The Trouble With Time Travel – Age Of Ultron, New Avengers, Avengers, Uncanny Avengers And Fantastic Four (SPOILERS)
I like time travel stories. I love the shapes they make in my head. From All You Zombies to Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure to Making History to The Time Traveller's Wife to Continuity Errors to Robocop Vs Terminator. When causality is thrown up in the air and everything gets very silly indeed.
There are generally rules though. That mostly get stuck to. You can go back in time and change things, or not. Or just certain bits. Create duplicates of yourself in the process – or not. Meet yourself… or not.
Age Of Ultron seems to have broken those rules, especially in issue ten. So, you know, spoilers. Also for Avengers, New Avengers, Uncanny Avengers and Fantastic Four a bit.
We have seen Wolverine going back in time twice. Once with the Invisible Woman to kill Hank Pym (which he did), both travelling to the changed future to discover a version of himself that hadn't gone back in time. It's implied there's another Invisible Woman there too.
So Wolverine goes back to the past again (leaving the Invisible Woman in the Morgan Le Fey future) to stop himself killing Ant Man. One of the Wolverines then kills the other so there is only one of them remaining. For some reason, maybe he's just watched The Prestige. Then he, and the Invisible Woman from before travel to the future again to the new changed future. Wolverine tells Invisible Woman to go hug her kids.
Except… in this future, the Fantastic Four are still gallivanting around time and space. Black Panther never summoned them home. So there's another Invisible Woman out there.
And there's another Wolverine, one who didn't live through Age Of Ultron and find the need to travel back in time, and who helped take down Ultron.
And who we see on the page before we see time travelling Wolverine arriving in the present day.
He can't just disappear, these are the time travel rules as laid out in Age Of Ultron. What happened to Space Invisible Woman and Non-Time Travelling Wolverine? Although the latter may explain how Wolverine is in so many books right now – there's two of him.
But there does seem to be a little confusion at Marvel about what is happening when in regard to other book, at least to the casual observer.
Has this seemingly inevitable scene from Uncanny Avengers today taken place before… this superb Gateway scene in Avengers today for example?
But as for how Mr Fantastic can be in space in Fantastic Four and be in New Avengers. well for that we get a clue.
Though in that case, no idea why he doesn't tell the Future Foundation what's up in their book with their Johnny Storm-from-the-future guest. Of course in Fantastic Four, also out today, Reed has his own time travel issues.
But there is a lot of time travel going on in Marvel comics today. No wonder everything is falling apart at the seams…
That's right folks, Blackbeard was The Thing. This all goes way back…
Maybe we'll get an explanation as to the double Wolverine and double Invisible Woman thing soon. Maybe not.
Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London. Tonight sees the launch of Jason Atomic's Satanic Mojo, inspired by underground comics with work from Atomic, Shaky Kane, Garry Leach and more… for adults only. Go to the gallery and buy the comic… adults only.
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