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We Finally Know Whether The Multiverse Exists In The MCU

Does the multiverse exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

When the trailers dropped for Spider-Man: Far From Home, fans were pumped for that question to finally be addressed. But despite the fact that they didn't exactly get what they hoped for, we still know the answer — and it's a firm yes.

Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige recently sat down for a chat with Fandango in which he spilled the beans on the subject, inasmuch as he could, since the beans have been spilled right in front of us for about three years. We'll get to that in a moment, but first, a bit of background — and in case you haven't guessed, we'll be venturing into hardcore spoiler territory for Spider-Man: Far From Home at this point.

The trailers for Spidey's latest solo venture teased the fact that Mysterio, AKA Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhall), who shows up to fight the elemental monsters that begin appearing out of nowhere to trash Europe, claimed to be from an alternate reality in which those monsters destroyed all life on Earth. As something of a nod to fans, he referred to the MCU as "Earth-616" and his home universe as "Earth-833" — which actually should have been our first clue that he was full of it.

As it turned out, Beck was just an ordinary, non-interdimensional guy who had a major hand in designing Tony Stark's virtual reality "B.A.R.F." system, as seen in Captain America: Civil War. Beck and a team of disgruntled former Stark Industries employees had used the tech, in conjunction with a fleet of armed drones, to manufacture the elemental crisis and frame Beck as a hero. So... with Beck not actually being from an alternate universe, does that mean that the multiverse reveal teased by the trailers was just a big old fakeout?

Feige was asked this question directly, and his response — while hilarious — immediately had us slapping our foreheads. "No, it just means [Mysterio] was full of s**t," he said. "I mean, in Doctor Strange, we hear the Ancient One talk about the multiverse, so we've already established it as a thing."

Um... oh, yeah. That's absolutely right. In that awesome movie we all loved from less than three years ago, the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) describes the concept to Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) while essentially giving him a guided tour. She even uses the word "multiverse." 

In fact, we could go one step further to explain how we pretty much should always have known that the MCU is not a singular universe: it has its own official numerical designation bestowed upon it by Marvel. It is Earth-199999, while the main continuity featured in Marvel comics is — wait for it — Earth-616. That's right, Spidey's geekier fans (like us) knew that Beck was lying the moment that number left his mouth. (Incidentally, Earth-833 is a designated universe as well — one that was completely destroyed, with its sole survivor being its version of Spider-Man.)

Of course, it makes a ton of sense for Marvel Studios to leave the option open to use the multiverse as a storytelling device. Not only could it be a fun way to introduce different versions of familiar characters or weird, interdimensional narrative wrinkles, it could also serve a slightly more utilitarian purpose: folding new characters into the MCU. Feige has recently teased the possibility, for example, of a Spider-Man/Venom crossover movie — and why not? Even though Tom Hardy's Venom currently exists in the Sony Universe of Marvel Characters, all it would take is one weird experiment gone wrong, or perhaps the whim of some powerful being with the ability to navigate between dimensions, to port him over to the MCU. Want to introduce an entire squad of freshly-recast X-Men without retreading the narrative ground of the Fox film series? Hey, they already exist in another universe — bring 'em on over!

The same goes for the Fantastic Four, Galactus and the Silver Surfer, Blade, or any number of other previously off-limits characters who are now on the table thanks to Disney's acquisition of Fox Studios. For that matter, we have an even better idea for an MCU crossover with an existing Marvel universe: Earth-1218.

Why is that universe so special, you ask? Well, it's a reality in which there are no superheroes or supervillains. In this universe, the stories of great heroes like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Thor are told in comic books and movies, and the public at large is completely unaware that these fantastical yarns are actually missives from other worlds, loose translations of epic events which have echoed throughout all of reality.

Earth-1218 is, in other words, the reality in which we all live. Now that is the crossover we want to see.