Warning: Contains light spoilers for Avengers#57.
The Avengers have identified one of the biggest risks with the Multiverse concept that has become so ubiquitous in Marvel stories. With so many opportunities and new worlds to explore, the creators focus too much on different alternate realities, derailing the main plot that should drive the stories of characters like the Avengers.
The multiverse has been one of the most notable features of Marvel stories for several years now. The idea itself offers endless possibilities to expand any franchise, and Marvel quickly capitalized on it. The multiverse has been the focus of Avengers storylines for a while, ever since Earth’s Greatest Heroes found themselves at the center of the machinations of two formidable villains, Mephisto and a version of Doctor Doom who calls himself Supreme Destiny. These enemies plan to conquer every Land in the Multiverse by going back in time and killing the first version of the defenders of the planet, the Prehistoric Avengers. Although this is a general plot, much attention has been paid to exploring these different versions of Earth, each with its own unique features and characters.
By topic: Cowboy Thor fights the shooter Mephisto to save the Marvel multiverse
This kaleidoscope of worlds and different versions of familiar characters has given the creators a lot of freedom, but also carries an inherent risk. Avengers #57 by Jason Aaron, Javier Garron and David Curiel is entirely dedicated to the story of the Supreme Soldier, a variant of Captain America and Doctor Strange fighting demonic forces in his own version of World War II. The problem is interesting and entertaining, but ultimately contributes very little to the development of the overall plot. The Supreme Soldier will definitely appear again, but after years of preparation for this big multiverse confrontation between the Avengers and Mephisto, readers are still wondering where the story is really going.
The lack of direction in this overall plot is due to the fact that the creators apparently want to explore every possible alternate reality, which makes for some fun individual issues, but also distracts from the main story. When you have an infinite Multiverse, it’s a risk that you’ll just get lost in the options and forget the whole point of it. And since the Multiverse is a huge blender to which creators can add everything because of the infinite number of realities, in the end nothing matters. This was a problem with the Avengers Multiverse, where many new creations seem to lack depth, leading to disappointing results.
The potential of the Multiverse concept is undeniable, as it gives authors a much wider canvas to expand and express their creativity. However, despite how funny Cowboy Thor can be, readers ultimately want to see the story unfold. The very slow build-up of the current Avengers plot really highlighted one of the biggest risks with the Marvel Multiverse, showing the importance of not losing sight of the overall plot, even among the endless options.