The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been growing at a tremendous pace over the last couple of years. It has gotten way bigger than anyone could have expected. The reason for this growth is twofold, the first reason being the opening up of the multiverse. But the second reason is the exploration of MCU’s own universe, an internal expansion, so to speak. Regardless, there have been a lot of implications because the opening up of the multiverse and the Multiverse of Madness gave us a lot to think about. This movie has throwaway lines that have layers upon layers of secrets. Like did you know that Doctor Strange 2 literally changed MCU’s Earth?
Each of the alternate universes in comics has a number assigned to them. MCU’s earth was supposed to be Earth-199999, but this was somehow changed in Multiverse of Madness. Let me give you a little background before I start explaining this confusing plot hole to you. You see, back in the 1960s when the concept of the multiverse was introduced in the comics, DC decided to name its main universe Earth-One and Marvel somehow settled on Earth-616. Both of these were considered prime universes. Similarly, when the MCU established a book titled Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z, Vol. 5. This book was released in the same year as Iron Man and it designated the MCU as Earth-199999.
Doctor Strange 2 Changed MCU’s Earth
But this nomenclature has now been retconned by both Doctor Strange 2 and Far From Home. When Beck called this universe Earth-616, we all assumed that he was lying because he was not an actual multiversal traveler. But when Strange found himself locked in a vacuum chamber with Christine as her examiner, he found out that the universe he was in was called Earth-838 and the universe he came from i.e. the MCU was designated Earth-616. This signifies the fact that Marvel has embraced the 616 names for the MCU.
But doesn’t that create conflict with previously published material? Well, yes and no. In Multiverse of Madness, we saw Strange and America Chavez wading through the multiverse. Some of these universes were made of paint and some of them were 2d. But each of these universes had something going on. So we can assume that the comic world is also a part of this multiverse and there’s no distinction between the multiverse of the live-action movies and the comics themselves. If that is the case then the nomenclature makes no sense and we expect Marvel to correct it in the future.
Maybe they will call the MCU, Earth-616b. I say this because Earth-616 in itself is much more expansive than the MCU and the character origins are much different than their comic counterparts. Another theory about the nomenclature is that the MCU is supposed to be a live-action adaptation of the comics and hence Earth-616 is the perfect name for the MCU. Whatever paltry explanation the writers and executives offer now, one thing is for certain, the fans are quite cross about the situation. They don’t think that the term “616” belongs to the MCU.
Moreover, the fact that Doctor Strange 2 changed MCU’s Earth might have implications just beyond our universe. What if this transgression and trespass against the comics cause another incursion in the MCU. We are not well-equipped to even handle the first one. How will we ever battle the second one? It is the responsibility of Steven Strange to take control of access to the multiverse in the MCU and make sure that no harm comes to his universe. Can he do it with absolute precision? Would he be able to save the MCU with the help of Clea or will the MCU truly be replaced by the 616 Universe?
It is a question that we have been pondering ever since Marvel Studios decided to pull a fast one on us. We think that this move of theirs will end up costing them more than they bargained for.
Did Doctor Strange 2 changed MCU’s earth? Let us know what you think about it down in the comments and keep watching this space for everything Marvel, DC, and Hollywood. Excelsior!!!