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Time travel is weird. A lot of movies and TV shows use time travel as a trick to give characters a do-over, and that’s exactly what happened in the Marvel movies.

With Avengers: Endgame, time travel is now possible in the MCU, and that brings with it a lot of possibilities that may or may not be explored. That said, time travel in the Marvel movies isn’t like time travel in other movies.

So, it’s entirely possible that Marvel won’t run into any of the issues that come with time travel in its movies.

How time travel works in the MCU

Kevin Feige speaks onstage
Kevin Feige | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Well, obviously, time travel isn’t real so it’s pointless to say that the time travel in the MCU is inaccurate since people already know that time travel isn’t possible.

That said, and one thing that can and will make fans angry, is when the rules of time travel aren’t consistent in the movies. If the MCU can just make up rules on the fly, then things don’t seem to matter anymore and fans start to care less about it. 

Fortunately for the MCU, it’s lucky because its time travel hinges on the fictional Pym Particles that were introduced in the Ant-Man movies. It really doesn’t matter exactly how time travel happens, it just matters that, in the MCU, you need Pym Particles to time travel. 

Because of this, the MCU has an easy cop-out anytime fans wonder why time travel isn’t used more. If there aren’t any Pym Particles, then the characters can’t travel back in time. But there’s a problem with that. Ant-Man can’t shrink or grow without the Pym Particles.

So, if the MCU says that there aren’t any Pym Particles left, then Ant-Man, as a superhero, kind of can’t exist anymore.

The problems with time travel

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ shocked fans by having so many beloved characters, such as Black Panther, Spider-Man, and pretty much everyone in the Guardians of the Galaxy, die by Thanos’ snap.

Of course, Marvel fans kind of knew that they were going to be back, since superheroes like Black Panther and Spider-Man had movies that were coming out in the future. 

But, when characters like Black Widow and Iron Man died in ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ most fans saw those deaths as permanent. Those deaths had a lot of dramatic oomph to them since fans knew that they wouldn’t be around in the future movies.

And, since Marvel doesn’t want to get rid of Ant-Man, time travel will continue to be a possibility in the future Marvel movies. So, that makes fans wonder, why not use time travel to bring back the characters that supposedly died permanently? What’s stopping Marvel from bringing back Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff? 

How Marvel may deal with this issue

Without getting too deep into how time travel worked in the movies, essentially, whenever the Avengers went back in time, they were borrowing stuff from other timelines. Then, at the end, Captain America went back to those timelines to return what they had taken, which basically made it all good.

So, if anyone in the MCU wants to go back in time to bring anyone back from the dead, they’d have to essentially kidnap that person from another timeline. The Avengers would never do that, as that would cause a lot of ethical issues and other problems down the road. Maybe a villain will do that, but maybe not. 

That is likely the best way to explain why the Avengers aren’t going back in time to save anyone. Or, as many fans expect, the MCU can just ignore time travel and keep trucking forward. That’s probably the easiest solution for most fans.