Marvel: What is a Nexus Being? – The Mary Sue

One of the things that makes Marvel so great is the cosmic scope of its stories. Sure, you’ve got Spidey fighting muggers and purse-snatchers on the streets of New York, but above his head, gods and interdimensional beings are battling for domination of the universe.
And one concept that’s come up again and again, in the world of Marvel comics, is the nexus being. What is a nexus being, though? Are there nexus beings in the MCU, or can you only find them in print? Here’s what you need to know!
We’re first introduced to the concept of nexus beings in What If…? #35 (1992), when Uatu the Watcher (yes, the guy with the oversized head in the What If…? animated series) explains that a nexus being is someone who can affect probability and alter the course of a timeline, thus, changing that timeline’s future in unpredictable ways. According to Uatu, there can only be one nexus being per universe, where they act as an anchor for their reality and a focal point of cosmic power. If any nexus being gets out of line, their actions can threaten the stability of the entire multiverse.
The idea of nexus beings comes up again in 1994’s Scarlet Witch #4, when Lore, a nexus being from another reality, crosses over into Earth-616 as part of her crusade to defeat the nexus beings in all other realities. Her target is Earth-616’s own nexus being: Wanda Maximoff.
Between What If…? and Scarlet Witch, we learn a few important things about nexus beings. First off, the identity of a nexus being isn’t necessarily the same in each reality, which is how both Wanda and Lore can be nexus beings in their respective universes. Secondly, nexus beings are powerful beings even aside from their ability to alter the flow of time. For example, Lore is a necromancer who controls the spirits of the nexus beings she’s killed, and Wanda can rewrite reality at will.
We see Wanda’s power at work in Avengers: Disassembled and its sequel, House of M. In this story arc, Wanda suffers unbearable trauma after a suppressed memory of her children, Billy and Tommy, resurfaces. Since Billy and Tommy don’t exist, Wanda tries to recreate them but ends up rewriting reality so that the Avengers die, Marvel’s heroes are all sucked into alternate lives, and most of Earth’s mutants disappear.
Wanda and Lore aren’t the only nexus beings we meet in the comics. Other nexus beings who have appeared over the years include Kang the Conqueror, Jean Grey, Odin, and Vision—all from different realities, of course.
Here’s one last interesting tidbit about nexus beings: according to Avengers Forever #8, any children that Wanda Maximoff has would grow up to be unimaginably powerful beings. We see this come to pass in Young Avengers, when Wanda’s reincarnated son, Billy, becomes the Demiurge, an incarnation of the omnipotent consciousness of the Earth.
That’s the rundown on nexus beings in the comics. But are they in the MCU, too?
The MCU never directly calls anyone a nexus being, but the concept does, sort of, make its way in.
WandaVision, the Disney Plus series in which Wanda creates a sitcom reality for herself and Vision, contains a series of commercials related to Wanda’s life. The final commercial advertises a medication called Nexus, which promises to make its user the center of their own reality.
Then we have Loki, in which Loki is captured by the Time Variance Authority so that he can help them catch an alternate version of him who’s been murdering their agents. In Loki, any deviation from the proper flow of time that results in a parallel reality is called a nexus event.
Finally, in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Wanda finds a shrine dedicated to her in Mount Wundagore, a temple created by the ancient god Chthon. Thanks to the events of WandaVision, we know that the Scarlet Witch is prophesied to destroy the world, and the shrine at Wundagore seems to confirm it. No one says the word “nexus” in Doctor Strange 2, but the movie does still align with the concept of nexus beings as powerful, dangerous, and unique.
Will we get any explicit references to nexus beings in the MCU? With Wanda already having come into her power, Kang on the verge of waging war, and the Avengers tasked with learning a hell of a lot about the multiverse before it all comes crashing down, it wouldn’t surprise me.
(featured image: Marvel)
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Julia Glassman (she/her) lives in Los Angeles, where she consumes massive amounts of Marvel movies, folk horror, and other geekery. Her writing has appeared in Joyland, Make/Shift, and other outlets.
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