Deadpool 3’s Multiverse-Hopping Story Finally Breaks A Confusing Post-Endgame MCU Trend

Deadpool & Wolverine seems set to be a chaotic romp through the multiverse, but the way it’s handling its different timelines is refreshing.

A split image of Deadpool and Wolverine from their various live-action Marvel movies

Deadpool & Wolverine may seem like the last movie to add order to the MCU, but the long-awaited sequel actually seems set to help Marvel’s multiverse make more sense. After Thanos and the Infinity Stones drove the narrative forward in the MCU Phases 1-3, attention shifted to the idea of differing timelines and the multiverse. In the years since Endgame, several heroes, from Loki to Spider-Man, have dabbled in the multiverse, but it still hasn’t quite come together. While confusion and mystery are to be expected with such a novel concept, it’s a bit confusing that the MCU still hasn’t established any consistency in its interpretations of timelines and different universes.

However, that’s about to change – at least to some degree. Trailers for Deadpool & Wolverine have revealed that the TVA – so far only seen in Loki seasons 1 and 2 – will play a big role in Wade and Logan’s multiversal romp, and it’s about time. With Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars getting closer every month, the MCU needs to solidify how it wants its multiverse to look, feel, and operate, and the TVA is the best-developed and most positively received attempt to do so thus far. Of course, only time will tell if the other upcoming MCU movies and TV shows follow suit or continue to do their own thing.

The MCU Has Majorly Lacked Consistency With The Multiverse

The sacred timeline branches in Loki

The very concept of an MCU multiverse is complicated, and it necessitates at least some level of definition and consistency to maintain narrative integrity and establish the parameters in which the whole saga can operate. Without them, the multiverse risks (and, to a degree, has already succumbed to) devolving into a sense of “randomness” in which stakes don’t matter and little makes sense. However, a more tangible issue is that lacking a common interpretation of what the multiverse is and how it works means MCU movies and TV shows are all starting from scratch, explaining how their versions of the concept operate.

Even ignoring the minutia of exactly how the branches of the multiverse operate, the way in which travel between them has been shown and the language with which they’re explained is a bit all over the place. Endgame shows time travel and the creation of multiverse branches with technology. No Way Home pulls people to Earth-616 with a spell, and What If…? separates realities with mirrored glass-like walls. The Marvels explains significant energy can create a connection between universes, and that one staying open would be destructive. Loki establishes the TVA, and more.

That’s not to say that these visions are incompatible – they aren’t. But when defining something as “out-there” as the multiverse, a more defined structure and framework would help the overarching narrative seem more unified. This extends to language, as well. So far, the projects of the MCU seem to toss around timeline, reality, and universe fairly interchangeably, making it a bit muddy as to if there’s a difference between the three.

Deadpool & Wolverine Is Continuing Loki’s Rules & Vision Of The Multiverse

Wade Wilson Salutes Captain America Footage at the TVA in Deadpool & Wolverine Trailer

Fortunately, Deadpool & Wolverine is breaking that trend, taking advantage of the lore established in Loki seasons 1 and 2 to facilitate the titular characters hopping timelines. It’s a great move, too, as it means the movie won’t have to spend as long explaining a new group and new rules. While they’ll still likely be touched on, there are two seasons of great television breaking down the finer details of what the TVA is, the rules in which they operate, and the reasons for their methods.

As established in Loki, the TVA is a bureaucratic organization l located outside of time with the ability to monitor and police the timelines of the multiverse. It was originally created by He Who Remains to delete any timelines with the potential for another Kang who may instigate mutliversal war.

This is a trend that should continue. With Loki being as well-received as it was and the TVA being a wonderfully fleshed-out organization, they stand as the most fitting “frame” for the multiverse moving forward. While there’s still room for multiverse projects without them, their inclusion in other MCU projects is the connective tissue that can help audiences understand what’s happening and how the multiverse works.

Why Multiverse Consistency Is So Important For The MCU

The branches of the MCU multiverse form the shape of Yggdrasil in Loki season 2 episide 6

One common (and reasonably justified) complaint about the post-Endgame MCU is that its movies and TV shows have felt too segmented and distinct. Or, in other words, Phases 4 and 5 have felt like they lack an overarching unified story or theme. Yes, the multiverse has been an element in several projects, but with each movie and show re-defining the multiverse, its rules, and how to traverse it, it’s a bit frustrating that nothing seems to build on what came before. Not only does this make the “rules” or the MCU hard to follow for all but the most dedicated viewers, but it also wastes script pages explaining what could have already been set.

It’s no secret that the MCU is in a bit of a critical and financial slump, and it would be unsurprising if some viewers have lost interest due to the Multiverse Saga simply being to chaotic and without definition. If Marvel Studios wants to win back audiences, quality scripts are most important, but close behind is a digestible narrative with some level of consistency for new and returning members to jump into without feeling completely overwhelmed and lost. Deadpool & Wolverine seems to be a solid step towards some level of narrative multiverse unification, and other upcoming projects would be smart to follow suit.

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