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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)

    etc.

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. – Gallifreyan Feb 27 '17 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 Feb 27 '17 at 12:12
  • @KutuluMike that's what I meant – Gallifreyan Feb 27 '17 at 12:32
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    How do they name Marvel Earths? Very carefully. – Paul D. Waite Feb 27 '17 at 18:34
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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.

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