Avengers: Endgame Director Joe Russo made a great statement earlier today that “too much of one thing is a bad thing.” It was about the current trend of superhero films embracing the multiverse in their storytelling. To be fair, we’ve been quite spoiled with Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s way of handling its multiversal guests from Spider-Man’s cinematic past but not every project will manage that balance. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is just around the corner and has already teased the return of another legacy actor from Marvel. Yet, doesn’t it seem like we’re rushing through it?
The next entry in the MCU’s Multiverse Arc could’ve been dragged out quite a bit with multiple storylines exploring various multiversal scenarios. Even No Way Home could’ve split up its cameos and had one film introduce Andrew Garfield before building up to Tobey Maguire. Even Strange’s next adventure is introducing multiple cameos from across the multiverse in one neat package that is very likely the film’s version of the Illuminati.
They could’ve dragged this out quite a bit more, especially if you consider Loki, the series that kickstarted the multiverse, technically focused primarily on a single character’s “variety.” It eased us into the concept with the TVA, the rules of the concept, and opens the gateways to the fact that the same actor doesn’t have to play every version of the character. It’s strange to think how it eased us into the project before No Way Home just went: “Here are five classic villains, two former Spider-Man actors, and if Strange didn’t do his job there would’ve been millions more!”
It almost seems like the speed-up was on purpose. Yet, not to bank purely on the fact that the nostalgia will be strong with viewers, but to use the concept before it overstays its welcome. Revisiting the series that started it all, you start to realize why they are taking this route. They know exactly where it is heading and are spacing out the project in a way to build up to a film that may even surpass Avengers: Endgame in its size. Even if was indirectly teased, there’s no way it won’t end with a film based on Secret Wars.
The multiverses will collide and Kang the Conqueror is at the center of it all. So, it wouldn’t be too surprising to think that his storyline will end in a Secret War crossover. If we look at time as a flat circle, they are bound to repeat history and a new TVA would be formed in its wake. The Sacred Timeline will once again form only to be destined to break again. Our favorite heroes don’t know it but their stories are trapped in a loop. Even if they win the fight with the future He Who Remains being left behind, the story would still manage to find a nice way to end it.
Once we’ve exited the Secret Wars event, we might continue the stories of the various heroes, but the multiverse will no longer be a focal point moving forward. While it’s unclear if it’ll take three phases to get to that point, it seems that Marvel Studios has unshackled itself from a single overarching narrative but rather splitting up multiple roads. One thing is for sure, we already know where this one path will end and it seems that we’re on an express train towards it before it loses any momentum.