MCU Is One Big What If Story To The Marvel Comics Says Producer

MCU Is One Big What If Story To The Marvel Comics Says Producer

Exclusive: Marvel Producer, Brad Winterbaum, explains that the MCU is just one big What If…? story to the main Marvel comics continuity.

A Marvel producer has stated that the MCU is a giant version of one of the stories in the upcoming What If…? series. After the climactic events of Loki and with What If…? set to premiere on Disney+ next week, many fans have been wondering about the multi-verse angle in projects moving forward. However, it looks like Marvel has been dealing with the multiverse all along if they consider the MCU to be one of the many parallel worlds to the main comic book continuity.

In Marvel comics, there is one “prime universe” in which most of the canon comic-book stories take place. While many at Marvel prefer to just call it the “Marvel Universe” (as opposed to say the “Ultimates Universe”), it was dubbed Earth 616 in the early 1980s. And while Mysterio may have claimed the MCU was Earth 616 in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the fact that his whole story was a sham removes any validity to his assertion.

Related: Spider-Man: All The Proof Mysterio Is Lying About The Multiverse In Far From Home

In a Screen Rant exclusive interview, Marvel producer Brad Winderbaum stated that the MCU is just one big What If…? story to the Marvel comics. He goes on to explain that it was a way for the early MCU writers to have some leeway with character histories and storylines. His full statement can be read below:

“Well, it’s funny. I definitely look at all of the MCU as one giant What If…? It’s an interpretation. It’s a universe that runs parallel to the comic book…Early on, I think that was a way we thought about it. The Ultimates were a big touchstone for us, and it was because it was a fully realized universe that ran a parallel path with the main comic book universe. As we entered into a shared narrative with the MCU, I think it was creatively healthy to think about it as its own parallel worlds. It didn’t have to be a one-to-one adaptation of exactly what happened in the comics. It lives and breathes on its own terms. And in that way, we’ve always been telling What If…? stories.”

Winderbaum’s statement might seem mind-blowing at first, but it makes a lot of sense when one considers how the MCU works. Every movie is its own story, with inspiration from the comics but never exactly matching, in some cases even going in wildly different directions. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that the MCU would be another alternate reality similar to the Ultimate Universe. The Ultimate Universe was created as a way to refresh the characters and stories that audiences knew so well, which is kind of exactly what the MCU is. A way to refresh and reimagine heroes and stories from the comics for a brand new visual medium, and audiences who may never have picked up a comic book before. 

The question now is what this revelation could mean for the MCU’s “Sacred Timeline” moving forward. If the story seen on the big screen is just one of any number of What If…? stories, how will Marvel continue to move the MCU forward and keep sense of it all? What are the stakes now that every character has infinite duplicates (or variants) of themselves across the multiverse? And most intriguing of all, if Earth 616 is still the main Marvel Universe, and the MCU is one of many parallel worlds, will the heroes of the MCU and the heroes of Earth 616 ever meet, either on screen or in the panels of a comic?

More: The MCU Multiverse Fixes An OG Avengers Problem (Why Marvel Can’t End It)

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