Multiverse fever is in the air! The DCEU has announced its plans to explore alternate universes and now the MCU is set to follow. According to new reports, the post-Avengers Endgame Phase 4 will see Marvel Studios branch out and begin exploring a minimum of three alternative universes and timelines.
The primary universe will still be the one that follows directly on from the events of Endgame, but we’ll also see an alternate timeline created when Loki absconded with the Tesseract in 2012 (which we’ll see in Loki) and a new timeline established in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Marvel Studios have been building up to this for a while, too, with Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home explaining that he’d journeyed to our Earth from a parallel one. That turned out to be a lie, but the fact that the characters accepted it so quickly indicates that it’s at least plausible within the MCU.
But even beyond those, Marvel seems willing to explore alternate realities for other characters by various means, with WandaVision apparently showing an ideal world created by Wanda Maximoff in which Vision is her husband and she can have a family with him. Then, there’s the upcoming animated What If…? series, which will show various alternate outcomes to major MCU events. Right now, we know we’re getting stories about Peggy Carter receiving the Super Soldier serum and becoming Captain Britain, what appears to be a Marvel Zombies tale and a world where T’Challa becomes Star-Lord.
We probably don’t need to tell you that Marvel Studios is running a dangerous game here. One of the great things about the MCU is that it’s fairly easy to follow even if you haven’t seen every single movie. Complicating things with alternative realities and timelines may mean that general audiences get confused as to who’s alive and who’s not.
Then again, people have proven unusually willing to absorb crazier comic book concepts over the last decade (The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” seemed to go down well, for one). And, let’s face it, I wouldn’t blame anyone right now for daydreaming about parallel universes.