Loki will introduce a new group called the Time-Keepers – who could help Doctor Strange defeat Scarlet Witch in the Multiverse of Madness.
The Loki trailer confirms the series will introduce a new group called the Time-Keepers, or the Temporal Variance Authority (TVA), into the MCU – and they could help with the Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. First teased in the Thor movies, the MCU’s Multiverse is far more than just alternate timelines. As Doctor Strange director Scott Derickson pointed out in a tweet, the MCU draws its inspiration from Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #21. This contained an important feature by Roy Thomas, R.J.M. Lofficier, and Lee Weeks that explained the Multiverse ahead of a major Doctor Strange epic. It envisioned Earth at the center of an infinite sea; alternate timelines are just one swim-stroke away from the center, but the further away you go, the more the laws of nature change, and there are pocket dimensions like Odin’s Asgard and Mephisto’s Hell.
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It’s become clear the Multiverse is a major part of the MCU’s Phase 4. The Loki trailer confirms there are a number of alternate MCU timelines, with one variant of the God of Mischief recruited to try to put matters right. Spider-Man: No Way Home appears to be a “Spider-Verse” story, with Alfred Molina recently confirming his version of Doctor Octopus has jumped universes. And it’s all building up to Doctor Strange 2, which will feature the return of Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and – if the title is anything to go by – promises to blow the entire Multiverse wide open.
The MCU is Hollywood’s most successful shared universe, and the key to its success lies in the much-touted claim “it’s all connected.” That raises the intriguing possibility there are some direct narrative threads running between all of these productions – and that characters set to be introduced in Loki will return in Doctor Strange 2.
Loki’s Time-Keepers Explained
The Loki TV series will introduce a significant new power into the MCU, the so-called “Temporal Variance Authority” (or TVA for short). Dubbed the “Time-Keepers” by Loki, the TVA are dedicated to preserving the integrity of the timeline. Although they’re lifted straight from the comics, the MCU’s Time-Keepers seem reminiscent of the Monks of History in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels; they’re responsible for ensuring yesterday always happens in the past and tomorrow follows today. They’ve been drawn to one variant in Loki as a result of the events of Avengers: Endgame, in which one version of Loki escaped with the Tesseract after being defeated in The Avengers, creating a branch in the timeline.
The Time-Keepers appear to be an important addition to the lore, not least because Marvel has confirmed they will include a character named “Judge Renslayer” (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw). In the comics, Ravonna Renslayer is the love interest (and nemesis) of Kang the Conqueror, who’s already confirmed to be the main villain of Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania. This is hardly likely to be a coincidence, suggesting the Time-Keepers will be a major recurring presence in future Multiversal adventures. And that, of course, raises the question of whether they could get involved in Doctor Strange 2.
Scarlet Witch Is A Threat To The Multiverse
WandaVision retconned Wanda Maximoff, revealing she is in fact a sorceress called the Scarlet Witch, whose power is foretold in an ancient book of magic called the Darkhold. According to Agatha Harkness, the Darkhold contains an entire chapter dedicated to the Scarlet Witch, and it prophesies she will be responsible for destroying the world. Disturbingly, not only has Wanda accepted her new identity as the Scarlet Witch, WandaVision‘s post-credits scene confirms she is learning magic by reading the Darkhold. In the comic, this forbidden tome is a conduit for the power of the Elder God Chthon, whose ultimate goal is to create a tear in the fabric of reality so he can return to Earth. It really does look as though the Scarlet Witch is the cause of Doctor Strange’s “Multiverse of Madness.”
In the comics, Scarlet Witch’s powers are directly tied to Chthon, who imbued her with his Chaos Magic so she could rewrite reality itself. Every time she did so, she damaged the fabric of reality, making it easier for Chthon to finally get through. Wanda’s reality-manipulation powers were coupled with increasing mental instability, for the human mind is not capable of navigating a world where reality is so malleable. “Can you understand the delicate mindset of a woman, a person, who has control over reality,” Doctor Strange asked in Avengers #503. “It means reality controls her. Imagination becomes the enemy. Structure disappears.“
Scarlet Witch Is A “Nexus Being”
In 1992’s What If..? #35, the extradimensional entity named the Watcher revealed Scarlet Witch is actually a “Nexus Being,” described as “rare individual entities with the power to affect probabilities – and thus the future.” According to the Watcher, there have been precious few Nexus Beings in history; Merlin was one, and so is Kang the Conqueror. But he insisted Scarlet Witch is the most powerful of them all, a cornerstone of the Multiverse itself. And here is the really interesting thing; according to the Watcher, the comic book version of the TVA monitor all Nexus Beings for fear they will cause too much damage to the Multiverse and destroy the integrity of the timeline.
WandaVision episode 7 actually introduced the term “nexus” into the MCU, but it never clarified what it meant, perhaps instead setting it up to be explored later. It is quite possible the MCU’s Scarlet Witch is a Nexus Being, and that her actions in Doctor Strange 2 will rewrite reality on a fundamental level, potentially allowing Chthon to break through the barriers between the dimensions and return to Earth. If the MCU’s Wanda Maximoff is a Nexus Being – as she is in the comics – then the Time-Keepers could well get involved as they attempt to preserve the timeline. Indeed, they may already be known by the Masters of the Mystic Arts, who had possessed the Time Stone for untold centuries and would consequently have surely created a number of temporal anomalies in the past themselves.
If this theory is correct, then there is a straightforward narrative thread between Loki and Doctor Strange 2; the Time-Keepers, the Multiversal police force who could well be horrified as Scarlet Witch threatens to burn down everything they have been maintaining. It would be fascinating to see Doctor Strange himself work with the TVA, just as Loki is being forced to in his own series.
More: Doctor Strange 2 Needs To Make The Sorcerer Supreme A Real Avenger
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
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