Comics
Published June 16, 2021

What Is the Time Variance Authority?

Who are these time travel monitors, and how are they so powerful?

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A TVA agent issues an infraction in AVENGING SPIDER-MAN (2011) #17.
AVENGING SPIDER-MAN (2011) #17

The TVA, or the Time Variance Authority, works off the clock.

Far from a corporation or a television network, this agency acts as the judge, jury, and executioner behind any temporal anomalies in the Marvel Multiverse. While they may be bureaucratic to a fault, they effectively monitor and regulate all realities and timelines from their home base in the Null-Time Zone dimension. Want to get into the comic details behind the TVA? Find out who they are and what they do on Marvel Unlimited now.

WHAT IS THE TVA?

The Chronomonitors hard at work in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #346.
FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #346

The Time Variance Authority (TVA) works tirelessly to prevent and/or minimize temporal interferences. Time cannot be tampered with in their endless offices out of the Null-Time Zone dimension, making it an ideal space-time locale to escape notice. They have also been known to hire bounty hunters to combat or arrest time-travelers, such as Immortus and the Fantastic Four of Earth-616, like when the latter explored a mysterious time bubble that was causing a chronal loop! See how Marvel’s First Family escaped the TVA’s custody.

WHO LEADS THE TVA?

Mobius requests orders from Mr. Alternity in 4 (2004) #18.
4 (2004) #18

Mr. Alternity!

As the Director of the TVA, Mr. Alternity is the organization’s highest authority. All of Alternity’s subordinates are identical clones of him, including various administrators such as Mobius M. Mobius, Mr. Orobourous, Mr. Paradox, and Mr. Tesseract. Administrators like Mobius work closely with Alternity, and get notified when time travel or reality warps occur to determine their next move.

WHAT MOTIVATES MR. MOBIUS "MOBY" M. MOBIUS?

Mobius questions She-Hulk on a time lapse in SHE-HULK (2005) #4.
SHE-HULK (2005) #4

He’s a clone who wants to keep his job!

When the Fantastic Four escaped the TVA’s custody, it resulted in Mobius’ demotion. However, he allied with them to overcome this setback, and has also partnered with other heroes from Earth-616 like Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk. (That is, of course, when she’s not messing with time herself!)

WHO ELSE WORKS FOR THE AGENCY?

The Chronomonitors hard at work in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #353.
FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #353

The TVA uses Chronomonitors, or faceless people, who monitor every event in their assigned timeline through a computer screen, much like an office full of cubicles. They conduct their work in a timely manner, notifying the administrators through tachyon impulses, which travel faster than light!

DO THEY HAVE AN ARMY?

The Minutemen hunt down Wolverine in WOLVERINE: INFINITY WATCH (2019) #4.
WOLVERINE: INFINITY WATCH (2019) #4

You bet they do!

The TVA’s warriors are the Minutemen, an army of soldiers who, like the administrators, are created with cloning technology. The TVA then outfits their soldiers with cybernetic suits of power armor.

Justices Peace and Love in SHE-HULK (2005) #3
Justices Peace and Love: SHE-HULK (2005) #3

The Minutemen are led by the Justices—temporal patrol officers who are allowed to time travel and solve the TVA’s problems independently. Justice Peace and Justice Love are commonly employed Justices who waste no time with pleasantries when it comes to their pursuit of time violators.

HOW MUCH AUTHORITY DO THEY HAVE?

She-Hulk stands trial in chains for her crimes against the timestream in SHE-HULK (2005) #3.
SHE-HULK (2005) #3

A lot! With access to every timeline in existence, the TVA has the will and power to undo anything, erase timelines entirely, and even expel people from history. So, don’t violate those time laws or make sure you have a good lawyer!

Speaking of, gamma-powered lawyer She-Hulk violated a time law when she tried to save Hawkeye’s life by passing his past self a note regarding his future demise. As such, she ended up in a different kind of court! Arrested by the TVA’s Minutemen, she was charged with crimes against the space-time continuum and her punishment was to be erased from history. See how the TVA put her on trial, and how She-Hulk handled being on the other side of the bench, in SHE-HULK (2005) #1-4!

BUT… WHAT ARE THEIR TIME LAWS?

The time laws are laid out in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #352.
FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #352

I mean, you have to know them so you don’t violate them, right? Right...?

Stealing time, temporal misconduct, or time jumps that can destabilize the continuity are just a few of the myriad of crimes punishable by the TVA. From what we can gather, here are the laws: Don’t mess with the timestream, avoid traveling through time, don’t contact people in the past to save them from their future, and maybe don’t explore/implode time bubbles like the Fantastic Four did in FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #341!

WHO ARE THE TIME-KEEPERS?

The Time-Keepers hold council and introduce themselves in AVENGERS FOREVER (1998) #10.
AVENGERS FOREVER (1998) #10

At the end of time, the TVA’s last director known as “He Who Remains” assists in the birth of the Time-Keepers, who ensure that that the timeline will always end the same way. With their amassed knowledge of infinite existence, this triad became the custodians of time and the masters of Immortus. They also provide their chronal energy to the TVA.

 

Don’t forget to check out all of the TVA’s appearances on Marvel Unlimited!

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Time Variance Authority
The Time Variance Authority (TVA) acts as the judge, jury, and executioner behind any temporal anomalies in the multiverse. A bureaucratic agency, their primary function is to monitor and regulate all realities and timelines. They are based in the Null-Time Zone dimension.
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