As far back as 2005, the term “gritty” was in use. “Cinematic Universe” was renamed in 2012. When it comes to superhero movies, “multiverse” is now one of the most talked-about terms. Finally, the MCU’s Multiverse is thrown into a state of utter chaos. The MCU’s Multiverse has been in the works for nearly eight years. Four different projects have made use of the Multiverse in the past 16 months.
More than half of Phase 4 projects have had some influence on the development of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Sam Raimi’s return to superhero films is shaping up to be a multiverse event in the MCU, thanks to the inclusion of characters from three of those four projects.
And just like any other Marvel Studios blockbuster, a variety of seeds have been sown. But in order to get the most out of the Multiverse of Madness, fans need to know the ins and outs of this vast Multiverse.
So, in advance of Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, here is everything that you need to know about the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Multiverse.
While looking at the history of the Multiverse, it is crucial to understand some of the more ambiguous concepts. It’s a given that these movies about magic, wizards, and witches are going to have a lot of interesting languages.
In the MCU, there are many different types of planes. The Astral Plane, on the other hand, has been described as a state of existence distinct from a person’s physical form. It is possible that these states of existence will have an impact on the Multiversal journey, but they are distinct from the MCU’s alternate realities.
As a means of simplifying the jumble, alternate realities, universes, and timelines are used interchangeably. When it comes to MCU Multiverse confusion, this is one of the most frequently asked questions.
In 2016, Doctor Strange introduced the concept of the Multiverse as a source of power for those who practice the Mystic Arts. Loki, 2021’s Loki, explored the rules and procedures of the Multiverse. Additional projects include WandaVision, What If…?, Spider-Man: No Way Home and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. In addition
It’s still a developing concept after nearly a decade of MCU projects, and nothing is a precise science. To some degree, everything written here is an attempt to clarify the mystifying nature of the Multiverse. Everything, as always, is open to personal interpretation.
It was not until 2021’s Loki that the Multiverse’s origins were revealed to the public. However, the MCU has always had it.
When a 31st century Earth scientist discovered that there were other universes besides his own, it was the beginning of everything. With his newfound ability, he was able to communicate with multiple versions of himself across time and space. For this reason, it was discovered that knowledge, resources and power could be transferred across universes.
There was a time before the other universes were conquered by one of those Variants of that scientist (presumably Kang the Conqueror). During the Great Multiversal War, the timelines fought each other for supremacy. A creature spawned by the fusion of universes was discovered by the original Variant. One of the goals of the war was to narrow down the ever-expanding Multiverse to only those timelines where the original Variant, He Who Remains survived. With no other variations of himself to discover, there would be no inter-universal conflict.
In a way, this was like adding a set of pre-approved filters to an internet search. The “Sacred Timeline,” a collection of universes with only one He Who Remains, is comprised of these approved timelines. A “Nexus Event” is a He Who Remains variation that could be triggered by an occurrence in one of these alternate universes. If left unchecked, a Nexus Event could trigger a resurgence of the Multiversal War.
He Who Remains needed to find a way to police and contain the Sacred Timeline once he had established its parameters. The Time Variance Authority (TVA) has been established. Nexus Events are carefully trimmed or “pruned” by the TVA, a complex bureaucracy made up of legislators and law enforcement. Pruning is the process of removing all traces of the branched timelines people and things. Prior to crossing over into the “Sacred Timeline,” all timelines must be properly pruned in order to be considered a “success.” At the end of time, pruned individuals and objects are transported to the Void. In the Void, Alioth, the guardian of the Void, annihilates them.
A “Variant” is a person who deviates from the Sacred Timeline enough to cause a Nexus Event. The restrictive structure of the Sacred Timeline relies heavily on variants as a pruning tool. Throughout the history of the TVA, Loki has been the most severely pruned Variant and a steadfast analogue to the Void survivor.
There is no end to the Multiverse’s possibilities, but fans have gotten a glimpse of how it fits into the MCU.
The MCU’s “magic” vehicle is powered by the power of the Multiverse. To perform magic, one must tap into the energy of other universes. This was explained in Doctor Strange, which was released in 2016. The Ancient One described the ability to tap into the power of other universes as a language that, when correctly put together, creates a variety of spells and codes.
In order to access this energy here on Earth, sorcerers and witches pore over ancient texts and rituals. All of the spells in the Multiverse are predicated on a specific order, which makes them extremely precise. Similar to how Vibranium was used by Wakandans to advance their technology and powers, Asgardians can utilize “magic” in a more scientific manner to advance their technology and powers.
Using magic, spirituality, and science to create “pocket universes” within a specific universe has been done before. WandaVision’s Westview Hex and Shang-Ta-Lo Chi’s Hidden City are two such examples. In these pocket universes, reality and power are distinct from those outside their boundaries.
It is possible to precisely manipulate time in the Quantum Realm, the most powerful plane of existence in the Multiverse.
Because of the potentially catastrophic consequences of a fully-powered Multiverse, the Sacred Timeline was created. Because it is the origin of the MCU’s magic, the MCU’s delicate and precise landscape is a necessity for anyone who wants to use magic.
People who rely on the Multiverse for things like magic could be severely harmed if this system, which is typically a collection of pre-approved universes, changes.
The Time Variance Authority was effectively disbanded in the season finale of Loki when Loki Variant Sylvie chose to kill He Who Remains. When there is no one to stop other timelines from being created, the Multiverse can be unleashed to its full potential.
The animated series What If…? provided viewers with a glimpse into the wide range of possibilities that exist between these parallel universes.
Variants of He Who Remains were the primary target of TVA. The overall variance of all Variants across the Multiverse increases exponentially when the Sacred Timeline filter is removed.
It also opens the door to the Multiversal War’s resuscitation. To put it another way, as the most important timelines continue to grow and collide, the chances of unexpected connections and entanglements with other realities increase dramatically.
It appears that the forces of the Multiverse have been disrupted in some instances in Phase 4 of the game.
A mystic book of dark magic known as “the book of damnation” is studied by Wanda in the post-credits scene for WandaVision’s final episode. Using this powerful dark magic, Wanda is able to communicate with her children, who are most likely living in a different dimension.
Magically, this is a foreshadowing of He Who Remains’ encounter with other universes’ beings. Wanda’s attainment of god-tier Multiversal awareness through dark magic appears to be a bad omen.
As a tribute to He Who Remains, the Time-Keepers have been replaced at the TVA by a statue depicting a different variant. Kang the Conqueror’s comic character inspired this Variant’s outfit. Many people believe that the Multiversal War was started by a variant of He Who Remains.
To put it another way, this suggests that the Multiversal War is already in full swing, and that this Variant has obtained the TVA for some sinister purpose.
Mistakes by Doctor Strange or Peter Parker can be blamed for bringing in characters from other universes into the MCU in No Way Home. But even after the spell goes wrong, Stange says “that isn’t supposed to happen.”
It’s conceivable that the characters’ cross-overs happened because of the Multiverse’s increasingly random structure.
Now is the time to tie up all the loose ends and reap the rewards of the seeds that have been sown since last year. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness appears to be focusing on Stephen Strange’s discovery of the beast’s true magnitude and his role in it.
Now that the concept of infinite universes is becoming more popular, more powerful forces are attempting to weigh in on the dangers posed by Doctor Strange.
The MCU’s hierarchy of power will be forever altered by the expansion and power of the Multiverse. When it comes to the Sacred Timeline, even experienced magicians like Stephen Strange will have to learn to deal with a more fluid playing field. The Scarlet Witch, for example, now has more resources than ever before to draw from.
May 6th is the release date for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It is our hope that this guide has given you a solid foundation in understanding and appreciating the MCU’s Multiverse.