LOKI 101: Who’s Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Judge Renslayer?
Happy Wednesday, Marvel Blog True Believers! The first episode of Marvel Studios’ Loki has finally arrived on Disney+, and it’s glorious! The news leaked a few weeks ago that Judge Ravonna Renslayer would be making her on-screen debut in the new series, and low-and-behold, it happened!
If you haven’t had a chance to watch the God of Mischief’s return to the screen yet, then time-warp away from this page now and come back later as this post contains minor spoilers for the first episode.
In the first episode of Loki, Gugu Mbatha-Raw is revealed to be playing the role of Judge Renslayer, an agent with the Time Variance Authority, an organization responsible for maintaining the proper flow of time.
Renslayer first appeared in 1965’s Avengers #23 by Stan Lee, Don Heck, John Romita Sr., and Sheri Gail. Although the character has a lot of comic book history, she’s most deeply connected to Kang the Conqueror, a time traveling villain who could finally appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe… maybe sooner than we think!
If you don’t read anything else in this rundown, know this: in comic book lore, Renslayer’s a capable pilot through space-time.
Who Is Ravonna Renslayer?
In Marvel Comics, Princess Ravonna Renslayer is royalty from the 40th century, and she’s known for using shape-shifting technology that allows her to alter her appearance at will.
After an encounter with the all-powerful, self-important Kang the Conqueror, her life changes forever. Princess Renslayer initially spurns his advances, however, they end up married, and she ultimately saves his life at the cost of her own.
Although the character is known best for her history as the long-time love interest of Kang, a villain intent on ruling all the timelines, who is already coming to the MCU (played by Jonathan Majors), her history is also closely tied with the Grandmaster.
The Grandmaster turns Renslayer against her long-time lover Kang, who would rather destroy the Avengers than be a good partner, and sets her on a path of vengeance. As such, Ravonna poses as the space pirate Nebula to infiltrate the Cross-Time Kangs, whose members included Kang counterparts (and look kind of like the Timekeepers in Loki if you ask me).
Importantly, during her quest for vengeance she secures the Ultimate Nullifier, a powerful weapon that may be the inspiration behind those time devices used in the series premiere of Marvel Studios’ Loki on Disney+.
Who Is Terminatrix?
Enraged over being forgotten, and after vowing to take revenge on Kang, Ravonna takes on a new alias, Terminatrix, assassin and Mistress of Time.
While Terminatrix, Renslayer has a suit of armor that comes to her when called – à la Iron Man, except even more deadly.
Renslayer’s Terminatrix suit is equipped with a 10-setting Kurtzberg Warp Cannon, gauntlets featuring retractable daggers, and technology that can detect energy fields. The suit is also equipped with holographic circuitry, which can create temporal duplicates and project different looks.
In the Marvel comics, she regularly wears the guise of Kang, so that she can rule his empire in his stead. Sounds very “Man Behind the Curtain”… and judging by the questions our Loki Variant asks the Judge while he’s on the stand in this first episode, our “hero” is thinking the very same thing!