From this question, I have list of lots of Marvel Earths: How many Marvel Earths (Universes) are there?

  • Earth 19999 (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

  • Earth 1610 (Marvel's Ultimate Universe)

  • Earth 616 (Main Comic Book Continuity)

  • Earth 10005 (X-men Cinematic Universe)

  • Earth 96283 (Spider-Man Cinematic Universe)

  • Earth 120703 (Amazing Spider-Man Universe)


I am interested to know from where does these numbers viz 616, 96283, 19999 etc come in existence. Are these random numbers popped in the heads of writers in the morning after a heavy party night? Or, is there any logic?

  • Related 1, related 2. Also, while it's beyond the point, the last two universes are now wiped. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 12:00
  • They're "defunct"; in story-line nothing destroyed them but no future stories will be set in them, so they exist as they were at the conclusion of their last movie.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 12:12
  • @KutuluMike that's what I meant Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 12:32
  • 1
    How do they name Marvel Earths? Very carefully. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 18:34

2 Answers 2


With a few pretty minor exceptions, they're essentially random (or at least arbitrary).

The first one to be numbered was actually Earth-616. Alan Moore named it during a story about the Captain Britain Corps. The Corps was made up of Captain Britains from all the different realities, and (in-universe) they needed a way to identify each other.

The reason Moore picked a relative high number like 616 (at random) was two-fold:

  1. To get across the idea that this reality wasn't particularly special to the Marvel multiverse. (That's an idea that's been dialed back a bit -- 616 was the last reality to survive Secret Wars, for example).
  2. To avoid sounds like the DC multiverse, which had long-since established Earth-1, Earth-2, etc.

(There's a persistant rumor that Moore picked it because 616, in some interpretations, is the mark of the Beast in the Bible, but that story doesn't appear until much later, so I'm highly skeptical).

The bulk of these numbers are assigned by, I believe, one guy at Marvel who keeps a database. If you look at the entire current list you can see some smaller-scale patterns -- the What If comics are mostly clumped together, for example. Also, some specific Earths were assigned meaningful number: Earth-818793 is a Marvel Zombies crossover with the Evil Dead movies (it stars Ash); 81, 87, and 93 are the release years of the Evil Dead trilogy.

Beyond that, though, there's no particular "pattern" to them at all. Particularly with the "major" universes, they're all just assigned arbitrary (and relatively high) numbers.

My guess is that numbers for major universes, the ones people will use most often, are picked to be large and spread out, to reinforce the impression that Moore was going for: that the marvel multiverse is gigantic and that all of these different universes are just tiny parts of it.


Earth 616

616, aka the "Prime Universe" was named in The Daredevils #7 story "Rough Justice", by David Thorpe. Over the years he's given several (contradictory) explanations how he came up with that number, but broadly speaking it's because it's close to 666 but not too close.

Marvel: I've heard some rumors about where the number 616 may have come from. But I want you to explain, definitively, where that number came from.

Thorpe: Well, for years, I'd [gotten] emails from fans who say, “Why did you come up with 616?” And to be honest, I gave them each a different story. But, obviously, it's got something to do with 666, the number of the beast: 666 minus 50.

Marvel: A nice, round number away from the scariest one.

Thorpe: Yeah. Alan Moore, who took over the series, he was the one who actually put it into print. Let's be fair. And both Alan and I shared a big interest in magick and the occult. And I got into chaos magick, and then I think Alan did, and so did Grant Morrison and quite a few of us, you know, in the comic scene at that time in the '80s.

Marvel.com - The Origin Story of Earth-616 As Told by Its Creator, Writer David Thorpe

Other explanations include that it's an homage to the temperature of the coldest place in Siberia.

616 was the worst of the parallel Earths that was holding the others back from achieving the shift forward to the next evolutionary stage, which is why Saturnyne turned up to administer the evolutionary fluid to its population. 666 = number of the beast (Crowley). It would have been too obvious to use that. I chose 616 = 666 – 50. Why 50? a nice round number, but the school in the world's coldest town in Siberia closes when the temperature reaches -61.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It's an extreme tipping point.

What Does Marvel 616 Actually Mean? We Explain Again

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