WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, in theaters now.
The fallout from Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame continues to reverberate throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even after the defeat of Thanos and his mighty army. The latest trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home has Nick Fury recruit Peter Parker in his efforts to rein in extradimensional threats from an alternate Earth endangering the planet. As Spider-Man teams up with the Mysterio from another world, Fury explains that the barrier between dimensions had been damaged by the repeated reality-altering use of the Infinity Gauntlet.
Such an omnipotent device being used so recklessly was certain to have consequences for the MCU's spacetime continuum, but the Infinity Gauntlet may not be the only cause of the dimensional rifts. With extensive time travel figuring prominently into Endgame and causing divergent timelines, one of the biggest dangling plot threads from the film is an even more likely reason for the weakened Marvel Cinematic Multiverse -- the 2012 version of Loki still very much in possession of the Tesseract.
One of the key moments of MCU history the surviving heroes in Endgame visit to recover the Infinity Stones is the Battle of New York, as seen in 2012's The Avengers. While attempting to intercept that timeline's version of Tony Stark and Thor escorting Loki and the Tesseract out of the future Avengers Tower, the Tony of the future and Ant-Man are thwarted by that timeline's Hulk, enraged that he was forced to take the stairs instead of riding down to the lobby with the others in the elevator. In the ensuing chaos, the captive Loki managed to get his hands on the Tesseract and use to it teleport away to parts unknown.
The Tesseract and Space Stone that it houses have been shown to give its users the ability to teleport through the very fabric of space, including, presumably, extradimensional travel. Now with the Tesseract in his possession, Loki has no need for the Asgardian Bifrost or Heimdall's dark energies to travel across the cosmos. He can use the Tesseract to teleport across the Marvel Multiverse at will.
With the spacetime continuum already fragile from the repeated use of the Infinity Gauntlet and the Avengers' use of time travel, Loki's continued use of the Tesseract could similarly cause tears in the dimension, allowing threats like the Elementals to enter into the main timeline of the MCU. It may also inform the future of the character.
It has been confirmed for some time that Tom Hiddleston will be reprising his role as Loki in a Marvel Studios-produced miniseries on Disney+. It has since been reported that the miniseries will follow Loki as he subtly shapes the course of human history through time. It was widely assumed this premise would serve as a workaround for Loki's death in Infinity War, taking advantage of the character's millennia-long lifespan to tell stories throughout history.
Instead, with a device allowing him to move through space, the Disney+ series could serve as a continuation rather than a prequel as Loki travels to alternate dimensions, each a different point in human history, leaving his own unmistakably mischievous mark... and an extradimensional rift in his wake.
Avengers: Endgame concluded with most of the founding members of the Avengers out of commission in various states, be it Black Widow and Iron Man dying, Thor leaving to join the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Hulk losing the use of his right arm or Captain America returning visibly aged, leaving the mantle and shield to Falcon. With its heaviest hitters off the board, the multidimensional clean-up is left to the MCU's new generation of superheroes, including Spider-Man in his upcoming solo film.
While Fury may attribute the surge in extradimensional threats to the Infinity Gauntlet, the real culprit may be one of the oldest antagonists in the MCU: Loki, Prince of Asgard, alive and armed with the Tesseract. After all, what better trick could the Norse God of Mischief pull than unleashing otherworldly threats on Earth while he's off gallivanting across time and space?
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos. The film is in theaters now.