There’s no denying that Marvel Cinematic Universe’s timelines and multiverses can be very perplexing. With the newest trailer for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse calling MCU Earth-199999, which sort of contradicts the latter’s claim that it is Earth-616, at least in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, fans have found themselves in a whirlwind of confusion.
The purpose of these designations is to let fans differentiate the versions of characters presented in the story. Sometimes a character dies on one Earth, yet lives on the other. It gets more complicated, though, when these critical numbers get mixed into the plot.
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Fans Express Joy As MCU Returns To Its Original Designation
After Sony Pictures dropped Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse trailer last April 4, it re-established MCU as Earth-199999, as opposed to previous claims. Fans have expressed their appreciation for bringing this small but very significant detail into the picture.
On Twitter, several avid MCU fans criticized Marvel for making the changes. For Boter_Koter1, he thought it the “absolute stupidity”:
“I see this as a way to recon the absolute stupidity of calling the mcu 616, in ‘far from home’ it felt intentional, like a way to prove at the beginning that mysterio was full of shit. But in ‘multiverse of madness’ they confirmed it, which was so fucking stupid.”
While many were agitated with the alteration, DorianCantu could not help but express happiness now that “MCU is Earth-199999” again:
“FINALLY they reestablish that the MCU is Earth-199999 and not 616. That was such a big issue I had with the ‘MoM’ writers, they tried to retcon it as the real 616 not knowing that it and the comics exist in the same multiverse, alienating new fans for the sake of a cheeky reference.”
JewishSpeed was also ecstatic with the news:
“It’s so validating to see the MCU be referred to as Earth-199999 instead of the 616”
Other fans believe this is more like a retcon than anything else. 1Sir_Drake commented:
“Back when the MCU took place in the comics’ multiverse up until Loki made it impossible, thus moving it into its own multiverse and opening up the opportunity for it to be called 616.”
Meanwhile, Defectivegamer4 argued that “comic uni is always 616”:
“People trying to argue that the MCU is its own thing no it’s not all marvel projects comic or otherwise are in the marvel expanded Universe and have designations like baseline comic uni is always 616 so it will always be earth 199999 no matter what.”
Another prominent example would be Mysterio calling MCU Earth-616 in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Fans considered his take just a fun comics reference because his character is actually just inventing his own multiverse origin. For those who know that 616 is the main Marvel Comics, this could be passed over easily.
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How To Fix Peter B. Parker’s Earth-616 Origin
Despite the latest Spider-Verse trailer clearing up the confusion allegedly created by Doctor Strange 2, Marvel did not address Peter B. Parker’s origin universe still called Earth-616 in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018). One of the easiest ways to solve this dilemma is the use of retcon, as mentioned earlier.
While the Spider-Verse franchise is heavily rooted in its comics history, both visual and narrative, it could keep its comics tradition and just set things straight once and for all. In whatever method Marvel plans to modify or rectify this detail, it will still need a little explanation along the way in order to keep things in line.
Despite all these confusing numbers and universes, fans are indeed happy to have the MCU return to its original designation.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse arrives in theaters on June 2, 2023.
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