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Marvel's Been Talking About the Multiverse Since 2013

Thor: The Dark World (2013) - Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård)

One thing about the Marvel films is there is a fair amount of foreshadowing. A random image can open the door to new characters and movies. It turns out a big one from Thor 2 didn't pay off till six years later.

Since the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer dropped fans have been talking about the shocking reveal that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) contains multiple universes.

In the trailer, Quentin Beck aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) says Spider-Man (Tom Holland) exists in Earth-616 while he's from Earth-833 (which is a lie). Nick Fury (Samuel-L. Jackson) explains that "the snap" tore a hole in reality and opened up the multiverse.

The reference is an "Easter Egg" or in-joke. The early days of Marvel comics played kind of loose with continuity. The inconsistencies were explained by saying there are multiple universes in the Marvel comics. The "Prime" continuity is known as 616.

616 is the designation first used in The Daredevils #7 (1983) by the "Omniversal Majestrix" of Otherworld to distinguish the Marvel Universe from an Infinite number of parallel worlds. Marvel designated the cinematic shared universe as 199999. While it's a bombshell change to the MCU it's not the first time the 616 universe is referenced.

It was first mentioned in Thor: The Dark World. Back in 2013, the movie showed Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) going mad. He uses a chalkboard to explain the upcoming alignment of the Nine Realms of Yggdrasil. Known as "Convergence" he uses a shoe (from Stan Lee of course) to break it down. The chalkboard has a bunch of scribbles to explain it.

Most people didn't look too closely at it, but it's full of references that paid off in other movies like Muspelheim which is the fire world of Surtur who shows up in Thor: Ragnarok.

One scribble that many people missed was the writing "616 universe".

Loki was using the Mind Stone and mind-controlled Selvig in The Avengers. The stone contains a massive amount of information. It helped Selvig build the portal for the alien invasion, but it was too much for his mind to handle and he was committed to a mental institution. It's possible that the stone unlocked his mind to the existence of alternate universes and the 616 universe.

Dr. Strange referred to a multiverse to explain some of his powers. A promotional video did a good job of breaking it down.

So while Fury says the hole to the multiverse was caused by the events in Infinity War and Endgame, they existed in the Marvel universe all along.

What do you think of the MCU multiverse? Who would you like to see show up? Let us know in the comments below!

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