The MCU takes heavy inspiration from the Ultimates Universe, a universe that is miles different from the mainstream Marvel reality. The story elements are darker, the origin stories are bleaker and way different as well as the characters more realistic. But the Ultimates universe is just the tip of the iceberg. As a matter of fact, who focus on one universe when you have entire timelines at your disposal? Marvel has several alternate timelines that it could adapt into a full-scale live action movie. What is interesting and intriguing about these alternate timelines is that it gives Marvel the leeway to experiment with What-If storylines, something that it still has not managed to do in the mainstream MCU continuity. And if Marvel decides to take up the cause, we believe these timelines will come in handy to serve as inspiration. Presenting – 10 Amazing Alternate Timeline Arcs MCU could turn into a movie!!!
Days of Future Past
Fox has already tried a movie of the same name. But that movie does not even begin to come close to the actual Days of Future Past storyline. In the movie, we saw only a small version of the entire story, a gist per se. The comic books take a literal nose dive and show us the grim and dark future where the Sentinels have taken over the planet and are exterminating mutants. It is like Nazi Germany but with Sentinels instead of Nazis sending Mutants instead of Jews to internment camps. The Days of Future past also is one of the few storylines with a truly cliff-hangar like ending. After the bad guys are defeated, we still do not know whether the good guys won or they just delayed the inevitable.
The Last Days of Magic
The Last Days of Magic would be a great storyline for the Doctor Strange sequel. We all know that using the Infinity Stones has bad cosmic side effects on the space-time continuum. Wong and Mordo had already warned Strange of what happens when you play with the forces of time. The dangerous magic can fracture reality itself, permanently. But Thanos has already rewritten reality so many times in the MCU that it is already beyond repair. Maybe the sequel could show how the Snaps have emptied the reservoirs of Magic as Doctor Strange travels to ancient times as well as the future to try and save magic from completely disappearing from the Marvel Universe. This storyline has the potential to reveal not just one but multiple alternate timelines.
House of M
Another movie that revolves around the X-Men, House of M not being adapted into a movie already is an absolute travesty. In House of M, the mutant Scarlet Witch goes insane after losing her children to Mephisto and decides to use her powers to rewrite reality and change the timeline. In the new alternate reality, the humans are the minority and the mutants are the majority population. The mutants now hunt the humans and keep them incarcerated. House of M does not just affect the fate of the mutants. Every superhero that ever exists is a mutant now or pretending to be one to escape persecution (Example – Spider-Man). House of M is a terrific what-if reality which asks the question of what happens when the hunted become the hunters.
Marvel 2099 began as an experimental imprint. After it gained immense popularity, it became an alternate reality publication that is still considered a cult classic today. The most notable superheroes of the 2099 reality are Spider-Man 2099, Punisher 2099, and Ghost Rider 2099. The 2099 reality tells the story of a futuristic society that is ruled by a few huge corporations that control everything. They even have a private police force that is responsible for law enforcement. The biggest of the corporations is Alchemax. The 2099 Universe has given us cool new looks for different iconic Marvel characters like Green Goblin 2099 and Doom 2099. It deserves an adaptation. The Spider-Man 2099 animated series is also pretty popular even though it was released several years ago.
Marvel Noir sets up the present Marvel superheroes as vigilantes and caped guardians in the 1930’s. In the age of gangsters, pistols, dames, and mobs, the superheroes have to work twice as hard to maintain law and order. And it also reveals rather extreme versions of iconic superheroes. Spider-Man Noir is a gun trotting vigilante who wears a badass overcoat costume. The readers did not welcome the series when it was released but they have generally warmed up to it since. The storylines are somewhat uneven but that is nothing that a movie adaptation, which will probably have over-paid screenwriters and script artists, could not fix.
Fans of the Zombie genre will like this very much. Marvel Zombies tells the story of how a viral outbreak of an unknown zombie virus spreads all over the world, and the superheroes, now infected flesh-eating fiends, become fiercer and violent as food sources start declining. In search of new sources of sustenance, the Zombies venture into outer space and even after gaining the Power Cosmic by literally eating Galactus. After they conquer the entire universe, they decide to venture out into other realities and universes. The endless hunger of the zombies as the world’s remaining non-infected superheroes try to protect what little of humanity is left could make for a great what-if storyline.
This is something that actually has a chance of happening. Remember – Mysterio hails from a parallel universe so the Multi-Verse exists. This means that Miles Morales, the African-American Spider-Man, could be out there somewhere. But why stop there? Since the Spider-Man of Mysterio’s Earth is dead, maybe it is Miles Morales that takes up the mantle of the Spider. What if Peter Parker decides to take a stroll in that universe? Maybe in this universe, with him being dead and Uncle Ben still alive, he could start life afresh. Maybe we could even see Robert Downey Junior again as the legendary Tony Stark aka Iron Man.
Mirror, Mirror is a rather odd collection of storylines. It is not actually a story as much as it is a narration from the first-person perspective of Hektor Espejo, who is narrating how the events unfolded in an alternate reality Earth called Earth – 717. In this reality, the Soviet Union becomes the clear winner of the Cold War and comes to dominate international affairs. The Fantastic Four led by Soviet Cosmonaut Dr. Rudion Richards is the primary weapon that the Soviets field during the Cuban Missile Crisis, which the Americans lose. Daredevil is born and brought up in feudal era Japan. Wolverine is actually a mutant gangster killer who hunts criminals during the Prohibition era America. The entire timeline is whacky and weird. And as far as What-if storylines go, that is all we need.
The possibilities are literally endless for this story arc. After the heroes are displaced in time and space and brought back to Battle-World, a place built by the Beyonder itself, they are forced to fight to see who wins and becomes the champion in the Beyonder’s eyes, who is fascinated by Earth’s superheroes. Or it could take us to the 2015 storyline where Doctor Doom absorbs the power of the Beyonder and tries to save Earth – 616 and Earth – 1610, the only two Earths that have survived after the rest of the universes have been destroyed. The setting for this storyline is also Battle-World. We just want to see our favourite superheroes fight!!
Hulk: The End
This storyline is contingent on the condition that the Hulk actually comes back to Marvel Studios. Hulk: The End tells the story of how Bruce Banner is the last man on Earth. The entire planet has died out and the last of the survivors that inhabited it, are now nothing but dust and ash. The Hulk, unable to die, is cursed to roam the Earth forever. Maybe we can even see elements from the Old Man Logan storyline in this one. Hulk: The End will be the best ode to the possible end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It will be a risky proposition but it will be worth it.