There are a lot of moments within the Marvel Cinematic Universe that don’t really make much sense — even by comic book movie standards — but that could all change when the team time travels in Avengers: Endgame. A strong new theory suggests the Avengers visiting past events could end up explaining some of the less believable moments in MCU history while creating an unexpected kind of time loop.
Redditor u/hypedup80 posits that “there are a few ‘oh, that’s convenient’ moments in the MCU, and what if the Avengers’ actions in the past are what allowed for some of those moments to happen?”
For example, the theory references Ant-Man and Hank Pym choosing Scott Lang to wear the suit he made. A previous theory covered this as well, though it went a step further and indicated that Scott would visit Hank, not the Avengers compound, in the past to seek out his guidance about the Quantum Realm.
One of the most head-scratching subplots of the MCU is why Scott was the one to wear the Ant-Man suit when Hank could have let Hope wear it first. We know she’s more than capable and probably more inclined to understand the suit than Scott. Hank’s also not a very trusting man, and Scott is a complete stranger in Ant-Man, so it would have made more sense for the suit to be something he allowed his daughter to wear. (Yes, she gets one in Ant-Man and the Wasp, but the original oversight is still noticeable.)
However, the theory suggests that if Scott goes back in time during Endgame, he could end up meeting Hank. Given that Hank doesn’t know who he is, Scott would have to explain everything to him, forcing Hank to put his trust in Scott. Realizing he’s telling the truth, Hank chooses to keep an eye on him throughout the years. That is, until it finally comes time for Hank to reach out to Scott in Ant-Man.
The theory also goes on to add that Mordo plucking Stephen Strange from obscurity and taking him to the Ancient One in Doctor Strange only happened because Mordo and the Ancient One already knew who he was. Keep in mind that Doctor Strange vanished in the Snap during Avengers: Infinity War and probably won’t be time traveling with the Avengers. However, this theory doesn’t need Doctor Strange to be present at all. In fact, u/hypedup80 argues that the Ancient One learns about Strange and the “importance of teaching” him when the Avengers travel back in time to acquire the Time Stone.
As one commenter was quick to point out, these aren’t exactly the most bizarre moments to pick out. Scott Lang was an accomplished thief after all, and Strange’s perseverance may have been the thing that won over Mordo. However, that doesn’t mean the theory won’t hold true in some other way. We could see time traveling Avengers play other unexpected roles in MCU history, like that unexplained truck that takes out a bunch of bad guys in Winter Soldier.
Thinking even bigger, another commenter argued that the Avengers traveling back to the Battle of New York could actually be what inspired Thanos to collect the Infinity Stones in the first place. After all, if a bunch of time-traveling superheroes showed up to stop him, that would pretty much confirm he was on the right path.
Regardless of how it happens, creating a casual time loop like the ones described would be a neat way to use time travel in Avengers: Endgame without disrupting the entire MCU timeline. It also gives Marvel one last chance to explain some of the weirder moments in the last 11 years of comic book movie history.
Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26, 2019.