Ten Time Travel Scenarios Marvel Should Consider Instead Of Spider-Man: Edge Of Time (LIST)
When Spider-Man: Edge of Time was announced, we were hoping it would bring something new to games based on the venerable comic series. Alas, while it’s not a sequel to Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Edge of Time does stay firmly in the same vein: insanely convoluted time travel plots bringing characters from different marvel dimensions and blah blah blah. Look, the game is probably going to be a lot of fun, but come on, Marvel! Surely you can do better than this. Surely you can come up with a different kind of time travel plot, right? No? Well, allow us to help. Here’s a list of time travel scenarios Marvel should consider, instead of the increasingly baffling plots they’re approving currently.
Because we’re helpful, we have rated each entry to compare convolution between our stories, and these Spidey games. We’re grading each one on:
1) Number of timelines.
2) Doppelganger pile-up.
These will be added to determine the story’s Shattered Dimensions Index (SDI). The Shattered Dimensionx Index will help you decide if it’s just too much to think about before happy hour.
1) X-Men: Wiemar Heroes
In this historical thriller directed by Brett Ratner, Magneto goes back to the 1920s and kills Hitler before his rise to power. Unfortunately, because every time you kill Hitler, the new timeline ends up being significantly worse, killing him just prevented Fascism from being discredited. In the new, Hitler Free future, America passed the mutant registration act in 1950 and the President is a Sentinel. Now the X-men have to go back to the roaring 20s and stop Magneto from preventing the Holocaust, triggering a thrilling 10 pages of discussing the moral ramifications of their actions. Special guest: FDR as Gambit’s grandfather, New Deal.
* Number of timelines: 2 – The normal timeline, and the ZOMG no Hitler one.
* Doppelganger pile-up rating: 1 (out of 5). Professor X and Magneto interact with their past selves (as children).
* Shattered Dimensions Index: 2.2 (out of 5).
See also X-men: The Last Stand.
2) Marvel Vs. Capcom: The Voyage Home
The cast of the MvC games is sent back to 1987 San Francisco and have to interact with the DC universe Star Trek comics to save whales from extinction:
* Number of timelines: 4! Ours, Star Trek’s, the Marvel Universe timeline, and the Fiscal accounting schedule used by Capcom.
* Doppelganger pile-up rating: 1 (out of 5 on single) players, 4 (out of 5) on arcade mode.
* Shattered Dimensions Index: 5 out of 5.
See also Star Trek: The Voyage Home.
3) X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Timecest
Grab your brain bleach kids! During yet another convoluted Marvel crossover mini-series, Wolverine is transported back in time to the 1820s, where he accidentally kills his grandmother’s husband. He then accidentally hooks up with his own grandmother (played by Nicole Kidman), resulting in his father’s conception. It turns out his mutant healing factor is the result of extreme inbreeding.
* Number of timelines: 1; temporal paradox loop.
* Doppelganger pile-up rating: 0. Wolverine is the same wolverine through the entire story.
Shattered Dimensions Index: 10 (out of 5). It is extremely difficult to explain the grandfather paradox to people. Plus, incest. Ew.
See also X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
4) Doom and Reed’s Excellent Adventure
Dr. Doom steals time travel technology from the Fantastic Four and uses it to bring some of history’s greatest monsters into the modern Marvel Universe’s New York. However, once there, instead of killing the Fantastic Four, they spend their time seeing the sights, taking in the culture and shopping, until they finally kill each other off fighting over access to a single parking space. Featuring Hitler, Stalin, Sulla, Atilla the Hun, Basil the Bulgar Slayer, Genghis Khan and Billy The Kid.
Number of Timelines: 1, if characters from the past are brought to the future. Timeline is otherwise unaffected. 9 possible if characters returned to their own time without first being mind-wiped.
Doppelganger pile-up rating: 0. Timecop rules apply: Same Matter Can’t Occupy Same Space.
Shattered Dimensions Index: 2 (out of 5).
See also Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
5) H.G Welles: The First Avenger
In this alternate universe tale set in the Marvel 1602 timeline, science fiction writer and Victorian super hero H.G. Welles invents a time machine that accidentally brings Jack the Ripper to the Marvel universe’s New York. Jack is subsequently bitten by a radioactive serial killer and turns into super powered sociopath called Doctor Doom. Welles follows him to New York, but arrives just in time to be exposed to cosmic rays and is split into 4 different versions of himself, each with a unique super power. One has the ability to stretch his body to infinity, another becomes invisible to screenwriters attempting to adapt his books into movies. The third can shoot fire, and the last develops a lack of cognitive dissonance allowing him to both be a socialist and support World War One.
* Number of Timelines: 2. Characters from the past are brought to the future, creating a new timeline in which H.G. Welles disappeared in the 1880s..
* Doppelganger pile-up rating: 2. H.G. Welles times 4!
* Shattered Dimensions Index: 1.5 (out of 5).
See also Time After Time.
6) Nick Fury: Agent of TEC
Nick Fury’s works for the Time Enforcement Commission, making sure that criminals don’t try to destroy the marvel universe by changing the past. Congressman Ron Silver becomes his sworn enemy when he tries to change history in order to become president. Silver accidentally becomes exposed to gamma rays during one such trip and morphs into the Incredible Hulk, forcing Nick Fury on a quest throughout the history of the Marvel universe to stop Ron Silver/The Hulk from destroying everything.
* Number of Timelines: Infinite: The Ron Silver Hulk goes to every single marvel universe, including the stupid Ultimates and Peter Porker universes.
* Doppelganger pile-up rating: Infinite. Ron Silver is a danger to every version of every Marvel Character in the entire Marvel Universe.
* Shattered Dimensions Index: 0. Surprising, but since it’s written by the same guy who wrote Timecop, it will be pathetically easy to follow.
See also Timecop.
7) Fiddleback To The Future
After an experiment by Dr. Emmet Connors goes horribly wrong – Dr. Connors is murdered by members of terrorist syndicate Mandarin after stealing their plutonium – Staten Island teenager and secret Spider-man Peter Parker is sent back to the 1970s. There, he accidentally prevents his aunt May and uncle Ben from meeting. In the new timeline, he’s never taught that ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ and will die in prison thanks to having killed several people in the ring during his ill-advised wrestling career. He has one week to fix that mistake and find a way back to his own time. Unfortunately, aunt May has fallen in love with him, Peter knows his uncle Ben will eventually be killed by a mugger, and he’s pissed off Biff The Hunter, the world’s first teenage bully/super villain/big game hunter. In the end, only a timely performance with Marvin DMC and the Starlighters can do the trick.
* Number of Timelines: 1. Back to the Future (but not BTTF 2) rules:changing the past erases the future.
* Doppelganger pile-up rating: 1. Young and old versions of characters exist but do not interact.
* Shattered Dimensions Index: 1.
See also Back To The Future.
The Stanhattan Experiment
In 1943, young Army Signal Corps private Stan Lee participates in an experiment during World War two that propels him into the future year of 2011. There, he spends weeks trying to find a way home until realizing how popular and successful his comics have become, and how gratifying the fanboy culture of the internet is by comparison to letters to the editor in the 30s and 40s. He teams up with his 88 year old self to ensure that he can coast on the legacy of his accomplishments from the 60s for another 50 years. That is, until Steve Ditko… from the future!… is brought back from the dead via the blood of Ayn Rand and becomes a compassion-free killing machine…
* Number of Timelines: 1. Young Stan Lee doesn’t want to change the past, only to skip all the boring parts.
* Doppelganger pile-up rating: 4. Young and old versions of Stan Lee multiply his ego 5,000 times.
* Shattered Dimensions Index: 4. Luckily, all plot elements will be reused story ideas from the 60s, sparing Stan of having to come up with anything new or let someone else take over.
9) A Norse God In King Arthur’s Court
In this thrilling take on the Mark Twain classic, Thor, god of thunder, has been evicted from his rightful place in Asgard. The wily Loki interferes with the process, and instead of sending him to live with modern man Odin accidentally sends Thor back to 6th century Britain. Now forced to survive without his powers in a world he already lived in, Thor is Incapable of actually teaching the ancients anything of value. Instead, he spends his days among King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table as a lowly serf, tending to local crops, dodging chamber pot ejecta, and generally learning why Medieval Times is only worth checking out during happy hour.
* Number of Timelines: 1. Thor is sent from the Medieval Asgard court to the Medieval British court.
* Doppelganger pile-up rating: 1. No time duplicates, no changed history, as thor learns a valuable lesson about how much time travel would suck for 99.9999% of everyone.
* Shattered Dimensions Index: 1. The least convoluted time travel story ever told. Nothing is changed except Thor’s attitude towards his servants.
Filmed on a paltry $7,000 budget, PrIronmer is mystifying and addictive, or at least you’ll be telling yourself that so your friends won’t think you’re stupid. Struggling engineer Tony Stark (Robert Downy, Jr.) accidentally creates a time machine while working on an anti-gravity device in his garage. At first attempting to exploit time travel for financial gain to fund his burgeoning Stark Industries, his alcoholism eventually gets the better of him. During a particularly bad blackout he accidentally creates 6 time travel duplicates, all with their own goals, each adversely affecting the normal course of history. Now he has to make sense of it and try to set things right, before he ends up erasing himself from existence.
* Number of Timelines: Infinity +1. The constant back and forth through the time machines creates potentially millions of possibilities. You’ll require DVD commentary and a physics lecture just to figure out the basic plot.
* Doppelganger pile-up rating: Infinity +4. The story has 6 main Tony Starks but the final scene, where Tony Stark #3 is building a giant version of his time machine in South America implies many, many more to come.
* Shattered Dimensions Index: Parity Achieved! PrIronmer is exactly as convoluted as Shattered Dimensions.
See also Primer.