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MULTIVERSE! Now that I have your attention, it’s time we talk about how the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to potentially fry all of our minds. As we’ve seen through the season finale of Loki, and the new trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home, there’s some stormy weather ahead for the MCU. Faces old and new are surfacing in the fabric of Kevin Feige’s multi-tiered sandbox, and various versions of such players are about to come into the fold. As such, it’s time to ask some major questions that we hope future Marvel movies and shows will answer in the coming years.
As there’s a lot of uncertainty about how these multiversal breaches will come into play down the road, in movies like Dr. Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, we’re going to go deep with these queries. There aren’t exactly going to be spoilers, but if you don’t want to play along, there’s plenty of other material you can read about the MCU as we know it. Warnings out of the way, let’s discuss what we hope to learn about the MCU Multiverse!
Does The Multiverse Only Extend To Pre-existing/Pre-planned Cinematic Incarnations?
So far, the rumors surrounding movies like Spider-Man: No Way Home suggest that the variants we’ll be seeing in the MCU are purely from pre-existing cinematic incarnations. Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock and Jamie Foxx’s Electro are the two big examples, as we’ve seen Spider-Man 2 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s respective villains teased as taking part in this big wallbreaker. However, does this mean that we won’t see something wild, like Tom Cruise as an alternate Tony Stark, cropping up in the MCU? Surely the multiverse won’t only limit itself to actors we’ve already seen in Marvel adjacent adaptations, right?
Are All Marvel Adjacent Adaptations Now Going To Fall Under One Umbrella?
While we’re on the subject of Marvel Adjacent worlds, there’s a huge question about how Sony’s Spider-Man Universe will fit into the picture as well. As supposed cameos in Morbius and Venom have their ties to the MCU through characters usually linked to Spider-Man, the worlds of those characters feel ready to become connected to the overall worldview. Does this mean all Marvel adjacent properties will now connect to the MCU storyline by default?
Will Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse 2 In Particular Tie Into The Fractured Multiverse?
Another question about Sony’s Spider-Man Universe might help answer the question above, as Spider-Man: No Way Home isn’t the first time we’ve seen a multiversal breach at the movies. It feels like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the logical starting point for the story that Marvel Studios seems to be embracing at the moment. That hypothesis isn’t exactly confirmed, leaving us to ask if Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 will be directly affected by the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Could The Multiverse Reboot Any Legacy MCU Characters To A Brand New Origin Story?
For the moment, it doesn’t look like any legacy MCU characters will be rebooted. This means that figures like Iron Man or Captain America are either passing their mantles on to other Avengers, or are being retired in their absence. That looks like it could change, thanks to the impending multiversal war that’s going to rage after the Loki ending; as Variants are now very much a concern. But, when the dust settles, does this mean that years down the line, we won’t see a new Tony Stark introduced to audiences as a result, technically rebooting Iron Man’s origin story?
Since What If...? Is Canon, Could We See Those Stories Cross Into The MCU Proper?
What once looked like a metaphorical sidebar in the MCU, the animated series What If…? turned out to be a new branch in the official canon of Marvel Studios. Showcasing alternate universes that detail new scenarios for familiar stories, we’re seeing everything from Peggy Carter as a super soldier to the eventual introduction of the Marvel Zombies storyline. With all of these possibilities now existing as legitimate real estate, could we see these stories crossing over into the MCU proper, in order to introduce future properties like the Fantastic Four?
Is The Fractured Multiverse The True Major Threat To The Next MCU Saga?
If you look at the pattern set by The Infinity Saga, the main threat of Thanos wasn’t introduced until the first Avengers movie hammered that stone into the metaphorical gauntlet. As we see the multiverse starting to break down, it feels like the ensuing fractures could rule over the next massive story arc in the MCU. And yet, with other major events like Secret Invasion getting in on a piece of the action, there’s at least one more possibility for the major threat of the next “saga” to play out. So, is the multiverse really the end all, be all battle of the MCU’s next epoch?
Will The Multiverse Introduce Deadpool, The X-Men, And Mutants In General?
You’ve been sitting in your seat patiently, probably thinking to yourself, “But, what about the X-Men?” Well, besides a huge rumor that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will introduce Mutants to the MCU, we don’t really know if the growing multiversal rifts will bring us that very possibility. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll see an X-Men reboot sooner rather than later. However, with Deadpool 3 moving through development at the moment, isn’t now the best time to start officially introducing the concept of mutantkind?
Everything we’ve discussed above is only the beginning of what could happen in the MCU, now that the walls between realities are coming down. Spider-Man: No Way Home will start asking, and maybe answering, those questions on December 17th. And, who knows what questions will arise from those events in the near future?
We’ll just have to watch the MCU a little more carefully, and perhaps revisit some of the key titles available in the Disney+ library. Should you be similarly motivated, but not a subscriber to that platform, check out the Disney Bundle; which gives you access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for one convenient subscription.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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