The Marvel Multiverse is a fictional multiverse created by Marvel Comics, which is inhabited by the Many-Angled Ones. It is the setting for two on-going on and off comic series published by Marvel Comics, the "What If?" series (1977+) and the "Exiles" series (2001+). It was also the stage for an epic cosmic horror story which was the "Time Runs Out" event published in 2014-2015, as well as the issues leading up to the event, mainly within New Avengers Vol 3 (issues 3-6, and 13-22 in 2013-2014).
- 1 Background
- 2 Lovecraftian Multiversal Entities
- 3 Multiversal Abstracts
- 4 Multiversal Status Quo Powers
- 5 Multiversal Institutions
- 6 Multiversal Threats
- 7 Multiversal Teams of Alternate Earths
- 8 Multiversal-Active Teams from Prime Reality's Earth
- 9 Examples of Dark Universes (Cosmic Horror)
- 10 Known Megaversal Crossover Universes
- 11 Gallery
- 11.1 Gallery of the Multiversal-level Many-Angled Ones
- 11.2 Gallery of Non-Mythos Lovecraftian Multiversal Entities
- 11.3 Gallery of the Multiversal Abstracts
- 11.4 Gallery of Non-Lovecraftian Multiversal Threats
- 11.5 Gallery of the Multiversal Status Quo Powers
- 11.6 Gallery of Multiversal Institutions
- 11.7 Gallery of Multiversal Teams of Alternate Earths
- 11.8 Gallery of Multiverse-active Teams of Mainstream Earth
- 11.9 Gallery of Human Protagonists
- 11.10 Gallery of Multiversal Dimensions
- 11.11 Gallery of Dark Universes (Cosmic Horror)
- 11.12 Gallery of Megaversal Crossover Universes
- 12 See Also
- 13 External Links
Background[edit | edit source]
The Marvel Multiverse is an infinite one (per the One-Above-All, who rules the Multiverse), in which each action an individual takes creates a new reality, even something as simple as scratching your nose (as proven by Thanos and confirmed by the One-Above-All). In the early 21st century, Earth alone had billions of future timelines and the largest known multiversal temporal government (the Congress of Realities) had representatives from millions of realities. There have been a few known multiversal-level incidents which threatened the Marvel Multiverse or made changes to it, most recently when the Beyonders (a trio of omnipotent beings from a dimension beyond the Multiverse) nearly ended the Multiverse (the "Time Runs Out" event). It was destroyed at the end of the conflict but was later restored.
The Marvel Multiverse is one of an unknown number of Multiverses that came up the Megaverse, which in turn is one of an unknown number of Megaverses that make up the Omniverse. Other Multiverses that are known to exist to the higher-level beings of the Marvel Multiverse include the DC Multiverse, the Transformers Multiverse, the Doctor Who Multiverse, and the Capcom Multiverse. Sometimes, there is interaction between the Multiverses which result in temporary new realities or permanent realities that come about due to the merging of a universe from each Multiverse.
Lovecraftian Multiversal Entities[edit | edit source]
The Old Ones are scattered across this multiverse with some living in the positive universes, beings that are powerful enough to pose a threat to a world to those that pose a threat to the whole universe. In the space between the infinite realities, is where many of the Old Ones live or exist, from which they attempt to corrupt and conquer those realities. Any world or universe which is conquered by them gradually decays and dies. One such universe was called the Cancerverse, where the abstract entity known as "Death" was killed and nothing died. It was a universe corrupted by the Many-Angled Ones and life ran riot, like a cancer.
The Many-Angled One are not the only Eldritch entities that operate at the Multiversal stage. On one extreme are those who pose universal-scale threats to the realities they visit and at the other extreme are those who pose threats only to a world. Among their ranks are Alioth, the One Below All, the Infinites, the World-Eater, Abraxas, and the Hunger;
- One Below All: The counterpart of the One-Above-All. He resides in the deepest part of Hell and is the source of the mutagenic form of Gamma energy. He uses those mutated by gamma energy to manifest himself in the material world. The entity spawns entities known as Qlippoths and disgorges legions of demonic monsters.
- Alioth: A trans-temporal entity, which appears as a vast cloud. It is the first being that ever broke free from the constraints of time. It exists across divergent timelines, and destroys all it touches, devastating entire dimensions due to the massive temporal disturbances it causes. The other temporal powers are trying to contain it.
- Hunger: A universal-scale parasite, which lives in the Cosmic Vortex. It feeds on matter, energy, and the fabric of reality, and has devoured a number of realities. The entity has a sense of humor and breaks the "Fourth Wall".
- Infinites: A trio of abstract beings of incomprehensible power whose mission is to align the energies of all the realities into a more harmonious structure using worlds as raw materials and moving stars and galaxies. They are beings who vastly dwarf Eternity itself in size and power; their activities result in the deaths of billions and more.
- Abraxas: A being who claims to have come into existence at the birth of the original universe which gave rise to the Multiverse. His goal is to bring an end to the Multiverse and has traveled from reality to reality, slaying cosmic abstracts and destroying dimensions. Abraxas was the embodiment of destruction.
- World-Eater: An entity which feeds on dimensions. It uses a host that is native to that dimension to consume it before jumping to the next dimension. It's weakness was that it could not enter, much less feed on, that dimension without a native host body.
Multiversal Abstracts[edit | edit source]
The Multiverse has a pantheon of sorts, consisting of various multiversal abstracts, each of whose power vastly eclipses that of the most powerful entity in each universe within the Multiverse. Whenever there is a major multiversal event, they are either involved as participants or as observers.
- One Above All: The master of the Multiverse. It is a mysterious omnipotent being who permits virtually anything to happen in its multiverse, from the birth and creation of new realities to the corruption or destruction of old realities.
- Living Tribunal: Balance in the multiverse is maintained by the Living Tribunal, a being whose power is eclipsed only by the One Above All and who answers only to the One Above All.
- Eternity (Multiverse): Similar to how Yog-Sothoth in the Mythos contained within it every universe, likewise the multiversal version of Eternity also contains within it every universe in the multiverse.
- The Firmaments: Beings who embodied the previous multiverses, with the current Eternity being the 8th Cosmos (Multiverse).
Multiversal Status Quo Powers[edit | edit source]
Organizations and races which controlled territory within the multiverse or took it upon themselves to defend the Multiverse from a multiversal threat. They went to war to protect what was theirs or to protect the Multiverse from those threatening its existence, and basically functioned as geopolitical factions within the Multiverse.
- The Congress of Realities: A democracy consisting of representatives from millions of realities. They are the largest temporal power and govern the largest territory in the timestream.
- The Time Variance Authority: A vast faceless bureaucracy that governs infinite realities and keeps tabs on others. They are among the top temporal powers, governing one of the largest territories in the timestream.
- The Delubric Consortium: A temporal empire within the Multiverse whose inhabitants are spherical beings with spikes and tentacles coming from their bodies. No known contact between it and Earth's heroes has occurred yet.
- Black Priests: They are powerful magical beings, with the minds of tens of thousands who are able to distort reality with words. They would destroy intrusive Earths during the Game of Worlds in the hope that if they destroyed enough of them, the Multiverse would be saved. Doctor Strange would later join them and become their leader. They were defeated by the forces of Dr. Doom in the final stage of the Game of Worlds, yet were restored upon the restoration of the Multiverse.
- Council of Cross-Time Kangs: Established by aliens, humans, and other creatures who had defeated the robots ruling their realities for the multiversal temporal conquer, Kang. They took his guise and had their base of operations in temporal Limbo. It was an organization with thousands of members.
- Time Keepers: Created next to replace the Time Twisters, resulting in two divergent branches of reality. They in turn set themselves as the timestream's custodians. Powerful beings who could manipulate temporal energy. Earth was seen by them as an existential threat to the cosmos as there were timelines in which humans devastated the galaxy or even the universe itself. The Avengers themselves posed a threat to their existence. The machinations of the Time Keepers ended in a battle involving Avengers from numerous timelines, some against them and others fighting for them, in which they lost the battle.
- Spider-Totems: Supernatural multiversal entities which are linked to the Web of Life and Destiny, a mystical force. They maintain the Web and each of the Great Totems have a key role to play. They select individuals in various realities to serve as their avatars, who may be mortal or divine, good or evil.
- Revelation: The wife of Kang the Conqueror, who in one timeline ruled the future with him until he died. After that, she defended his former empire against Alioth and the other rival temporal powers.
- The Builders: They are a billion-year-old race that has a presence in several thousand realities and have guided the development of their universes. The race was based in the Superflow and used it to travel throughout their realities. They were defeated by the Beyonders in the final stage of the Game of Worlds.
Multiversal Institutions[edit | edit source]
Helping to maintain the integrity and continue existence of the multiverse are several factions, acting as the Multiverse's policemen or firefighters. Whenever there is a major multiversal event, one or more of them are involved in one way or another.
- The Captain Britain Corps: An organization established by Merlyn made up of superheroes (the majority human) from numerous realities, dedicated to protecting the multiverse.
- The Exiles: An organization which repairs the multiverse by fixing broken realities (Earths), and they recruit/conscript super heroes (the majority mutants) from alternate Earths into their team.
Multiversal Threats[edit | edit source]
Factions that threatened the Multiverse in its entirety or only alternate Earths. They operate independently of the Lovecraftian threats to the Multiverse. They are races and organizations which wage campaigns of extermination or of conquest across the Multiverse.
- Beyonders: A near-omnipotent race consisting of three members who lived in a dimension outside of the multiverse, they are beings who could destroy and create universes, but unable to leave their dimension. Their dimension is the source of the Cosmic Cubes. The Beyonders were running an experiment on the Multiverse, in which every reality would be destroyed simultaneously by one of their "bombs" (the Molecule Man), which they had planted in every reality. When Dr. Doom realized what they were doing, he began to sabotage their plan. This set off the Game of Worlds, as they sent their forces (co-oped Super Adaptoid robots) to bring about the destruction of the targeted realities. They nearly succeeded and, near the end, annihilated all of the cosmic abstracts across the Multiverse, including the Living Tribunal. They were finally killed by Doctor Doom who temporarily absorbed their powers.
- Exterminators: A race created by the Celestials at the dawn of the universe. Their purpose was in bringing death and destruction. They turned on the Celestials, who were unable to kill them and therefore were forced to imprison them. They split the universe into the multiverse and trapped them in the space between the realities. They remained trapped for millennia, but the frequent traveling between realities weakened the walls and they were able to escape. They were imprisoned again, this time in Earth-295 by the cross-dimensional X-Men.
- Time Twisters: Beings created by the last director of the Time Variance Authority prior to the universe's heat death. They came out flawed, in fact, warped, such that they traveled backwards across time in search of the universe's origins. They cared not for the destruction they caused to the timestream. In their eyes, the destruction of a million worlds was worth the knowledge they were searching for. They are powerful beings with the ability to manipulate temporal energy.
- Poisons: A race of crystalline aliens who were spawned by the Poison Queen. For a long time, they were the prey of stronger and larger creatures before they discovered that if they assimilated Klyntar (symbiotes) and their hosts, they themselves became powerful. They hunted their reality's Venom symbiote, and soon an army of venomized super-powered beings from across the Multiverse was recruited to stop them. Learning of the existence of the Multiverse, the Poisons waged a brutal war that nearly crushed the Resistance. The Poisons then began to raid the Symbiote homeworld of various realities, increasing their army. They then arrived in the Prime Reality and attacked Earth, infecting superpowered heroes, where they met their defeat, mostly due to Carnage and Jean Grey.
- Kang the Conqueror: The Nathaniel Richards of an alternate reality who, in its future, conquered Earth and then built an intergalactic empire. He then expanded his empire across time and space, building a multiversal and temporal empire. He has repeatedly tried to conquer the Earth of the Prime Reality but has been repeatedly defeated. He recently was able to conquer Earth but held it for a short period before his rule was overthrown by Earth's heroes.
- Inheritors: They were are a clan of totemic hunters who fed on the life force of Totems (human-animal hybrid gods). They battled and fed not only on the totem avatars of Earth but also the totemic gods.
Multiversal Teams of Alternate Earths[edit | edit source]
Teams made up of members from various alternate Earths which were formed to protect the Multiverse from a specific threat, after which they may have disbanded.
- Interdimensional Council of Reeds: An organization consisting of the sons of the infinite Nathaniel Richards. All of them brilliant, they used their intelligence to better things on Earth. They then worked with each other to make the Multiverse a better place. All of them gave up on Earth to focus on the Multiverse, becoming science-soldiers. They met their end at the hands of the Mad Celestials (Earth-4280) who wanted to conquer the Multiverse.
- Cross-dimensional X-Men: Formed by a disembodied Xavier head to stop the ten evil Xaviers who were using their powers to tear apart reality.
- Spider-Army: An army of spider-powered beings assembled by Captain Britain Corpsman Spider-UK to protect the Spider-Totems (human/animal hybrid gods of Earth) and stop the Inheritors.
- Deadpool Corps: Formed by Deadpool, who had been chosen by the Contemplator to prevent the Multiverse's consciousness from being devoured by the Awareness.
- Superior Spider-Army: An army of spider-powered beings assembled by the Superior Spider-Man (Otto Octavius) to kill the Inheritors.
- Web-Warriors: After the defeat of the Inheritors, Spider-UK decided to form a team to protect the universes which no longer had a Spider-Totem.
Multiversal-Active Teams from Prime Reality's Earth[edit | edit source]
There are have been various super hero teams based on Earth who have operated as a multiversal team. Only one of them, the Fantastic Four, has done so consistently for decades. The others visited other realities due to a specific threat or mission, or end up in alternate realities unwillingly.
- Fantastic Four: They were the first of Earth who became multiversal explorers. They have continued to do so, exploring and studying the multiverse. During these visits to other realities, they have sometimes come into conflict with local threats as well as those from other dimensions or universes that posed a threat to Earth, its universe, or the Multiverse.
- X-Men: The most powerful team of mutants who rank among Earth's greatest heroes sometimes end up in other realities. Unlike the Fantastic Four, they end up in those realities because they are unwillingly transported to the reality or because of a threat that needs to be dealt with.
- Avengers: The superhero team that has the best relationship with the American government. Like the X-Men, they don't explore the Multiverse and end up in alternate realities unwillingly or because there is a threat which needs dealing with.
- Future Foundation: A group of free-thinking individuals assembled by Reed Richards whose goal was to make plans for a better future for Earth and humanity. After the defeat of Dr. Doom and the restoration of the Prime Reality in the post-Game of Worlds apocalypse, the Future Foundation, led by Mr. Fantastic, reconstructed the Multiverse by restoring the destroyed realities and creating new ones.
- Excalibur: The British team of mutants and supernatural beings led by Captain Britain for a time visited alternate realities and fought multiversal threats, though none of the apocalyptic kind.
- Illuminati: A secret think-tank of brilliant and powerful super heroes who became involved in the Game of Worlds. First they tried to find a peaceful resolution and then resorted to destroying alternate Earths.
- Cabal: After Namor fell out with the Illuminati, he formed the Cabal, though he would be quickly eclipsed by Thanos. They destroyed alternate Earths, and to Namor's disgust, took great pleasure in causing pain and suffering.
- Multiversal Avengers: Established by Sunspot to fight the incursions threatening Earth and the universe. They traveled across the Multiverse in an attempt to find what was killing it off.
Examples of Dark Universes (Cosmic Horror)[edit | edit source]
A list of some of the universes which have been conquered by incomprehensibly dark or mad powers or are the playground of Eldritch forces.
- Earth-10011 (Cancerverse): A universe where the cosmic abstract representing Death was killed. A reality which was ruled by the Many-Angled Ones, where life had become an Eldritch abomination that continuously expanded like a cancerous tumor and absorbed all into itself. Nothing died, and what was "killed" was soon resurrected. (NOTE: there is at least one other known divergent reality which is also a Cancerverse).
- Earth-2149 (Zombieverse): This universe was one in which a plague (known as the Hunger Gospel) infected the superhumans of Earth, turning them into cannibalistic undead who consumed the Earth and spread into the stars. Five of them consumed Galactus and became Power Cosmic-empowered cosmic zombies. They attempted to spread across the Multiverse, but a Watcher locked them into a chronal loop with another reality taken over by zombies to contain them both.
- Earth-91955 (Necronos): With the Infinity Gauntlet, he ruled a nightmarish cosmos; on many worlds, countless sentient beings were sacrificed to Death and Thanos at their temples. On other worlds, the inhabitants were made to suffer in varying ways, such as an Earth whose inhabitants experienced a freezing ice age.
- Earth-5113 (Dormammuverse): In which Dormammu killed Eternity, took his power, and remade the universe to his liking. It was a dark, oppressive, and sadistic universe. On Earth, some humans turned into demons upon his ascension. The superheroes became twisted or corrupted versions of what they were. He permitted a weak ineffectual resistance to exist for his amusement.
- Earth-4321 (Thanos God): Thanos seized control of the universe via the Heart of the Universe. Discovering the reality is flawed, he tries to repair the cosmos. Forced to fight the rebellious cosmic abstracts, he absorbs them and the universe itself. Thanos sacrifices himself to restore the cosmos.
- Earth-14209 (Thanos World): This universe was remodeled according to Thanos' subsoncious perception of reality. A dismal wasteland of scavengers and the walking dead. Not satisfied with his universe, he allowed its destruction.
- Earth-20209 (Warlockworld): This universe was one in which the insanity of Warlock manifested in unsettling and pointless aspects. Its inhabitants were locked in a bizarre ritual of death and resurrection. Dissatisfied with his universe, he allowed its destruction.
- Earth-2301 (Mangaverse): In this reality, an Eldritch tyrant (Mephisto) wages universal-wide warfare to destroy all life using his minion race (Skrulls) to spread the Anti-Life Virus. In opposition are the Kree, backed by the Watchers. Earth is threatened by skyscraper-sized super powered invaders (both sentient and bestial) from outer space and other dimensions, as well as the Anti-Life Virus (Galactus).
- Earth-9997 (Universe X): In this reality, the human race has been manipulated throughout its history by the Celestials, resulting in all of mankind having superpowers. They learn that the Celestials had been using countless worlds as incubators for their embryos, who upon emerging, consume the world… and Earth was next.
- Earth-42221 (Phalanx Supremacy): A universe in which Danger (the sentient A.I.) broke free of the X-Men with Ultron's help and killed them. The two then headed out to space with the Wild Sentinel. They took over the Shi'ar Empire and later assumed leadership of the techno-organic Phalanx, unleashing death and despair throughout the universe.
Known Megaversal Crossover Universes[edit | edit source]
Realities created by the permanent or temporary merging of two realities from two different multiverses.
- Earth-91274 (Transformers Universe): It's a universe in which the cosmic gods created the Transformers and the gods of light and darkness themselves became planet-sized machines (e.g., Cybertron). Transformable sentient robotic races are common in the Milky Way galaxy. On Earth, there are the rival organizations G.I. Joe and Cobra, and a few individuals from the Marvel Multiverse (one of which is Spider-Man, the only superhero).
- Earth-7642 (Marvel-DC Crossover Universe): Every known character, race, or organization in the Marvel and DC mainstream universes appears in this reality, side by side, including the X-Men, Teen Titans, Darkseid, Phoenix, Batman, Spider-Man, Hulk, Joker, Skrulls, Daemonites, Punisher, Superman, etc.
- Earth-9602 (Amalgam Universe): A reality which was created by a cosmic entity who "pushed" the two worlds together, resulting in the merging of the DC and Marvel worlds. New characters were created from the merger of two or three characters, and likewise in the case of some organizations and races.
- Earth-30847 (Marvel-Capcom Crossover Universe): Every known character, race, or organization in the Capcom and Marvel mainstream universes appear in this reality, side by side, including the X-Men, Galactus, Skrulls, Chun-Li, Bison, Spider-Man, Darkstalkers, Megaman, etc.
- Earth-5556 (Doctor Who Universe): It's a universe in which time travel is a common technology among certain groups (e.g. the Time Lords) and the greatest hero in the cosmos is a Time Lord known simply as "The Doctor". At least one Marvel character appears in this reality, the time traveling cyborg from the future, Death Head.