Marvel Phase 4 Theory: Why Loki Is Key to the MCU's Multiverse of Madness
Marvel’s Phase Four is about to begin, and big changes are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After a multiverse fakeout in Spider-Man: Far Frome Home, we’ll finally get the real thing in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but before then, is it possible that everyone’s favorite MCU anti-hero could be the one to unleash the multiverse. Here’s how Loki and his newfound Infinity Stone could play an even bigger role in Marvel’s Phase 4 than we thought.
Possible spoilers ahead for the MCU’s Phase Four.
How will the MCU open its borders up, so to speak, to make room for multiple realities? The most obvious way it could happen is in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Confirmation that WandaVision ties into this sequel and the fact that Scarlet Witch will join Doctor Strange in his multiverse quest already has us wondering if their combined powers will open up doorways into other Marvel worlds. It’s possible the Doctor Strange sequel will introduce new characters like the X-Men or the Fantastic Four (two groups Marvel Studios plans to reboot and bring into the MCU following Disney’s acquisition of Fox in March).
But this isn’t the only way a multiverse could be created or new characters could be introduced because Loki currently has possession of the Space Stone, still housed inside the Tesseract that he grabbed during the time heist in Avengers: Endgame. The 2012 version of Loki (he’s still mostly a villain at this point) managed to escape after Ant-Man and Iron Man’s botched their plan to get the Space Stone.
Instead of the heroes getting a hold of it, a kerfuffle thanks to the unforeseen interruption from Hulk bursting into the room allowed Loki to grab the Tesseract, open a portal with the Space Stone, and disappear. As far as we know, this Infinity Stone is only capable of transporting the user through space, but if space and time are intertwined in the MCU, then perhaps time travel is possible too. That could explain how Loki time hops in his upcoming Disney+ series, coming in spring 2021.
Now assuming the Space Stone can travel through space and time, what’s to say it can’t also jump between dimensions? That would give this version of Loki the ability to teleport throughout the multiverse. This could explain why the multiverse becomes so important in Phase 4.
Then again, considering that Loki premieres after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it seems more likely that the opposite will happen. Whatever shenanigans Strange and Scarlet Witch get into could allow the version of Loki who escaped in Endgame to jump back into the main MCU dimension.
As we head into Marvel’s Phase 4, it’s important to remember there’s more than one way this universe will expand. Marvel Studios making it know the multiverse will be explored to some degree is major. For now, just knowing the Space Stone is in Loki’s hands could mean some truly unexpected developments are coming to the MCU and its multiverse.
Loki on Disney+ will debut in Spring 2021.