The surprising announcement that Owen Wilson will join the cast of the Disney+ Loki series raised a lot of speculation and eyebrows. His last role for Disney was a sentient car, so there’s not any particularly obvious candidate for which character he might be playing. However, with the Super Bowl teaser reveal that Loki is being held by the Time Variance Authority, which punishes meddling with time travel in the multiverse, a minor character from the comics is beginning to look like the perfect role for Wilson.
Reddit user NaiadoftheSea has theorized the likely candidate is Justice Peace, a member of the Time Variance Authority and basically Marvel’s answer to Judge Dredd. He first appeared in Thor #371, where he emerged from thin air on a mission to defeat Zaniac, only to get sidetracked by some jaywalkers. This, naturally, leads to Thor’s interference, but Justice Peace escapes by shooting a missile from his Hopsickle, the TVA version of a patrol bike.
After his first appearance, he appeared in Jennifer Walters’s courtroom in She-Hulk alongside fellow TVA officer Justice Love, arrested the Fantastic Four for “crimes against synchronicity,” and even battled Deadpool on his way to kill Cable. As the TVA’s most prolific member, appearing twelve times in print so far, it makes sense he would be Loki’s warden.
Time cops seem to be having a moment: the mind-blowing reveals of Doctor Who’s fifth episode this season coincided with the return of the Judoon, an intergalactic police force appearing as bipedal rhinos. “Time Police” are also a recurring element in Rick and Morty, appearing first in the Season 2 premiere, with their last appearance airing late last year, when they solved a snake invasion by going back in time and beating up a caveman snake.
The Rick and Morty tie-in may actually give us some clues about what to expect from the upcoming Disney+ series. Loki showrunner Michael Waldron executive produced that Rick and Morty Time Police episode, so he has firsthand knowledge of the ins and outs of inter-dimensional law enforcement.
Why Owen Wilson? As far as casting goes, the idea of Wilson’s easygoing charm at odds with Hiddleston’s ice-cold trickster demeanor is too enticing to pass up. Justice Peace is, at some level, a comedic character, which plays to Wilson’s strengths. That said, expect the character to be tailored to Wilson's laidback energy, meaning he probably won’t arrest people for walking on the grass like the Justice Peace who appeared in Thor in 1986.
Loki will premiere on Disney+ in the spring of 2021.