Time Travel is the concept of traveling either backwards or forwards in time from the present date.
Time Travel Sources
The Time Stone has shown to have the ability to rewind time in a given area seeing time unfold. The wielder of the time stone can choose to be unaffected by the manipulation of time from the Time Stone. Sorcerers such as Doctor Strange can cast spells to make others unaffected by a reversal of time, as he did to Wong at the Battle at the Hong Kong Sanctum. Some sorcerers can have their minds unaffected by the time reversal, and eventually build up the willpower to break free from the spell, as Kaecilius and his followers did, likely due to the power given to them from the Dark Dimension.
Time loops can also be cast. The participants' body will be reset, even if one is killed. Their consciousnesses however will continue on until the loop is ended. In 2018, this was used by Strange on Titan to see how many possibilities there were that they would win the Infinity War. Later in Wakanda, Thanos used the Time Stone to reverse time to restore Vision to obtain the Mind Stone.
The Time Di'Alla was an artifact which could be used to send a group of people across time. Having been warned by the Inhuman Robin Hinton that a cataclysmic event threatened humanity, the Chronicom Enoch sent a group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents into year 2091 with the Time Di'Alla, leaving only Leo Fitz behind, so that they would find a way to avert the catastrophe.
During their stay in the future, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents recovered a shard of the Time Di'Alla kept by the True Believers in the remnants of Zephyr One, as well as a machine connected to the shard which they were supposed to use to return to their time. They thus tasked the Inhuman Flint, whose powers were based on geokinesis, to rebuild a Time Di'Alla using the shard they had reclaimed, and then activated both the Time Di'Alla and the machine, thanks to Enoch and Deke Shaw, to return to their time. Although it was not planned, Shaw was also sent into the past to him due to being hit by a fragment of the Time Di'Alla.
What remained of the Time Di'Alla after this time travel was destroyed by Melinda May in the aftermath of the Battle of Chicago, thus rendering other time travels through this Time Di'Alla impossible. The Time Di'Alla was briefly rebuilt by Izel using Flint's powers to open a portal to the Fear Dimension, but this new Monolith was lost when the Temple of the Forgotten was destroyed by the Chronicom Hunters.
Utilizing a fragment of the Time Di'Alla sampled by Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons prior to the destruction of the Temple of the Forgotten, Fitz and Simmons went back to a distant galaxy where they spent four years trying to build a time machine modifying Zephyr One's Phase Harmonic Teleportation Device to be able to travel in time.
In 2023, FitzSimmons finished the construction of the Time Drive and traveled back to 2019. As a part of a causal loop within the timeline, FitzSimmons were assisted by the S.H.I.E.L.D. team that had returned from the alternate timeline they were about to create by traveling to 1931. With the help of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that returned from the alternate timeline, Jemma Simmons and Enoch rescued the S.H.I.E.L.D. team from the Temple of the Forgotten.
With the Zephyr and the Time Drive, Simmons was able to bring herself, Daisy Johnson, Alphonso Mackenzie, Deke Shaw, Melinda May, Yo-Yo Rodriguez and Enoch to 1931 to stop the Chronicoms from erasing S.H.I.E.L.D. from history. Unknown to them, upon arriving in the past, the timeline branched off into an alternate timeline. During their battle with the Chronicoms, the agents fought to preserve the history they knew in the timeline they had created, managing to keep events mostly on track in 1931 and 1955. However, due to Luke's decision to stay in the past and keep Wilfred Malick alive, the history of this new timeline became vastly different from the one the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. knew. Using the Time Drive, S.H.I.E.L.D. traveled forward in time trying to prevent further changes, arriving in 1973, 1976, 1982 and 1983.
When they returned to the main timeline, they realized their past selves were currently fighting Izel at the Temple, and that FitzSimmons had already used Zephyr One to travel back in time from 2023 to 2019, as a part of the causal loop. To ensure that they would be able to go to the past, S.H.I.E.L.D. helped the scientist to ensure the agents' arrival to 1931. While the past version of S.H.I.E.L.D. completed the loop by journeying to 1931, Alphonso Mackenzie led the agents to fight the Chronicoms, defeating them and avoiding their colonization of Earth.
The Time Stream is a tool used by the Chronicoms to read the branches of the Multiverse allowing them to see the future of timelines. Knowing the Chronicoms were going to time travel, Enoch stole a copy of the Time Stream and gave it to Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, who used it to see countless possibilities of how they could defeat the Chronicoms.
When the Chronicoms arrived in an alternate 1931, their predictor Sibyl used the Time Stream to try and prevent S.H.I.E.L.D. from forming in this timeline by changing specific events that would cause S.H.I.E.L.D. to cease to exist. However, as S.H.I.E.L.D. had followed them to this timeline, the Chronicoms, who had been making minor changes, decided to alter the intended history of the timeline. Sibyl then made a partnership with Nathaniel Malick lending him the Time Stream so he could use it to help in their battle against S.H.I.E.L.D.
Using a theory based on interactions between gravity, light and time, Victor Stein created a time machine which was supposed to be able to receive messages from the future. Victor tested the time machine with his son Chase, and although he deemed it not functional, the machine did display pictures of the destruction of Los Angeles, which could have occurred because of PRIDE's activities. However, no one saw this alarming message.
Victor later received another message from the time machine, in which he saw a future version of Chase trying to warn him and instructing him not to pick up the Fistigons, in order to prevent Victor from being shot by his wife Janet to protect Chase. However, Victor failed to heed this advice and later attacked Chase with the Fistigons. Later, the time machine once again displayed the same message, and Victor expressed joy at it, taking this as evidence that Chase would survive whatever events involving Jonah were coming.
During a battle between the Runaways and Morgan le Fay, Gert Yorkes died from the injury inflicted to her by the enchantress. Chase Stein, who had been deeply in love with Yorkes, thus spent the next years engineering a portable time machine he wanted to use to return into the past and prevent Yorkes' death. It took Stein a decade to complete the time machine, with help from Alex Wilder and the knowledge contained in the Abstract. However, due to Wilder having gone rogue and deciding to murder all the Runaways in the past, Stein was forced to chase him into 2021 before going to save Yorkes.
In 2021, this version of Stein met with the other Runaways, except his past self who he needed to leave alone in order not to alter things further. He gave them all time machines, enabling them to chase Wilder further into the past (2017). Once they captured him, the 2021 Wilder was instructed to return to his timeline, while the rest of the group jumped to 2018; during the battle at the Hostel. Thanks to Stein convincing Yorkes to take her place against le Fay, Yorkes' death was averted. Instead, Future Stein died after defeating le Fay. Due to the effects of time travel, the versions of Wilder, Karolina Dean, Nico Minoru and Molly Hernandez who had time traveled disappeared.
By 2023, Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons built a Quantum Tunnel, giving them access to the Quantum Realm. After the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. found themselves stuck in an alternate timeline and unable to return to their original timeline, Fitz used the Quantum Realm to travel between timelines, arriving in the alternate one where his friends were. They then flew Zephyr One through the Quantum Realm, and returned back to the main timeline's 2019.
In 2023, Scott Lang informed the Avengers that time worked differently in the Quantum Realm and that if they could navigate it, they could travel to a time in the past. With the help of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, who realized that they could not change their timeline's past and would actually be creating alternate timelines, the Avengers decided to initiate a Time Heist, where they would use the Quantum Realm to obtain the Infinity Stones from alternate timelines, bring them to their timeline, and resurrect half the universe's population.
With a Quantum Tunnel, Advanced Tech Suits and Time-Space GPS', the Avengers traveled to an alternate 2012, alternate 2013, and alternate 2014 in order to obtain the stones. Following an unplanned trip to an alternate 1970, the Avengers used the Quantum Realm to return to their timeline. However, an alternate Thanos became aware of their presence, and with the help of his timeline's Nebula, used the Quantum Realm to the main timeline.
Later, Steve Rogers went back to the timelines the team had created to return the Infinity Stones so that these timelines' futures would not be significantly affected by the Stones' absence. After returning the stones, Rogers used the Quantum Realm to create an alternate 1940s timeline in order to live with Peggy Carter. After living a life in this timeline, he used the Quantum Realm one last time as an old man to return to the main timeline.
The TemPad is a device created in the 31st century by a variant of He Who Remains, which allowed him to create Timedoors, allowing one to travel not only to any point in time, but to alternate timelines as well. After He Who Remains founded the Time Variance Authority, the TVA agents were equipped with TemPads so that they could generate Timedoors and travel through time, detaining Variants and pruning alternate timelines as He Who Remains saw fit.
73 years after the destruction of planet Earth, Deke Shaw claimed that Quake was the one who caused it. When she replied that she was not strong enough to cause such a disaster, Shaw explained a quantum physics theory that for every universe there are infinite parallel universes, implying that she came from the past into the future of an alternate universe and not her own. When the S.H.I.E.L.D. team returned to the past they prevented the destruction of Earth, which they eventually learned was caused by the Gravitonium-infused and mentally unstable Glenn Talbot, altering the original chain of events and creating a different timeline.
Jonah's Successful Escape
In a parallel reality where Jonah successfully escaped from Earth as planned and caused Los Angeles to get destroyed in a massive earthquake, Chase Stein would later record a message begging his father to not use the Fistigons as that would lead to the events that allowed Jonah to escape. Chase's message would be later be received in 2017 by his father's time machine, while this temporal intervention did not cause a divergence in the timeline, the Battle at the PRIDE Construction Site had a different aftermath that avoided Jonah's escape from coming to pass in another reality.
Gert Yorkes' Absence
In a parallel reality, by the year 2021 the rest of Runaways team members took different paths after the death of Gert Yorkes. Nico Minoru left the group out of guilt that she had not done enough to help her friends. Molly Hernandez returned studying in Atlas Academy where she became the head of the dance squad. Karolina Dean went to college and met Julie, who she started dating and living with. Alex Wilder founded Wilder Innovators, and also helped Chase Stein use the knowledge in the Abstract to build a time machine he wanted to use to return into the past and prevent Yorkes' death. In said year, the team is reunited by Nico Minoru to commemorate Gert Yorkes in the third year anniversary of her death. However, things would turn out to be problematic as one member of the team would later try to kill Alex Wilder and Chase would have an attempt on his life by Victor Mancha. By 2028, Chase Stein would successfully create a time machine in order to go back in time and save Gert Yorkes, however, he also had to stop Alex Wilder who went rogue and time traveled to kill the Runaways members in 2021 altering the course of history.
Chase of Alex Wilder
In an alternate 2021 instead of being reunited by Nico Minoru, the members of the Runaways were forced to get together after a 2028 Alex Wilder traveled back to the past to kill them. Chase Stein stopped him and saved the Runaways members. However, 2028 Alex escaped and traveled to 2017 in order to kill them, so the team went in pursue.
Following a brief skirmish in 2017, the Runaways were able to stop 2028 Wilder. In order to save Yorkes, 2028 Stein revealed to the team the real reason he created the time machine so Nico Minoru, Karolina Dean and Molly Hernandez agreed to help him in his task to avoid Yorkes' death at the hands of Morgan le Fay. The group returned at the time of the battle at the Hostel, during which Stein took Yorkes' place and thus died instead of her. Due to Yorkes' surviving the battle, the whole alternate timeline which had resulted from her death is avoided in this new reality, and the versions of the Runaways who had built their new lives after Yorkes' death disappeared from the timeline they had jumped into.
During the war against the Chronicoms, S.H.I.E.L.D. used the Time Di'Alla properties to travel backwards in time to 1931. The changes to the timeline created an alternate reality. In this new brand day, the agents traveled forward in time trying to preserve the history of their original universe in this new one. However, these actions just caused this new timeline to be completely different, as Daniel Sousa was saved and did not die like in the original timeline, Wilfred and Nathaniel Malick lived longer than their original versions, Project Insight was made in the 70s and not in 2014, Kora's death was averted, Jiaying was killed by Malick before giving birth to Daisy Johnson and S.H.I.E.L.D. was completely destroyed. The agents failed from preserving history, and also were unable to return to the original timeline by using the Zephyr One. Using the Quantum Realm, and with the help of Leo Fitz, S.H.I.E.L.D. abandoned the new timeline they had created traveling to the original one, taking the Chronicoms with them so they can defeat them. Deke Shaw decided to stay in the past to rebuild and guide S.H.I.E.L.D.
When the Avengers utilized the properties of the Quantum Realm, following Ant-Man's advice, and created the Quantum Tunnel that allowed them to collect the Infinity Stones years before Thanos and the Snap, they initiated a Time Heist, which involved them traveling to the past and amassing all six Infinity Stones.
Hulk, Ant-Man, Iron Man and Captain America were sent back to the Battle of New York in 2012, where Hulk was sent to the New York Sanctum to request the Time Stone. The Ancient One refused, however, explaining that she could not give him the Infinity Stone so Banner could repair a situation in his timeline and subsequently leave hers undefended without the stone, although Hulk promised that he would return the stone to her at the exact moment it was taken.
After the Battle of Earth, Captain America returns the stones to whence they were taken so as to clip potential branches that would be caused by the removal of the Infinity Stones. However, despite the Avengers' success in returning the Stones to their respective timelines, their travel to the past resulted in the creation of several alternate timelines.
Loki's Sudden Escape
Iron Man and Ant-Man, tasked with obtaining the Space Stone that was still contained within the Tesseract, waited for their moment as Loki, who had just been defeated following the Battle of New York, was being escorted by Thor and the 2012 Stark out of the Stark Tower with the case containing the Tesseract. During the argument between them and Alexander Pierce regarding the custody of both Loki and the cube, 2023 Stark had Ant-Man shut off 2012 Stark's Arc Reactor to give him a cardiac arrest as a distraction. This allowed 2023 Stark to covertly snag the briefcase containing the Tesseract, but just before Stark could depart, the 2012 Hulk crashed open a wall, sending both Stark and the Tesseract flying. Loki used this distraction to steal the Space Stone and escape captivity by opening a wormhole, fleeing through it with the Tesseract, and ruining Lang and Stark's mission.
Theft of the Reality Stone
Thor and Rocket Raccoon had a brief skirmish in Asgard in order to obtain the Reality Stone from Asgard during 2013. However, Thor had a panic attack after seeing his mother Frigga, realizing that they had time-traveled to the day she dies during the Sacking of Asgard. Thor escaped to see Frigga, leaving Rocket alone, who then proceeded to ambush Jane Foster and extract the Aether from her. Thor was later reassured by his mother to find his own path. Once he got reunited with Rocket Raccoon, and after he summoned the Mjølnir to see if he was still worthy, both Avengers member returned to their reality in 2023. These actions caused the creation of an alternate 2013 timeline.
During Nebula and War Machine's mission to retrieve the Power Stone from Morag in 2014, the unanticipated linking of the 2023 Nebula's synaptic drive with her 2014 counterpart's, causing an overload with led the 2014 Thanos to have Ebony Maw examine her. Discovering that Nebula's synaptic drive had become entangled with a version of herself from nine years into the future, the subsequent scanning of the 2023 Nebula's memory files revealed to Thanos that his mission to eliminate half of all life would eventually succeed, though after his future counterpart's death, the Avengers would eventually come up with a plan to undo his work.
Thanos thus realized that his plan was wrong since the survivors would never be able to stop remembering the victims, which would prevent them from thriving and always resist what he had done for them. Deciding to take advantage of the Avengers' plans to collect the Stones in the future, Thanos had the 2023 Nebula captured on Morag and had her 2014 counterpart take her place in returning to the future, leading to 2014 Nebula hijacking the Quantum Tunnel and allowing Thanos to travel to 2023 with his army with the intention of using the gathered Infinity Stones to destroy the entire universe and create a new one in its place.
In doing so, the Avengers created an alternate timeline, a branched universe where Thanos and his forces disappeared from existence in 2014.
Visit at Camp Lehigh
Having failed in alternate 2012, Captain America and Iron Man time-traveled to 1970 in order to secure the Space Stone while also obtaining Pym Particles that would allow them to navigate the Quantum Realm and return to their present in 2023. During their brief presence in 1970, Stark interacted with an alternate Howard Stark, realizing that he indeed loved him, understanding all his father had to struggle while raising him. The actions of the Avengers in 1970 created a new alternate timeline.
Steve Rogers' Choice
After successfully returning the Infinity Stones and Mjølnir back to their respective timelines, Steve Rogers decided to follow Tony Stark's advice for him to get a normal life, which Stark had suggested before his death. Rogers traveled back to the 1949 in order to live out the rest of his life with Peggy Carter, instead of returning to 2023 as planned, thus creating an alternate timeline.
Upon being reunited with Carter, he finally gave her the dance he had promised her, and the two eventually got married. After his marriage, Rogers retired from his "Captain America" moniker, but would continue to help out when he was needed in his new timeline.
Saving Christine Palmer
To be added
- Time Variance Authority
- Sylvie Laufeydottir
- Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange
- Enoch †
- Alya Fitz
- Sibyl †
- Chronicom Hunters
From 2012 of the Time Heist
From 2091 of Destruction of Earth
From history altered by the Chronicoms
From 2014 of the Time Heist
Behind the Scenes
- Joe and Anthony Russo went to great lengths to make the audience understand that time travel does not work in the events of Avengers: Endgame as it does in Back to the Future, which has informed many people's understanding of the mechanics of time travel. Clifford V. Johnson and Sean M. Carroll served as consultants on the film to create a version of time travel that was true to real-life theoretical physics.
- Doctor Strange
- Avengers: Infinity War
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