It could be argued that Marvel uses the Multiverse theory now, it hasn't always done so. Largely because Marvel has an increasingly vested interest in keeping as many versions of it's various IPs out there as possible. I thought I mentioned that originally. There is a difference between how Bishop was originally conceived, defined, and handled, compared to where they went with it later. Especially when you look back at some of the comments made when guys like Kang have showed up from the future (he's not a moron, and the point is he's not splitting the timeline which is what made him so terrifying, but they use him increasingly less), not to mention very old Story Arcs where Spider Man hitched a ride on Doctor Doom's time machine. After all when Spidey returns to the present the last time and there is no more time travelling going on, he doesn't suddenly run into a second Spider Man. Granted there are a number of conceptually unlikely ways of dealing with that (like say every Spider Man sidestepping into another reality at that time so none of them ever meet each other) but that wasn't in the spirit of the story from what I remember. Ditto for the whole Bishop thing, where the whole point would have been rendered irrelevant if travelling back in time would have accomplished nothing (which is something Forge of all people likely would have known).Robyrt said:Marvel Comics still uses multiverse theory, they just flip the definition from the standard one that the article uses (popularized by Ray Bradbury, IIRC). Basically, in Marvel terms, the original timeline becomes a "parallel universe", and the new timeline is now the mainstream universe. This makes a lot more sense in a story where time travel is possible and effective, yet paradoxes are not created.Therumancer said:Well, the other theory is of course that by time travelling you step outside of time and thus can make whatever changes you want without actually causing a paradox. Basically the universe knows you existed, and caused an event that prevented your own existence or time travel, and thus you do exist, even if the timeline no longer accounts for your existence.
This is common in a lot of science fiction, and things like the X-men used it heavily in explaining how say Bishop could travel back in time, change the past to prevent a nightmare future, and not cause a paradox as a result. The same science that sent him back in time ensured that he was effectively outside of time, and thus it doesn't even matter if he prevents his own existence.... the universe STILL knows what happened. Of course Marvel has also defined itself temporally a lot of different ways over the years and seems to largely fall back on the "Multiverse" theory which is why guys like Doctor Doom, Kang The Conqueror (actually a future descendant of Doom if I remember) and others haven't pretty much wrecked creation.
The X-Men are, as usual, the best example. Rachel, Bishop and Nimrod are all from the "Days of Future Past" universe, which continued to exist after Kitty went back in time and prevented it from happening in the main timeline. Nimrod is a Predestination Paradox (the tech from past-Nimrod is used to design future-Nimrod), while Bishop is a Grandfather Paradox (the reason he went back in time is no longer valid thanks to his own actions) and Rachel is not really a paradox at all. (She time traveled specifically to escape her own timeline, and now affects only the main timeline.)
But yes, other odd Paradoxs do show up, and stories about Cable fighting Apocolypse, heavily exploit that possibility. Way back during "Contest Of Champions 2" they even had a weird match up between Cable and The Scarlet Witch which was never resolved. The Scarlet Witch fundamentally changes probabilities, while Cable travels/bodyslides through time and space to use foreknowledge to counter problems he's encountered in the past (well in his most over the top portrayals). The "match" as far as it went involved Wanda hexing, and Cable entering flux (shadows of multiple versions of him there as he ran through possibilities of beating her) as they started countering each other continually before it was interrupted. While I suppose one could argue billions of alternate realities were created right there (billions is nothing when your dealing with the infinite) I'm not buying that within the spirit of the entire thing, even when one argues the Cable is fighting Apocolypse across multiple realities at any given time.