During a recent appearance Ellen, Jake Gyllenhaal brought a clip from Spider-Man: Far From Home with him. It contained a longer segment from the official trailer, which dropped a day earlier and confirmed that Marvel’s Cinematic Universe was actually a multiverse. Far From Home director Jon Watts gave an interview the same day, confirming that the film will deal with “alternate timelines.” This new clip gave us more information regarding what this MCU Earth is called… and it may have opened up a can of worms.
[Ed. Note: Mild spoilers from Avengers: Endgame below.]
In the clip, Gyllenhaal’s character, Mysterio, tells Peter the Earth Spider-Man is on is “Earth Dimension 616,” a.k.a. Earth-616, which Marvel stans know as the “prime” universe in the comics, a.k.a. the primary universe where the interconnected stories take place. This would seem to indicate that this universe was the same as the one in the comic books, which itself is confusing. The most recent iteration of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the comics has lost his job at the Daily Bugle while reapplying for his doctoral thesis, so this begs the question: WHEN THE FUCK does the MCU take place? If we’re currently in 2023 in the movies, are we to assume that the comics are, roughly, over a decade into the future?
Also, if the Earths of the MCU films and the comic books are the exact same, will stories that occur in the films have an effect on the comic books they share a “prime” universe with? If someone dies in the comics, and they are an integral part of the films, will that be addressed?
This isn’t uncommon, honestly. Ever since Disney (which owns Marvel) bought Star Wars, they’ve dropped numerous comic books based on the franchise. One comic in particular explained how C-3PO got the red arm that was debuted in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That was probably an easier lift, considering it was a smaller detail for a character that really only got a fan service feature in the series’ return. And don’t forget, Samuel L. Jackson being amazing is what made Marvel’s Ultimate Universe Nick Fury resemble Jackson, which in turn made Marvel Comics bring a bald, African-American Nick Fury into their regular books. (Hell, after a while, a number of the characters from the MCU have had their comic book counterparts resemble them in some way.) Major characters on-screen and in the comics being in the same universe? Something’s up.
Another interesting reference Mysterio makes in the clip is that he hails from Earth-833, which is the Spider-UK universe. That in and of itself is intriguing when you look at one theory coming out of Endgame regarding Captain Britain, another Marvel character. According to this theory, during Captain America and Iron Man’s trip back to 1970 to the SHIELD station in Endgame, Cap spies on Peggy Carter and another SHIELD agent, who discusses someone named “Braddock” who “hasn’t checked in,” whatever that means. Marvel stans know who “Braddock” is: That’s Brian Braddock, a.k.a. Captain Britain, a superpowered being from Essex. Where this comes into play with Earth-833 is that their Spider-Man, Spider-UK, is a part of the Captain Britain Corps. That universe was also decimated, leaving Spider-UK as the sole survivor. That’s not to say that this can’t be retconned with movie magic, but that’s a compelling thread to weave into Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is on the frontline of explaining the multiverse that the MCU is diving into headfirst.
Are these just the rantings of a Marvel nerd? I won’t deny that. I may have been the only one who was confused when they tried to tell me that Spider-Man is now in Earth-616. This is the same Spider-Man who was introduced in the MCU (which was known previously to have taken place on Earth-199999) via Captain America: Civil War. The same Spider-Man who not only had Iron Man in his first film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, but was also featured in both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. This feels like a major confirmation/reboot of the currently MCU timeline, one that Marvel had to officially put into place after a timeline snafu was made in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
All of this nerdery isn’t being spewed for nothing: We know that Far From Home is important AF because it is the official introduction of the MCU as a multiverse. Based on this clip, which was slyly dropped on one of the biggest daytime TV shows in the country, one would have to imagine that Marvel made sure this was put out there for the real nerds (present company included) to pick up on this piece of information and run with it. And even if you are saying, “Didn’t Marvel drop scenes into the Infinity War trailers that didn’t end up being in the film?” this doesn’t feel like that. Marvel felt it was important enough to not only drop a spoiler-y trailer, but to double down the very next day with more information regarding the multiverse as we’re coming to understand it. This could end up being a huge deal and, assuming that the worlds of the Marvel Studios films and their Marvel Comics counterparts will be connected like never before, will be a major adjustment for Marvel Comics fans-turnt-MCU movie lovers.