Many things in comic books are difficult to understand. Some super heroes have some very hard to explain super powers. Other super heroes time travel so much that it makes your head hurt. Today I will try and help you to understand the most confusing part of comics, Marvel Comics’ alternate universes.
Marvel Comics has many alternate universes and it can be pretty confusing. A reader might pick up one comic book and Captain America is the shield hurling, American hero we all know and love. Then the reader could pick up another comic and Captain America could be a zombie trying to eat Spiderman’s brains. So here are some of the different Marvel Universes to know.
In Earth 616 (the “normal” universe) even though characters like Spiderman have been around for decades they’ve only aged a little bit. In Earth 98 the time that has passed since the release of the comic has also passed in the comic. For example, Spiderman started in 1962 and it is now 2007 so in Earth 98 Spiderman has existed for 45 years in the comic, not just in real life.
Back in 1995 the X-Men titles all changed when Legion went back in time and killed Charles Xavier completely changing the future. The future result was an alternate reality called Earth 295 or better known as the Age of Apocalypse. In this reality Apocalypse has taken over the rule of North America and since Professor X no longer exists it is Magneto who starts the X-Men instead.
This is the easiest one because Earth 616 is the universe most of you are familiar with. Earth 616 is the universe where most of the main comics come from, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Avengers, etc. Earth 616 is also where most of the Marvel Comics movies take place.
Earth 691 is an alternate universe specific to a couple of comic books. In the comic books Killraven and the Guardians of the Galaxy their adventures take place in a universe separate from the other universes. This is Earth 691.
Earth 712 is also known as Earth S and it is also the home to one comic book. Earth 712 is the home of the Squadron Supreme. Earth 712 is much like Earth 616 except that there are a lot less superhuman beings on Earth 712 than there are on Earth 616.
One Marvel comic book series is a title called “What If?” In the “What If?” series Marvel Comics examines different scenarios that could’ve happened like What If Spiderman joined the Fantastic Four? Earth 717 is the home to several What If stories including one story where Captain America fights in the Civil War and another where Thor is the herald of Galactus.
Earth 811 is a story that takes place in Uncanny X-Men called Days of Future Past. In Days of Future Past Sentinels rule the United States and all mutants are captured in put in concentration camps. The universe is a result of the X-Men failing to stop Senator Robert Kelly from being assassinated by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
In 1993 Marvel Comics decided to make a new series of titles that took place over 1000 years in the future, in the year 2099. The alternate reality that resulted is Earth 928. There were many familiar characters that were revamped for this series including X-Men, Spiderman, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider and Doctor Doom.
At the end of the comic book X-Factor, their leader Havok is teleported to another dimension. Havok then has a new comic called Mutant X which takes place in Earth 1298. In Mutant X many of the same characters from the X-Men books appear but many are different. For example Professor X and Nick Fury are villains while Doctor Doom and Apocalypse are heroes.
As a way to freshen up some of their titles, Marvel Comics made a new series of titles that were basically a new alternate retelling of many comics. This series is more well known as the Ultimate books. Many of the same characters appear but they have different origins and history than the Earth 616 versions.
Earth 2122 is an alternate universe where the British actually won the American Revolution and still are in control of North America. On Earth 2122 Charles Xavier still trains mutants but he trains them for the British Empire. On Earth 2122 Captain America and Iron Man also exist and are part of a secret society called the Sons of Liberty.
Earth 2149 is the home of the comic book called Marvel Zombies. In Marvel Zombies almost every hero and villain on earth has become zombies with the exception of Magneto, the Acolytes, Black Panther, Forge, Silver Surfer and Galactus and they must find a cure for the zombified heroes.
Earth 9602 is the home of the Amalgam Comics. In 1996 Marvel Comics and DC Comics joined forces to make a series of comics in which each character was an amalgamation of a DC character and a Marvel character. For example there was Bruce Wayne Agent of S. H. I. E. L. D., a mixture of Bruce Wayne and Nick Fury, or Super Soldier, a mixture of Superman and Captain America.
Earth 98125 is the home to an alternate universe Captain Britain. In the Earth 616 continuity Brian Braddock is given the choice of choosing the Amulet of Life or the Sword of Death and Brian chooses the Amulet of Life and becomes Captain Britain. On Earth 98125 Brian Braddock chooses to take both.
Have you ever wondered how come in their comic book the Transformers never run into other heroes (other than G. I. Joe)? Well it is because the Transformers live on an alternate universe called Earth 120185.
Earth A is an alternate universe that appears in the Fantastic Four comic. In the Earth A reality only Reed Richards and Ben Grimm are in the spaceship that is exposed to cosmic rays and Richards becomes the rocky monster and Grimm becomes the stretchy guy instead of vice versa.