For nearly two years, fans of the MCU took to social media to voice their concern that Marvel Studios’ post-Infinity Saga era lacked direction. Those criticisms seemed misplaced at the time (imagine pretending to know that Thanos was coming following 2011’s Thor) but once Kevin Feige rolled out the first look at the Multiverse Saga at SDCC ’22, they became completely irrelevant. Feige’s ambitious plan for the new saga included another double-dip of Avengers films among the current total of 13 unreleased films (expect Spidey 4 to join that number eventually).
Even with the One-Above-All’s plan laid out in plain sight, it’s still a bit hard to see how the MCU gets from here to there. After all, at this point in the Multiverse Saga, only a handful of projects have been…Multiversal. So which projects in Phases 5 and 6 are shaping up to be the most important on the road to Avengers: The Kang Dynasty? Here’s our best guess…
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
This one isn’t much of a guess as it’s all but confirmed to lead directly to Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. But how? Our best guess is that the events of Quantumania won’t actually result in Kang getting turned loose into the world just yet. Why not? Because there’s just too much story to get through between Quantumania and The Kang Dynasty to have Kang running about all willy-nilly in the MCU for 2 years. What Quantumania can and will do, however, is establish Kang the Conqueror as a major threat to the Multiverse and it might also serve as the Multiverse Saga’s “Thanos is coming” moment. Whichever members of the Ant-Family make it out of the Quantum Realm will surely relay their knowledge of the villain to whoever it is that makes up the new team of Avengers. Sounds like it’s going to be Cassie Lang’s turn to follow in her father’s footsteps and make up for a big mistake…
Loki, Season 2
Season 2 of Loki both is and is not exactly what you think it is. As details about the villain of the series start to trickle out, fans are starting to put together some pretty great theories about what might happen…but most of those theories get off to a false start. Though Season 1 lead writer Michael Waldron is off working on Avengers: Secret Wars, Eric Martin (who did a great deal of work on Season 1), took the lead. The continuity from Season 1 to Season 2 is going to pay major dividends as Season 2 picks up directly where Season 1 left off. It’s just that Season 1 didn’t leave off in the way many believe it did. Season 2 will also deal with the now out-of-control Multiverse and see Sylvie faced with the consequences of the choice she made when she shanked He Who Remains. He warned her. She didn’t listen. What happens when she finds out just how bad it’s gotten? Finally, Season 2 looks to include Jonathan Majors‘ Kang. Is he the same Kang as the one in Quantumania? Has he escaped from the Quantum Realm or is this before he became trapped there? Is he a new Variant? Season 2’s gonna be a trip.
It’s likely that every project in Phases 5 and 6 will have something that is ultimately somehow related to one or both of the Avengers’ films in the Multiverse Saga. Whether it be plot points, character developments or threads left hanging, most of the projects will tie into them one way or another. The big rumor for The Marvels is that it will actually delve pretty heavily into the idea of incursions that was introduced in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. That’s a pretty important bit as Reed Richard’s explanation of what they are might not have given the entire picture, but just what he knew about them at the time.
Captain America: New World Order
Don’t expect Kang to pop in here or for a world-ending incursion to happen in the first act. Do expect this to be the first global-level story of the Multiverse Saga and for it to clarify some details that have been fairly casually thrown into different Phase 4 projects. The Sokovia Accord were established in Captain America: Civil War and the Avengers spent an entire movie fighting over them; those same accords were casually revealed to have been repealed in one line of dialogue spoken by Matt Murdock in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. So what happens when there’s something worth fighting over now? The present-day MCU has no Avengers. But they’ll need some in 2025 otherwise calling it Avengers: The Kang Dynasty would be pretty silly. Will the New Avengers be formed during this movie? Or will this movie be the pivot point for the Multiverse Saga in that it will make it clear that the time has come for the New Avengers to come together?
Deadpool and Wolverine
Hugh Jackman‘s revelation that whatever this movie is called will involve time travel all but confirms that it will be an incursion-fest. I actually love the idea of Deadpool causing a whole mess of incursions that accelerate the destruction of the Multiverse. He’s not a serious character who should be trying to face off against Kang, but it is in keeping with the character that his actions, as noble as he may think they are, would create a major mess that others would have to clean up. If this film becomes the adaptation of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe which has been theorized here and there, it would be a wonderful way to build a true, all-inclusive Multiverse while capitalizing on Ryan Reynolds‘ popularity and love for Deadpool.
It’s hard to imagine a Fantastic Four film taking place in the MCU that doesn’t somehow connect to the Multiverse Saga. The current rumblings around the plot point toward it shaping up to be a little Cosmic in nature and to involve the Silver Surfer. Of course, at this point in the game, there’s no context for what his purpose in the film might be. Whatever the case, he’s certainly no villain but one of his comic book powers might serve an interesting purpose in Fantastic Four. When gifted with the Power Cosmic by Galactus, the Cosmic Wanderer gained Cosmic Awareness. This power allowed him to sense things about the universe that others couldn’t. He could perceive changes in energy in the universe and determine the location of said changes. If the 616 reality were in some jeopardy through an incursion, it’s incredibly likely that the Surfer would know about it first. From there it’s not much of a…stretch…to think he might find himself working with one of the smartest people on the planet to determine the nature of the incursion. From there it follows that Reed might create a device that would allow him to peer into other realities to see if they’re in similar danger. From there it’s possible he might meet other Reeds. Having a plan for dealing with incursions and/or Kang would seem like a pretty major deal. Could an evil Reed be the villain here? Another version of Kang, such as Immortus? Too many unknowns at the moment, but if Marvel Studios wants to set this apart from Fox’s efforts with the First Family, this would do the trick.
The rumored title of Shang-Chi and The Wreckage of Time opens up some fascinating possibilities for the sequel to 2021’s Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings. More importantly, it also established one of Marvel Studios’ newest heroes as one of the key figures in the Multiverse Saga. The Wreckage of Time would seem to point directly at Kang’s involvement in this movie and, as indicated earlier, he still has to get out of the Quantum Realm somehow. I still think this movie takes place before Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, though the current slate does not show that. I’ve been asking for a Shang-Chi and Ms. Marvel team-up and this could be it. Theories that those two characters have weapons that are ultimately a major part of the Multiverse Saga might be on to something, but instead of them being part of taking down Kang, what if they somehow end up being part of how he’s freed from the Quantum Realm. Just because Kang can’t get out doesn’t mean he might now have allies on the outside. Once freed from the Quantum Realm, Kang would certainly be at liberty to do some serious damage to the timestream.
Is Nomad even happening?! There’s still no official word on the project that we first reported was in the works over 2 years ago, but it really is…right? Is it a TV series? A film? Nobody seems to know but if it were a film about Steve Rogers’ time returning the Infinity Stones, it could turn into an incursion-palooza that, much like Deadpool and Wolverine, could speed up the timeline toward Avengers: Secret Wars. As detailed here, a guy like Steve Rogers visiting these other timelines could be a way worse idea than you’d think. If he chose to right some minor wrong while he was in each of those alternate timelines (as nicely detailed in the image from MCU Exchange), this project could serve as the ultimate connecting piece between Marvel Studios’ two Sagas and show fans just how time messes back, as Tony Stark warned.
It’s not exactly the Yellow-Brick Road, but these projects could easily set the stage for the events of The Kang Dynasty. How does the story go from there to Secret Wars? Stay tuned, True Believers…