Over the weekend at SDCC 2022, Marvel officially unveiled the “Multiverse Saga”, the title that will tie phases four, five and six of the MCU together.
With this announcement, an absolute mountain of movies and Disney+ shows were revealed, which we outlined in this article (along with everything else at SDCC 2022), but what is the MCU multiverse saga, really?
Let’s dive into it. Obvious spoiler warning and a tweet to prevent you from accidentally sneaking a glimpse of something you don’t want to.
Marvel Studios welcomes you to The Multiverse Saga. pic.twitter.com/HC1b747YPl
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) July 24, 2022
Marvel’s multiverse saga, explained
The multiverse saga is the next step for Marvel’s MCU. It’s what will overarch the films and shows of the MCU and will ultimately lead to the next great threat, like the infinity stones in the infinity saga.
If you remember from the infinity saga, which includes any MCU movie released before Black Widow (June 21, 2021, the first film of the multiverse saga), the infinity stones played a vital role. Often in key parts of the plot, these films were unified by an overarching focus on the threat posed by Thanos and the stones.
Within the multiverse saga, the overarching threat and theme is… Well, the multiverse. The biggest defining feature is that the multiverse saga is being used right now to unify all of Disney’s now-owned multiverse properties in the MCU.
Is it all just cameos?
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Loki, the multiverse is a central point. Though it’s less the focus of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Ms. Marvel or WandaVision, it’s still a very important theme, especially through how some characters are introduced.
The main way it has been explored so far is by shoe-horning in heroes from other Marvel properties. Not ones that are a part of the MCU, mind you. For example, the “Illuminati” of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is comprised of Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, a Mr Fantastic played by John Krasinski and Anson Mount’s Black Bolt. These were cameos from another universe, indicating how future heroes may be introduced or, potentially, brought over, but for now, they’ve been cameos.
Other notable multiverse-led cameos include Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire as their own Spider-Man characters in No Way Home, along with Evan Peters’ Quick Silver from the X-Men movies in WandaVision.
Of all of these Marvel films and TV shows though, Loki has established the most about the MCU’s multiverse.
Setting the guidelines for the multiverse, which were further elaborated on in Multiverse of Madness, Loki was the first MCU project to explain what was going on, what the stakes were, how it was different from Thanos and the infinity stones, and ultimately who the greatest threat is. So, who is the next Thanos-level threat?
Kang the Conquerer and the multiverse saga
It’s safe to say that Kang the Conquerer, played by Jonathan Majors, is the next Thanos-level threat, as indicated by the announced Avengers movie The Kang Dynasty.
In the comics, Kang was a massively dangerous adversary for the heroes of Marvel, one that bent the multiverse to his will with conquest front of mind. Where Thanos could warp the universe to his will with infinity stones, Kang warps the multiverse to his will. He has no powers, but he is an extraordinary genius from the future.
In the MCU, he was first introduced in Loki, but not as the Kang we will soon know him as. In Loki, we’re introduced to a variant of Kang called “He Who Remains”, a version that stayed at the end of the universe and controlled the events of a single timeline, to keep it in balance and to stop variance from occurring.
Now, if you’ve watched Loki, you know that all goes to hell. Kang dies and the multiverse is born. When Loki returns to the Time Variance Authority, it has been changed and reshaped by a new Kang, with a statue built of the conqueror.
Kang will appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty next, but between those films, we’re not too sure where Kang will go. He features on the official poster of Quantumania below.
First poster for ‘ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA’. #SDCC
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) July 23, 2022
Where will the multiverse take us next? Well, for the remainder of phase four, it looks like the multiverse isn’t a focus for the MCU.
After Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, the multiverse will likely be a bigger part of phase five (which kicks off with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania).
While you’re here, make sure you check out our list on every major sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, horror and adventure flick hitting cinemas in 2022.
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