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Are There Two Wolverines and Invisible Women Running Around Somewhere?

This is "How Can I Explain?", which is a feature spotlighting inexplicable comic book plots.

A few weeks back, I wrote about how Heroes Reborn ended up with an extra She-Hulk in the Marvel Universe that no one has ever explained. We just sort of have to assume that she disappeared or merged with her other self or something like that. Something off panel to explain why she no longer exists. Reader Juan S. wrote in to say that he thinks that a similar thing happened in Age of Ultron and I believe that he is likely correct.

I think.

Time travel is confusing, especially since time travel rarely seems to follow the same rules each time.

But in the context of how time travel is explained in Age of Ultron, it really seems like the story ended up with two Wolverines and two Invisible Women running around the Marvel Universe.

Here's what happened. The whole thing started when Ultron, in the future, went back in time to the then-recent Marvel past (specifically an issue of Brian Michael Bendis' Avengers) and altered the past so that Ultron defeated the Avengers on that day and then slowly conquered the world. So therefore, what WAS the "present" day Marvel Universe was suddenly altered to a new reality where Ultron was in charge and lots of folks were dead. In the normal continuity, the Fantastic Four were on a trip lost in time and space, but in the altered continuity, they were called back to Earth and they were present on Earth in the present. In reality, it was just a matter of Brian Michael Bendis and Bryan Hitch initially doing the story so that it was going to come out earlier, when the Fantastic Four WERE on Earth, but whatever, that's neither here nor there.

So the heroes are all sad and dejected at how awful life is under Ultron's rule. They visit Nick Fury, who is holed up in a special bunker. Fury has a plan. He also knows that Ultron is attacking via time travel from the future. So he plans on putting together an assault team that will fight Ultron in the future. It won't fix the present, but at least it will keep Ultron from killing any more people.

He takes off with Captain America, Iron Man, Storm, Red Hulk and a few of the other most powerful heroes, using one of Doctor Doom's time machines...

Wolverine, though, wants someone to then use the time machine to send him BACK in time to before Hank Pym created Ultron and Wolverine will kill him to end this. The other heroes are, like, no way, dude, and he's all, "I'm not asking."

He probably also said bub off panel.

So the next issue, Wolverine travels back in time and the Invisible Woman sneaks along to try to keep him from killing Hank.

Wolverine tracks down the Hank of the past, right before he invents Ultron,and starts to try to kill him...

Invisible Woman steps in to stop the fight, but as we intercut with the battle of the future (which is going poorly), she decides to let Wolverine do it...

Now, as they say, things get complicated...

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