Loki Easter Egg Teases the Return of an Underrated MCU Hero

Steven Grant isn’t the only one struggling to stay awake anymore.

Oscar Isaac as Stephen Grant in Moon Knight
Marvel Studios

Though Marvel is well-known for its interconnected universe, its shows on Disney+ might be the most self-contained parts of the franchise. For series like Moon Knight and Loki, both incredibly ambitious and tonally unique, that’s not such a bad thing. That’s especially true as Loki returns for its second season. While the show ostensibly takes place outside of the established timeline, it still manages to reference the Marvel projects that precede it — and the highly anticipated team-ups to come.

Before Loki reunites with Casey (Eugene Cordero) in the Season 2 premiere, the TVA agent listens to a podcast while buffing the floors. The podcast in question might be familiar to Moon Knight fans: It’s Staying Awake, the very program that Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) tunes into in order to retain control over his body. That Loki would reference Moon Knight isn’t too surprising, given their shared history with Kang the Conqueror. As an avatar of Egyptian deity Khonshu, Moon Knight frequently faces off with Kang in the comics, and has been pulled back and forth in time to do so. That connective tissue was even acknowledged in Moon Knight Episode 3, with an Easter egg that nods to Kang’s Rama-Tut variant.

Now things seem to be coming full circle in Loki Season 2, though in the grand scheme, it may not mean much. Maybe Casey is just struggling to stay awake: He is, after all, working a job that resides outside of time and space — who knows what his schedule is like? Knowing Marvel, though, nothing is done for no reason. Could this be the MCU’s way of teasing a Moon Knight cameo in the future, or even a second season of the series?

Marvel has been pretty tight-lipped about the possibilities of Moon Knight Season 2. The bulk of updates have come from star Oscar Isaac himself: He and Moon Knight director Mohamed Diab even teased filming a second season in Cairo in 2022. And Diab, to his credit, has thought a great deal about how Moon Knight could fit into the larger universe. “I could see Marc and Steven driving the characters of the MCU crazy,” the director told Inverse in 2022. Recently, he even revealed the Avenger that he’d like to match up with Moon Knight.

“I would like to bring Hulk to the equation,” Diab told Arabic Marvel (via The Cosmic Circus). “Why? Because Hulk has two personalities. And Moon Knight has two personalities.” Matching up Moon Knight’s alters — Marc Spector, Steven Grant, or even Jake Lockley — with the Hulk and Bruce Banner, would be an interesting exercise for Diab. “Imagine that both of them can be friends and cause confusion — you’re friends with this one and not liked by the other. The complicated relationship and who can be friends with whom among the four.”

Marvel Studios

Moon Knight Season 1 was fairly self-contained, and that was probably for the best. Introducing a hero with a very specific mental disorder is tricky enough; the series also had to expand the supernatural side of Marvel’s universe with an all-new pantheon of gods. With everything more or less established, though, a second season would be free to match Moon Knight up with some familiar faces — not only the Hulk, but maybe even Loki down the line.

Even if Moon Knight doesn’t get a second season, it definitely won’t be the last time we see the hero: With Kang presenting a bigger and stranger threat to our heroes, the Avengers will need all the help they can get in defeating him. It’s going to be interesting to see how Moon Knight will eventually fit into the group’s new line-up, whenever they do assemble again.

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