The Marvel Cinematic Universe is already a big place, but if revelations in the latest Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer hold true, it could be getting a lot bigger, and possibly more welcoming to a few extra web-slinging heroes.
In early May, Marvel released a preview of Far From Home that had Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio indicate that he was from a different Earth, located in a similar-but-different universe. As he and Samuel Jackson’s back-in-action SHIELD agent Nick Fury explained it, the events of Avengers: Endgame led to the discovery that the Earth of the MCU is just one of many in a wide-reaching “multiverse.”
It’s worth noting early on that the news originated from a character who is one of Spider-Man’s oldest foes in Marvel Comics lore, with a knack for creating illusions and making his enemies question what’s real. So, as fascinating as this revelation is, Mysterio isn’t exactly the most reliable narrator.
Nevertheless, early indications suggest that the film will go all-in on the multiverse angle — and the premise has plenty of support in established Marvel elements.
The idea of a multiverse is nothing new for Marvel Comics fans. Versions of the same characters from different universes have teamed up, battled each other, and otherwise interacted since the publisher’s earliest days. As these universe-spanning adventures became more commonplace, Marvel even saw fit to give each Earth a designation. The Earth of the original Marvel Comics heroes was eventually given the designation “Earth-616,” for example. Until recently, though, the notion of multiple universes hasn’t been as prevalent in Marvel’s live-action movie franchise.
Both 2015’s Ant-Man and the following year’s Doctor Strange seemed to imply the existence of universes other than that of the MCU proper. The two films had their main characters traversing dimensions and realms beyond what their MCU allies perceive, and what those characters experience during their respective journeys changes their outlook on the universe.
If Mysterio’s claims prove true, Far From Home could change things, too — as well as provide a legitimate narrative link to last year’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Versions of the same characters from different universes have teamed up, battled each other, and otherwise interacted since the publisher’s earliest days.
The winner of a well-deserved Academy Award in the Best Animated Feature category (take that, Disney), Sony’s Into the Spider-Verse had teenager Miles Morales inherit the titular hero’s mantle after being bit by a genetically enhanced spider and witnessing the death of his world’s Spider-Man, Peter Parker. He’s helped along in his hero’s journey by a host of colorful spider-branded characters from different Earths who find themselves stranded in Miles’ universe.
Along with introducing Miles — an immensely popular character who made his comics debut in 2011 and eventually became the Spider-Man of his Earth, known as Earth-1610 — Into the Spider-Verse also put the idea of the multiverse front and center in its narrative. (Hence the “Spider-Verse” title).
Along with the Peter Parker of Earth-616 and Miles Morales of Earth-1610, Into the Spider-Verse also introduced Spider-Woman (Gwen Stacy) of Earth-65, Spider-Ham of Earth-8311, Spider-Man Noir of Earth-90214, and Peni Parker of Earth-14512, among other multiverse-spawned heroes and villains.
Given all of that, Mysterio’s insistence in Far From Home that he hails from another Earth — in particular, his description of the MCU’s Earth as “Earth-616” — does seem to align with the Marvel Comics version of multiverse.
The introduction of the multiverse throws the door wide open for the next phase of the MCU
If he’s telling the truth, it doesn’t require too much of a logical leap to assume the worlds of Miles Morales and the rest of the Into the Spider-Verse heroes could also have a place in this new, multiverse-friendly MCU. Miles and his pals are all just heroes from some of those other Earths, after all.
It doesn’t end there, either. With tens of thousands of Earths at play in the Marvel Comics universe, the introduction of the multiverse throws the door wide open for the next phase of the MCU, leaving no end to the possibilities.
Want Far From Home star Tom Holland’s version of Spider-Man to fight alongside those of prior franchise stars Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield? The multiverse can make it happen. Alternate histories, evil doppelgängers, and all manner of re-imagined heroes and villains are fair game in an MCU where the multiverse is an accepted fact. Given the opportunity, who wouldn’t want to see Miles, Gwen, and Peter (Holland’s version, that is) team up at some point for an adventure — animated or otherwise?
In fact, some speculation points to the establishment of the multiverse in the MCU as a way for Disney to integrate the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and other Marvel characters the company acquired from Fox.
All of this multiverse talk hinges on Mysterio telling the truth in Far From Home
Of course, before we get too excited, it’s worth a reminder that all of this multiverse talk hinges on Mysterio telling the truth in Far From Home — something his Marvel Comics counterpart has never been fond of doing. In the end, it could all just be an elaborate hoax enacted by Gyllenhaal’s character for one reason another, and the universe of the MCU could be just as singular (but wide-reaching) as it’s always been.
Until we know for sure, though, there’s no harm in imagining the possibilities of a Marvel multiverse and what it might hold for the future of the MCU.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home hits theaters July 2.
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