And five other what-the­hell de­vel­op­ments we can ex­pect from the all-new MCU mul­ti­verse

Empire (Australasia) - - CONTENTS -

Seen Spi­der-man: Far From Home and won­der­ing what all this mul­ti­verse busi­ness is? We open up Mar­vel’s comic-book pages to look for clues to the fu­ture...

IN THE LAT­EST trailer for Spi­der-man: Far From Home (out 1 July), Nick Fury casually drops a bomb­shell: new pal/ po­ten­tial vil­lain Mys­te­rio has come from another di­men­sion. And while much of what Mys­te­rio claims should be taken with a rather large pinch of salt, it seems to con­firm a long­stand­ing ru­mour: the MCU now ex­ists in a mul­ti­verse. A long-es­tab­lished fea­ture of Mar­vel comics, the ram­i­fi­ca­tions for the MCU are huge, and far-reach­ing. In­fi­nite uni­verses mean in­fi­nite pos­si­bil­i­ties; noth­ing is off the ta­ble. So what is on the ta­ble, then?

spi­der-woman — and more!

The thing about mul­ti­verses, as il­lus­trated neatly by Spi­der-man: Into The Spi­der-verse, is that it gives you options. What if Gwen Stacy were bit­ten in­stead of Peter Parker? Or Aunt May? (Aka — se­ri­ously — Spi­der-ma’am).

What if Jane Foster in­her­ited the power of Thor? What if Peggy Carter were Cap­tain Amer­ica? (In fact, that last sce­nario will be played out on Dis­ney+’s an­i­mated What If? se­ries.) It’s a power to be used lightly — this gets con­fus­ing fast — but if you’re sick of the sausage fest yet want the brand names, it’s a nifty solution. HE­LEN O’HARA

The ar­rival of X-men AND Fan­tas­tic Four!

With the Dis­ney/fox merger now a done deal, the mul­ti­verse clears the path for the X-men, Fan­tas­tic Four and Dead­pool to join the MCU. Hail­ing from an al­ter­nate di­men­sion is an easy way to ex­plain where the hell mu­tants have been all this time; plus, the Fan­tas­tic Four are ex­plor­ers as well as su­per­heroes, so an al­ter­nate Reed Richards — one of the smartest men in Mar­vel comics — at the fore­front of di­men­sional discovery makes sense. In any case, ex­pect Dead­pool to have a thing or three to say about it. AMON WARMANN

A res­ur­rected Black Widow!

Natasha Ro­manoff def­i­nitely died in Endgame. But if you wanted to emo­tion­ally dev­as­tate your ex­ist­ing char­ac­ters by briefly re­unit­ing them with their men­tors/true loves/bffs, the mul­ti­verse opens the door. This is a power to use very spar­ingly: noth­ing di­min­ishes the power of a death, and with it the emo­tional weight of a fran­chise, than end­lessly res­ur­rect­ing peo­ple who are gone, or per­ma­nently im­port­ing re­place­ments for them. Just, please, close it again and let the dead lie. HE­LEN O’HARA

Miles Mo­rales joins the MCU!

The mul­ti­verse opens the door for a tan­ta­lis­ing pos­si­bil­ity: bring­ing Miles Mo­rales into the MCU. The alt-spidey al­ready ex­ists in a sep­a­rate Mar­vel fran­chise, of course, for Sony’s Spiderman: Into The Spi­der-verse; here, Miles could be live-action — and who bet­ter to play him than Shameik Moore, the ac­tor who voiced him? Or you could have Tom Hol­land’s Peter Parker sucked into the an­i­mated world, and be the only live-action com­po­nent in a fully CG world. CHRIS HE­WITT

An in­ter­di­men­sional bad­die!

How can you pos­si­bly get any big­ger than Endgame, a movie fea­tur­ing al­most every ma­jor MCU char­ac­ter (Trevor Slat­tery notwith­stand­ing) and the fate of the uni­verse at stake? There’s an ar­gu­ment that Mar­vel shouldn’t even try. But if it is to tackle some­thing of the scale of Endgame again, they could do a lot worse than adapt Se­cret Wars, the leg­endary 1980s minis­eries which saw an in­ter­di­men­sional be­ing called The Beyon­der scoop up dozens of Mar­vel heroes and vil­lains, re­lo­cate them to a patch­work planet called Bat­tle­world, and had them fight.

Is the Beyon­der the next Thanos? CHRIS HE­WITT

Zombie su­per­heroes!

If Mar­vel wanted to go the hor­ror route, one de­tour could be a ver­sion of Mar­vel Zom­bies, a 2005 lim­ited se­ries set in Earth-2149, in which a virus trans­forms the world’s su­per­heroes into the un­dead. It’s a con­cept far too weird to ever make it into the ‘prime’ MCU con­ti­nu­ity — but the mul­ti­verse could be the per­fect loop­hole. Zombie Spidey? Would watch. AMON WARMANN

In­fi­nite pos­si­bil­i­ties for the MCU — clear your in­fin­i­ty­di­ary!

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