Loki: Who Is Marvel's Zaniac?

Season 2 of the Disney+ hit has an Easter egg for the obscure villain.

The sophomore season of Loki is on the horizon, and the show is expected to make a major impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The marketing for the live-action Disney+ series has begun to hint at what we can expect in these latest episodes, including a deep-cut reference to Marvel Comics. The early Loki trailers have hinted at an Easter egg for Zaniac, in the form of an in-universe movie poster shown in front of a packed theater.

While Zaniac is far from a household name in Marvel lore, he is definitely a bastion of the weird and ridiculous corners of the comics — and ahead of Loki Season 2, here's what you need to know about him.

Who Is Zaniac in Marvel Comics?

Created by Doug Moench and Keith Pollard in 1982's Thor #319, Zaniac is a entity working at the behest of Dormammu, who arrives on Earth and begins possessing various human bodies in the late 1800s. The first host of Zaniac ends up being none other than Tom Malverne, who goes on to become the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper.

Decades later, Zaniac possesses an actor named Brad Wolfe, who just so happens to be filming a Zaniac-themed slasher movie on the University of Chicago's former Manhattan Project testing ground. As a result, Wolfe gains superhuman abilities (including the ability to conjure knives out of energy), but descends into madness. He becomes an adversary of Thor and his human alter-ego, Dr. Donald Blake. Eventually, Thor worked alongside a TVA agent named Justice Peace to stop Zaniac once and for all, traveling back in time and killing the entity just before he took a new host. 

What Is Loki Season 2 About?

Marvel Studios fan-favorite Tom Hiddleston stars in Loki Season 2, returning as the titular God of Mischief for another round of time-traveling hijinx on Disney+ on October 6th. Loki is once again joined by Mobius (Owen Wilson) as the two attempt to keep the timelines intact. After the events of Season 1 saw his variant Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) kill He Who Remains and unleash the wrath of Kang the Conqueror upon the Multiverse, Loki must once again embark on an adventure to keep reality from collapsing. Loki was last seen in the post-credits scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, where he and Mobius were keeping tabs on one of Kang's mysterious variants. Loki Season 2 will continue the story of the Multiverse Saga in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Are you excited to see Zaniac factor into Loki Season 2? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here

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