Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is $12 million shy of $700 million after two weekends at the box office, despite a significant drop in the second weekend. The film looks set to top $1 billion in the coming weeks, making Doctor Strange a character capable of drawing crowds. But Multiverse of Madness doesn’t just continue the character arcs of Strange and Wanda. It also sets the stage for a significant event in the MCU called incursions, something the movie spends little time explaining. To fully understand all this, you must be aware of the links between Loki and Doctor Strange 2including the death of the MCU’s first Kang variant.
The death of He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) is what this variation of Kang comes across in Lokimade possible the multiverse events we have witnessed since. No coming home and Multiverse of Madness are only two consequences, but the repercussions could be greater. The MCU timeline is more complicated when it comes to Kang. This is why it is essential to correctly understand what happened in the Loki finale to better understand the continuity of the MCU.
Before we can explain to you, you should know that MCU Phase 4 spoilers will follow below.
Before discussing the links between Loki and Doctor Strange 2we have to understand the most important thing that happens in the Loki final.
Kang’s first MCU death occurs outside of normal time. Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), TVA and Kang don’t experience the time stream like each universe. The finale, in particular, takes place out of time. It’s not inside a universe that flows from point A to point B. It’s in a static place with a view of all time, forever.
Kang’s death happens well now
Therefore, there is no correct way to define Kang’s death in the MCU timeline. Because Kang perpetually dies (and lives) there. From our perspective, Kang’s death is happening right now. It happened a second ago, and it will happen in a second. Kang dies with every letter I type. And it dies with every word you read. It’s relentless. It is simultaneous with the past, the present and the future. Forever and ever.
Similarly, Kang lives perpetually in relation to our point of view. the Loki finale also takes place perpetually. And it is simultaneous with everything in the Sacred Timeline. Or in the MCU timeline.
That’s why we can’t just insert Kang’s death before No coming home or before Multiverse of Madness. Kang’s death at the hands of Sylvie happens simultaneously with everything that happens in a linear timeline. It wasn’t when TVA pulled Loki to prevent a branch from forming. Or during the 2023 events of End of Game. And it’s not in 2024 or 2025, just before No coming home or Doctor Strange 2.
Kang dies as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) builds his first Iron Man suit. He dies when Captain America (Chris Evans) becomes the First Avenger. When Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) completes the mission that allows her to switch sides to SHIELD. When Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) loses his hands. Kang dies as the Avengers defeat Thanos. But he is also alive to attend all these events if he wishes.
How Kang Controls Everything
Kang doesn’t just live at the end of time, but at the beginning and middle of it. From his vantage point, he can see everything in the universe and step in to control the timeline and make sure the worst versions of him don’t show up.
The simplest analogy for Kang’s perspective is watching television, with a few differences. You can watch any channel for as long as you want and you can change what is happening on the screen in real time without anyone involved in those TV shows knowing what is happening.
You can watch as many channels as you want – in this case, timelines. And time doesn’t pass at all while you’re doing it. You have time to watch all the TV you want.
So while Kang is both dead and alive when the events of Doctor Strange 2 happen, he stopped looking at the universe at some point. It was the only way to give Loki and Sylvie free will. They could continue his work or kill him.
As a result, while Kang’s death occurs simultaneously with everything in the MCU’s prime reality, including Doctor Strange 2, he has not necessarily seen everything. Because he chose not to.
Why Kang’s death matters to Doctor Strange 2
This is a very important detail that we have partly explained. The events in Avengers: Infinity War and End of Game happen in that particular order because Kang wants it that way. This means that the TVA pruned the abnormal branches according to Kang’s wishes.
The events in No coming home and Doctor Strange 2 wouldn’t be possible in a timeline that Kang would closely manage. He wouldn’t let the multiverse go haywire because Spider-Man (Tom Holland) felt the need to be forgotten by the world. Kang could also interfere with Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and keep her from descending into madness.
This, in turn, would prevent Stephen’s journey into the Multiverse. Or the MCU reality becomes a superhero who can roam the multiverse at will. It also means that Clea (Charlize Theron) wouldn’t show up, because there would be no incursion to fear.
And incursion sounds like an unnecessarily polite term to describe a multiversal war that Kang wanted to prevent in the first place. Simply put, Kang’s death instantly leads to multiversal wars, from his perspective.
With all of that in mind, I realized we had to stop asking what year Kang died. Because, as I just explained, Kang’s death is contemporaneous with everything that’s happening in the universe. We are now witnessing/suffering the consequences. It’s only a few years later End of Game from our point of view.
the Loki The finale shows the MCU timeline sprouting up everywhere at the same time as Sylvie kills Kang. This is the moment when he no longer controls time. The moment the TVA stops pruning those branches.
Is Earth-616 in Doctor Strange 2 the Sacred Timeline or just a branch of it?
The moment Kang died, the MCU’s prime reality was released. And we only witnessed some of those unscripted events that followed instantly. Again, Kang could still see each of them unfold. Even the events of Doctor Strange 2. But he just stopped looking at him to face Loki and Sylvie.
These branches appear everywhere on the timeline, not just in the future of the MCU that we are experiencing now. We also have branches in the past and present. And they all appear simultaneously.
Earth-616 may not even be the sacred timeline that Kang has curated for so long. It could be a branch that the VAT has never pruned. It could have started with Peter Parker in No coming home. Or with Wanda in Wanda Vision when she left with that Darkhold book. Or with one of Doctor Strange’s many cocky answers or spells. We just don’t know. And we may never need to have a specific moment when Kang’s death interrupted regular Sacred Timeline programming. What we do know is that Earth-616 is the main MCU timeline.
Additionally, we’ve speculated that Steve Rogers’ decision to retire to a different reality is possible because Kang is deceased. That was in the late 1940s from this universe’s perspective. But since everything in the universe is happening at once, this moment may coincide with other pivotal moments in the MCU that set us on the path to Secret Wars. ‘Cause that’s what Doctor Strange 2 Is. This sets the stage for the kind of big multiverse mess the best version of Kang wanted to avoid.
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