Foreword: Multiversal Cycle
The reality of Earth-616 has gone through eight different incarnations, all triggered by different instances of multiversal renewal, which constitutes in the destruction and re-creation of everything there is.
Little is known of most of Earth-616's incarnations. The fifth is said to have been a dark cosmos of deep magic, and the sixth was the universe where the paradise-like planet of Taa existed. When the sixth incarnation was destroyed by an entity called the Black Winter, it left an existential void in its wake until the universe was eventually reborn as a consequence of the Big Bang.
This seventh incarnation is the most widely known of them all, where the Earth existed, protected by heroes like the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. The seventh iteration of Earth-616 suffered from an early death as a consequence of the multiversal phenomena known as the incursions. The intervention of Mister Fantastic in its rebirth caused the eighth incarnation to be a direct continuation of the seventh, instead of being a completely new version. Because of the abnormal nature of the most recent death and rebirth of the Multiverse, some of the Abstract Entities argue that the current incarnation is still the seventh, while others claim it is indeed the eighth.
Seventh and Eighth Incarnations
The Seventh Cosmos came into being with the Big Bang, where the Celestials appeared and began creating planets, stars, galaxies, and life itself. The dark god Knull - one of several entities embodying the primordial void - declared war on them and all existence, and it is at some point during this time that Ego the Living Planet was created and Galan - the last survivor of a dead cosmos - emerged from the Lifebringer One as the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus.
Among the earliest races of beings to evolve and build mighty civilizations in the expanding new Universe were the various races of the Elders of the Universe. Another significant race to appear was that of the Watchers, who took upon themselves the task of observing the other races but were sworn never to interfere with them. The Symbiotes are also among the primordial species of the cosmos, having been created at the beginning of the universe in order to corrupt and destroy it.
In time there arose the Kree and the Skrulls, whose galactic empires were in conflict for millions of Earth years. But it was the enigmatic, nearly omnipotent Celestials, who first took notice of the seemingly insignificant world we call Earth.
The first Celestial arrived on Earth four-billion years into the past, fatally infected by the Horde, and its death contaminated the primordial planet with its cosmic energies and laid the groundwork for Earth to become a hotbed of superhuman potential. Roughly one million years ago, the First Host of Celestials arrived to experiment on humanity's ancestors, creating two new races: the godlike Eternals and the grotesque Deviants; while purportedly giving mankind's forbears the genetic potential to one day produce super-powered beings. Additionally Mutants also emerged as well and much like their Humans (Homo sapiens) counterparts they were derived from the Celestials.
25,000 years ago the Kree performed similar experiments on primitive humans, who, as one of the Kree sentries later discovered, became the highly evolved race of Inhumans.
Meanwhile, great human civilizations arose in Atlantis, Valusia, and elsewhere, only to be destroyed by the Great Cataclysm. 3,000 years later, sunken Atlantis would be settled by the water-breathing ancestors of today's Atlanteans.
Still later, powerful humanoids beings descend to Earth to seek worship as gods from the people of ancient Egypt and Greece and from the Norsemen. These were the times of legend, when beings such as Hercules and Thor first walked the Earth.
And when the gods departed, mortal heroes rose in their place. For example, in medieval times in England, the original Black Knight defended King Arthur from the many threats to his reign at Camelot.
More centuries passed, and new heroes arose in the 19th century American West. The adventures of Kid Colt, the Rawhide Kid, the original Night Rider, and the Two-Gun Kid became legends.
But it was during World War II that first super-powered costumed heroes appeared. There was Captain America, the Atlantean Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner, the original android Human Torch, and many others. Their victories over the Axis powers thrilled the world. But these new heroes disappeared after the war's end.
The age of super hero had not yet truly arrived. But the lives of certain individuals were moving in fateful directions, and that age drew ever nearer. The world had lost sight of Captain America, whom cold seas had placed into suspended animations, to be found and worshipped by Inuits who, having no idea who he was, supposed him a deity of some sort. His ex-partner, the Sub-Mariner, had been deprived of his memory by an adversary, and was now no more than pathetic derelict living on the streets of New York. Nick Fury had become a colonel assigned to the C.I.A., but he longed to get out from behind a desk and to plunge back into action. Soon the C.I.A. would send inventor Tony Stark on a secret mission to a conflict in Afghanistan. But for now Stark revels in his life as a playboy, free of the burdens he will bear when he becomes Iron Man. Another scientist, Dr. Robert Bruce Banner, finds himself labouring for the government on a secret test of a new weapon he has invented, the gamma bomb that will turn him into the monstrous Hulk. And still another scientist, Dr. Henry Pym, is now ready to test whether certain subatomic particles he has discovered can shrink a human being in size. Dr. Don Blake feels a sudden desire to take a vacation to Norway. Although he does not know it, it is there he will reclaim his true form, that of Thor, God of Thunder. Professor Charles Xavier has rarely traveled far from his mansion since he was crippled years before. For some time now he has tutored Jean Grey in using her powers. Both of them are mutants. Soon, he will have other students, a team of mutant X-Men. Dr. Stephen Strange has recently returned from his own travels and taken a house in New York's Greenwich Village. He is now ready to act on his own, having been trained in Asia to be a master of the mystic arts. Meanwhile, Matt Murdock and his best friend Foggy Nelson are studying to begin their careers in law. It is not as a lawyer that Murdock will bring his father's killer to justice, however, but as the masked Daredevil. And a much younger student, Peter Parker, soon to become the amazing Spider-Man, escapes from the taunts of bullies into the world of science that he loves.
Testing faster-than-light space travel, scientist Reed Richards, sister and brother Sue and Johnny Storm, and pilot Ben Grimm sneak off into space in a rocket. In space, the four are bombarded by cosmic rays. The auto-pilot lands the ship back on Earth, where they find themselves physically transformed and possessing remarkable new abilities. Sue can turn invisible. Ben has transformed into an orange, muscular "thing" with super-strength. Reed's body became highly malleable, allowing him to stretch into any shape. Johnny's body bursts into flame, and he can fly. Thus these four friends become the first of a new generation of Superheroes.
Earth-616 has all the features of our reality: same countries, same personalities (politicians, movie stars, presidents, etc.), same historical events (Trojan War, World Wars, 9/11, etc.), and so on. However, it also features distinct ones, such as countries like Wakanda, Latveria, and Genosha, and organizations like the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and its main enemy, Hydra. Earth-616 is the mainstream continuity of the Marvel multiverse and where most of Marvel's comics take place.
Superheroes and Villains
Earth-616's major heroes (the ones who get involved in most of the important events) are the Amazing Spider-Man, the Invincible Iron Man, Doctor Strange the Sorcerer Supreme, Daredevil the Man Without Fear, the Mighty Thor, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s director Nick Fury, and Captain America. The Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Defenders and the Guardians of the Galaxy are the biggest team players, although the memberships of the groups have often changed. The Avengers have included most of Earth-616's major heroes as members at one time or another. The X-Men consists of various mutants, such as Wolverine, Storm, and Phoenix brought together by Professor X. The Defenders were an ad hoc team formed by Doctor Strange to help him deal with major menaces to the world, often including the Hulk, the Sub-Mariner, the Silver Surfer, and various other heroes with its most recent incarnation consisting of street-level heroes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. The Guardians of the Galaxy are a group of rag-tag cosmic misfits consisting of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot but the team has included Iron Man, The Thing, and Kitty Pryde as members. The Fantastic Four are the "First Family" of superheroes comprising of Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and The Thing. The Inhuman Royal Family are the rulers of the city of Attilan and have Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, Gorgon, Karnak, Triton, and Lockjaw. The Runaways are six teenagers and a dinosaur from Los Angeles, California comprised of Alex Wilder, Karolina Dean, Nico Minoru, Chase Stein, Gertrude Yorkes, Molly Hayes, and Old Lace all of whom rebelled against their parents known as The Pride. The Midnight Sons have featured Marvel's supernatural/horror heroes such as Doctor Strange and Moon Knight. The New Warriors have been the home of various teenage superheroes like Night Thrasher, Marvel Boy, Namorita, Justice, Speedball, Debrii, and Firestar. The Power Pack are four children, now teenagers, who got their powers from a dying alien; they are Zero-G, Energizer, Lightspeed, and Mass Master. Alpha Flight are Canada's top super-team most of whom are mutants such as Guardian, Sasquatch, Northstar, Aurora, Snowbird, Shaman, and Puck.
As one would expect from a universe of superheroes, evil and crime are bound to erupt such as the case with Victor von Doom perhaps better known as Doctor Doom, archenemy of the Fantastic Four. Doctor Doom has the record of most heroes fought, having fought nearly every hero on Earth including the Avengers and X-Men. Other major villains include Magneto, the mutant master of magnetism, and the mutant overlord Apocalypse, both former archenemies of the X-Men; corrupt businessman Norman Osborn, the megalomaniacal Green Goblin, Doctor Otto Octavius, a.k.a Doctor Octopus, and Venom were all top archenemies of Spider-Man; Victor Creed, Sabretooth, archenemy of X-Men member Wolverine; the Kingpin of Crime Wilson Fisk and the mercenary Bullseye are archenemies of Daredevil; Samuel Sterns a.k.a. The Leader and Emil Blonsky, the gamma-irradiated monster known as the Abomination, archenemies of the Incredible Hulk; the Dreaded Dormammu and Baron Mordo, archenemies of Doctor Strange; the Nazi Fascist Red Skull, archenemy of Captain America; the trickster god Loki, archenemy of Thor; the Mandarin, archenemy of Iron Man; Thanos, Kang the Conqueror, and Ultron, archenemies of the Avengers; Mephisto, archenemy of both Ghost Rider and the Silver Surfer; the terrorist organization known as Hydra and its leader Baron von Strucker are the archenemies of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury. Maximus is commonly the sworn enemy of Black Bolt and the other Inhumans. Another huge threat is the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus, who has been fought many times by the Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer, as well as other heroes.
A degree of paranoid fear against mutants exists due to stories of mutants being a race or even a species (Mutants (Homo superior) or Homo sapiens superior) that is evolving and is meant to replace normal humans. This has caused organizations to form to deal with the problem, who can be divided into three camps: those who seek peaceful coexistence between mutants and normal humans (the X-Men and their affiliated groups), those who seek to control or eliminate humans to give mutants safety or dominance (Magneto and his followers, as well as other mutants such as Apocalypse), and those who seek to regulate or eliminate mutants in favor of humans. The latter often use the robots known as Sentinels as weapons.
Origin of Superhuman Powers
Most of the superhumans owe their powers to the Celestials, cosmic entities who visited Earth one million years ago and experimented on our prehistoric ancestors (a process they also carried out on several other planets). This resulted in the creation of two hidden races, the godlike Eternals and the genetically unstable Deviants, in addition to giving some humans an "x-gene" in their genes, which sometimes activates naturally, resulting in sometimes superpowered, sometimes disfigured individuals called mutants.
Others require catalysts (such as radiation) to cause their powers to manifest. With the exception of psionic abilities, these powers are usually random; rarely do two people have the exact same set of powers. It is not clear why the Celestials did this, although it is known that they continue to observe humanity's evolution. The majority of the public is unaware of what may cause superhuman powers.
Other origins for superhuman powers include magic, genetic manipulation, or bionic implants. Some heroes and villains have no powers at all, but depend instead on hand-to-hand combat training or advanced technological equipment. Technology is slightly more advanced than in our world; this is due to unique individuals of genius intelligence, such as Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic) of the Fantastic Four, Tony Stark (the Invincible Iron Man), Bruce Banner (the Incredible Hulk), and Doctor Doom. However, most of the really advanced devices (such as powered armor and death rays) are too expensive for the common citizen, and are usually in the hands of government organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D., or powerful criminal organizations like the Maggia, A.I.M., and Hydra. One major company producing these devices is Stark International, owned by Tony Stark (Iron Man), but there are others. Advanced technology has also been given to humans by hidden races, aliens, or time travelers like Kang the Conqueror, who is known to have influenced the robotics industry in the past.
- The battery effect; the cells in the body have the same function as batteries, being charged with energy that comes from an outer source. This is most often seen in gamma exposed individuals as the Hulk, who get their powers from this stored energy. The powers will remain as long as the energy is present, and can even be increased by filling the "batteries" even more. If the energy is emptied, the powers will fade away.
- Power Primordial is a leftover force from the Big Bang, and is controlled by the Elders of the Universe.
- Psionic energy, which is assumed to be an invisible, unknown form of energy generated by all living brains which has the ability to manipulate other forms of matter and energy.
- Universal psionic field is a force present everywhere in the universe, but only those with abilities to connect to it can make use of its energy.
- The Enigma Force is suspected to be connected to the Microverse, and is also the source of the Uni-Power, which transforms an individual into Captain Universe.
- Extra-dimensional spaces can be tapped in order to pull mass from them, to add to objects on Earth, or take away from those objects and be stored in those "pocket dimensions" to be retrieved later. This is how characters like the Hulk can grow and shrink with no visible absorption of mass. A type of subatomic particle called Pym Particles can be used for these effects. (Note that many giant-sized characters have the secret ability to manipulate gravity to handle their increased weight.) The change in mass can be in the form of a density change instead, allowing a character to become harder or incorporeal. Some characters can seem to "transform" themselves (or others) into nonliving substances, or even pure energy, by storing their bodies in extradimensional space and replacing them with bodies made from matter or energy from that dimension, while their souls remain on Earth, controlling their new body. Travel into other dimensions can also be used as a way to "teleport" by exiting the Earth dimension and re-entering it at a different point.
- Darkforce is a dark substance from the Darkforce Dimension which can be summoned and manipulated in many ways: to create impenetrable darkness, to solidify it in various forms, and (most notably) to absorb the "life energy" from living beings (not all users can use all these effects). The Darkforce can also be used to travel to and from its home dimension, but this is dangerous to all except those with Darkforce powers. Some believe that the Darkforce is sentient and sometimes has an evil influence on those who use it. Various heroes and villains have versions of Darkforce powers, including Darkstar, the first Blackout, the Shroud, Cloak, and Quagmire (of the Squadron Supreme Universe). Cloak seems to be the prime 'portal' to the Darkforce, however.
- Lightforce or the Living Light is the opposite of the Darkforce and a form of energy which resembles light and also comes from its own dimension, but has healing effects on living beings (except ones made of darkness or Darkforce). It is unknown if it might be sentient. Cloak's partner, Dagger, seems to be the Living Light's main avatar.
- The Power Cosmic is a force which can alter reality, allowing the user to do whatever he or she wants (including breaking the laws of physics), only being limited by how much cosmic energy the character can harness at one time. It seems to be part of the universe itself and it can be linked directly to Galactus as its primary wielder or even source. The Heralds of Galactus, including Silver Surfer and Nova are imbued with the Power Cosmic.
- Magic also appears to be like a form of energy, except that it can defy the laws of physics naturally. However, it does have rules of its own to follow, which vary with the method of invocation, usually in the form of spoken spells. It appears to be present in everything, even living beings. All humans in the Marvel Universe have the ability to use magic, but only if properly trained. Most people are unaware that magic actually works. In addition, powerful magical beings from other dimensions have created specific, extremely powerful magical spells that they allow to be used (often indiscriminately) by those sorcerers who invoke their names; one example is the trinity of beings called the Vishanti, who serve as patrons to heroic sorcerers. At any given time, there is a sorcerer on Earth whose task is to protect the universe against extradimensional mystical invaders; this sorcerer is known as the Sorcerer Supreme, an office formerly held by Doctor Strange, and later held by Doctor Voodoo.
- "Hellfire" is a magical force which resembles fire, but is cold and hurts the soul rather than the physical body; it is used mostly by demonic beings.
In addition to mutants, Eternals, and Deviants, several other intelligent races have existed secretly on Earth. These include: The Inhumans, another genetically unstable race (like the Deviants, but in their case its due to their use of a substance called 'Terrigen') which was created by a Kree experiment long ago; The Subterraneans, a race of humanoids adapted to living below the surface, created by the Deviants (some Subterraneans were transformed into 'Lava Men' by a demon); and Homo mermanus, a humanoid race of water-breathers that lives in Earth's oceans. Most of these races have advanced technology but existed hidden from humanity until recent times. More variants of humanity can be found in the Savage Land (see the "Places"-section, below).
There are thousands of intelligent alien races in known space (the local group of galaxies). Earth has interacted with many of them due to the fact that a major "hyperspace warp" happens to exist in our solar system. The three major space empires are:
- The Kree, who rule the Kree Galaxy, also known as the Large Magellanic Cloud
- The Skrulls, who rule the Skrull Galaxy, also known as the Andromeda Galaxy
- The Shi'ar, who rule the Shi'ar Galaxy
The three are often in direct or indirect conflict, which occasionally involve Earth people; in particular, the Kree and Skrulls are ancient enemies, and the Kree-Skrull War has involved humans on several occasions. Other interstellar powers include the Brood, the Phalanx, the Badoon, the Annihilation Wave, the Troyjans, and the Charter Federation.
Another prominent alien race is the Watchers, immortal and wise beings who watch over the Marvel Universe and have taken a sacred vow not to intervene in events, though the Watcher assigned to Earth, Uatu, has violated this oath on several occasions.
The Elders of the Universe are ancient aliens each the last of their own species who have often had great impact on many worlds, for billions of years, acting alone or as a group.
The major interstellar powers have formed an “Intergalactic Council” to have their say on matters that affect them all, such as interference from Earth humans in their affairs. Their membership includes hundreds of thousands of alien worlds.
Also abundant are legendary creatures such as gods, demons and vampires. The ‘gods’ of most polytheistic pantheons are actually powerful, immortal human-like races from other dimensions who visited Earth in ancient times, and became the basis of many legends (obviously not all such legends can be true, since they contradict scientific facts, as well as each other). Besides mythological gods, many deities made up by Marvel writers exist as well, such as the Dark Gods, enemies of the Asgardians. Note that many persons and beings have falsely pretended to be gods or demons during history; in particular, none of the ones claiming to be figures from Judeo-Christian beliefs (such as Satan, God, or the Angels) have turned out to be the real article.
Similarly, demons are evil magical beings who take affairs in the matters of the universe, one of the most notorious being Mephisto. Others include Nightmare, D'Spayre, N'Astirah, Dormammu, and Shuma-Gorath.
Most of the current generation of gods have been revealed to be the descendants of the Elder Goddess Gaea. The two most prominent pantheons are the Asgardians (of whom Thor is a member) and the Olympians (of whom Hercules is a member). The lords of the various pantheons sometimes gather in groups known as the Council of Godheads or the Council of Skyfathers.
The gods were forced to stop meddling with humanity (at least openly) a thousand years ago by the Celestials, and most people today believe them to be fictional.
Above all other beings in the universe are the cosmic entities, beings of unbelievably great levels of power (the weakest can destroy planets) who exist to perform duties that maintain the existence of the universe. Most do not care at all about "lesser beings" such as humans, and as a consequence their acts can occasionally be dangerous to mortals.
When dire perils threaten the universe, it is not uncommon for these beings to gather together to discuss the threat, and even act.
Several dimensions coexist simultaneously without affecting each other directly, ranging from the Earth-like to the totally alien. Some are magical in nature and others are scientific; some are inhabited and others are not. These include realities like the Microverse, Darkforce Dimension, the Mojoverse, and many more.
Another noteworthy feature of this universe is that time "branches out" creating new alternate realities when certain important events happen. Those realities can also spawn realities of their own. There exist hundreds, probably thousands, or even millions of such realities. It is unknown why this happens, though a warp known as the Nexus of All Realities exists in a swamp in Florida. For the most part this does not matter, as most beings are unaware that this occurs, or even that their universes were recently "born" from another. However, organizations exist which try to monitor or manipulate the various realities. These include the Captain Britain Corps, the Time Variance Authority, and Kang the Conqueror's forces. See Continuities, below.
The following timeline describes the major events of Earth-616. Only major fictional historical events are listed here. Please note that few exact dates have been given for these events, so approximations are used instead. Note also that a sliding timescale applies to Earth-616, so that events involving its inhabitants can only be determined as having happened a certain number of years before whatever the current date is.
Certain places, some of which exist in real-life and some of which are fictional, figure prominently in the Marvel Universe.
New York City
Most of the action of Marvel Comics takes place in New York City. It is the traditional home of the Avengers, Fantastic Four, the Defenders, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, The Punisher, Moon Knight, and many others.
New York City is the site of many places important to superheroes, notably the Avengers Mansion, Stark Tower, the Baxter Building and Four Freedoms Plaza, Hell's Kitchen, the Raft, Sanctum Sanctorum, Midtown High School, Harlem, Queens etc.
Two universities are also especially prominent in the Marvel Universe:
- Columbia University - University whose alumni include Matt Murdock (Daredevil), Elektra Natchios, and Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic).
- Empire State University - University whose alumni include Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Emma Frost, and Johnny Storm (the Human Torch).
Regions and Countries
- Atlantis – Home of Namor the Sub-Mariner
- Attilan (Also called The Hidden Land) - One home of the Inhumans, mobile but often in the North Atlantic Ocean.
- Bagalia – Sovereign nation run by criminals.
- Barbuda – Island run by A.I.M.
- Bastrona –
- Belgriun –
- Bosqueverde –
- Costa Salvador –
- Delvadia –
- Estrella –
- Egypt – The home of the mutant god Apocalypse and Khonshu. It is also the place where Marc Spector was resurrected.
- Halwan –
- Deviant Lemuria – Undersea home of the Deviants located at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
- Genosha – Island dwarf-nation off the coast of Africa, north of Madagascar; former apartheid-like state where mutants were once enslaved. Later a mutant refuge nation before its utter destruction by Cassandra Nova and her Wild Sentinels.
- Hammer Bay – Capital city of Genosha.
- Imaya –
- Kamar-Taj – A small kingdom in the Himalayas.
- Krakoa – A living island in the South Pacific.
- K'un-Lun – Tibetan pocket dimension city. Home of the dragon Shou-Lao and the Iron Fist legacy.
- Latveria – European country ruled by Doctor Doom.
- Lemuria – Undersea nation similar to Atlantis.
- Madripoor – Asian city, modeled after Singapore, to which Wolverine has connections.
- Mazikhandar –
- Medisuela –
- Morvania –
- Muir Island – An island off the north-west coast of Scotland, home to Moira MacTaggert's most public mutant research lab.
- Narobia –
- New Atlantis – A new settlement for Atlanteans underneath Utopia.
- Nova Roma – Home of Magma in Brazil. Ancient Rome-like city.
- Olympia – Mountain city of the Eternals, located on Mount Olympus in Greece.
- Project Pegasus – A secret government-run energy research facility, specializing in superhuman studies.
- Rumekistan – Former subset of the USSR, briefly ruled by Cable.
- San Diablo –
- Savage Land – Place with tropical climates and prehistoric animals located in the heart of Antarctica.
- Slorenia –
- Subterranea – A seemingly planet-wide network of caverns, lying miles beneath Earth's surface.
- Symkaria – Country adjoining (and annexed by) Latveria.
- Terra Verde –
- Transia – Birthplace of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, and where Mount Wundagore (prison of Chthon) is located.
- Utopia – Previously home to the X-Men and most remaining mutants located in San Francisco Bay. Founded during Dark Reign in order to escape the government persecution of mutants.
- Vault – A prison for superhumans in Colorado.
- Wakanda – An African nation ruled by T'Challa, the Black Panther.
Planets and Planetoids
- Asteroid M — A series of orbital bases created by Magneto.
- Astra — A planet where humanoid aliens possess magnetic and molecule-controlling powers that enable them complete control over metal.
- Blue Area of the Moon — Kree-terraformed section of Earth's moon. Home to Uatu the Watcher and the Summers-Grey family. Former home of the Inhuman city Attilan.
- Breakworld —
- Chandilar — Throneworld to the Shi'ar Empire.
- Counter-Earth — Secondary duplicates of Earth. The first was built by the High Evolutionary, moved away from the solar system and destroyed by the power of the Infinity Gauntlet. The second was built by Franklin Richards.
- Ego the Living Planet — A sentient planet.
- Kosmos — A planet from which a criminal sludge-like alien escaped to hide on Earth where he killed Wasp's father and fought Ant-Man.
- Kree-Lar — The second homeworld of the blue-skinned Kree Race. Home world of Captain Mar-Vell, Colonel Yon-Rogg, Captain Atlas, and Una.
- Titan — Largest moon of Saturn and technologically advanced home to the banished Titanian Eternals. Birthplace of Thanos.
- Wundagore — A planet orbiting Sirius; named for a mountain in Transia (Eastern Europe).
- Zenn-La — Norrin Radd's home planet.
- Asgard — Home plane of superhuman beings analogous to the Norse gods.
- Beyond-Realm —
- Heliopolis — Home plane of superhuman beings analogous to the gods of Egypt.
- Hell — Negative afterlife inhabited by malevolent beings.
- Limbo —
- Microverse —
- Mojo World — World of spineless aliens obsessed with human broadcast entertainment.
- Negative Zone —
- Niflheim —
- Nexus of All Realities — Cross-dimensional pathway intersecting with the Florida Everglades.
- Olympus — Home plane of superhuman beings analogous to the Greek gods.
Artifacts, Materials, Objects of Power
Some items have been created specifically for the Marvel Universe and carry immense powers, among them Vibranium, the Book of the Vishanti, the Cosmic Cube, the Eye of Agamotto, the Infinity Gauntlet, the Mandarin's Ten Rings, Thor's hammer Mjolnir, the M'kraan Crystal, the Quantum Bands, the Serpent Crown, the Siege Perilous, and the Ultimate Nullifier.
Culture & Media
- "Lacuna with the Stars" - Talk show hosted by "8th X-Statix" Lacuna, wherein she reveals celebrities' secrets.
- X-Statix Pay-Per-View events.
- Superman: (animated series)
- Fantastic Four
- Mandarin: The Story of My Life
- Howard the Duck
- Nighthawk V Hyperion: Yawn of Boredom
- Eat Pray Doom (based on the book of the same name)
- Black Panther
- The Two-Gun Kid Meets Dracula (staring Martin Preston)
- Daily Bugle – New York City-based tabloid-format newspaper, owned by Joseph Robertson.
- Daily Globe – New York City newspaper.
- Inquiring Eye – Tabloid whose office is across the street from the Daily Bugle.
- Marvel Comics Group – A line of sometimes licensed comic-books based on popular superheroes. These include X-Men, The Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and Captain America.
- Now Magazine – Glossy magazine from the publishers of the Daily Bugle.
- New York Bulletin – Another New York City-based tabloid newspaper
- Official Handbook of Heroes – A fan guide to the superheroes and supervillains.
- The Pulse – A superhero-oriented features section of the Daily Bugle.
- "Magneto was right" – After Magneto was believed dead in the Genoshan holocaust, he became a popular t-shirt logo and graffiti image.
- Mutant culture – In the time leading up to M-Day, mutant fashion, music, and art became very popular.
- "Tony was right/Cap was right" – T-shirt logos popularized after the Civil War.
- "Cyclops was right" – A popular t-shirt logo and movement based on Cyclops point of view on how humanity treated mutantkind.
- Doop key-chains and plush toys.
- Victor von Doom – Former monarch of the Eastern European country of Latveria and would-be world conqueror known as Doctor Doom.
- Namor – King of Atlantis, an underwater nation.
- T'Challa – Ruler of the African kingdom of Wakanda, highly-skilled warrior bearer of the royal mantle of the Black Panther.
- Max Eisenhardt – Former ruler of the island of Genosha and international terrorist, hero to many of Earth's mutants, better known as the mutant extremist Magneto.
- Scott Summers – Mutant activist/extremist known as Cyclops, and leader of the X-Men. Former leader of the nation of Utopia.
- Blackagar Boltagon – Former king of the Inhumans and Kree Empire, former co-leader of the Universal Inhumans.
- Medusalith Amaquelin – Former queen of Inhumans and Kree Empire, former co-leader of the Universal Inhumans.
- Majestrix Lilandra – Former queen of the intergalactic Shi'ar Empire. Now deceased.
- Emperor Dorrek VIII – Emperor of the Kree-Skrull Alliance.
- Senator Robert Kelly – United States senator who rose to power on an anti-mutant platform, was killed by an anti-mutant militant after experiencing a change of heart and trying to improve human/mutant relations.
- Graydon Creed – Founder of Friends of Humanity, a group vehemently opposed to mutant civil rights. Once a presidential contender, Creed was shot and killed at a rally. He has since been resurrected and killed twice, via the Techno-Organic Virus and as a Zombie, and has yet to make an appearance since his third resurrection.
- Tony Stark – Former CEO of Stark Industries and a super-genius inventor, better known as the armored superhero Iron Man.
- Norman Osborn – Former CEO of Oscorp, as well as the alter-ego of the lunatic villain Green Goblin.
- Warren Worthington III – CEO of Worthington Industries, co-CXO of the X-Corporation, mutant, and long-time member of the X-Men. Known as Angel and Archangel.
- Emma Frost – CEO of Frost International and co-leader of the Hellfire Trading Company.
- Sebastian Shaw – CEO of Shaw Industries and co-leader of the Hellfire Trading Company.
- Katherine "Kate" Pryde – Co-leader of the Hellfire Trading Company. Former administrator of the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach and de facto representative of the mutant race.
- Danny Rand – CEO of Rand Corporation and secretly the vigilante known as Iron Fist.
- Roberto Da Costa – CEO of DaCosta International and formerly A.I.M. as a subdivision of the peacekeeping agency S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Peter Parker – Former CEO of Parker Industries, inventor, and secretly the vigilante known as Spider-Man.
- Reed Richards – Super-genius engineer, mathematician and physicist. Creator of the Unstable Molecules and many other notable scientific achievements. Leader of the Fantastic Four, a group of adventurers and superheroic explorers.
- Hank Pym – World-renowned biochemist, discoverer of the Pym Particles, and creator of the artificial intelligence known as Ultron.
- Bruce Banner – Nuclear physicist and the world's leading gamma radiation expert.
- Henry McCoy – Preeminent mutant biologist, also known as Beast of the X-Men.
- Otto Octavius – Brilliant inventor and world-renowned expert in atomic energy.
- Walter Newell – World's leading oceanographer, engineer, inventor, and the superhero known as Stingray.
- Michael Morbius – World-renowned biochemist, also known as the The Living Vampire.
- Kavita Rao – World-renowned geneticist.
- Bolivar Trask – Noted anthropologist, creator of the Sentinels.
- Max Modell – World-renowned scientist, head of Horizon University.
- Alexi Cronos – World's greatest robotics expert.
- Nick Fury – Former director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Carol Danvers – Former commander of the Alpha Flight space initiative and ambassador extraordinaire of the human race.
- Steve Rogers – Former director of S.H.I.E.L.D., WWII legend and superhero known as Captain America.
- Abigail Brand – Commander of S.W.O.R.D.
- Maria Hill – Former director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Henry Peter Gyrich – Acting commander of Alpha Flight; former co-director of S.W.O.R.D., and U.S. Department of State liaison to the Avengers and Wakanda.
- Val Cooper – Special assistant to the NSA; former adviser of the President of the United States Chairman of the Commission on Superhuman Activities and liaison to X-Factor.
- Professor Charles Xavier – Primary spokesman for the mutant nation of Krakoa and outspoken mutant-rights advocate. Former administrator of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
- Matthew "Matt" Murdock – Renowned lawyer, assistant district attorney, and former defense attorney. Secretly the vigilante known as Daredevil.
- Stephen Strange – Sorcerer Supreme and former world-renowned neurosurgeon, better known as Doctor Strange.
- "John" J. Jonah Jameson – Reporter, newsman, and an outspoken critic of Spider-Man. Former mayor of New York City.
- Mary Jane Watson – Famous model and actress.
- Stark Industries – Owned by Tony Stark. Headquartered in New York City.
- Worthington Industries – Owned by Warren Worthington III (Angel). Headquartered in New York City.
- Oscorp – Formerly owned by Norman Osborn. Acquired by Alchemax.
- Frost International – Owned by Emma Frost.
- Shaw Industries – Owned by Sebastian Shaw.
- Rand Corporation – Owned by Daniel Rand. Headquartered in New York City.
- Da Costa International – Owned by Roberto Da Costa.
- Roxxon Energy Corporation – One of the largest fuel conglomerates around the world.
- Genetech Bio-Research Facility – Superhuman genetic research firm located in the Sayville neighborhood of Islip, NY. Made headlines for creating armor for use in the capture/killing of Magneto.
- Horizon Labs – Leading company in creating the most advanced technology, owned by Max Modell.
- Alchemax – Owned by Liz Allan. Headquartered in New York City.
- Parker Industries – Formerly owned by Peter Parker. Now dissolved and defunct.
- Landau, Luckman & Lake – An enigmatic intergalactic and interdimensional holding company.
Charity, Volunteer, and Outreach Organizations
- Captain America's Hotline – A nationwide phone service that lets civilians contact Captain America with information pertaining to national security or crises beyond the scope of conventional authorities. Established using Captain America's back pay since World War II. Stars and Stripes, a network of volunteer data processors, scan the messages and forward them to Captain America, based on suitability, location, and urgency.
- Excelsior – Support group of former teen superheroes that helps their peers make the transition to a civilian lifestyle. Founded by Phil Urich and Michiko "Mickey" Musashi. Bankrolled by Rick Jones.
- Mutantes Sans Frontières – Charity organization run by Warren Worthington III.
- X-Corporation – Outreach program that provides rescue, relief, and refuge to mutants, with embassies in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Mumbai, Nairobi, New York, Paris, and Singapore. After M-Day, several embassies were bombed, so all of X-Corporation was evacuated to the X-Mansion in Salem Center, NY.
- Hellfire Club – Publicly an international social club for the social elite and wealthy, secretly a secret society with an inner circle of wealthy oligarchs and politicians, and later wealthy and/or powerful mutants.
- Maria Stark Foundation – Non-profit organization created by Tony Stark which uses donated funds to finance various charities and renovation projects, as well as the Avengers.
- Avengers Mansion — Long-time former home to the Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, and the Stark family. Located at 890 Fifth Avenue, New York City.
- Avengers Mountain — Refurbished ice caves and Celestial Progenitor corpse in the Arctic Circle. Current base to the Avengers.
- Avengers Tower — Formerly Stark Tower, former headquarters of the Avengers.
- Baxter Building and Four Freedoms Plaza — Buildings that have been home to the Fantastic Four, located at 42nd Street and Madison Avenue, New York City.
- Magda Square, Genosha — Former political, economic, and cultural center of the former mutant homeland, now in ruins following a devastating attack. Named for Magneto's deceased wife.
- The Raft — Prison for superpowered villains located on Ryker's Island, off of New York City.
- Ravencroft Institute — Asylum for the criminally insane and superpowered in southern New York.
- Sanctum Sanctorum — The mystical sanctuary of Doctor Strange.
- X-Mansion, Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, Jean Grey School For Higher Learning, now Graymalkin Habitat — Former base of operations for the X-Men and X-Corporation, located at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center in Westchester County, New York.
- Yancy Street — Known primarily for being the birthplace of The Thing. Current home of the Fantastic Four.
- S.H.I.E.L.D. – Founded to combat technologically advanced threats to world security, S.H.I.E.L.D. has, throughout the years, remained on the front lines, fighting terrorism and extraterrestrial menaces working as an international intelligence agency. Currently defunct.
- H.A.M.M.E.R. – Created by Norman Osborn as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s replacement. Later a terrorist organization before its dissolution.
- S.W.O.R.D. – Counter-terrorism and intelligence agency which deals with extraterrestrial threats to world security. Now partnered with the mutant nation of Krakoa.
- A.R.M.O.R. – Extradimensional security agency to guard against contamination and conflict from alternate realities.
- S.T.R.I.K.E. – British intelligence agency dedicated to dealing with threats beyond the remit of the regular intelligence services.
- O*N*E* – Government agency created to protect/observe the X-Men and the remaining mutants after M-Day, which reduced the number of mutants on Earth to a very few hundred.
- S.I.C.K.L.E. – The Russian Federation's equivalent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- X.S.E. – Former paramilitary police force charged with keeping the peace between mutants and humans. X.S.E. was founded by Storm at the behest of the United Nations in order to police the growing mutant population.
- S.P.E.A.R. – The People's Republic of China's equivalent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Agence Byzantine
- Atlas Foundation
- The Hand
- Celestial Order of Si-Fan
- Five Weapons Society
- Goblin Nation
- Triads (aka, Chinese Mafia)
- Yakuza (aka, Japanese Mafia)
- Cartels (Latin Drug Cartels)
- Molina (aka, Russian Mafia)
- Cosa Nostra (aka, Italian Mafia)
- Secret Empire
- Power Elite
- Empire State University – University whose alumni include Peter Parker, Emma Frost, and Johnny Storm the Human Torch.
- Metro College – College whose former students include Jean Grey and Cal Rankin.
- Massachusetts Academy – Prep school. Emma Frost taught the original Hellions, Kitty Pryde, and Generation X there.
- Midtown High – New York City public high school attended by Peter Parker and Jessica Jones.
- Jean Grey School for Higher Learning – Former private school for mutant (and at one time, human) children. Previously known as Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and Xavier Institute for Higher Learning.
- Future Foundation – Project created by Reed Richards to teach intellectually gifted youngsters.
The super-heroes provide material for merchandising, sold at the store located on the ground floor of the Baxter Building, in comic-book stores or at X-Force Café. At one point, Deadpool set up a merchandise store for his own licensed products at the Schaefer Theater to fund the Avengers Unity Division with the profit.
Many drugs (often related to mutants) such as the "Kick" or the Mutant Growth Hormone exist within the Marvel Universe, as well as mutant-related diseases and medicament. The drugs I, L, and M are products of Krakoa and were instrumental in the nation's recognition by the UN.
- The Multiverse numbering system as well as the designation Earth-616 were conceived by Dave Thorpe, then-writer of Captain Britain for Marvel UK. He originally intended for Earth-616 to be the designation for "the worst of the parallel Earths that was holding the others back from achieving the shift forward to the next evolutionary stage." Its designation comes the Number of the Beast (666); however, Thorpe thought the connection would have been too obvious, so he decided to subtract 50 ("a nice round number") from it. When Alan Moore succeeded Thorpe, he assigned this crooked reality the designation Earth-238 instead, and the number 616 was used for the universe of origin of Captain Britain, therefore the mainstream Marvel reality. The term "Earth 616" was used for the first time in Daredevils #7.
- The central concept of the Marvel Universe is that it is just like the real world, except that superheroes (and supervillains) exist. It is more than just that, however. The Marvel Universe includes examples of most major science fiction and fantasy concepts, and writers keep adding more continuously. Furthermore, these concepts are often (though not always) developed in ways that don't contradict each other, but instead form a unified background. This concept is fairly rare; another example of a fictional universe that seeks to use all types of fantastic elements is the DC Universe.
- Even though as a consequence of Secret Wars the Marvel Universe officially has no longer a numeric designation, here at the Marvel Database this designation will continue being referenced in pages like this one and in article names for the sake of practicality. It is also worth mentioning that in the comics, characters are still using the term "Earth-616," like in Spider-Gwen (Vol. 2) #16 and #30; Spider-Geddon #0, #1, #3, and #4; Superior Octopus #1; Spider-Force #1 and #3; Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse #1, Spider-Girls #3; Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #10; Ghost-Spider #1 and #2; Ghost-Spider Annual #1; and Gwenpool Strikes Back #5.
- Although Marvel has been publishing since 1939 with the release of Marvel Comics #1, the Marvel Universe's official start was in 1961 with the release of Fantastic Four #1.
- Some characters from outside companies have been incorporated into the Marvel Universe such as Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja, Kull the Conqueror, Solomon Kane, Micronauts, Godzilla, Rom Spaceknight, Shogun Warriors, and Tarzan. In most cases, the licensing rights to the characters are restricted after the original company reacquires them and they are renamed or redesigned to avoid copyright issues outside of the occasional intercompany crossovers. However the rights to Conan the Barbarian, Kull the Conqueror, and Solomon Kane have since reverted back to Marvel and are now incorporated into the Marvel Universe, while elements of Rom Spaceknight and the Micronauts pop up from time to time.
- Several alternate continuities, chiefly Earth-928 and Earth-14412, have been treated as possible alternate futures of Earth-616 in series such as Spider-Man 2099 Vol 3 and Thor: God of Thunder, to the extent that changes occurring on Earth-616 as a result of time-travel have sometimes drastically altered the history of those universes. Earth-928 has also been referred to as "Earth-616 circa 2099," and when a question regarding that was posed in the editorial section the response was that Earth-928 was always intended to be Earth-616 in the future and that it should not have been given its own universe designation. This distinction was carried over to Earth-23291, which in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 5) #34 was stated to be part of the same timeline as the Prime Marvel Universe, rather than branching off it like other alternate continuities.
- As part of his fabricated backstory of being an other-dimensional warrior, the Mysterio of Earth-199999 claimed that his reality's designation was Earth-616.
- 3076 appearance(s) of Earth-616
- 2 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Earth-616
- 205 minor appearance(s) of Earth-616
- 117 mention(s) of Earth-616
- 13 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Earth-616
- 138528 image(s) of Earth-616
- 30517 characters that originate from Earth-616
- 1802 teams that originate from Earth-616
- 1293 organizations that originate from Earth-616
- 5391 locations that originate from Earth-616
- 2082 items that originate from Earth-616
- 501 vehicles that originate from Earth-616
- 942 races that originate from Earth-616
Links and References
For Alternate Earths, Dimensions, and Pocket Universes, see: Multiverse.
- Earth-616 at Wikipedia
- Marvel Universe at Wikipedia
- Multiverse (Marvel Comics) at Wikipedia
- List of events of the Marvel Universe at Wikipedia
- Features of the Marvel Universe at Wikipedia