Loki season 2 will introduce a new villain called Zaniac, who is connected to Doctor Strange’s first MCU antagonist, Dormammu. Zaniac is a demoniac entity sent from the Dark Dimension by Dormammu, and it chooses hosts on Earth. The inclusion of Zaniac in Loki season 2 and the introduction of Clea in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness suggest that the MCU is setting up Dormammu’s return and the exploration of the Dark Dimension in Phase 6.
The trailer for Loki season 2 shows that Loki and Mobius will reunite for an investigation, but it is unclear how different the TVA is after Sylvie killed He Who Remains. Zaniac is confirmed to be one of the season’s villains, and his story is tied to Dormammu. In the comics, Zaniac is the name assumed by one of the hosts of the demoniac entity sent from the Dark Dimension. The demon chooses a host on Earth to act as an extension of Dormammu’s will.
Loki season 2 will adapt the story of Brad Wolfe, one of the hosts of the demon. Wolfe becomes known as Zaniac and transforms into a werewolf-like monster. It is unclear if previous hosts of Zaniac will be referenced in the show. The inclusion of Zaniac in Loki season 2 makes sense as the character was a villain in the Thor comics and appeared in the comic book where the TVA debuted.
Dormammu is considered an underused MCU villain and one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe. His portrayal in Doctor Strange (2016) focused heavily on his connection to the Dark Dimension, but he did not have a physical manifestation. The end of Dormammu’s story in the MCU was disappointing, considering his power and potential. The absence of Dormammu in the MCU after Doctor Strange is curious, but there is a possibility that he could return.
The post-credits scene of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness introduces Clea, who is tied to the Dark Dimension and is Dormammu’s niece in the comics. It is unclear how this connection will be portrayed in the MCU, but Clea’s introduction suggests a potential return of Dormammu. Doctor Strange 3 is expected to focus more on Stephen Strange and his mythos, and with the introduction of Clea and the inclusion of Zaniac in Loki season 2, the MCU seems to be setting up Dormammu’s return in Phase 6.
Overall, the inclusion of Zaniac in Loki season 2 and the introduction of Clea in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness indicate that the MCU is setting up Dormammu’s return and the exploration of the Dark Dimension in Phase 6. It remains to be seen how these storylines will unfold in future MCU projects.