Gugu Mbatha-Raw has officially made her MCU debut, as judge Renslayer in the new, Loki series. The talented actress is certainly not very well known compared to her co-stars Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson, which is fitting as her character, Judge Renslayer is not very well know either. While only the first episode of Loki has been released on Disney+, Mbatha-Raw’s character has already been met with praise. She is a likeable character who will be a major player throughout the show. So just who is Judge Renslayer? And what does the arrival of her character mean not just for the show, but for the MCU as a whole?
The first episode of Loki establishes Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Judge Renslayer, someone created by the Time-Keepers to judge for the Time Variance Authority (TVA). The TVA is the organization whose purpose is to protect the sacred timeline, and ensure that a multiversal war does not break out due to branches created in the timeline. In the first episode of the series, Judge Renslayer finds Loki guilty of disrupting the timeline, and orders Loki to be, “reset”. We the viewer, never get to see what this exactly looks like, as Owen Wilson’s character, Mobius (not to be confused with the vampire, Morbius) shows up and pleads with the judge to talk to Loki, and use him to help in another variant case. This is about as much of Judge Renslayer as we see in the first episode, although we can be sure to see more of her in the episodes to come.
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Renslayer’s character in the show is far different from what we have seen from her in the comics. In the comic’s Renslayer is not a judge, but a princess. Princess Ravonna rules a nation in 41st century earth of an alternate timeline. She is the leader of the last nation to be conquered by Marvel Supervillain, Kang the Conqueror. Fans of the character will no doubt be aware the Kang is a time-traveler, and is also a descendent of Mr. Fantastic. Kang, eventually falls in love the Ravonna, and Ravonna reciprocates that love.The two share a complicated relationship as all Marvel couple’s do. Ravonna is shot and killed, and when Kang visits the Grandmaster and is given the power over life and death, he wastes his opportunity to bring her back by instead using it to (unsuccessfully) kill the Avengers.
While Loki has yet to make any mention of Princess Ravonna, or of Kang, The Conqueror, the two are consistently linked in the comics. Even the love story arc of the two in the comics causes multiple timelines to form after Ravonna is successfully brought back from the dead. Marvel may not be following the exact story from the comics, but they certainly may be using it as a guide. All of the facts are pointing to Kang almost certainly coming to the MCU. Marvel could be setting up the love-story between Kang and Ravonna Renslayer, not as Renslayer being a princess of a nation that is being conquered, but rather as the judge set to trial Kang who has been caught by the TVA. This could lead to an interesting take on the comic series, while still allow for the continuation of MCU without having to introduce alternate versions of Earth first.
Marvel also could be setting up the arrival of the Fantastic Four, as it was mentioned earlier that Kang is a descendent or Reed Richards, (Mr. Fantastic).
One final theory: In one of Kang’s story arcs, he kidnaps some famous Marvel ladies to determine which one of them will be the one to give birth to a being of great power. One of the ladies kidnapped is Mantis, one the of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Another is Scarlet Witch, who has been around since the second Avengers movie and whom we just watched in the Disney+ show, Wandavision. The third lady kidnapped was unknown in the MCU until this year, and was also a major player in Wandavision… Agatha Harkness . Now that all three have been introduced, Kang may be able to make an appearance and could follow that story arc.
While there is no certainty that Kang the Conqueror will make an appearance during Loki, there is no denying that his character is connected with Ravonna Renslayer. Now is the perfect time, in dealing with Time Travel and the TVA, to introduce Kang to the MCU, and they have already put the pieces in place to follow some terrific storylines.
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