Does FDR exist in the MCU? America’s longest-serving president got a bizarre Marvel shoutout in Loki Episode 2 after Mobius was handed a pen from “Franklin D. Roosevelt High School” during a meeting with his TVA boss Ravonna Renslayer. It was a blink-and-you-miss-it moment with some strange implications.
But could this be more than just a fun Easter egg? Here’s what “Franklin D. Roosevelt High School” means for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in Marvel
Like many other presidents, FDR has been an active figure in the Marvel universe. In the comics, he personally gave Captain America an upgraded shield. His involvement with the Marvel movies is a little more tenuous, but it was seemingly confirmed in the Agents of SHIELD (which is technically an MCU series and seems to be seeing a resurgence in importance thanks to Loki.)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7 Episode 1, “The New Deal,” tells a story about Franklin D. Roosevelt set shortly before he becomes president. At the time, FDR is still just Governor of New York, but as Agent Phil Coulson explains, he’s about to have a major impact on the MCU.
"He's elected president next year, and then a few years later he forms the S.S.R. [Strategic Scientific Reserve]," he explained. The S.S.R. eventually becomes S.H.I.E.L.D.
Here’s where the story gets weird. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., our heroes are trying to save FDR from being killed by Chronicoms (an ancient race of hyper-advanced genderless robots). The Chronicoms travel back in time to try to stop S.H.I.E.L.D. from ever being created. Coulson assumes their plan is to kill FDR, but they’re actually targeting someone else entirely. (Read more about this very weird episode of Marvel TV over at CBR.)
If this is all starting to sound like a Loki subplot, well you’re not long. The series deals directly with time travel, and the Time Variance Authority is specifically designed to stop this kind of reality-altering time travel from ever occurring.
Could the TVA be involved in this Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. story? Just don’t be surprised if Franklin D. Roosevelt shows up in Loki before the series is finished.
Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Marvel
As far as we can tell, the answer is no. There’s no mention of a school with that name anywhere in the MCU or Marvel Comics. Does this mean it’s from an alternate timeline that was “pruned” by the TVA? Maybe. Or it could just be an extremely niche Easter egg...
FDR and the “TVA”
The Time Variance Authority isn’t the only TVA in town. Since Loki’s premiere, some Marvel fans have been cracking extremely nerdy jokes about a real-life organization called the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Created in 1933, this TVA is a federal government-owned corporation with a wide range of responsibilities across the Tennessee Valley region, which was greatly affected by the Great Depression. The TVA’s functions including electricity generation, flood control, manufacturing fertilizer, and navigation. It also handles general “economic development.”
The Tennessee Valley Authority was created through congress and signed into law by FDR himself on May 18, 1933. It still exists and operates today.
Does any of this matter? Not unless you’re looking for a strong argument in favor of New Deal-style government. But if Loki really is using a pen from some made-up high school to reference a government organization with the same initials as the Time Variance Authority, well, that’s just impressive.
Loki is streaming now on Disney+.