Marvel Studios has picked up a considerably annoying behavior currently of ignoring issues established in its bigger universe, rendering the bigger universe irrelevant and spoiling what was as soon as the massive promoting level of those motion pictures and TV reveals. But, regardless of its supposed dependence on standalone tales, season two of Disney+’s What If…? ends with an encouraging signal that issues are going to alter slightly bit.
But, then once more, it appeared like season one did as properly. That season spun out from the occasions of Loki’s first season, which ended with the dying of a being referred to as He Who Remains who had been secretly utilizing a gaggle referred to as the Time Variance Authority to destroy all potential alternate timelines that deviated from the core occasions of the MCU (as a result of, in these alternate timelines, different variations of himself may come to energy and threaten his rule). When he died, that every one began to disintegrate and the alternate timelines started to run free—creating the MCU’s model of the multiverse and making it potential, say, for 3 Spider-Mans to fulfill in No Way Home.
What If…?, below the watchful eye of The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright, serving as narrator), showcased tales from that multiverse, with various things taking place to totally different characters and creating new twists on the established canon of the MCU (like T’Challa getting kidnapped by the Ravagers and changing into Star-Lord as a substitute of Peter Quill). The two most noteworthy issues to return out of the present’s first season had been a twisted, evil-ish model of Doctor Strange often called Strange Supreme who destroyed his complete actuality in an try and resurrect his useless girlfriend, and the immediately iconic Captain Carter (a model of Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter who acquired the super-soldier serum as a substitute of Steve Rogers).
One of the explanations Strange Supreme and Captain Carter appeared Important popping out of the primary season of What If…? is that it actually appeared like each of them would present up in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, which noticed the eponymous, undoubtedly American wizard touring by means of totally different realities in pursuit of a grief-stricken Scarlet Witch. The trailers teased Captain Carter, making her live-action debut, but additionally a bizarre, messed-up model of Strange.
But, it seems, neither of these characters was actually within the film. The model of Captain Carter is outwardly not the identical one from What If…?, and the bizarre model of Strange was simply another bizarre wizard and never Strange Supreme himself. That appeared just like the MCU’s one massive alternative to acknowledge that What If…? was canon, although it’s solely about different universes, however because it didn’t, What If…? was apparently relegated to some simply ignorable junk drawer like Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the rest that doesn’t actually matter to the MCU.
Then Loki season two occurred and the principles of the MCU’s multiverse had been apparently rewritten, sidelining He Who Remains fully and placing Loki himself—actually—on the heart of the whole lot. In the season finale’s tragically triumphant climax, Loki marched into the fringes of existence itself and picked up all the strands of alternate realities, clutching them collectively to maintain them secure and restructuring the multiverse into one thing harking back to Yggdrasil, the World Tree from Norse mythology that represents the totally different realms of the universe.
It was a hanging picture, however by way of something tangible, all it actually appeared to imply was that the potential was now there for Marvel to reshape its plans for the way forward for the multiverse. Perhaps by abandoning this plan altogether?
And very similar to with season one, the second season of What If…? was pleased to observe Loki’s lead. In the ultimate moments of the season finale, after Captain Carter has saved all of existence from being destroyed (once more), the Watcher returns to take her again to her personal universe—the place she might or will not be in a more-than-friends relationship with that world’s Black Widow. Rather than heading straight residence, although, the Watcher agrees to point out Captain Carter the scenic route… at which level he presents her with Loki’s Yggdrasil multiverse, a departure from the “floating cosmic home windows” that the present had beforehand used to depict the countless array of alternate realities.
Does it imply something? Maybe not, however it’s a clear indication that Loki modified one thing and that What If…? is conscious of it, which—if completely nothing else—reveals some dedication to this entire factor nonetheless being a correct interconnected universe. Loki’s World Tree might by no means be seen once more, and the characters launched in What If…? might by no means get an actual live-action highlight, however issues are arguably higher this manner. No sophisticated homework to maintain up with, only a good little bit of consistency for the individuals who care.