Last year Kevin Feige and the Doctor Strange 2 writers embarrassed themselves when they claimed the Marvel Cinematic Universe was Earth-616. Across the internet, tens, if not dozens, of people wrote heated threads and articles about why this was a travesty.
The discourse got pretty fiery, but the argument boiled down to the fact (and it is a fact) that the designation Earth-616 does not belong to the MCU. It belongs to the universe inhabited by the comic book characters who inspired all your favourite Marvel movies.
Feige the fiend, however, refused to back down, even taunting Iman Vellani, the star of the Marvel series Ms Marvel when she confronted him on his grievous mistake. “After I said that [the MCU is not Earth-616] on the Ms Marvel carpet,” Vellani explained during a Reddit AMA. “I saw [Feige] the next day, and he just stared at me from afar and gestured 6-1-6 with his fingers and walked away. I think about that every night before bed.”
Since that debacle, Feige’s gone to ground on the Earth-616 issue, clearly shocked by the outpouring of red-hot takes from the aggrieved cape and cowl community. Yet in April 2023, Sony Animation relit the fuse of this ticking timebomb of debate when the studio released a new trailer for Spider-Verse 2.
In the teaser, Miguel O’Hara briefly mentioned an incident involving a little nerd and Doctor Strange. This is a pretty obvious reference to the events of the Spider-Man movie No Way Home and the multiversal chaos caused by Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch.
When Miguel referred to the MCU’s designation, though, he rightly didn’t call it Earth-616; he instead rightly called it Earth-199999, the MCU’s original title before it tried to steal 616 from the comics universe.
Based on absolutely no evidence, we’re going to believe that this is Sony taking a side in the brewing multiversal civil war, and it’s nice to see the studio’s chosen to be on the right side of history, unlike Feige. In all seriousness, though, while we’re not really bothered by whatever number they decide to give the MCU, we’d prefer it if they chose something different from Earth-616.
Call us sentimental, but that number means an awful lot to a fair few fans and keeping the designation for the comics, which inspired all of the superhero movies you know and love, seems like a fitting tribute to the artists, writers, inkers, letterers and everyone else in producing our modern day mythology.
If you want to check out more of our hot takes, then check out our list of the best movies ever made, or if you’re wondering what other big movies are getting released this year, we have a guide to all the new movies coming in 2023.