetic stalk, and are all signed to lifetime contracts with the organisation.
The vast majority of the TVA appear faceless when seen in the comics, as their job maintaining the timestream requires them to act without emotion. Because of this need for emotional distance, those outside the specially bred genetic pool are not often admitted into the organisation, however, there are rare exceptions, such as Justice Peace, who was recruited by the TVA after successfully helping them save his home universe from the villain Zaniac.
The TVA often deal with Kang The Conqueror
Due to their responsibility to prevent interference in timelines, the threat the TVA most often has to deal with is that of recurring villain Kang The Conqueror. As fans will know, Kang is a warlord from the future who constantly travels back in time in an attempt to rule over the past. However, the TVA's most significant clashes with Kang are over 'temporal territory'. The TVA's territory is about three times the size of Kang's temporal empire, however, Kang often schemes to claim more territory for himself.
Interestingly, the TVA's debut in Loki comes after the recent announcement that Kang is set to make his MCU debut in the third Ant-Man film.
The TVA sometimes work against our heroes
Occasionally, even the most heroic characters in the Marvel stable end up on the wrong side of the TVA, mostly due to the organisation's single-minded commitment to their goals. They don't care who it is who has interfered with the passage of time, or their reasons for doing so. Anyone who interferes with their proper timeline will be punished for the infraction.
In the comics, this leads to some trouble for She-Hulk. While working with the Time Variance Authority, She-Hulk attempts to deliver a warning to the past Hawkeye, hoping to avert his recent death in her own timeline. For her interference, She-Hulk is arrested by the TVA and forced to stand trial. Thankfully, fellow hero/lawyer Southpaw is able to prove She-Hulk's value to the multiverse, securing her release.
What role will the TVA play in 'Loki'?
Loki changes his own timeline in a serious way when he steals the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame. This divergence from the proper order of things is most likely what prompts the TVA to capture and imprison Loki. What they want with him is uncertain, and while he appears to try and escape the TVA at one point, we won't know if this attempt is successful until the series airs.
The Loki of this series has not gone through the redemption arc he experienced in The Dark World, Ragnarok, and Infinity War. It is possible that the TVA have decided that a timeline where Loki remains unredeemed is too dangerous to exist. Alternatively, the TVA may be hoping to course correct Loki onto a path where he will eventually be reformed anyway. Some fans theorise that Loki may actually be recruited by the TVA, in a twist on the 'Agent Loki' comics arc.
We'll know more when Loki hits Disney + in May 2021.