- The Marvels introduces a different concept of incursions, with destructive intrusions occurring when people spend too much time outside their home timeline or universe.
- Monica Rambeau’s heroic act in The Marvels leaves her stranded in an alternate universe, highlighting the instability of the multiverse.
- The MCU retcons the rules of incursions to accommodate the increased use of alternate realities and timelines by characters like Captain America and America Chavez, establishing a new set of circumstances for incursions to occur.
Warning! This post contains spoilers for The Marvels.Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness introduced the idea of destructive intrusions to the MCU, but The Marvels has officially rewritten how they work one year later. These powerful catastrophes, which risk destroying entire realities, are first established to happen when people spend too much time outside their home timeline or universe. Given that the MCU Phases 4-6 are narratively centered on the multiverse, this is clearly a big problem.
The Marvels also demonstrates how unstable the multiverse is, as Monica Rambeau’s final heroic act leaves her stranded in an alternate universe. Moreover, the space-faring adventure changes what an incursion is and, more importantly, what causes one. The three titular heroes have to stop an incursion at the end of The Marvels and, in doing so, show the multiverse is even more dangerous than previously thought.
How The Marvels Retcons The Rules Of Incursions
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Earth-616 Doctor Strange is brought before Earth-838’s Illuminati, who explain that their Doctor Strange caused incursions with devastating effects. According to them, these disasters were instigated by their strange spending too much time in alternate universes. Multiverse of Madness reinforces this idea during its end-credits scene, when a sorcerer named Clea approaches Doctor Strange, telling him his actions in alternate universes caused an incursion in her home.
The Doctor Strange from Earth-838 was killed by his allies after his repeated use of the Darkhold corrupted him beyond repair.
However, The Marvels established a new way for incursions to appear. When the villainous Dar-Benn finally attains Kama’s bangle in The Marvels, a hole in time and space is torn, exposing another reality. This is exactly how incursions are described in Multiverse of Madness, but the cause is quite different. It appears that either the MCU has retconned incursions, or the Earth-838 Illuminati simply didn’t have the whole picture.
Why The MCU Had To Replace The Rules Of Incursions
The MCU was smart to retcon the rules of incursion in The Marvels because the previous incursion rule does not hold up well in the current state of the MCU. Too many characters are shown spending time in alternate realities and timelines without issue for it to be a true threat. Captain America, for example, uses time travel to spend an entire lifetime with Peggy Carter and does not face any repercussions. America Chavez’s power is jumping through the multiverse, and because she’s actively being hunted, she is constantly traveling to new universes. However, she does not leave a trail of incursions in her wake.
Because the state of the MCU post-Avengers: Endgame is predicated on characters spending extended amounts of time in alternate universes, if the original rule remained canon, there would need to be incursions happening constantly. With The Marvels changing how incursions are formed to be more about outbursts of power and less about moving between realities, the MCU has established a less rigid set of incursion circumstances and retconned some awkward plot holes.