What Is The Marvel Comics Multiverse?


With Loki and Sylvie breaking apart the multiverse in Loki, it’s probably time to give you a bit of an explanation of the Marvel Comics Multiverse, and, like yesterday’s post, this could get a little long.

What Is A Multiverse?

Essentially, a multiverse is a series of universes which, while similar, have small variations in them – like the fact that in ‘our’ Marvel universe, Loki presents as male, whereas in Sylvie’s universe, she presents as female.

Or, to put it another way, if you’re a Doctor Who fan, think of the multiverse like the episode where the Doctor and Rose end up in a different universe and the Cybermen try to take over. Everything is essentially the same, but there are a few differences – like the fact that Rose’s dad never died, and him and her mum never had Rose in the first place. The multiverse is just like that, just with Marvel characters!

Do Marvel Have A Comic Multiverse?

Yes, and in fact, the multiverse plays a fairly big part in some comics! You can usually ignore it all together, but there are a few events/stories which rely on multiverse characters teaming up, like in Spider-Geddon.

Spider-Geddon cover by Olivier Coipel

What Are The Main Universes?

The main universe in Marvel continuity to worry about is Earth 616, as this is the universe most Marvel comic runs take place in. This is our main, Prime Earth continuity, and unless stated otherwise, all comics take place in this particular universe.

There is is also Earth 1610, which is the home of the Ultimates comics, which are essentially Avengers comics, but set in a different reality, so everyone is a bit different. Personally, I do not recommend the Ultimate Avengers comics by Mark Millar as they are incredibly problematic, but I would recommend checking out Ultimate Spider-Man, as this reality is where Miles Morales is from. It’s also possible, thanks to the Secret Wars event (guide coming up this month) that 1610 is where the film Into The Spider-Verse is set.

Earth-199999 is another of note, as this is the universe which contains the MCU! So everything that has happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far has happened in Earth-199999.

What If tv poster

There’s also separate universes for the X-Men films as well, but, quite frankly, there’s loads of those because the films do not follow any sort of continuity, so I’m just not going there, as there’s a lot more to get through here!

For now, the only other main universe I’m going to mention is Earth-58163 which is the universe Wanda Maximoff made during the House Of M event.

How Does This Affect The MCU?

For starters, it means that absolutely everything can now be considered canon! Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter and the Netflix Defenders shows were supposedly booted out of canon, as they didn’t follow the MCU directly, but, with these branching timelines they can now count. They won’t be main universe Earth-199999 (MCU universe), but they still can be counted as part of branching timelines, timelines where, for example, Coulson is brought back, where Inhumans are being born (though that will definitely be made Earth-199999 canon soon, as Ms Marvel is an Inhuman).

This can also mean that the X-Men are canon to the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse – and it can explain just why they never quite add up, continuity wise. There’s a main X-Men timeline (X-Men 1 through to the start of Days Of Future Past), a branched timeline for the ending of Future past through to Dark Phoenix and the Deadpool movies, another where Deadpool’s girlfriend, Vanessa, is dead (Deadpool 2’s main setting), and yet another for the film Logan (see why I didn’t want to even go there with the X-Men?!).

X-Men Days of Future Past film poster

Now, we know for a fact that Deadpool from the X-Men movies is coming over to the MCU, he’s not going to be a brand new character, he’s going to be the same one who went through the events of Deadpool 1 and 2. But who’s to say he’ll be the only version to come through to Earth-199999? Who’s to say that other X-Men won’t join him? Or the Fantastic Four?

Or the previous two Spider-Man actors, Toby MaGuire and Andrew Garfield, as per the Spider-Man No Way Home rumours?

It also means that the Sony-verse could join in, with characters like Venom and Carnage, or the characters of Into The Spider-verse could jump in for a time, and vice-versa.

Literally anything can happen now in terms of multiverse – all we know for sure is that Loki leads into Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness, and we don’t even have a synopsis for that film yet!

To be honest though, the main takeaway here is one thing: the multiverse is now open, and while this will affect things, it probably won’t make too much difference, further than introducing a few variants (Evan Peters as Pietro/Ralph anyone?) and bringing in a few new characters. Like the comics, the MCU will probably still follow one main universe, which is the same one we’ve been following for the last decade.

Nothing will change in terms of what’s happened so far. There will just be a few more universes to play in, and a whole load more characters to play with!

And that’s my explanation of the multiverse of Marvel comics! I hoped this helped, and if you’ve got any questions, please do not hesitate to ask! This stuff is confusing, and God knows my head has been spinning since this was all revealed yesterday!

What do you think is going to happen now? Is there any specific X-Men character you would love to see join the MCU universe? For me, it has to be either Professor X, Magneto, Legion or Polaris!


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