Though only the first of its six episodes has released, Loki has already captured the imagination and attention of fans. The show has proven to be a record-breaker, with its inaugural episode drawing a larger first-day audience than any of the other Marvel Disney+ shows. Critics have also responded favorably to the surprising series, showering it with praise.
Loki has also set off a whole host of theories, with fans making connections to Kang the Conqueror, the events of Avengers: Endgame, and future entries in the franchise. Even more fuel has been added to the fire with the release of two new stills from the upcoming episode two.
While there is so much more to come for the show, more information has recently come to light about the things fans may have missed in the first episode.
CONNECTIONS TO A LARGER WORLD
Series director Kate Herron recently confirmed a few key references from the first episode of Loki via her Twitter account. The first of this is a moment from early in the episode when the titular trickster lands in a desert after laying his hands on the Tesseract. This scene mirrors one in Iron Man, where Tony Stark crashes in the sand after taking flight in his Mark I armor. A visual comparison can be seen below.
1/2 IRON MAN - image stolen from @AliPlumb (cheers!), this was a homage to #ironman, felt like a fun way to reference the film that started it all and wanted it to represent Loki’s new journey ahead pic.twitter.com/2AQjYyqJqs
Herron also explained that she made sure to include a shot of actress Ashley Johnson from The Avengers, a decision stemming from her love for The Last of Us games (in which Johnson plays protagonist Ellie) and the Critical Role web series. The shot with Johnson can be seen in Herron's tweet.
1/4 LAST OF US - Filmmaker @Palmer291 asked me this, I’m a massive fan of the @naughty_dog #lastofus games and @CriticalRole so yes, I couldn’t resist getting in that great moment with @TheVulcanSalute from #AvengersAssemble in our montage pic.twitter.com/ErNzreqw94
Finally, Herron pointed to a source of inspiration for a certain sequence in Loki, where the character is quickly dressed by falling into a sort of prison outfit. This, as Herron notes, is a reference to the Wallace and Gromit series, where a similar sort of gag occurs. Herron's tweet includes a clip of this scene.
1/3 WALLACE AND GROMIT - I’ve said a lot of our refs behind the cubes Loki falls through (which was the genius invention and idea of our production designer #kasrafarahani) when he goes into the #tva but I forgot this key ref https://t.co/3M7tbNVq73
"I UNDERSTOOD THAT REFERENCE"
Herron's comments are certainly interesting, shedding light on the kind of content the director appreciates, as well as the things she expects audiences will find. Many fans may have already caught some of these references, especially the callback to Iron Man's first flight, but it is compelling to hear Herron's confirmation and explanations nonetheless.
Stretching out beyond the MCU, these specific moments show an engagement with the larger world of pop culture, something not entirely new for the MCU, but certainly engaging. This level of inspiration and visual reference also makes it clear that Herron wears her interests on her sleeve.
These tweets also hint that future episodes may feature a similar level of references to various media entities. Fans wanting to get the most out of each episode may have to pay a bit more attention to the smaller details, as even these references were blink-and-you'll-miss-it fast.