10 Things Only Comic Book Fans Know About The Marvel Multiverse



MCU Fans Learned About Marvel’s Multiverse Recently Loki and What if…? series on Disney+, before Spider-Man: No Way Home brought these themes to the big screen. With Multiverse of Madnesssequel to 2016 strange doctor, On the horizon, we can expect the MCU’s Phase Four and beyond movie and TV slate to expand on this vast and often convoluted concept.

RELATED: 10 Best Multiversal Variants Of Classic Marvel Heroes

Longtime readers of the comics are likely already comfortable with the existence of the Marvel Multiverse. Established over 50 years ago, Marvel’s comic book multiverse has come to include a whole pantheon of alternate worlds, as well as contributing to the origin stories of some of the publisher’s best-known characters. .


Publication origins

The first published stories, establishing the first new worlds that would become Marvel’s official alternate realities, were introduced in the Marvel UK. Captain Brittany comics of the 1970s. Creators Alan Davis and Alan Moore, credited as the original architects of the Marvel Multiverse, have since each earned a reputation as some of the most prolific in the industry.

With the introduction of the Captain Britain Corps spanning the alternate reality during these stories, each infinitely divergent branch of Marvel’s multiversal tree was revealed to harbor its own unique interpretations of classic heroes, villains, and historical events. the editor. These early forays into the burgeoning multiverse also established the numbering system still used today, which referred to the “Prime” Marvel Universe, where the majority of their comic book stories continue to take place, such as “Earth 616”. .

Naming methods

Many methods have been used by Marvel writers and editors when assigning numerical labels to the worlds of the Marvel Multiverse. Many of these alternate realities have been officially labeled by volumes of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universewhich, updated and republished infrequently since the 1980s, serves as Marvel’s internal encyclopedia and continuity clerk.

Unconfirmed speculation has attached Marvel’s “Earth-616” designation to the release date of The Fantastic Four #1 in 1961; the comic book that ushered in the modern Marvel Universe. Consequently, other newly established worlds have used numerical interpretations of their real-world start dates to establish their designations, such as Earth-295, the “Age of Apocalypse” reality that was first printed in February. 1995. Yet other methods have also been regularly used, such as the birthdates of significant creators, or, in one case, when the world of Silver Surfer The anime series was designated Earth-936652, which spells out the hero Zenn-La’s homeworld when using a touch-tone phone.

Universal constants

Miles Morales is pulled through the Spider-Verse by a mysterious web in Spider-Verse Spider-Zero

While many of the alternate universes that make up Marvel’s Multiverse are vastly different from one another, there are a handful of characters and roles that are unavoidable constants; always existing in some form in every reality. The title “Sorcerer Supreme”, most often held by Doctor Strange on Earth-616, represents the most powerful magic user in all reality, and each is at least partially responsible for helping to maintain the balance of its world among the largest collection of worlds. .

RELATED: Marvel Comics’ 10 Most Powerful Doctor Strange Variants

Additionally, each divergent reality is also home to a version of Captain Britain, who collectively constitute an endless army of pan-universal protectors of the British Isles. Most recently, 2014 spider worms A comic book event has revealed that there is at least one spider-powered avatar from the multiversal “Web of Life” also existing in each of Marvel’s alternate universes.

Differing timelines

Since adopting their take on the multiverse, Marvel Comics has introduced some pretty weird alternate realities, such as Earth-8311, a world inhabited by anthropomorphic cartoon animals, and Peter Porker’s home, the Spectacular Spider-Ham.

More often than not though, the worlds beyond the first Marvel Universe are the result of key timeline events that play out differently and snowball into a completely unknown new status quo. Some notable examples of this are Earth-811, in which the X-Men failed to stop the assassination of US presidential candidate Robert Kelly, resulting in a dystopian future ruled by mutant-hunting Sentinel robots; or Earth-3145, where Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben was the recipient of the iconic radioactive spider bite, avoiding the fate of his traditional counterpart and becoming the world’s version of Spider-Man.

Pocket size

Marvel’s Infinite Alternate Worlds are often shattered mirrors of each other, with variant versions of the same classic characters and landmarks existing in each. However, within these worlds, and sometimes shared between them, are “pocket universes”, containing beings and places completely foreign to the larger multiverse.

Some of these realms overlap and can be accessed from any given alternate Earth, such as the TV-addicted Mojoverse, or the Microverse and Quantum subatomic realms. Others are rather “parasitic” dimensions, attached and only accessible from the specific world from which they originate. Examples of the latter category include “The Hill”, a pocket dimension tied to Earth-616 in which many survivors of the “Morlock Massacre” found refuge, and “Counter Earth”, an imperfect replica of Earth-616 created by the nearly omnipotent Franklin Richards, where the Avengers and the Fantastic Four met after the huge Assault crossover event.

External realities

Beyond the interlocking structure of Marvel’s multiversal tapestry, there are several external realities, unrelated to any specific alternate world. The Hell Limbo dimension, inhabited by legions of demons and monsters, is one such reality.

RELATED: 10 Things About The Marvel Multiverse That Make No Sense

Marvel Continuity Captain Brittany The comics, from the 1970s, introduced Avalon, a mystical world between dimensions that serves as the home of the multiversal Captain Britain Corps, and contains a literal hall of infinite gates allowing entry to Marvel’s various alternate worlds. From 2005, the Marvel comic Exiles introduced the “Panoptichron”, a beyond-dimensional nexus from which all of the interconnected worlds comprising the multiverse could be observed and accessed.

Dedicated series and events

The first Marvel Universe, Earth-616, contains a continuous narrative encompassing stories beginning in 1939 and comprising the majority of Marvel comics published today. Along the way, however, many comic series and crossover events have been dedicated specifically to exploring other corners of their multiverse.

Marvel’s Most Outstanding Multiverse Series Is The Comics What if…? which began publication in February 1977 and was recently adapted into the MCU’s first animated series. The comic is narrated by the enigmatic Watcher, who introduces readers to a new universe of variants in each issue. Other series dedicated to exploring Marvel’s multiverse include Exiles, which depicts a team of heroes from across the multiverse who travel from world to world to “fix” shattered realities; and 2015 Secret Wars miniseries, which saw the entire multiverse temporarily condensed into a single world ruled by the villainous Doctor Doom.

Survivors and Refugees

Miles Morales gives Spider-Gwen a rose

Although Marvel’s most well-known characters tend to reside in their main comic book universe, Earth-616, decades of stories and dozens of alternate worlds have inevitably led to the growing popularity of characters beyond their traditional universe. These characters are often brought to the world of Earth-616, either as visitors who have become residents of the entire multiverse or, in some cases, as survivors of worlds that have been destroyed.

Comic book fans know that Miles Morales, the arachnid-powered protege of the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker, was originally introduced in the pages of Marvel’s “Ultimate Universe” Earth-1610 before being folded back to Earth-616 after destruction. and the recreation of the multiverse in 2015 Secret Wars. Likewise, Earth-65’s Gwen Stacy, originally known to fans as “Spider-Gwen” and later “Ghost Spider”, recently came to reside on Earth-616 after 2018. Spider-Geddon Event. Another example is longtime X-Man Bishop, having originally traveled to Earth-616 from the dystopian future of Earth-1191; a world in which the X-Men had perished when Professor Xavier became possessed by the Onslaught entity.

Characters Beyond the Multiverse

Beyond Marvel Comics

The multiverse is home to hundreds of variations of Marvel’s heroes, each inhabiting their own Earth, but there are also characters that exist outside the confines of the multiverse proper, in dimensions between and above.

Recently introduced to the MCU in Disney+ Loki, the Time Variance Authority (TVA) investigates crimes committed throughout the multiverse from their offices outside of the timestream. Marvel’s very first crossover event, 1984 Secret Wars, introduced readers to the enigmatic Beyonder. Years later, he would be revealed to be one of a species of near-omnipotent beings from a dimension outside the multiverse. The Living Tribunal is the living embodiment of the balance of the multiverse, overseeing all alternate universes to ensure that none fall out of alignment with the others.

NEXT: 10 Marvel Characters We Want To See In The Multiverse Of Madness

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