Alternate universe versions of Spider-Man collide in 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse'

‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Just Issued a Major Timeline Correction to the MCU

Now that the MCU has started to play around with the multiverse, Kevin Feige is trying to establish the cinematic universe as Earth-616. The problem? Well, there’s already an Earth-616. And some fans have an issue with that because Marvel says differently.

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What’s with all the Earth numbers?

In the Marvel comics, there are so many different universes. This can be seen with the Ultimate Universe and What If…? The latter has become an animated TV show in conjunction with the MCU. In the 1980s, Marvel Comics—specifically Alan Davis, Alan Moore, and David Thorpe—developed a number system to differentiate between all the universes. 

The original timeline became known as Earth-616. And then Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness named MCU’s main timeline Earth-616. This really caused a stir in the fandom, especially for comic book fans. 

Earth-199999 vs. Earth 616

According to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe from 2008, the MCU takes place in Earth-199999, but the creative team at Marvel Studios still wants to keep the Earth-616 moniker for themselves. Earth-616 was first mentioned in the MCU by Quentin Beck, a.k.a. Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) in Spider-Man: Far From Home. In that film, Beck refers to the MCU timeline—the one with Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man—as Earth-616. Many fans took this as a declaration of fact, while others side-eyed Beck’s claim because his whole deal is being a big, fat liar.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness upholds this claim when Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) visits Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) in another universe, and she refers to his universe as Earth-616.

Which brings us to now: Sony just dropped the second trailer for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The trailer revealed a new piece of Marvel multi-corporation name drama: Miguel O’Hara, a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac), refers to the MCU’s timeline as Earth-199999. The fact that Miguel also called Tom Holland’s Spider-Man a “little nerd” in that moment is hilarious. 

In fact, Ms. Marvel’s Iman Vellani doubles down on the MCU being Earth-199999. Vellani is a self-identifying Marvel nerd; she made Kevin Feige mad one day when she was late to the Ms. Marvel set because she was watching WandaVision. Those who didn’t believe Vellani before about the MCU’s setting should definitely believe her now. She’s the only Marvel star publicly contradicting Kevin Feige on the MCU’s timeline, and the real hero Marvel fans need right now.

(featured image: Sony Animation Studios)

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Image of A. Mana Nava
A. Mana Nava
Nava was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, they edit economic textbooks by day and write geeky articles for the internet in the evenings. They currently exist on unceded Lenape land aka Brooklyn. (Filipine/a Mexican American)