The multiverse has a lot of stories that can be told outside of the MCU’s reality.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a multiverse, and some people don’t quite know just how much that opens the franchise yet. A multiverse opens up the possibility for an untold amount of alternate Marvel universes, which means quite literally anything can exist. We’ve already gotten a taste of that in Marvel’s What If… ? with stories of zombies and other things, but there are still many other stories to tell.
The Marvel universe has tales in which some of the greatest heroes became the vilest villains, and ones so far removed from the actual Marvel universe, they’re hardly recognizable. Below are some of the ones I’d love to see the MCU adapt in some way, if only to see what kind of spin or effect it would have on the MCU at large. Granted, some of these ideas may be a bit too extreme for the superhero franchise, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try and manifest it anyway.
Deadpool is one of the more popular Marvel heroes in Hollywood right now, but I think we’d all generally agree he’d get his ass handed to him in a match-up against many heroes in the MCU. That’s not because he’s weak, though, as Marvel’s Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe showed his power wasn’t an issue. All it took was a bit of manipulation of his mind, and suddenly Deadpool had the want and serious desire to try and eradicate every Marvel villain and hero from the face of the Earth.
The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, Hulk, none of them were a match for Deadpool. This was in part to his natural fighting skills and healing factor, but also because Deadpool is an immensely creative mind. That mind, when focused, can steal a bunch of nuclear weapons with Pym Particles and then put them in the Avengers’ coffee, for example. The extreme brutality and massacre of iconic Marvel heroes would probably make this a hard pass from Marvel Studios, but dammit, I dare to dream.
When it comes to the best X-Men events that take place in an alternate timeline, most people would probably go for House of M as their choice for adaptation. Unfortunately, I feel like WandaVision ruined the odds of that ever happening, if only because a mainstream audience would feel it’s derivative despite being arguably the better story. I would say Age of Apocalypse, the universe in which Legion inadvertently killed his father Charles Xavier, is the better story to draw from, especially if you’re looking to get weird with the X-Men.
Because Charles Xavier died, there was no one to rise and stop Apocalypse from taking control of the world upon his arrival. Adapting this comic storyline seems easier than most considering most audiences are now at least aware of Apocalypse via the movie X-Men: Apocalypse. The X-Men, more than other Marvel factions, tend to have a number of characters that hop between dimensions and timelines, so I see stories like these becoming an option for Marvel Studios down the road. Plus, much like the stories in Marvel Comics, the characters can leave those timelines and join up with the main X-Men if they’re popular enough!
Whether you’re a fan of history or just Neil Gaiman, there’s something to love about the universe of Marvel 1602. This miniseries re-imagined many Marvel heroes in the 1600s, which is to say a time where superheroes weren’t even a part of the human mind. It’s kind of a weird place to re-tell the story of Marvel heroes, but hey, that’s Gaiman in a nutshell.
I think what I love about the idea of Marvel 1602 the most though is how uniquely different it is from any story we’ve seen in the MCU so far. Sure, Captain Marvel took us back to the 1990s, but that doesn’t hold a candle to how jarring a Marvel movie set in the 1600s could be. Hell, we don’t even get a ton of movies set in that era these days, so I’m all about this one if the MCU can make some magic happen to justify it.
Imagine a world in which The Avengers never existed. Wait, you actually don’t have to because Marvel Comics did that in the Heroes Reborn arc. Thanks to Phil Coulson and the Pandemonium Cube, Mephisto is able to create a new reality in which The Avengers were never created, and Mephisto is worshipped as the main god in America. The Squadron Supreme became the world’s primary fighting force and eradicated most of the world’s other would-be heroes and villains with extreme prejudice.
Needless to say, it’s a very different-looking Marvel Universe, though some heroes like Blade know the way the world is supposed to be and attempt to set it right. That’s easier said than done when the Squadron Supreme is run by Marvel’s equivalent to Superman, Hyperion, which is why I want to see it so bad. We’ll likely never see an “Avengers vs. Justice League” movie in our lifetime, but with Heroes Reborn, Avengers vs. Squadron Supreme is the next best thing.
Marvel has access to Hulk for its movies but under a complicated set of rules. Essentially, Disney isn’t allowed to do a standalone Hulk movie without Universal’s permission, but can use him as a supporting character in other projects. Assuming those rules are still in effect for the foreseeable future, I think there’s a way to tell a great Hulk story while keeping him out of the main character role but still important.
Basically, the MCU needs to give us Maestro, the Hulk who had the violent hatred and power of Hulk paired with the intelligence of Bruce Banner. As one would imagine, that made for a hell of foe for any hero to take down, including a past version of Hulk. There’s so much lore in the Hulk franchise that’s worth exploring in the MCU, so I really hope that in the coming years Marvel Studios can tap into that and show the fans the character is more than being calm or angry.
Obviously there are tons of alternate Marvel universes to learn about, though it’s hard to find much without opening some Marvel Comics and reading about them. Curious MCU fans can do that by visiting their local comics store, or by checking out Marvel Unlimited, which has a vast number of Marvel titles available to read on any digital device. As a proud subscriber, I highly recommend it to anyone looking to expand their Marvel knowledge or just have some fun reading comics.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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