Even if some Marvel characters don’t get to meet and mingle in crossovers all the time, that doesn’t mean they’re not all connected. The second episode of Loki on Disney+ includes a setting that proves how much the Marvel Cinematic Universe is intertwined, with a bridge to films like Iron Man 2 and even shows like Daredevil, Cloak & Dagger, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Enter the Roxxon Energy Corporation.
What is Roxxon in Marvel?
With a name evocative of ExxonMobil, the Roxxon Energy Corporation is a major petroleum conglomerate within the Marvel universe. Similar to other evil companies in pop culture, like Weyland-Yutani in the Alien films or Umbrella in Resident Evil, Roxxon is a profit-seeking organization that isn’t above getting its hands dirty to maximize its revenue. Whenever a Marvel comic needs an evil organization to move the plot along, you can almost bet Roxxon is around.
Roxxon originated in the pages of Captain America #180 in 1974. But it has since become a major presence in the MCU, appearing first as a car sponsor in the Grand Prix scene in Iron Man 2. It appears again in Iron Man 3, where the (false) Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley, shoots an accountant for Roxxon on live television. A Roxxon gas station was also the setting for the live-action short film A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer, which had Clark Gregg as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson before finding Thor’s hammer in New Mexico.
Roxxon was one of Marvel’s few cinematic elements to transition to TV. It was a significant presence in the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with a “Cybertek Division” clearly dabbling in cutting-edge technologies that turn Mike Peterson (played by J. August Richards) into the superhuman cyborg known as Deathlok.
Roxxon made several more TV appearances in shows like Agent Carter, the Netflix series Daredevil, and most notably the Freeform series Cloak & Dagger, where a Roxxon facility releases energy that gives the show’s lead teenage characters their superpowers.
And now, Roxxon again appears in Loki, this time under a new name: Roxxcart.
Roxxcart in Loki
Roxxcart, which has its own website (though there’s nothing really on it), is an invention for Loki. In the show’s second episode, the Time Variance Authority narrows the time and geographic region for the candy Kablooie, which brings them to a Roxxcart store in the 2050s in the middle of a deadly hurricane.
A kind of Amazon-meets-Target, Roxxcart is a rather typical big box store. It isn’t explicitly confirmed to be part of Roxxon Energy, but its “Roxx”-root name hints it is the retail subsidiary of Roxxon in the way other giant corporations dabble in adjacent industries. After all, you can make a lot of things with oil. It only helps to have a line of stores to sell some of those things.
What Roxxcart means for the MCU
Like Roxxon’s role in the comics, Roxxcart is really nothing more than a tool. It’s a name Marvel writers use when their stories need a stereotypical corporation that implies fat executive bonuses and bankrupt morals. Roxxcart and Roxxon itself is largely inconsequential to Loki’s character; what the TVA is looking for just so happens to be in a store owned by an oil giant that’s been around the MCU for ten years.
While Loki probbly isn’t priming a crossover with Marvel’s TV past like Daredevil or Cloak & Dagger, it is reaffirming a classic ethos that defined the MCU in its early going: It’s all connected.
Loki streams new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.