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7/27/2022 • 4 min read
Marvel has been expanding its cinematic universe for a few years. The multiverse has been the biggest concept in the MCU since Thanos, with many of Marvel's movies and streaming series reveling in the ability to play with alternate versions of established characters.
But it’s not going to be that way forever. We now know that we are approaching the middle of a huge story cycle that Marvel calls the Multiverse Saga. The Multiverse Saga began with BLACK WIDOW in 2021 and will come to a close in 2025 with AVENGERS: SECRET WARS. And, if the Secret Wars of the comic books are anything to go on, this movie event will close out Marvel's current Multiverse madness.
First off: what is the Multiverse Saga? In fact, you’ve been watching it. To explain, let’s go back all the way to the beginning of the Marvel studios phenomenon. IRON MAN landed in 2008, and we later learned that it was the beginning of the Infinity Saga. That gigantic storyline encompassed Marvel's Phases One through Three, though we didn't realize it until halfway through. Something similar is happening with the Multiverse Saga.
With Marvel's first big overarching story, all we knew at one point was that there would be multiple Avengers movies oriented around a big battle with Thanos. It’s exactly the same now. Those of us who have wondered what story Marvel is building should have looked at the Infinity Saga more closely.
It’s far too early to speculate on what’s going to happen in many of these movies to come. AVENGERS: SECRET WARS isn’t slated to release for another three years. There are ten movies to come between now and then! A lot is going to happen in those movies; we probably can't even accurately guess who the Avengers will be when those movies are released.
But having "Secret Wars" in the title does tell us something. We know that Marvel is organizing the story around the villain Kang the Conqueror. A multiverse variant of Kang appeared in the "Loki" series, played by Jonathan Majors, and Majors will play the character when he shows up as the main villain in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA, coming in February 2023.
In short, Kang is the new Thanos. And whether it is precipitated by Kang or, more likely by another even more powerful entity, AVENGERS: SECRET WARS could very well feature a giant battle, possibly on many levels of reality. In the end, the multiverse will very likely be no more — or at least closed off to most of the Marvel characters.
We've had a lot of fun with the Multiverse but from a creative standpoint, it's always good to have boundaries. Being able to experiment with different versions of fan-favorite characters is great, and the Multiverse could be the way to have someone like Chris Evans return for one last bow as Captain America. But after a while, it's a lot to keep track of. An end is only natural.
And what comes after that Multiverse Saga? No one asked us, but we'll lay down a plan anyway. If we were Kevin Feige (and we're not) we'd save the X-Men to be the movie that caps Phase Seven. In comics, Kang has used radiation as a weapon — and mutations based on radiation might come into play at the beginning of Phase Six, with FANTASTIC FOUR. Perhaps Kang uses radiation as a big weapon in AVENGERS: THE KANG DYNASTY, leading to large-scale human mutation. From there, the title of the next giant storyline is easy: The Mutant Saga.
All images courtesy of Marvel Studios.
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