Time travel in the MCU is a mess, it’s okay


This article contains spoilers for the first and second episodes of “Rocky”.

Humans can only travel through time in one direction, which makes the idea of ​​challenging this rule fertile ground for science fiction.But everyone has a different concept of how it should work, from back to the Future to Time police To the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).But in this recent episode Rocky, We have seen that everything we were told about the Marvel timeline is turned upside down, and this may be the best because it doesn’t make much sense from the beginning.

Although the Time Gem made its debut in 2016 Doctor Strange, The concept of time travel itself did not really hit the MCU until 2019 Avengers: EndgameThe entire plot depends on the team returning to a critical moment in MCU history to obtain infinite gems and use them to restore half of the missing population in the universe. Ant-Man (Scott Lang) and War Machine (James Rhodes) have understandable concerns about this-won’t they change the timeline just because they are there? The Hulk (Bruce Banner) told them no, because their past has happened and cannot be changed, so they will be fine.

Marvel Studio

This is a selfish way of looking at time travel, and it assumes that you can return to your exact flow of time even after thinking about it in the past. Gu Yi even pointed out that taking the time gem would mess up her timeline, prompting Bruce to promise to return it to that exact point. But the result of the “time robbery” left a lot of questions about the few wrong issues, namely what happened to Loki in 2012, he seized the Universe Cube (aka the space gem) and disappeared with it. This is the starting point of the new Disney+ series: the moment after the god of liars leaves Stark Tower.

Bruce’s assertion that their timetable would not be affected was confirmed, but it was not exactly the reason he claimed. It turns out that there is an entire department called Time Variance Authority (TVA) that can “trim” any different timelines that start to appear, ensuring that there is only one “sacred timeline.” After detecting the difference, TVA’s infantry immediately appeared and removed the offender and used a device that basically eliminated everything in the physical vicinity of the difference to get the timeline back on track. How this will solve other problems in some way, such as Steve Rogers lying face down on the sidewalk in Stark Tower in 2012, or how the captain put the stone back in the timeline in 2023, never really explained Over. Even Loki didn’t seem to be impressed by the whole thing. (That was after seeing a desk drawer full of infinite gems.)

Owen Wilson and Tom Hiddleston

Marvel Studios / Chuck Zlotnick

We think that TVA must have a way to put Loki back into the Avengers captivity without asking too many questions. Maybe he wanted to take this variant, erase his memory, and then throw him back where he disappeared. This is certainly possible, because years of time travel novels tell us that you can disappear and reappear immediately, and the people around you are not smarter than the months or years you spent in ancient Rome or the Old West.

But there is a strong sign that they will leave him right away—just like the kid in the trust fund in the first episode. This raises more questions: What did that nasty guy do to eventually enter TVA? The “Miss Minutes” cartoon suggests that you can create an alternative schedule by coming to work late, but if there is no external intervention, how can this violate the time flow, and why should you blame the affected people? Although Loki later said that he knew the time-travel prank was going on, it is not clear when he caught the Universe Cube. TVA even seems to have figured it out for him, which means they did not detain him because of him Knowingly ask Break the timeline.

Time variance authority cartoon

Marvel Studio

The MCU’s position has always been, um…it really doesn’t matter.By referring to movies, such as Hot tub time machine, The screenwriter and director seem to say to the audience, you should not worry, enjoy the journey.Russian brothers even Said the same in the interview. But now it is a middle mood node in Loki, creating new loose plot clues, even if it connects the rest of the plot End Game.

The rest of this story contains spoilers for the second episode of “Rocky.”

But this is where the fourth stage of the Marvel Universe comes into play. In the second episode, the brutal variant Loki exploded the entire sacred timeline, far beyond TVA’s ability to re-weave all strands into a single thread. And our 2012 variant may just be happy to help: after all, Loki is the god of pranks, and making a mess is just a way to cause trouble.But for our purposes, sterilizing the TVA at that moment is actually effective, because the time travel of the MCU is like Looper or Time police.

Danger: Multiverse

Marvel Studio

MCU can now exist as a multiverse, instead of worrying about time as a dimension-this is already coming Doctor Strange and the Crazy Multiverse. Nerd fans know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is technically Earth 199999, and the main comic continuity lives on Earth 616. (You can blame writer Alan Moore for this crazy number.) In one example, this means that even movies like Fox’s Fantastic Four and X-Men movies do exist somewhere in the sense of the story. Even if this story is technically over.This means that all cartoons are also classics to some extent-especially Spider-Man: Parallel Universe.

However, the greater impact of this continuous openness is that it allows the screenwriters of the play to freely explore strange ideas publicly, and shuttle those ideas that do not work to another earth, while those that shine are allowed. Exist in the main microcontroller. This may be a mess, but it is a mess with a lot of potential.

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