After the first Loki trailer teased the existence of the Time Variance Authority, it made us wonder how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will play around with the various timelines. It will finally explore the fallout from the events of Avengers: Endgame when Loki managed to escape his timeline and ends up in their timeless offices. We’ve hoped it may explore and explain what we can expect from the upcoming multiverse-focused Doctor Strange sequel. Especially if you consider that the film is written by Loki’s head writer Michael Waldron. Yet, the newly expanded introduction to time travel may have confirmed that Marvel TV’s first series may not be canon after all.
The first Avengers film led to the death of Clark Gregg‘s Phil Coulson. After getting stabbed in the back, the SHIELD agents’ popularity led to a campaign that would see his grand return on the small screen. Marvel TV, independently from its film studio, developed an entire series that focused on the mystery of his revival. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. went on to air for seven seasons. It started as a threat-of-the-week series before introducing magic, space, and even time travel. Of course, many wondered if these elements get explored in the time-focused Loki series. Yet, it seems that TVA agent Mobius, played by Owen Wilson, may have decanonized the series by just stating Coulson died. End of story.
There is also the concept of the Sacred Timeline that may have pruned it from the current MCU. It seems that the universe currently exists in one singular timeline that is kept in unison by the timeless bureaucrats. Things happen because they were meant to happen, as Loki learns painfully by witnessing his futile future. Now, we believed that there was a chance it took place in an alternative timeline. At the end of the final season, we see the complete resurgence of SHIELD yet hints that the Snap never happened in their timeline. Yet, the TVA confirms that the timeline tends to repeat over and over again. So, the events from the MCU so far don’t match up with that season’s finale to even confirm it canon in the main timeline.
So, is Agents of SHIELD officially not canon? Yes and no, as there is one possible way it becomes canon once again. The brief video introduction to the organization by Miss Minutes explains there was once a multiverse war that broke all timelines before they got restored into the Sacred Timeline. They also warn of the events that unfold when the multiverse comes into existence. It’ll be the focal point of Doctor Strange’s film, where he explores the madness resulting from it falling apart. As such, that nexus event could happen in Loki, as teased in one of the trailers when we see the timeline breaking apart at different points in time. The Variants in the upcoming What If series are our first indicator that this single timeline wasn’t going to last. For now, Agents of SHIELD do not seem to be part of the singular MCU timeline, but upcoming events could end up changing it. It may even be intentional if we consider other Marvel-related content. All we know is that the multiverse is inevitable and things can always change moving forward, but it seems the next multiversal war is a definite.