What to Expect From Michael Waldron in ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’

With the official announcement that Michael Waldron will be writing Avengers: Secret Wars, a large swath of reactions has been formed. Fans have questions as to what this will mean for what has the potential to be Marvel Studios’ most ambitious projects. With his previous experiences working on the first season of Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Waldron feels primed to take this next step in telling the story of the Multiverse Saga. By dissecting Michael Waldron’s previous works in the Marvel Cinematic Univers, one might be able to Inuit how they can inform the directions audiences should expect from Avengers: Secret Wars.

Centralized Focus

Arguably the most distinct aspect of Michael Waldron’s writing for Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is creating a centralized focus on the main characters and their arcs. Despite the expansive stakes and scope of the multiverse that surrounds them, the main characters are never lost within the script. One of the many praises sung about Loki was the amount of character building for the titular protagonist. As the story moved to numerous vastly different locales and settings, Loki and his interpersonal dynamics with the likes of Mobius and Sylvie remained at the forefront. 

When it comes to Multiverse of Madness, both Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch had complete arcs that were logical for where they had been prior to the film. For Strange, the narrative was crafted of him being able to not be in the driver’s seat and trusting others, such as America Chavez, to ultimately save the day. Wanda’s arc was the continuation of her themes of teetering between morally just and unjust while dealing with the grief seen in WandaVision (or at least the themes that were present for most of the series).

Writing an Avengers film, the centralized focus will of course need to expand to fit whatever the team roster will be for Secret Wars. This is certainly doable for Waldron if he follows the general style that Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely used when writing Infinity War and Endgame. After managing to do so in the back two-thirds of the Captain America trilogy, the duo also adeptly managed to keep the focus on individual characters in the foreground of universe-shifting events in their films. Theoretically having at least a year to write Avengers: Secret Wars with the same studio behind the duology wrapping up the Infinity Saga, there shouldn’t be much doubt Michael Waldron can do the same as his predecessors.

Expansive Multiversal Background

While the foci for his two previous Marvel Cinematic Universe projects were micro-level of character studies, it shouldn’t be ignored that Michael Waldron has indeed helped create an expansive multiverse for Marvel Studios. That universe feels primed to be much further extrapolated in Avengers: Secret Wars (among other multiverse-based projects). A misunderstanding seems to have been propagated that the events of Loki and Multiverse of Madness are incongruous with the rules of the multiverse; however, there aren’t any tangible instances of the two projects contradicting themselves. If anything, the partially disparate nature of the series and film feels intentional in creating the understanding of how vast the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse is. 

Waldron’s writing on Loki was focused on building the framework and the primary core of Marvel’s multiverse. Usage of the Time Variance Authority helped to introduce the general concepts and histories of the multiverse that, at points, seemed intentional to allude to the upcoming Secret Wars event. Meanwhile, the Doctor Strange sequel moved towards providing viewpoints of distinct alternate universes and how they’ve been dealing with the maddening multiverse. The threat of Incursions being introduced continues Waldron’s trend of planting seeds for one of the next two major “Avenger-level” events. There’s likely to be a combination of these writing themes in Avengers: Secret Wars. Interpersonal conflicts between the different universe fragments mixed with the chaos of quite literally everything breaking around them.

Deep Marvel Lore

Michael Waldron has also shown a penchant for including deep-cut references out of Marvel historical lore, from both on-screen and comic versions. Two distinct examples from both of Waldron’s writing credits best symbolize how he could very well implement these references. The Void in Loki is home to a vast array of references that add to the background atmosphere for casual viewers while being enjoyable treats for the more hardcore superfan (ie. Qeng Tower, the Living Tribunal, and the infamous Thanos-Copter). Though in the foreground of The Void, audiences meet characters such as Kid and Classic Loki, both of which resonate with both casual and hardcore fans at the same time. This is something that may be critical for the writing of Secret Wars to succeed. In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Earth-838-specifically The Illuminati-represent what to potentially expect for the second-to-next Avengers film. First and foremost, the writing of the alternate New York City and secret council quickly created the concept of a lived-in world that has a history some audience members will want to learn all about (namely, the alternate version of Infinity War including The Illuminati and various teams yet to form in the main Marvel Cinematic Universe). In addition, Waldron balances both a reverence for the alternate legacy characters involved, especially Patrick Stewart’s Professor X reprisal, while also being willing to aggressively mess with the status quo to highlight the fragility of multiversal conflict. Expect Avengers: Secret Wars to combine and expand on these different types of lore establishments for a potential Battleworld.

Inspiration From Classic Media

While his knowledge base for Marvel history has shown to be expansively deep, Waldron certainly has found additional inspiration from various classic pieces of media. For Loki, many have found the narrative and aesthetic similarities to stalwarts of science fiction such as Brazil, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Doctor Who. Meanwhile, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Waldron’s script provides Sam Raimi the semi-Lovecraftian basis for the director to create a film visually akin to his work on the Evil Dead franchise (while being accessible as a PG-13 Marvel Cinematic Universe entry). While the argument can be made that these elements are more so from the directors of said projects, filmmaking is inherently a collaborative process and it’d be errant to believe that Waldron didn’t also have a hand in establishing the visual identities of these properties. And that type of perspective can be even more beneficial for helping whoever directs the sixth Avengers film to create their vision. 

When it comes to Avengers: Secret Wars, it certainly will be interesting to see where inspiration may be drawn for this type of story. Based on Jonathan Hickman-written 2015 version, and even the more basic 1984 story, there are numerous cinematic and literary epics that could be used to inspire Marvel Studios’ Secret Wars.


All in all, the hiring of Michael Waldron as the writer for Avengers: Secret Wars seems to indicate a massively high concept and fast-paced ride of a film. Much like the process for Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely on Marvel films, Waldron has been writing projects with elevated stakes and scope for Marvel Studios’ central saga. If the positive momentum and seed planted from season one of Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness can be followed through upon, the script of Avengers: Secret Wars has real potential to successfully culminate Phases Four through Six in a majorly impactful fashion.

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