This article contains spoilers for episode 4 of Miss Marvel.
Episode 4 of “Miss Marvel” has just added another confusing layer to the MCU multiverse and its alternate dimensions. The multiverse is at the heart of Phase 4 of the MCU, and it was amazing to see the Disney+ Miss Marvel TV show exploring it as well. The origin story of Kamala Khan in the MCU included a scene in which Miss Marvel seemed to travel through the multiverse, and the 4th episode ended with an explicit time travel scene.
This is because the MCU has linked Kamala Khan to the “Nur Dimension”. According to the Red Daggers, this is another plane of existence that is above ours, invisible and usually inaccessible. It is separated from our dimension by an energy field known as Nur, to which Kamala Khan connects when he uses his powers. Ms. Marvel’s villains are Hiding-out exiles from the Nur dimension, and they seek to unite them in an interdimensional collision that will destroy Earth. The action has moved to a completely different scale.
Link: Who is the Red Dagger? The origin and abilities of the new hero Miss Marvel
Unfortunately, Ms. Marvel’s explanations in episode 4 about Noor Dimension shed light on the biggest and most confusing multiverse problem of the MCU — the lack of precision when discussing alternative dimensions and what exactly it means. In each TV movie and MCU series, the key terms are used in completely different ways. In “Loki”, “What If…?”, “Spider-Man: No Home” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, the word “dimensions” refers to alternate timelines. In the first Doctor Strange, and now in Miss Marvel, it instead refers to different planes of existence. The same is probably true in Shang Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings.
The multiverse is central to Phase 4, but the main problem is that the MCU still hasn’t quite decided what the multiverse really is. That’s why the multiverse seems to have been represented in Loki, although the Masters of mystical arts have already mentioned her and claimed that they draw their powers from other dimensions. That’s why the Red Daggers are essentially describing an interdimensional invasion similar to Dormammu’s invasion of this plane in Doctor Strange, rather than an invasion leading to the destruction of two universes, as seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
There is, of course, a simple reason why the MCU multiverse is so confusing; because in this matter Marvel Studios has done the opposite. Marvel Studios encouraged viewers to think that it always works with long-term planning, designed for five to ten years ahead. In fact, Marvel’s main master plan is much more changeable, and in many ways it’s just luck when different elements come together. Marvel didn’t even hold a summit defining the basic rules of the Multiverse or its alternate dimensions until a number of key properties were created, including Loki, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and possibly Miss Marvel. Hopefully, this at least means that future MCU movies and TV shows will start using words with more precision, sticking to a single multiverse model and explaining how all the pieces come together.