For a while now, the leading Avengers: Endgame fan theories have revolved around time travel. Doctor Strange has mastered the Time Stone, actors have been spotted in their 2012 costumes on set, and the second trailer showed us the Avengers wearing new white suits that are expected to help them travel through time.
It’s pretty clear that time travel will be the key to defeating Thanos in the upcoming superhero epic. A bunch of time travel stories have been told in the pages of Marvel Comics over the years. So, here are 10 Times Marvel Characters Have Time-Traveled In The Comics.
In this six-issue series, Spider-Man and Wolverine travel all over the course of history. It opens 65 million years ago in the Cretaceous Era, as they face the impending impact of the asteroid that permanently tilted the Earth and wiped out all the dinosaurs, with flashbacks to the present day explaining how they got there.
It’s all down to their battle with the Orb, who can also travel through time, thanks to his Time Diamonds. The plot thickens when Doctor Doom’s plan to eradicate humanity and the evil mastermind Mojo begin to unravel everything. Without spoiling it here, it’s a fantastic comic.
In The Incredible Hulk #135, the titular green meanie was tricked into going into the past by time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror. Kang tried to go back in time himself, but he encountered a time storm and chickened out. Instead, he convinced the Hulk that if he went back in time to do his bidding, he would be rid of Bruce Banner forever.
So, the Hulk headed back in time and he, too, encountered a time storm. But he didn’t let that stop him – he punched time (like, the concept of time) so hard that he managed to break the storm and get to the past anyway.
The Guardians of the Galaxy team we know today includes Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer. However, they weren’t the original team. The original team was actually introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, played by such big-name talents as Sylvester Stallone and Miley Cyrus, and James Gunn has hinted they could be getting their own movie in the MCU in the future after reteaming in a post-credits scene.
They’re from the 31st century, but in the Avengers #167-177 arc, they followed Korvac back in time to 20th century America and helped the Avengers to defeat him.
Nathan Summers, better known as Cable, was introduced to the moviegoing public when Josh Brolin played him in Deadpool 2 last year. But Cable has been a staple of the Marvel-verse for years as one of its most popular characters, and he’s been involved in a lot of the publisher’s time travel stories.
At one point, he worked for an agency whose sole purpose was to make sure all the Marvel heroes’ time travel didn’t irrevocably screw up the course of history. In the first arc of the X-Men: ResurrXion series, “Conquest,” Cable was tasked with tracking down an elusive time-traveling villain.
Nate Richards, named after Reed Richards’ father and best-known as Iron Lad, has an abundance of superpowers, including time travel. He briefly led the Young Avengers before becoming one of their most infamous enemies. He was romantically involved with Stature, the superhero alter ego of Cassandra Lang, Scott Lang’s daughter who is just a little kid at the moment in the MCU.
In one tragic time travel storyline, Iron Lad realized it was his destiny to become the destructive villain Kang the Conqueror. If he didn’t allow that to happen and continued to work with the Young Avengers, then things would get even worse. So, he said goodbye to the Young Avengers, went back to the future, and forgot all about his time with them.
The original Deathlok was created in 1974. He came from the post-apocalyptic future of 1990. In the end, the real 1990 was fine, but at the time, it was 16 years away and could well have been apocalyptic. It’s like a post-apocalyptic story set in 2035 being told today – it checks out.
In the comics, Deathlok – a.k.a. Luther Manning – traveled back in time to the ‘70s to team up with Nick Fury and Fantastic Four’s the Thing to prevent the apocalypse from his time from ever happening. It’s the same sort of arc that Cable went through in Deadpool 2.
In the Captain America Reborn storyline, Steve Rogers finds himself reliving his battles in World War II, including his fight with Master Man at Red Skull’s base of operations. He also relives the time he met then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt. At one point, he even relives the moment he became Captain America in the first place.
As he tries to figure out why he’s reliving moments from his past, he learns he’s been sent back in time. The plot thickens as he continues to jump through time and he later discovers that it’s all part of a plot by Doctor Doom and Red Skull to get the latter’s brain in Rogers’ body to ruin his reputation at his meeting with the President and change the course of history.
The time travel storyline in the Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man series was a real head trip. It involved Spider-Man teaming up with Teresa Parker, a modified J. Jonah Jameson, and his own past self in order to fend off an alien invasion. But the storyline didn’t stop there.
A few issues in, when everything with the time travel was all sorted out, Peter still had to deal with the devastating consequences of the changes he made to the timeline. As with any time travel story that deals with the ramifications of time travel, it’s very confusing – but the story pulls it all together by the end.
The iconic Uncanny X-Men storyline “Days of Future Past” has already been adapted-ish into a movie as a means of getting the old cast and the new cast together in the same movie across two separate timelines. In the comic, the U.S. government has begun systematically hunting down and killing all mutants, so the last surviving X-Men send Kitty Pryde (not Wolverine) back in time to save the day(s of future past).
It can all be traced back to one key event: the assassination of a U.S. Senator. So, Kitty’s task is simple: stop the assassination. Many Endgame fan theories revolve around the Avengers traveling back in time to one key event to solve everything (although predictions on the event itself range from the Battle of New York to Odin locking up the Gauntlet hundreds of years ago).
Avengers Forever was a 12-issue comic book arc that saw Immortus sending one of his minions to kill Rick Jones. In order to protect him, Rick pulled together an Avengers team using characters from the past, present, and future. Together, these time-traveling heroes made a team strong enough to protect Rick from Immortus.
The storyline involved a few Avengers characters we’re used to in the MCU – Captain America, the Wasp, Hawkeye, Giant-Man, Captain Marvel etc. – so elements of it might be reused for the time travel parts of Endgame (assuming there are time travel parts in Endgame; that hasn’t actually been confirmed yet).