Time Travel Stories in Marvel:
Time Travel is tricky business. But in the comic books, it does not just possible but also creates some truly amazing (and sometimes destructive) consequences. The time travel storylines in Marvel Comics can become very bizarre at times. Sometimes it is pretty straightforward and sometimes it is akin to a paradox.
10. Age of Ultron
Hank Pym creates an artificial; intelligence powerful enough to protect humanity. It ends up going rogue and taking over the world and his definition of protecting the world means that humanity is a threat. Ultron creates a dystopia where humanity has lost the war to the machines and has been enslaved. The Superheroes could no longer continue the fight because Ultron is nigh unstoppable.
Wolverine travels to the past to kill Hank Pym so that he never creates Ultron in the first place. After killing Pym, Wolverine realizes that Hank Pym’s abrupt death created an even more wicked future. So he travels back to the past to stop himself from killing Hank Pym, who is persuaded to write a hack into Ultron’s core code which the Avengers use to defeat him.
9. Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine
The comic book arc titled Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine is a limited series run. It only has six issues but boy is it some good read! One of the most iconic duos in Marvel Comics, Wolverine and Spider-Man travel far and wide into the past to stop a supervillain called the Orb, who is using artefacts called the Time Diamonds to travel across time and create havoc.
Spider-Man and Wolverine travel to the Cretaceous era, the age of the dinosaurs right before the asteroid that killed all of them was about to hit Earth and permanently threw it off-axis. When Doctor Doom and Mojo reveal their own personal agendas to trying to add on to the heroes’ woes, the story gets even more interesting.
8. Avengers #167-177
The Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1, in more ways than one, helped launch the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A nameless team with little to their credit in terms of fame and popularity, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Star-Lord, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer showed the universe what a bunch of misfits with a sense of purpose can achieve once they set their minds to it. We all love the Guardians.
But the original iteration of the team was different. The one we saw during the end credits of the sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 titled Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, saw big names like Miley Cyrus and Sylvester Stallone join the fray. They were the original Guardians of the Galaxy who were introduced in Avengers #167-177. They were first seen trying to track down Korvac after they teamed up with the 20th Century Avengers to stop the villain from playing with Time.
7. Doom Quest
Doom Quest is rather infamous for having a lot of continuity errors. But it is a solid story arc because it helped establish Tony Stark and Victor Von Doom as two of the greatest geniuses the Marvel Universe has ever seen. Doctor Doom and Iron Man are fighting over the reversal of an arms sale to Latveria by Stark Industries. Doom uses a time machine to travel to the past and take Iron Man with him. They end up in the Age of Arthurian Camelot. King Arthur joins hands with Iron Man while Doom sides with Morgan le Fay. Eventually, both the time travelers manage to find a way back home by combining their armor technology.
6. X-Men: ResurrXion: Conquest
Cable has been a very popular superhero in comic books. But for the casual movie-going audience, he became a household name only after Josh Brolin played the guy in Deadpool 2. Cable aka Nathan Summers was born in the future. He traveled back to the past in search of rogue mutants and heroes who used time travel to gain an unfair advantage. He did all that as part of a secret organization that hired him as their bounty hunter to track down threats to the time stream. In the very first issue of the series, Cable was given the job of bringing down a rather resourceful supervillain who had eluded the organization for decades by jumping through time.
5. Young Avengers
A harrowing tale of fate and destiny, the Young Avengers has one of the most well-acclaimed character development arcs which use heavy tropes of time travel for a particular superhero. Nate Richards is the descendant of Reed Richards. Apart from being extremely intelligent, Nate is also a superhuman and has many abilities. When he meets Kang the Conqueror and discovers his plans to conquer the Erath, he travels to the past and tries to recruit a group of superheroes for helping Nate Richards aka Iron Lad stop Kang.
Later he realizes that he is destined to become Kang the Conqueror and he has to travel back to the future and leave the team if he wants the timeline to remain intact. He bids the Young Avengers team a heart-wrenching goodbye and moves on to the future, waiting to become the very thing he set out to defeat.
4. Captain America Reborn
Steve Rogers wakes up to realize he is no longer in the 21st Century. He is fighting the Nazis in the trenches of World War Two. Captain America has no idea how he got there in the first place. He next sees him-self fighting Master Man, Red Skull’s right-hand man, later. He finds himself reliving the moment he met President Franklin D Roosevelt and shook hands with him.
It is then that he figures it out as to what is going on. Captain America has been captured by Doctor Doom and the Red Skull. They are trying to time displace Captain America and try to swap the Red Skull’s body with that of his. The villains intend to use Captain America to kill Franklin D Roosevelt, changing the very course of human history.
3. Avengers Forever
Kang the Conqueror is known to be a villain who likes to destroy worlds, not save them. In this storyline, he goes against his own set of codes. Kang the Conqueror realizes that Immortus – another version of Kang from a different point of time, is actually planning to take over the planet and destroy humanity with the help of the Time Keepers. Kang hatches up a plan.
He gathers a team of Avengers with each member of the new team being time-displaced from different points in the chronological stream. Captain America is taken right before he assumes the identity of the nomad. Song Bird and Captain Marvel are from the near future. Goliath and the Wasp hail from the then-current timeline while Hawkeye is actually taken from right after the Kree-Skrull War devastated the planet.
2. X-Men: Days of Future Past
The Days of Future Past story arc was Marvel’s first attempt at creating a true dystopia for the superhero genre. In this timeline, the X-Men do not exist because they have been killed. The Sentinels become the terror that scours the world looking and hunting for humans and mutants alike. The timeline needs a course correction. The X-Men known as Kitty Pryde aka Shadow Cat takes the help of Wolverine to change the past and correct the mistakes that led to the world having such a dark descend.
They manage to undo the mistakes done in the past. But here’s the catch – we do not know that the future timeline was corrected or it just branched out to form an alternate timeline. The way Marvel timelines work, we are pretty sure that is the case because Rachel Summers, a fairly new mutant belongs to the same dark-toned future timeline.
1. The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect
What happens to Earth hundreds of years into the Future? Does it still exist? Has humanity transcended to the stars or a higher plane of existence? Have we solved cancer or maybe the Corona Virus has actually taken over the world?? In Hulk: Future Imperfect, we have a very bleak representation of the Future Earth. The world has been devastated by nuclear warfare. The radiation and the resulting nuclear winter have killed all human beings and life as we know it on Earth does not exist. The only being to have survived the chaos is the Hulk, who is pretty much immortal and un-killable.
The Hulk from the present timeline time travels to the future where the future Hulk has absorbed the radiation and become insanely stronger and crazier. He now calls himself the Maestro and is smarter and more powerful than the current Hulk. He rules a city called Utopia that he made himself.
Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just… do things