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I know that there are at least 3 Marvel Universes:

Marvel Cinematic Universe - Earth 19999

Marvel's Ultimate Universe - Earth 1610

  • Has the other Marvel movies
    • X-Men (1, 2, 3, Origins: Wolverine, First Class, The Wolverine, Days of Future Past)
    • Hulk (1, 2)
    • Fantastic Four
    • etc

Earth 616

Then there are apparently off-shoot Earths, continuities which deviate from the main continuity (Earth 616). How many Marvel Earths (Universes) are there?


Further Reading:

  • 6
    Well, if you want to be thorough... marvel.wikia.com/Multiverse/Universe_Listing – Ixrec May 13 '15 at 22:46
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    I'm fairly sure the answer is "An absolutely ridiculous amount, not even including the weird ones". – Valorum May 13 '15 at 22:48
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    With the advent of the Secret Wars, the answer is technically NO comic universes, because Marvel is reshuffling/rebooting/retconning their comic universes with the claim there will be no multiverse when they are done. (I'll believe that when I see it!) As for the movies, there is The Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999) and whatever universes hold the X-Men/Wolverine and Spider-Man franchises. – Thaddeus Howze May 13 '15 at 22:53
  • 1
    Surely at least The Incredible Hulk is in the MCU, not the Ultimate universe. – Daniel Roseman May 14 '15 at 10:56
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    I think 1610 is the Ultimates comics universe, and doesn’t include any of the non-MCU movies, just comics. – Paul D. Waite May 14 '15 at 15:50
42
+100

It depends on when you ask the question. Prior to May 6, 2015, the answer was "way too many for anyone to count". After that, it was "about 5."


As far as I know, no one has ever sat down and counted all of the universes that exist in the Marvel (and associated) worlds. The reason is that new universe "numbers" are assigned for several different reasons, and they are not all on equal footing. The Marvel Wikia lists around 1500, including quite a few unofficial ones, but not including temporary universes (which never got a number), and that list is probably incomplete.

Secret Wars

Technically, as of right now, there are very few Marvel universes. The recently released Secret Wars (the 2015 one, not to be confused with the one from 1984) event has effectively erased all numbered comic-book universes from existence, leaving only Battleworld. Once that event series is over, in theory there will only be 1 comics universe.

Note that the cinematic universes are unaffected by Secret Wars, meaning in reality there will be about a dozen universes left, but the vast majority of them are defunct. (See below for what we mean by a "cinematic" universe.)

However, pre-Secret Wars, there were tons, getting assigned numbers for a couple of different reasons:

Mainstream Universes

First of all, there are the "main" universes. These are the ones that include the bulk of Marvel's storytelling, that include multiple characters from multiple titles crossing over into each other's storylines. Of these, there are three "main" ones:

  • Earth-616 - The universe in which the vast majority of the Marvel comics stories take place. Typically, unless otherwise specified, any given Marvel comic book probably takes place in this universe.
  • Earth-1610 - the so-called Ultimate comics universe. An alternate universe that is a "modern reimagining" of the Marvel stories. For the most part, any Marvel comic book who's title starts with the word "Ultimate" (e.g. Ultimate Spider-Man or Ultimate Fantastic Four) takes place here. Notable for being the source of most character and story ideas in the post-2000 Marvel movies.
  • Earth-199999 - The Marvel Cinematic Universe. The universe where every movie produced by Marvel Studios/ABC/Disney takes place, starting with Iron Man through (as of today) Doctor Strange. It also includes all of the ABC and Netflix television shows based on Marvel characters.

Of particular interest here is that the next Spider-Man movie will not get a new universe number, because it will be part of Earth-199999.

Stand-Alone Cinematic Universes

Other than the films produced by Marvel/ABC/Disney, all of the other Marvel-based films exist in their own isolated universes. Typically, all of the films in a given series will exist in the same universe, but each "reboot" gets a new one. Typically, any video games, novelizations, or comic book adaptations based on a movie will also exist in the same universe.

The most notable recent ones are:

  • Earth-10005 - The X-Men Cinematic Universe, the universe where all of Fox's X-Men films take place, including the spin-offs like Logan and Deadpool.
  • Earth-96283 - The Spider-Man Cinematic Universe, where the three Spider-Man films starring Tobey McGuire take place.
  • Earth-120703 - The Amazing Spider-Man Cinematic Universe, where the two Spider-Man films starring Andrew Garfield take place.

There is also a universe for the Blade movie trilogy, one for the two previous Fantastic Four movies, one for the Daredevil and Elektra movies, etc. There are also a number of older movies, television programs, and unreleased/unaired stuff, all of which get their own universe.

Typically, when a movie series ends its run and/or gets rebooted, its universe is basically put in a state of suspended animation. It still exists, and everyone in it is considered "still around" for continuity purposes, but no further material is ever set in that universe. It is "defunct".

One-Shots and Specials

Marvel frequently releases one-shot or special event comics, that each get their own universe. Statistically, this is probably where the largest number of numbered universes come from.

For example, there's an entire series of Marvel comics called What If?, which explore possible alternate histories like, "What if Spider-Man was a member of the Fantastic Five? (Earth-772), or "What if Daredevil worked for S.H.I.E.L.D.?" (Earth-8181).

Another big contributor in this vein are the Millennial Visions series, where each story is essentially its own universe, of which I think there's almost 100.

Alternate and Aborted Timelines

Sometimes, characters from Earth-616 (or some other universe) will travel back in time and change things, creating a different world history than the original. Other times, a character might travel forward in time and see a horrible future. In both cases, by the end of the story, the heroes have somehow found a way to save everyone, fix the past, and change the future.

Many of those alternative histories have their own universe numbers, especially if they span more than one issue of a series. For example, Earth-311 is an alternate timeline where Captain America (from a completely different Earth-460) was sent to Earth-616 in the year 1602 and changed history. Thus, Earth-311 split off from Earth-616 at that point.

Visited Alternate Universes

The last group of universes are those that are merely visited and/or mentioned by characters that appear in one of the other mainstream universes. Lots of characters in Marvel (people like Doctor Strange, and the cosmic-level characters) are capable of universe-hopping, and frequently you will see characters from one universe brought (willingly or otherwise) into Earth-616. Other times, characters from Earth-616 find themselves temporarily transported into alternative universes themselves.

  • 1
    +1 | Nicely done. I shall resist the urge to add to this. – Thaddeus Howze May 14 '15 at 1:11
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    to be honest, if you think there's anything meaningful to add, go for it. I kinda ran out of steam by the end. Thinking about the marvel multiverse is exhausting. (Specifically, are there any significant characters that come to -616 long-term from other numbered universes? I swear there were but I couldn't think of any.) – KutuluMike May 14 '15 at 1:19
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    Honestly, I think you have done a nice job of it. It answers the question without going too deeply into the idiosyncrasies. The most prominent universes like Earth-X (Earth-9997), The Marvel Zombies Universe (Earth-2149), New Universe (Earth-148611), and 2099 (Earth-928) are all major imprints that had a relatively long lifespan but aren't necessary for the average user to know about. You did great! – Thaddeus Howze May 14 '15 at 1:43
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    yeah, I always make that mistake because it just looks better. – KutuluMike May 14 '15 at 14:54
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    Note: from SPIDER-GWEN, it's clear that some alternate universes still exist post-SECRET WARS. Spider-Gwen's universe is still called Earth-65, and we've seen visits to Earth-8 and "the universe formerly known as 616". In SPIDER-GWEN 30, we see what's apparent the creation of a new alternate time-line, when Gwen-65 apparently meets Gwen-616 in the past. Partway through, the designation for where she is is "Earth-616.525"; by the end of the issue, it's settled as Earth-617. I assume SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS is also an alternate Earth, and probably has a number. – RDFozz Apr 5 '18 at 19:27
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Just to add to KutuluMike's answer, in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse there's the main Marvel Universe "Earth-616” while the Ultimate Universe where Miles lives is “Earth-1610.”

  • Spider-Ham comes from Earth-8311
  • Spider-Gwen comes from Earth-65
  • Peni Parker comes from Earth-14512
  • Spider-Man Noir hails from Earth-90214
-1

According to the Marvel Comics wiki, Earths are listed up to the number 28,744,923,048,932, though the vast majority of these dimensions are unexplored and unmentioned.Here you can find a list of all known dimensions in the Marvel multiverse.

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