“The bill comes due, always.”Mordo in Doctor Strange
Avengers: Endgame introduced the concept of time travel, and its complicated consequences, to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Through the events of the biggest movie of all time, several alternate timelines were created; causing branching realities in the MCU Multiverse. These alternate realities of the Multiverse will be explored in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and it’s meant to set up a big future for the MCU:
“I always wanted to do time travel, which we finally got to do in Endgame. The multiverse is the next step in the evolution of the MCU and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is going to crack it open in ways that will have repercussions for a Disney+ series before it that’s not WandaVision and for movies after it in a big fun way.”Kevin Feige at CCXP 2019 in Brazil
That Disney+ show he was referring to was Loki, and that show does seem to have a huge Multiverse and time travel element to it.
Last night we got our first look at Loki, and it revealed that the Time Variance Authority will soon be coming to the MCU. And that could be setting up a potential big bad. The next Thanos. A character Marvel fans have long wanted to see in the MCU, but due to being a Fantastic Four character; he couldn’t show up until now.
One of the Time Variance Authority’s key adversaries is none-other that Kang the Conquerer. A fan-favorite comic villain with direct connections to the Fantastic Four, Kang is someone people have long wanted to see in a movie and it seems like the stage is being set for him.
We have alternate timelines caused by time travel in Avengers: Endgame, the Multiverse becoming a key component of the MCU in Phase 4, and now the Time Variance Authority being introduced in Loki. Much like the first teases of Infinity Stones early on in the Infinity Saga, these all feel like hints towards the coming of Nathaniel Richards at some point in the MCU’s future.
Like with Thanos, it could be years until we see the MCU heroes face off against the time traveling conquerer. But as we saw with the Infinity Saga, Marvel seems to know what they’re doing and if this is leading to the introduction of Kang, a big screen version of the Kang Dynasty would be an awesome way to follow up adapting the Infinity Gauntlet.