A new clip from Spider-Man: Far From Home shows Peter Parker meeting Quentin Beck (also known as Mysterio) for the first time. It’s worth watching for everyone jonesing for a Marvel fix after Endgame, but it’s also revealing how that film is going to change the complicated Marvel Cinematic Universe forever.
Here’s the exchange that could get Marvel fans riled up. After Nick Fury tells Peter that Beck is from “Earth, just not ours,” Beck gives an explanation that has major implications for future Marvel movies (and TV shows).
“There are multiple realities, Peter. This is Earth, dimension 616. I’m from Earth-833. We share identical physical constants, level four symmetry,” he says.
Peter replies: “I’m sorry, you’re saying there’s a multiverse? Because I thought that was just theoretical, I mean that completely changes how we understand the initial singularity.”
What’s likely going to cause some heated debate in Marvel fan communities is what Beck says. He says that Parker is in Earth-616, which is the designation for the main Marvel Universe in the comics.
The problem is that, after Iron Man was released in 2008, beginning the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel published a book, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z, Vol. 5. It designated the MCU as Earth-199999.
This discrepancy could be really small or really big. On the small side, it could be that Mysterio, an accomplished liar, isn’t telling Peter the truth. Or maybe the producers just fucked up, and the different dimension numbers have no narrative significance at all.
On the big side, if Mysterio is telling the truth it means that the Marvel comics and cinematic universes both take place on Earth-616, and that the differences between them are part of the reality of the omniverse.
A multiverse is a collection of alternate universes. The omniverse is, according to an active Marvel fansite, “the collection of every single universe, multiverse, megaverse, dimension (alternate or pocket) and realm.” So if the comics and movies are happening in Earth-616, it’s possible that there is a whole slew of heretofore unknown parallel universes that future works could explore.
If all of this is confusing to you, join the club. It’s basically like trying to understand a fictional version of quantum mechanics. Hopefully, we’re able to gain a better sense of what’s happening and where things are going when Far from Home comes to theaters on July 2.