In “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, we learn that the different universes are numbered. A comic easter egg set by the MCU on Earth-616 has left fans baffled as it challenges a major twist.
In Spider-Man: Far From Home, the titular character, played by Tom Holland, is initially forced to work alongside Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), who appears to hail from a parallel universe – only to learn that Mysterio is – spoiler alert – an imposter is. So far so good. But what does that have to do with “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness?
In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Mysterio claims to be from Earth-833. The world of Spider-Man and Co., i.e. our MCU, is “Dimension-616”. This was a simple easter egg because in the comics the main universe is numbered as Earth-616. But in “Doctor Strange 2” we now learn that the different universes are really numbered. And the MCU earth has the number 616 – again based on the comic templates. But how could Quentin Beck aka Mysterio know that when he’s just a simple imposter with no knowledge of the true existence of the multiverse?
Many fan theories as explanations
We’re pretty sure Marvel didn’t give that much thought. Each 616 entry (it’s not the only two, more on that in a moment) is just meant to be an Easter egg. It shouldn’t be suggested with the Earth-616 revelation that Mysterio does know something about the multiverse and that there might be something else to come in the future. However, since many Marvel fans do not simply want to accept such errors, there are already a wide variety of explanations.
“Doctor Strange 2” itself gives such an indication on which one can build an argument. This is how we learn that dreams can be what is happening in other multiverses. So one can put forward the thesis that Quentin Beck dreamed of himself from another universe. Perhaps this I has for Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) and the Illuminati worked and knew about the numbering? Maybe that’s how Beck got the idea to use a multiverse explanation for his scam?
Earth-616: designation already in “Thor 2”
You can also just dismiss the discussion. dr Palmer and Beck just happened to arrive with the same number. In addition, the numbering by Dr. Palmer and the Illuminati anyway arbitrary. After all, one world simply referred to all worlds here, perhaps there are completely different names in other worlds. But that’s not true. The designation seems to be official because otherwise several people would not accidentally come up with the same number.
Already “Thor 2: The Dark Kingdom” has Professor Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) theorizing about different worlds and universes. And while doing so he writes on his chalkboard full of doodles “616 Universe” about our world with the Earth aka Midgard in the center and Asgard etc. around it.
Of course, this is again just an Easter egg for comic fans, but if you include it in the considerations, you have to come to the conclusion: he must have come across it somehow during his research, so there are these uniform numberings.
But at least Selvig’s preoccupation with the multiverse provides another explanation for the supposed “Spider-Man: Far From Home” logic hole. Because it can be assumed that he published them somewhere – if only in some Telegram groups. And maybe Beck came across the concept there and adapted it for his plan – including the number.
But isn’t the MCU actually Earth-199999?
Some hardcore Marvel fans were already surprised at the mention of Earth-616 – without thinking of Mysterio. Actually, Earth-616 is the main universe of the comics. And it has already been stated in official companion books and materials that the MCU is Earth-199999. So Marvel is contradicting itself a bit. They just decided it was too complicated. And besides, “Earth-199999” is simply not as catchy as “Earth-616” and who knows how often this term will have to be used in the future.
Our Marvel expert Sebastian also explains a little bit about Earth-199999 in the podcast canvas love. In the current episode, we talk in detail about “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness‘ which are quite controversial.