While Infinity Wars was immensely popular, fans are now looking forward to next year’s Part 2 of the movie. With plenty of leaked images from the sets as well as plotlines, some things are very clear about the plot of the next film, one of them being that time travel will be a big part of the upcoming Avengers flick.
It is to be noted that time travel has never been significant in the Marvel Universe. Doctor Strange used it a little bit more or less; it has not happened. Depending on why time travel will be used, there are several ways that how Marvel can introduce time travel in the upcoming Avengers.
One of the best ways to introduce time travel is to use the Quantum Realm where conceptual realisations of time and space merge as one shrinks to eternity. This was first introduced in Ant-Man, and with the new Ant-Man and the Wasp movie(as well as Captain Marvel) set to come out before the Avengers 4, one would expect that Quantum Realm would be explored further in these movies to set the stage for its use in time travel later.
The trailers for Ant-Man and the Wasp tell us that Pym particles(that let Ant-Man shrink in size in the first place) will be used to traverse through the Quantum Realm without the risk of being trapped in the multiverse when sizes go subatomic.
Our favourite Ant-Man and the Wasp will use a vessel made using the Pym particles to enter the Quantum Realm to save the first Wasp Janet van Dyne who has been stuck in the Quantum Realm for a long time. It is to be noted that the Quantum Realm can also be entered using Doctor Strange’s Sling Ring, and that might also come into the picture. In Captain Marvel, the Quantum Realm is expected to come to play to explain why Carol Danvers has not been seen for the past 20 years. With Ant-Man becoming a part of the Avengers team, it stands to reason that the concept will come to play.
Then again, Tony Stark has a very personal role to play in defeating Thanos. The founder of the Avengers was saved by Doctor Strange after he peeked into the future and decided to sacrifice his Time Stone. Tony Stark’s anguish with Thanos can also be uplifted using BARF – Binary Augmented Retro Framing – introduced in Captain America: Civil War.
There have been signs that he could be using this tech, which alters memories and helps deal with trauma, could help Stark with Thanos. Again, at a speech at MIT, Stark states that he wants to reframe the future, which could foreshadow an improved BARF that could travel through time. Stark may also be compelled into action given that the Infinity Stone passed on to Thanos in exchange for his life – this was the bargain that Doctor Strange had struck.
You could see the surprise and anguish on Iron Man’s face after Strange had stated explicitly at the beginning of the film that he was willing to give up anything and everything to prevent an Infinity Stone getting into the greasy hands of Thanos.
Strange did not see another way, and this will have significant implications for what happens in the coming film. At any rate, Stark will be at the centre of it.
The last way to do this, of course, is using the Time Stone itself. Well, of course, Thanos has it now, and there is very little Doctor Strange can do about it given that he is a pile of dust right now. The Mad Titan is vulnerable given that he is assured that he has accomplished what he had set out to achieve and the Avengers could theoretically attack him.
However, he is the most powerful being in the universe as we know it and it will not be easy to wrest such a prized possession off him like that. In Avengers: Infinity War, we come to understand that Thanos’s adopted daughter Nebula almost succeeded in killing him. Given that Thanos is no longer expecting an attack, it could very well turn out that a covert operation by the Avengers can work and one of them could sneak in and grab one of the Infinity Stones.
The death of the Black Order has also not done Thanos any good in this regard. What one should also expect in Avengers 4 is a more prominent role for Nebula. The comics tell us how Nebula plays an instrumental role in defeating the despotic Thanos, but Avengers: Infinity Wars benched the daughter in favour of the other, more pleasant daughter Gamora. With Gamora not in the picture anymore, it might set the stage for Nebula to come to the forefront.