Infinity War left us on quite the cliffhanger, prompting a continuing tsunami of fan theories to emerge across the internet speculating on how Avengers 4 plans to pull Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the rest of the universe out of this dusty mess.
It’s unsurprising that Doctor Strange plays a central role in a good number of these theories, as the Sorcerer Supreme has a history of dabbling in time travel, a plot device that many are predicting will provide the means for our heroes to undo the damage done in their last movie. What’s more, there’s much to read into in that mysterious scene in which Stephen claims to have looked forward in time to view all possible futures, claiming that only one offers them victory.
It’s this intriguing moment that provides the basis for a new post on Reddit, which sports the optimistic title “The Avengers have already won.” User Ask_A_Sadist explains the situation as follows:
“When Dr Strange was using the time stone to look into the future for all possible outcomes of the fight, he wasn’t actually looking at the future, he was looking through futures. He put himself in a long loop and when they failed he would start back at the beginning. He would awaken and go through the same dialogue adding one number to how many futures he has looked at but he always said ‘one’ when asked how many they won in.”
The Redditor goes on to suggest that Strange’s method of saving the universe is a simple matter of trial and error, saying:
“See he didn’t know which loop would be the right loop. So each time he started over he always said one, because the loop he was in at that moment would either work out or he was old start back over. So he only needed to be successful once. So he was on try number 23,648 or whatever, but this would either be the one that worked or he would start the loop over. The fact that we see it playing out means this is the one which will work.”
While there could certainly be elements of truth to this theory, it would be quite the challenge for the Russo Brothers to keep the stakes feeling high if, in the words of Ask_A_Sadist, the Avengers have already won. You can only raise so much tension around the fight against Thanos if we know that failure to stop the Mad Titan can be undone with a simple reset of the timeline.
In this ongoing trend of time travel and Quantum Realm-related theories, it’s clear that the MCU has many possible futures, but we’ll see which path Kevin Feige and the team go for when Avengers 4 finally hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019.