Every new MCU movie brings something new to the table, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness wasn’t different. In the movie, a concept called incursion was introduced to the MCU as something that everyone in the multiverse should care about because of how dangerous it could be. Of course, the same concept was hinted to be something important in the future of Doctor Strange, as seen in the post-credit scene. But what are incursions in the MCU?
An incursion is something that happens when the boundaries between two universes erode and eventually cause the two universes to collide, combine, and destroy one another. The reason why it is important is that an incursion could very well be a threat to the MCU in the future.
As of now, it is unclear what Phase Four of the MCU is all about, as we are still exploring the greater multiverse. However, considering that incursions were introduced in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and that Strange himself is on his way to prevent one, there is a chance that an incursion is going to be one of the most important concepts in the MCU in the future.
What Are Incursions In The MCU?
One of the staples of the MCU is that more and more new concepts are introduced in the new movies. This was what happened in the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness when the concept of the multiverse was explored more than it has ever been talked about in the other Marvel movies in the past.
A concept that was talked about briefly but could become quite important in the future of the MCU is something called an incursion. This concept was explored during the events involving Doctor Strange and the Illuminati when he and America Chavez traveled to universe-838 and were apprehended by Mordo.
In that scene, the members of the Illuminati were introduced as they were looking at Doctor Strange as someone that could perhaps bring danger to their universe not because of the Scarlet Witch but because of something that was more dangerous. And this was the “truth” that Professor X told the members of the Illuminati to tell Doctor Strange.
The universe-838 version of Doctor Strange was previously revealed to have died as a hero during the battle against Thanos, as he was revered as the man who gave his life to defeat the Mad Titan. But that was far from the truth.
In fact, the Illuminati revealed that the 838 version of Strange wasn’t a hero but was someone who caused the destruction of universes. He used the Darkhold to dreamwalk to other universes so that he could find a way to defeat Thanos. However, he got corrupted by the Darkhold and continued to dreamwalk to the detriment of other universes. This caused an incursion. But what exactly is an incursion?
Unlike universe-616, universe-838 seems to be more knowledgeable about the multiverse as they have people who are dedicated to the study of the different universes. In fact, 838 Christine Palmer specialized in the study of the multiverse. Meanwhile, Reed Richards, the smartest man in the world, was also just as knowledgeable about the multiverse.
It was the universe-838 version of Reed Richards who explained what an incursion is. An incursion is basically something that occurs when the boundary between two different universes starts to erode such that the two universes combine with one another and will eventually destroy each other after colliding. This happens when someone from a different universe stays too long in a universe that isn’t their own.
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the 838 version of Doctor Strange caused an incursion that destroyed universes and killed trillions. Because of his crimes against the multiverse, the Illuminati decided to execute him as they believed that he was too dangerous to be kept alive. After that, they fabricated the story about him sacrificing his life to defeat Thanos because they didn’t want the people to think that one of their heroes caused the destruction of multiple universes.
Why Are Incursions Important?
During the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the concept of the incursion wasn’t really important in the sense that it didn’t play a role in the narrative of the movie. The concept was only mentioned and explained briefly during the middle and the ending portions of the movie, but it never really affected the entire conflict between Doctor Strange and Wanda Maximoff. So, why are incursions important?
While it is yet to be clear what the direction of Phase Four of the MCU is, there are hints that the direction will explore the multiverse as both Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness focus on the multiverse. And considering that incursions happen when the boundaries between universes begin to thin out, that is where it becomes interesting.
During the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it was clear that Doctor Strange traveled and dreamwalked in different universes and that Wanda dreamwalked from 616 to 838 while affecting the futures of the different universes they meddled with. We didn’t see the consequences of their actions until the post-credit scene of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
In that post-credit scene, Clea the Sorceress approached Doctor Strange and told him that he had caused an incursion. She also invited him to help her prevent the incursion from happening, as this event is a hint of the possible future of the Doctor Strange movie series. That is where the importance of incursions comes in.
It could be possible that the future problems of the MCU will stem from incursions, which are dangerous enough to destroy multiple universes at the same time or cause universes to combine and eventually destroy one another due to the collision. Of course, the ending of the movie suggests that Strange’s next adventure is to stop an incursion from happening, considering that it was his actions that caused it.
There is a possibility that his actions in universe-838 or in the sinister universe caused an incursion between those universes and universe-616. The possible threat of an incursion was the very reason why the Illuminati tried to put 616 Strange on trial, as they believed that his presence in that universe could threaten the safety of the people of 838.
What we are talking about here is purely speculative in nature, but we are not dismissing the possibility of an incursion being the next big event in the MCU, especially when Disney had just acquired the rights to the X-Men, which belong to a different Marvel universe.
There is a good possibility that the incursion can also bring about the rise of the X-Men or the mutants in universe-616 because of the very nature of what an incursion is. As mentioned, incursions allow two universes to combine before the collision eventually destroys them. In that regard, there is a point where the universes are one and the same before their destruction.
That is where the mutant theory may come in as universe-616 may end up combining with universe-838 or whichever universe the X-Men belong to. And before the universes destroy one another, Strange and the other superheroes might find a way to stop them from completely destroying each other.
Again, these are all speculative in nature as we are yet to see where Phase Four is headed to. Then again, our theories are quite possible, given the fact that the multiverse has opened a myriad of possibilities that may or may not happen in the future of the MCU.