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Athena Scalzi

Time To Rant About Time Travel

Athena ScalziWelcome to today’s post, where I’m going to yell about time travel in movies and shows and you’re going to like it! Or, if you don’t, that’s okay, too. We can have different opinions on time travel. But my opinion is that it sucks. I despise time travel. It’s confusing, almost never makes sense, and is used way too much in movies lately.

So I’m going to be talking about a few movies in the Marvel and DC Universes that use time travel and multi-verses, so here is your OFFICIAL SPOILER WARNING for Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Agent Carter, and Justice League: Dark Apokolips War.

My main beef with time travel is in relation to Avengers: Endgame. If you love Endgame, I’m sorry, but I think it’s a terrible movie that contained a lot of bad decisions, and even more bad writing. To have 22 movies come before Endgame, and make the only one that deals with multiverses or time travel at all be Dr. Strange (excluding Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse), and then suddenly be like “oh, you know what we should do, time travel”, it seems nonsensical and like they came up with it at the last minute because they didn’t know what else to do. I’m not saying that’s true, maybe they did know all along what they were going to do, but I’m just saying as a viewer, it came off as an out-of-nowhere thing.

I can understand the part where the Avengers go into specific moments of the past to retrieve the Infinity Stones, and then later return them to their exact time and place, as if they had never been taken at all. That part is simple enough, they’re just borrowing them.

The part where it starts to become ridiculous for me is when 2014 Thanos and Nebula travel to the future. Wouldn’t that mean that Thanos wasn’t around in the years following 2014, so Infinity War could’ve never happened in the first place because he skipped that part of time completely? If that isn’t enough for you, what about when 2014 Nebula dies, but future Nebula continues to exist? Everyone knows that if you time travel and past you dies, you cease to exist and you fade away!

So already we are deep into the path of things not making a lick of sense, but to add to that, they made Captain America go back in time and STAY THERE. I can’t tell you how upsetting this was to me. When I first saw that scene, I was upset mainly because seeing Old Man Rogers made me sad, but I was also confused, because if he went back then that meant he never came out of the ice in 2012 and became part of the Avengers.

Not only that, but he married Peggy. And you’re supposed to be happy for them. Certainly I used to hope and dream that Peggy and him could be together, but that changed when I watched Agent Carter last week. Agent Carter ends with her and Agent Daniel Sousa being together. And for all two seasons of Agent Carter, I was rooting for them. I was so happy when they were finally together. They obviously loved and cared about each other so much.

If we are to assume that Daniel Sousa is the man that Peggy Carter is talking about in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when she talks about her husband and her family, then Steve essentially prevented their life together from ever happening. Peggy had children, a whole family, totally erased because Steve decided to be selfish and go back to be with Peggy.

And sure, Peggy was probably plenty happy with Steve, and I’m sure they had a good life together. But you don’t just get to make that choice for her. Yet another superhero movie that lacks consent. Who knows if Peggy would have even wanted to trade the life she lived for Steve? Steve should’ve left Peggy in the past, and not stayed there with her.

One more thing about this that makes it seem like Marvel didn’t know what the hell they were doing is that they had Steve and Peggy’s great niece, Sharon, be kind of interested in each other and even kiss. Like, if they knew all along that this is how it would turn out, why did they bother doing that weird shit?

These were all the questions I had before doing some research and learning about how Marvel’s time travel is based on a branching theory, which means that every time they change something in the past, it makes a new timeline branch off of the original. To me, this seems like a cheap way out of there being any real consequences to dicking around in the past. Marvel gets to keep its perfect little timeline while simultaneously exploring a bunch of different options, like if Steve Rogers had lived in his original time period with Peggy.

To me, that’s some bullshit. A viewer shouldn’t have to do extensive research and watch a bunch of explanation videos to understand something. Not everyone is a huge fan that will spend the effort and time learning about what the creators’ intentions were. Not to mention everything about it just screams cop out.

So, Marvel totally failed at using time travel, in my opinion. Let’s take a look at DC.

Over the past couple months, I’ve been watching a lot of animated DC movies on HBO Max. I’ve never been big into DC, and only really ever seen the Zach Snyder DC movies. So when I started watching the animated ones, I was totally blown away by how cool DC is. They have some pretty interesting animated movies, and a whole timeline of their own much like the MCU, just animated instead!

DC has its own problems with time travel and multiverses, though, just like Marvel. Mainly because DC likes to use Flash as their source of time travel. If you’ve ever seen the CW’s Flash, you know how well it goes when Barry Allen changes the past. Confusing as shit.

The animated films are no different, they use Flash to create “Flashpoints” and change the timeline. This happens at the end of the bigger storyline, in Justice League: Dark Apokolips War. In this movie, Dark Seid totally fucks the Justice League up, kills a bunch of our beloved heroes, and takes over the Earth. After they defeat Dark Seid over two years later, the Earth is about to explode and kill all the survivors and there’s no stopping it, so Flash goes and creates a new Flashpoint, resetting the entire timeline. This paves the way for the newest DC animated movie that reintroduces Superman all over again in Superman: Man of Tomorrow. 

Again, doesn’t this all seem like a huge cop out to avoid dealing with consequences? They’re making time travel the solution to all of the world’s problems. Just start over. Wipe the slate clean. Sure, that’s one way of dealing with things, but it just seems like lazy writing to me.

The moral of the story here is that no one should ever use time travel. It’s dumb and overused and I’m sick of it because it never makes sense. Even when given the explanation of “oh it’s a branching thing” or “it’s a multiverse thing”, it’s still confusing! I still hate it! Y’all didn’t have to make superhero movies so confusing!

Do you think Marvel and DC are right in using time travel? Do you think Endgame was a good and satisfying movie (it’s the fourth worst movie I’ve ever seen)? Do you like the animated DC movies more than the live action (I sure do)? Let me know in the comments, and have a great, time-travel free day!

-AMS

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