Who is Zaniac? Loki Season 2’s New Villain Explained

Loki season 2

Loki season 2 is just around the corner, and I have to say I’m looking forward to what Marvel will present to us in this sequel. As for my assumption, I’m pretty sure if you’re here, you’ve already watched the trailer Loki season 2 and may have seen the big movie screening called Zaniac, but what is that? or who is it?

In this article, I’m going to tell you that this movie title we saw in the trailer isn’t just a random name, but a pretty deep-rooted character in Marvel comics. Making connections with Doctor Strange’s ultimate villain, Dormamu, Zaniac finally makes his way to our screens. So if you want to learn more about this creature, dive right in!

Remark: Before you continue, revisit the key events of Season 1 in our detailed Loki Season 1 Recap. This post also contains spoilers for certain events in Season 1, so we recommend that you watch it to avoid ruining the intended experience.

Where does Zaniac appear in the Loki season 2 trailer?

Zaniak in Loki trailer
Source: YouTube/Marvel Entertainment

In the trailer for Loki season 2, we see a shot of a movie theater where a movie titled “Zaniac” is being shown. Even though it looks like a normal movie screening, it has a much deeper meaning in the Marvel Universe. This film appeared in the comic book series Thor#319, in which an entity took control of Brad Wolfe, the actor, and drove him insane. When Brad becomes a serial killer, he takes the name of the main character of the horror movie he was working on, creating the supervillain Zaniac.

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Who is Zaniak in Marvel Comics?

Who is Zaniak?  Loki season 2's new villain explained

Zaniac was first introduced in Thor #319 in the year 1982 and was created by writer Doug Moench and artist Keith Pollard as a creation of Doctor Strange’s villain Dormamu to cause chaos among the people. Originally this entity had no name and assumed the identity of the person who possessed it.

The first person to own it was Tom Malverne, a person who was very angry at the world for the way it treated him. After being possessed by the entity, Malverne went on a killing spree, killing five women. He later became known as Jack the Ripper. After Malverne’s death, this entity possessed many different people one after another, and each of them took on the identity of Jack the Ripper.

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The character we see in Loki season 2 is the same entity, but from the modern era. In the comic storyline, this entity possessed the actor Brad Wolfe when he was filming a Slasher movie dressed as his villain whose name was Zaniak. The entity was somewhat inactive at first, but during that phase Brad fell victim to a small-scale nuclear explosion. This blast gave him superhuman strength and the ability to conjure swords made from pure energy. The entity drove Brad crazy and gave birth to the supervillain named Zaniac.

Who plays Brad Wolfe in Loki season 2?

Who is Zaniak?  Loki season 2's new villain explained

The actor who will play Brad Wolfie in Loki season 2 has already been confirmed. We learned that in 2022 Rafael Casal would join the cast of Loki, but which character he would play was unknown to us. Previously, there were rumors that Rafael would play a rogue cop who left TVA and somehow went back in time and turned into a Hollywood superstar named Brad Wolfe.

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This rumor was confirmed when the trailer for Loki season 2 was released, and we could clearly see Rafael Casal attending Zaniac’s screening. Here we also see a woman in the back holding up a sign that reads: ‘Marry me, Brad Wolfe,’ which confirms that Rafael Casal will play Zaniac.

Even though Rafael’s role as Brad Wolfe has been confirmed, it remains to be seen whether the rumor of Brad being a rogue TVA agent is true or not. If this rumor is indeed true, Zaniac’s involvement could be much more than just a villain but a huge problem for Loki and Mobius. It seems like the writers of this series turned this villain, who originally fought Thor, into a Loki villain.

As of now, we can only speculate what will happen in the series. We’ll have to wait for the official Loki season 2 release date and timethat is October 5, 2023 at 6:00 PM PST.

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