An extended clip from Spider-Man: Far From Home reveals that the MCU is Earth-616. Marvel's been setting up the multiverse for quite some time, with a number of references in the Thor films. But it's become a lot more explicit of late, with Avengers: Endgame using the concept of time travel to create a host of alternate realities.
The Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer revealed that Mysterio claims to have come from another dimension. According to Nick Fury, the events of Avengers: Endgame - including multiple snaps, the destruction of the Infinity Stones, and a whole lot of time travel - have torn a hole in the fabric of the space-time continuum. Mysterio claims to have come from another dimension - and presumably the Elemental creatures wreaking havoc across Europe are also from another reality. The jury's out as to whether or not Mysterio is telling the truth, of course; in the comics, the sorcerer pretended to be a superhero on his first appearance. Assuming he is, though, the multiverse opens up a whole host of new opportunities for the MCU.
An extended clip from Spider-Man: Far From Home was aired on Ellen, showing Peter Parker's full introduction to Quentin Beck. In it, Beck gives a little more information about the multiverse. He claims that the MCU is "Earth-616," and that he originates from "Earth-833." Mysterio sounds to be quite used to the idea of jumping between dimensions, claiming that Earth-616 and Earth-833 "share identical physical constants, Level 4 symmetry."
These references will be very familiar to comic book readers. Earth-616 is the traditional designation for the main Marvel Comics universe. It was first used in 1983 by Alan Moore in one of the Marvel UK comics, in order to differentiate between the mainstream Captain Britain and the other members of the multidimensional Captain Britain Corps. It was later adopted by Chris Claremont in his Excalibur run, and gradually became standard across Marvel. In 2015, the multiversal "Secret Wars" event led to the destruction of the entire Marvel Multiverse, which was ultimately restored by the Fantastic Four. Earth-616 became Ground Zero for the creation of the new multiverse, and as a result was rechristened Prime Earth.
According to Mysterio, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Earth-616. This is actually the second time Earth-616 has been mentioned in the MCU; Erik Selvig scrawled the words on his chalk-board in Thor: The Dark World, in an entertaining scene where he explained the Convergence with the help of Stan Lee's shoe. It was generally assumed Selvig had somehow become aware of the mainstream Marvel Comics universe, but it may simply be that he'd somehow learned that "Earth-616" was the correct designation for his own reality. Previously, the MCU had been referred to by Marvel as "Earth-199999," but that's never been said on the big screen.
Meanwhile, Mysterio claims to come from Earth-833. This, too, is a familiar designation to comic book readers; it's the home universe of Spider-UK, an alternate-reality Spider-Man who left his dimension in order to serve as a member of the Captain Britain Corps.
Update (May 7): We've adjusted title and text to better reflect the previous designation number of the MCU.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019