Is The MCU Multiverse Structured Like A Honeycomb? Let's Play Fan Theory Detective

Being a Marvel movie fan these days can feel like a full-time job. Sometimes, following the labyrinthine plot of the Marvel Cinematic Universe requires a little extra homework to keep track of everything that's going on in multiple mediums, for better or worse. Look no further than all the various franchise installments that Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige expects you to have watched just to make sense of the premise of the upcoming "The Marvels," for instance. Other times, however, we tend to overcomplicate the canon ourselves by picking through every frame in our search for hidden clues, Easter eggs, and other nerdy nonsense to support our oftentimes hare-brained fan-theories. This, dear reader, is one of those latter instances.

After the long-running franchise's pivot towards diving deep into the multiverse in recent years, audiences have been given ample opportunity to come up with their own outside-the-box theories and connect the dots even further to figure out just what all this is building to post-"Avengers: Endgame." While Kang's appearance in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" certainly points towards another Thanos-level threat (although Jonathan Majors' current legal issues have thrown those plans into question), but the overall arc of Phase 4 and beyond has largely remained murky. So without anything else to go on, it shouldn't be a surprise to find out that fans have resorted to venturing down their own theory-laden rabbit holes.

Take this latest one that has gained some traction recently. According to some, the repeated usage of distinctive hexagonal shapes in various movies and shows hints at a possible framework for the multiverse itself: that it could potentially take the form of a honeycomb, with the Quantum Realm existing in the space between hexagons/universes. Is this just malarkey or worth taking into consideration? That's what we're here to find out.

Putting a hex on you

Full disclosure: Us grumps skeptics here at /Film don't typically put much stock in internet obsessions and pie-in-the-sky fan-theories — and for good reason. Need we remind anyone of the Mephisto shenanigans that kept coming up over and over again without ever really going anywhere? This wouldn't be the first time the internet has gone a little overboard in going full #It'sAllConnected with evidence that was never actually there in the first place, but we wouldn't be doing our jobs fully if we didn't at least do a little investigating ourselves before outright dismissing certain claims.

This latest fan-theory comes from (where else?) the fans at Reddit, which actually is more like the latest iteration of a long-standing belief among fans regarding the near-constant presence of hexagons. This version, however, takes a much more literal approach, suggesting that the entire structure of the multiverse follows a honeycomb-like pattern. Adjacent universes exist as pockets of hexagons, while the Quantum Realm — treated in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" as a sort of in-between setting linking the multiverse together — can be found in the walls adjoining each pocket.

Polygon once addressed a version of this theory, when the Disney+ series "WandaVision" was first airing and all but driving viewers mad with its mystery-box storytelling. Yet the recurring hexagonal motif stood apart, from the graphics used in the opening credits of Wanda Maximoff's (Elizabeth Olsen) make-believe sitcom series (see the image above) to the mysterious beekeeper imagery and even the very shape of the "anomaly" that swallowed up the town of Westview. We've seen this pop up in various other MCU media as well, like faster-than-light travel in several space-set movies or spells (and even locations) in "Doctor Strange."

Is there anything to this? Well, that depends...

Mad about the multiverse

With a franchise as sprawling and interconnected as the MCU, it can be easy to get so caught up in a fresh new theory that we forget whether it lines up with previously established canon. So let's approach this as logically as possible.

For one thing, the idea of a honeycomb structure to Marvel's multiverse would seem to contradict the idea of the Sacred Timeline as laid out in the Disney+ series "Loki." The Time Variance Authority spelled out the only visual we'd ever really need to help us keep track of the concept of the multiverse: a single branch where other timelines sprout from as a result of pesky divergences (known as "Nexus events"), which have grown to a point where they can no longer be pruned by the TVA. As a result of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie's (Sophia Di Martino) interference, the Sacred Timeline has gone haywire and now we're stuck with all the timeline-hopping and interdimensional chaos we've seen throughout the MCU. It's hard to imagine how both the branch imagery and the honeycomb theory could co-exist.

But more importantly, the real question everyone ought to be asking themselves is: So what? Even if this were true, the MCU wouldn't likely devote any meaningful screen time to our heroes reckoning with the idea of living in a (metaphorical?) honeycomb-like existence. Kang would still jump from multiverse to multiverse as he has before, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wanda would still use their powers to traverse into and out of various dimensions, and nothing of significance would really be affected at all.

Some extraneous bits of lore and world-building, as it turns out, work better as bullet points on the Marvel wiki page than as crucial aspects of movies or shows.