Two Times the Avengers Were Saved by Time Travel
Even Earth's Mightiest Heroes have to play a little fast and loose to save the universe.
In the Marvel comic book realm, going back in time to correct a fatal mistake or event is not unheard of. It seems like an obvious solution: go back to the moments before the crucial act took place and, with the benefit of hindsight, make sure the outcome is changed. But messing around with time can have serious consequences – disturbing a time line may have unanticipated effects that are beyond the pay grade of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
AGE OF ULTRON is one of the best examples of the Avengers being saved by time travel. But first, time travel nearly destroyed everything the Avengers had fought so hard to save.
At some time in the near future, Ultron ruled the remnants of humanity with an iron fist. Not the Iron Fist, mind you.) Ultron could have wiped out the humans and their heroes at any time. Instead, he chose to toy with them. When they traveled into the future to fight Ultron, they were easily slaughtered.
It was Wolverine who posed a unique and murderous solution: killing Hank Pym before he could build Ultron. In AGE OF ULTRON #6, Susan Richards was along for the ride, but she didn’t stop Logan because she hoped the timeline would restore her family. Unfortunately, the timeline reset in an unfamiliar world where the Avengers were the Defenders. Morgana Le Fay was their primary threat.
Wolverine and Susan quickly realized that this world wasn’t salvageable. So in AGE OF ULTRON #10, they went back yet again, to convince the other Wolverine not to kill himself. Even the older Wolverine acknowledged that Ultron had to exist, although Pym would eventually come up with an AI virus to prevent the end of the world. That was enough to undo Ultron’s reign, but they did break time itself along the way.
The second time the Avengers were saved by time travel came during the first volume of UNCANNY AVENGERS. The Apocalypse Twins, Uriel and Eimin, had a plan to trick the Scarlet Witch into sending the mutant population off-planet while a Celestial murdered the Earth. At the time, the mutants and humans on the Avengers Unity Squad had broken apart. The Twins seized on their conflict because it ultimately served their purpose. The divided Avengers failed to stop the Celestials or the Twins, and Earth was destroyed.
Years later, Thor returned in UNCANNY AVENGERS #18 and formed an alliance with Kang to undo the damage caused by the Twins. In the interim, mutants had settled their own homeworld and Havok married the Wasp. Together, Alex Summers and Janet van Dyne had a daughter named Katie. Kang used their love for Katie to blackmail Alex into helping his plan to destroy the temporal shielding that prevented time travel.
In UNCANNY AVENGERS #20, Kang and an alternate universe Psylocke sent the minds of Havok, Wasp, Thor, Wolverine, and Sunfire back into their own bodies shortly before the destruction of the Earth. Together, they thwarted the Twins plans and even killed a Celestial. However, Kang inevitably betrayed them and tried to steal a Celestial’s power for himself. In UNCANNY AVENGERS #22, Havok put a stop to that even though he knew it would cost him his daughter. Havok was also hideously scarred in the attempt, but he prevented Kang’s ascension.
Time travel isn’t always the ideal solution, and it usually causes more problems than it solves. It’s the last option for a reason. Especially in the Marvel Universe.
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