Arcane season 2's gorgeous new poster hints at fan-favorite character's return – but they won't be a hero this time around

A cropped image of Arcane season 2's new poster, showing a scared Vi being held by Jinx
Arcane season two looks like it'll be tonally darker than its predecessor. (Image credit: Netflix/Riot Games/Fortiche)

Major spoilers follow for Arcane season one.

We're officially five months away from Arcane season two, and a new piece of tease-worthy artwork has got fans talking ahead of the hit Netflix show's return.

Released yesterday (June 2), the poster strikes a particularly ominous tone and suggests that Arcane's sophomore season will be even darker than its predecessor – and, let's be honest, season one wasn't exactly sunshine and rainbows. Before I completely get off-track, though, here's the promo art in question:

As you'll see, the image shows a wide-eyed, horrified Vi being comforted by the warm (or should that be cold?) embrace of her villainous sister Jinx. Curiously, the poster is a near-identical replica from season one, which showed Vi holding her younger sister close in a bid to console her. Kudos for the creative symmetry, Netflix.

A scared Jinx is comforted by Vi in the first poster for Arcane season 1

Season 2's poster reverses the roles of the its two protagonists. (Image credit: Netflix/Riot Games/Fortiche)

But, alas, I'm getting off-track again. Arcane season two's latest poster confirms that Netflix – alongside Riot Games, whose League of Legends (LoL) franchise is the inspiration for Arcane, and production studio Fortiche – is slowly ramping up its promotional campaign for season two. Indeed, key members of one of the best Netflix shows' creative team will be at Annecy Film Festival (on June 12) for a panel that explores its development. I wouldn't be surprised if we get an official teaser and/or confirmed launch date as part of that presentation.

Whether we do or not, we should prepare ourselves for another emotional installment of the critically-acclaimed animated series. Speaking exclusively to TechRadar in April, Ella Purnell – who voices Jinx – said she cried when recording lines for Arcane's "emotionally devastating" next season. Have plenty of tissues to hand, everyone.

A monster calls

A close up shot of Vander in Arcane season 1 on Netflix

Vander is nailed on to return in season two, but not in the way you'd expect. (Image credit: Netflix/Riot Games/Fortiche)

Arcane season two's new poster is more than a fleeting reminder of just how gorgeous its art style is. Indeed, within minutes of the artwork making its way online, fans began offering their thoughts on what it might be teasing before the show is back on our screens.

Currently, the prevailing theory – one that, having had a similar train of thought, I certainly agree with – is that it's hinting at the return of a fan-favorite character, albeit someone who won't be a hero this time around.

The individual in question? Vander, the protector-in-chief of the underground city of Zaun, and the adoptive father of Vi and Jinx. Early in season one, Vander sacrificed himself to save Vi during a brutal showdown at Silco's Shimmer factory. At the time, the severely injured Vander injected himself with Shimmer – a substance that turns people into super-strong, feral, beast-like individuals – before grabbing Vi, leaping out of a collapsing building, and dying from said fall.

A man sitting in a chair with a large dead body hanging over him in a dark room in Arcane season 2

Well, this looks ominous... (Image credit: Riot Games/Netflix)

Or so we thought. In the season one finale, it was revealed that Singed – the cruel scientist who created Shimmer – found Vander's body, which he transported back to his lab and begun experimenting on. Eventually, fans began to make a connection between Vander's potential revival and that of another LoL champion – a monstrous entity known as Warwick – with many theorizing that Singed would turn Vander into Warwick and unleash him on Zaun and Piltover (the prosperous, elitist city that was built above Zaun) to strike fear into their inhabitants.

Arcane season two's first clip further teased the arrival of this fan-favorite LoL villain, and the series' latest artwork only throws further fuel on that fire. Why else would Vi, who thought Vander was dead, be so terrified by what she's seen that she seeks comfort from her estranged and lawbreaking sister? The tagline accompanying said poster – "nothing ever stays dead" – is another big hint at Vander's resurrection, albeit as one of season two's new antagonists.

Hopefully, it won't be too long before Netflix and Riot confirm Vander/Warwick's appearance. In the meantime, find out why fans are also concerned that Arcane season two might be the end of Vi and Jinx's story.

Arcane season two will premiere exclusively on the world's best streaming service sometime in November.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.