Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios line up their stars with Multiversal Avengers

The exact degree of alignment between Marvel Comics and its sister Marvel Studios is still a matter of speculation among fans and media watchers, especially when Kevin Feige’s media division operated independently of Marvel Entertainment, which included the division of comics under its umbrella.

In the past, the publishing arm of Marvel has of course always been responsive to big events at Marvel Studios, and Marvel Studios certainly takes direct inspiration from the comics, remaining surprisingly and consistently loyal to Iron Man from 2008 to today. .

But how much Marvel Studios and Publishing really worked in tandem has still been unclear, even after Feige took over Marvel Entertainment a few years ago.

But this month, there are new reasons to believe that the two arms are coordinated, share the same brain, and perform complementary tasks.

As an example, the two Marvel’s seem to be leaping into the depths of the multiverse together. The penultimate episode of the Disney Plus series of September 29 What if …? in particular, plays out as a prelude to what appears to be lining up with a new upcoming Marvel Comic series in a way that’s probably not a coincidence.

But we have to warn you of spoilers for the new What if …? to go into details.

What if...?

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Spoilers ahead for What if …? Episode 7 “What if … Ultron Wins”

Something of a significant change of direction while serving as a sequel to the September 22 comedic episode with Thor, “What if … Ultron wins?” is the second chapter in a story that will end in the season finale on October 6.

Instead of the Avengers stealing the cradle carrying what would become Vision’s body in Avengers: Age of Ultron, this time Ultron manages to download himself onto Vision’s body, then quickly destroys most of Earth by launching thousands of nuclear weapons.

When Thanos shows up on time with five Infinity Stones to claim the Mind Stone ala Infinity War, he is quickly cut into pieces (literally) by Ultron, who then rides into an Ultra-Ultron with all of the Infinity Stones in his possession, now able to summon thousands of Ultron drones at will.

(This, by the way, is somewhat reminiscent of the Marvel Comics story Annihilation Conquest, in which Ultron directs the techno-organic alien Phalanx in an attempt to subvert the Galaxy to his machine will.)

The episode then unfolds over two tracks – humanity’s last apparent survivors (or at least the heroes) Black Widow and Hawkeye come up with a plan to defeat Ultron that cleverly takes out the two in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. and Civil War, and ultra-Ultron realizing the Watcher watching him, and therefore aware of the Multiverse, which turns into a hand-to-hand fight between them, Uatu becoming a pretty brutal action hero.

After realizing that he couldn’t defeat him on his own in the final moments of the episode, the watcher turns to Doctor Strange Supreme from What If …? episode 4, and given the trailer scenes we’ve seen of this Doctor Strange meeting Captain Carter from the first episode, the implication seems clear that Watcher and Strange will be recruiting a team or even an army of superheroes from the multiverse. to defeat him.

And it reminds us of this …

(Image credit: Aaron Kuder (Marvel Comics))

It’s a cover of December Avengers Forever # 1 (and yes, it’s Captain Carter on the cover), a new ongoing series featuring, yes… you guessed it… a team of Avengers from the multiverse .

As we say, the synergy seems too synchronized not to be preconceived.

Written by regular series scribe Jason Aaron with artist Aaron Kuder, the series takes its name from the popular ’90s event series Avengers forever (which Newsarama has been touting as ripe for the MCU adaptation for years) and a bit of its’ 90s X-Men title wit Exiles.

The comic book team will officially be called “Avengers of the Multiverse” and will be formed by Robbie Reyes (AKA Ghost Rider) from the main Marvel Universe. His first recruit will be a Tony Stark variant from an alternate reality who instead of becoming the Invincible Iron Man has become the Invincible Ant-Man and instead of a weapons designer / maker is an archaeologist.

Over the course of the series, readers will encounter new versions of familiar Avengers “and witness the return of some dear old friends, in a series that will swing for the fences with every issue, as the most powerful heroes in all of the Earths. in the heavens seek to assemble like never before, ”says Aaron.

“Swing for the fences” appears to be the edict of Aaron’s Avengers plan and these last two What if …? S, which has gone from pastiches of MCU movies to a whole new story in its own right.

With Doctor Strange reappearing in Episode 7 and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness next spring, it seems increasingly likely that What if…? may be something of a prequel to that movie, but we’ll find out more in a week after the finale.

Until then, however, we can observe that Marvel Comics’ growing concern for the multiverse is likely in concert with its film and television sister Marvel Studios, which makes for a very interesting relationship going forward.

The aforementioned original Avengers Forever ranks 7th on Newsarama’s list of best Avengers stories of all time.

Lisa M. Horner