Time travel became all the rage in both Marvel comics and the MCU and Doctor Strange has revealed that his method of time travel is more dangerous. This aspect of travelling through time have been exploited multiple times for decades. So it was barely a surprise when it also made its way to the MCU in Endgame.
However, the MCU’s time travel was contradictory and all kinds of messy because Marvel changed the model of time travel during production. But after the Loki series, it is confirmed that the past cannot be changed. A time traveller’s interaction with the past will also risk creating various timelines where everything was played out differently.
This made time travel one of the potential causes for the branching of the Multiverse with infinite possibilities. However, in Defenders #1, it has been revealed by Doctor Strange that this is not the case with time travel in comics. The comic is by Al Ewing, Javier Rodriguez, and Alvaro Lopez.
In the comic’s issue, Doctor Strange finds out that one sorcerer has been using the Book of Cagliostro to travel in time. This is related to a sorcerer who mentored Doctor Doom. Strange revealed that time magic operates differently from scientific methods of time travel. It can actually be used to change the past and rewrite history. A sorcerer who has the time magic can potentially bend all of history to their will.
This will complicate all the models of temporal mechanics that were used in the comics. It also suggests that not every method of time travel will follow the same rule. The new information is a smart explanation for the inconsistencies that have can be witnessed in the comics.
This also means that the stakes in the Defenders series are much higher than in most time travel stories. But the question arises when we look at the MCU. Can the same principle be true in the MCU as well? And if it’s possible not every method of time travel shares the same properties.
The MCU’s model of temporal was only beginning to make sense with the death of He Who Remains as the Multiverse of Madness was unleashed in Loki season 1. But there has been no reason to assume the TVA’s time travel follows the same rules. There may be other magical ways to travel through time in the MCU that have not been revealed yet.