Marvel teases Doctor Strange with sneak peek
WARNING: This article contains full spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Marvel’s comic book continuity has been building for over 50 years and has expanded into thousands of planets, galaxies, and universes. For years, the main universe in the Marvel comic books has been known as Earth-616. This title has been used to signify the first and “original” world inhabited by the superheroes fans know and love, including Spider-Man, Captain America and Iron Man.
So then, MCU fans have since become confused and enraged when the latest film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, announced that the MCU was in fact Earth-616.
After Doctor Strange journeyed to another universe with America Chavez, he was told by an alternate version of Christine that they were on Earth-838. Christine, an expert on the multiverse, had begun giving each reality official titles. And during this dialogue, she revealed the MCU has been dubbed Earth-616.
But… that doesn’t make complete sense, considering the comic books are the Earth-616 universe.
To make matters even more confusing, the 2018 animated hit Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse also called its own universe Earth-616. So, naturally, comic book fans have begun hitting out on the convoluted universe numbering system at play behind the scenes.
One Twitter user, allsorrows, said: “This is so petty but the MCU should NOT be designated 616. Like… the comic universe exists somewhere out there… so like… what’s up with that.” (sic)
Marvel fans were angry about Doctor Strange 2’s choice
In all the multiversal “madness” of Doctor Strange, how do they just call MCU Earth 616 like the comic universe doesn’t exist? They’re clearly not the same universe.
AFAICT the only 616 that legit exists in film is Jake Johnson Spidey from Into the Spider-Verse.
— Julian LaRosa (@J_LaRosa415) May 8, 2022
Doctor Strange 2 named the MCU Earth-616
Other fans joined in on the controversial numbering system. Keybrains wrote: “Doctor Strange is a really cool movie. BUT it’s really, absolutely, stupid-actually wrong, in fact-that they call the MCU universe the 616. That is spoken for! Wtf literally any other designation would work.” (sic)
Another disgruntled fan wrote: “In all the multiversal ‘madness’ of Doctor Strange, how do they just call MCU Earth 616 like the comic universe doesn’t exist? They’re clearly not the same universe. AFAICT [as far as I can tell] the only 616 that legit exists in film is Jake Johnson Spidey from Into the Spider-Verse.” (sic)
One more said: “Doctor Strange SPOILER: Of course comic fandom is throwing a fit because the movie identifies the MCU as ‘Earth-616,’ and it’s not accurate to the comic ‘616.’ Different medium. They just use 616 to establish the MCU as the ‘main’ cinematic universe, and the others as alternates.” (sic)
Not every fan was furious about the announcement, however.
READ MORE: Marvel fans enraged by SPOILER’s death in Doctor Strange 2 – ‘Dumb’
Doctor Strange 2 introduced America Chavez and the multiverse
Benedict Cumberbatch teases big things for Doctor Strange sequel
Twitter user acscosplay said: “People are actually upset that they called the main mcu timeline ‘earth-616’? 616 is Marvel’s main universe in the comics, so they’re just keeping the number for the main universe in the movies. It doesn’t create issues. It’s just a number.” (sic)
This fan is correct, the numbering system is likely being used to show fans that the MCU’s universe is the “main” universe in the big-screen version. 616, in this sense, is being used as a shorthand to let fans know that, yes, this is the one you will be watching from now on. So, in that way of thinking, Earth-616 is just a signifier of importance, rather than a unique identifier.
Either way, considering the comic books are literally thousands of issues ahead of the ten-year-old MCU, they are already vastly different.
Still, the franchise’s future may have already been set in stone by the events of the movie.
Marvel fans enraged by SPOILER’s death in Doctor Strange 2 – ‘Dumb’ [NEWS]
Doctor Strange 2 IMAX review: An eye-popping spectacle [REVIEW]
Doctor Strange 3: What Multiverse of Madness end credits teases [INSIGHT]
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness introduced the concept of incursions. This is when two universes begin to overlap because of multiverse hopping – and the results are catastrophic. When this occurs, either one or both of the realities collapse upon themselves.
Marvel fans will recall this is the main plot point in the 2015 Secret Wars run.
In the Secret Wars event, Earth-616 and Earth-1610 collided, potentially destroying both in the process. However, the Illuminati, the Avengers and the New Avengers work on saving their reality – but have to face the fact that they may not be able to save everyone.
With Doctor Strange’s ending sending him into the multiverse once again – but this time with Clea – anything is possible.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in cinemas now.