The last year of content from the Marvel Cinematic Universe over this past year has cracked the possibilities of this world right open; from the tampering of timelines in the Disney Plus series Loki to the dizzying, cross-dimensional shenanigans in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the scope of the MCU’s future dwarfs anything we’ve ever seen before.
To comprehend the intricacies of the multiverse and what it means for the MCU’s players, one fan took to Reddit to offer a theory on how the multiverse all fits together, and how two different aspects of it will each be responsible for pulling new heroes into the picture.
The redditor posits two concepts; “Universe Variants” and “Variant Universes.”
The former is the idea that multiple timelines, which are made up of differing events, all still exist in the same universe. This is best shown in Avengers: Endgame, in which Bruce Banner visualizes the relationship between separate timelines when the heroes decide to utilize time travel to retrieve the Infinity Stones. The existence of separate timelines is also central to Loki‘s storyline.
“Universe Variants,” then, could be a tool that Marvel Studios can use to effectively restart the stories of heroes such as Luke Cage, Daredevil. Iron Fist, and more.
As for “Variant Universes,” this is simply the multiverse as we know it, with multiple different universes existing independent of one another. We first saw an example of this in Spider-Man: No Way Home when we witnessed the return of Andrew Garfield’s and Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, entering the world of the MCU from their home dimensions. The concept was heightened exponentially in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, particularly when Doctor Strange and America Chavez went through a whole sequence of bouncing between several different universes.
Having already seen Patrick Stewart’s return as Professor X from Sony’s X-Men films in the MCU, the idea that “Variant Universes” will see the likes of the X-Men and Deadpool, among others, join the party is a difficult one to doubt.