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(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The trailer for Loki season 2 features references to ‘timeslipping’, a peek at He Who Remains, and… a reference to a deep-cut Marvel Comics villain?

In the midst of Loki’s time-hopping escapades, he ends up in a street outside a cinema, which is displaying a poster for a film called ‘Zaniac’. While it may look like any pulpy, retro title, the titular creature actually has a history in Marvel Comics – specifically, the Thor comics of the ’80s.

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An entity comprised of a swarm of parasitic and demonic beings from the Dark Dimension, Zaniac was sent to Earth in the 19th Century. It possessed the man who would become known as Jack the Ripper and, later, one of its victims was (ironically) an actor playing a fictionalized version of the Zaniac. Thor went head-to-head with this iteration of the villain when it began to take the movie’s script literally and kidnapped a friend of Thor’s, but the God of Thunder was able to save the day with the help of Mjolnir. Zaniac was killed off in an issue of Thor in 1986 and hasn’t made any appearances in the 40 years since.

The new installment of Loki sees Tom Hiddleston return as the titular trickster, along with returning cast members Owen Wilson as TVA employee Mobius, Sophia DiMartino as Sylvie, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ravonna Renslayer. Everything Everywhere All at Once star Ke Huy Quan joins season 2 as new character OB, another agent of the TVA.

Loki season 2 arrives on Disney Plus on October 6. In the meantime, make sure you’re up to date with the MCU with our guides to Marvel Phase 5 and Marvel Phase 6.

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