Loki wrapped up what fans now know to be its first season with the episode “For All Time. Always.” The episode finally revealed the mastermind behind the season, and that character has even stronger ties to Marvel Comics than may be evident at first. SPOILERS follow for the Loki season one finale, “For All Time. Always.” Ultimately, the man behind the curtain of Loki is Kang, the time-traveling supervillain played by Jonathan Majors. But before we learn who Kang is, Miss Minutes refers to him as “He Who Remains.” But He Who Remains is another separate character in the Marvel Comics Universe, albeit one that isn’t very well known.
He Who Remains’ appearance in the Marvel Universe can be counted on one hand. Len Wein and John Buscema created the character, first appearing in Thor #245. He showed up in two issues of Avengers Forever, the What If…? story about the Watcher saving the universe and the alternate universe story Universe X.
He Who Remains in the comics is the Time Variance Authority’s last director. Like Kang in the Loki finale, He Who Remains resides in the Citadel at the End of Time and creates the Time Keepers, using the power amassed by the TVA throughout its existence. His plan in the comics was to send the Time Keepers, the only beings capable of surviving the Cataclysm that destroys all reality, into the next universe to teach its inhabitants how to avoid the same fate and power the TVA.
This plan went awry. The Time Keepers were corrupted and became the Time-Twisters, who began destroying history until Thor and the Warriors Three confronted He Who Remains and convinced him to undo their creation. He then created new Time Keepers who served their intended purpose.
So the character we see in the Loki finale is a composite of both Kang and the Time Keepers. It’s also worth noting that Loki’s Kang dresses like Immortus from the comics. Immortus is a version of Kang that served the Time Keepers to protect the timeline. In a sense, Loki’s Kang is a mix of all three characters, becoming a single custodian of time at the end of the universe.
What do you think of the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of He Who Remains, Kang, and Immortus? Let us know in the comments. Loki is now streaming on Disney+ and will return for a second season.