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The Real World in the MCU: Earth 1218, Explained


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by Xtreme HD IPTV

From the earliest days of the franchise, the MCU has shown a proclivity for pulling together individually complex plots and story lines into coherent larger ones with amazing continuity, considering how many films and TV shows there have already been. By the time we got to Avengers: Endgame, it was apparent that future phases of the MCU had their work cut out for them finding a way to keep upping the ante in terms of brilliant story telling. While standards have begun slipping in terms of how good the films have been, their complexity has only grown.


That’s largely thanks to the multiverse concept, which began being tentatively raised as a concept for the MCU as far back as the first Doctor Strange in 2016. A more formal introduction to it then came in earnest with Spider-Man: No Way Home and Loki, which both broke the multiverse open in amazing ways. With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, audiences were given a full look at how vast and wondrous the multiverse is, getting an idea of the potential for future stories as well.

It’s since become clear that the MCU will continue to use the multiverse as an umbrella theme, and the possibilities this opens up are very exciting. However, it brings one big question: does the multiverse contain our world as we know it? The answer is an emphatic ‘yes’, and in that universe, our world is known as Earth-1218. Here’s how it works.


The MCU Multiverse

The concept of the multiverse was created as a means of answering how different iterations of the same characters could seemingly exist across different timelines. It posits a collection of alternate universes that have varying similarities.

Related: Kathryn Newton Shares Thoughts on Young Avengers Crossover in MCU Phase 5

Due to time moving differently in different universes, similar events can seem to occur either in the past or future in alternate universes. While the same people or characters exist across multiple universes, there are usually different versions of them, various changes to their fates, how they look, act, interact with each other, or the destinies they face in each universe.

Stream Spider-Man: No Way Home on DIRECTV

It Contains Alternate Universes and Different Dimensions

What If... The Watcher Broke His Oath The Guardians of the Multiverse assembled
Marvel Studios

This brilliant concept makes for virtually endless possibilities, since there is theoretically no limit to the variations on characters, worlds, and more. Aside from different universes, the multiverse also includes different timelines and dimensions. That virtually limitless number of universes is so vast, it even caters for our universe in it too. Our world Earth, in the comic universe, was designated as Earth-1218, and basically contains our world and lives as we know it — with no superheroes.

Earth-1218 Explained

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Within the multiverse, Earth-1218 is known as one of the most dull universes, since in it, superheroes and all our favorite MCU characters exist as they do in real life — as characters from comic books owned by Marvel Comics. Despite this, Earth-1218 experiences a very different fate in the comics.

Most of Marvel’s main story lines take place in a universe designated as Earth-616. In the comics, each universe is seen as a continuity or a single reality, and Earth-616 is the main continuity that most Marvel Comics take place in. Although major events that happen in reality occur there too, like the World Wars, they just happen to include superheroes too.

Interestingly, in one of the timelines, the ‘Secret Wars’ results in Earth-1218 being destroyed, but it’s thankfully restored by Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic from The Fantastic Four), who is a very powerful being in other universes. In Earth-1218, the superheroes follow a reality-based path and are said to have been created by Marvel Comics, with Namor the Sub-Mariner being the first character created, as it was in reality.

Some Characters Know Earth-1218 Exist

Scarlet Witch in the Multiverse of Madness
Marvel Studios

Despite its role in the multiverse, most superheroes in other universes aren’t aware of our Earth’s existence. However, there are a handful of characters who do know about it. Those characters are the ones like She-Hulk and Deadpool, who regularly ‘break the fourth wall’.

Remember those scenes in the Deadpool films where he addresses the audience directly, speaks about other Marvel characters, and is aware of the MCU? That’s basically an example of Deadpool acknowledging the existence of Earth-1218, and using that as a means to communicate with us directly.

Stream Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness on Disney+

The Unique Nature of Gwenpool

Of the characters who break the fourth wall, the one who stands out is Gwenpool. Designed as a physical amalgam of Spider-Man’s Gwen Stacy and Deadpool, she arrives in the comic world claiming to be from our world — Earth-1218. Despite this belief of hers, we know she never existed in our world, and since her family is shown to exist in another universe, it’s taken that she’s actually not an Earth-1218 inhabitant.

However, she uses her knowledge of Earth-616 and its heroes to travel there and become a mercenary like Deadpool. We also know from other comics that if any superheroes from other universes managed to travel to Earth-1218, they would lose their powers, since the rules of reality here are very strict and superpowers don’t exist here.

Related: How the Multiverse Genre Has Taken Over Hollywood

Whether by design or not, there’s a deeply philosophical undertone to all this that seems to mirror either Plato or Aristotle. Plato believed in a dual reality — the one we perceive, and one that exists beyond our comprehension, called the Realm of Forms — which started the concept of the multiverse in Western philosophy. However, Aristotle believed that reality is objective and has finite rules, which would explain why superheroes can’t exist on Earth-1218.

Earth Prime

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Like Marvel, DC also has a similar concept to Earth-1218, a world in their multiverse known as Earth Prime. Of course, we know from comics that Marvel and DC have had multiple crossover events. It’s uncertain if Earth-1218 will show up in any of the MCU’s future projects — though it kind of already has, if we count Deadpool speaking to us in the cinema.

Given how amazing the multiverse concept has been so far, perhaps a logical step would be to one day feature Marvel and DC crossovers on screen. Picture match ups like Superman vs the Hulk, or Batman vs Wolverine? The possibilities are endless.

Given DC’s dismal failure so far to match the MCU’s success, perhaps that is the only way they can begin their recovery. It probably wouldn’t be fair to Marvel, whose characters’ brilliant showings in the MCU would have to come to an end to accommodate it. But to comic fans, it would mean the world, so it might be worth it. After all, as Doctor Strange puts it:

In the grand calculus of the multiverse, their sacrifice means infinitely more than their lives.

For more on the MCU, check out this video on Phase 4:

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by Xtreme HD IPTV

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