Sunday 12 June 2016

Same heroes, different universes

If you only know Marvel because of the movies and you'd like to pick up the comic books. This might be a interesting post for you. It might also clear the air for some people who've not been reading comicbooks for that long.

When Marvel started out it was just a guy drawing comics. I can imagine he never dreamt it would ever become this big. At first he created characters and story's. It soon became a succes so there came more characters and more stories. But after years and years of writing at some point you just can't keep on inventing characters. Also at some other point the stories of the really popular characters came at an end so they had to find a solution. This is when they decided to create different universes.

In this post we'll be using Spiderman as an example. Once the first storyline of Spiderman and a great deal of other heroes ended they started over with a new universe. They would take the whole thing back to zero and start over. The character names would stay the same, we'd still be reading about Peter Parker and he would probably still have his spider powers but the main story would change completely. Maybe this time he would not have a girlfriend, or the villains would be way stronger. There are even universes where our heroes are villains!

for example: In the ultimate universe he's the spiderman we all know, bitten by a radioactive spider swinging around New York with the red and blue suit. In the Webslinger Eurth storyline he's a fully mutated monster with four extra limbs and everything. Years before Homer Simson sang about it Spidey had already make the joke in the short series 'Spider Ham' where he's a spider bitten by a radioactive pig.
This happens with every hero. Ironman even has a version where he isn't just a normal man in a suit. In one of the universes his body is bulletproof and limbs can grow back when blown off by landmines. In this universe he's also blue!!

If you do the research you'll find there are countless versions of every hero. If you like crossovers and references about other heroes I recommend you buy all your comics in the same universe!

For Spiderman I found this interesting post where they guide you with which comicbook you can start reading.

This next part is only for the die hard fans:
so we were talking about different universes, while in fact you've got a whole classification system around it.

For starters you should know that not every alternate reality is an entire independent universe, but instead it maintains a parasitic relationship to a parent reality. Others can exist outside the multiversal structure altogether. For example Pocket universes and External realities.

The classification system for alternate realities by Mark Gruenwald:
  • Continuity: such as Earth-616 the mainstream Marvel Universe/Continuity (Amazing Spider-Man, the Invincible Iron Man, ...), Earth-1610 (Ultimate Marvel) now merged with Earth-616 after the secret wars, but also Earth-199999 that's the Marvel Cinematic Universe from Disney (the Avenger movies, netflix series, ...), ...
  • Multiverse: is a collection of alternate universes, with a similar nature. More like what if, ... universe. So universes that are based on the Continuity. For example: Earth-2149 (Marvel Zombies), first appeared in the Ultimate Fantastic Four
  • Megaverse: is a collection of alternate universes, which do not necessarily need to have a similar natures and universal hierarchies.
  • Omniverse: is a collection of all the realities combined, including all the works that are outside of Marvel's copyright restrictions. So there is only 1 omniverse!

Hoped you liked reading the post, and see you next Wednesday with a new post! 


  1. This seems like a great idea. I think this a very cool way of putting a spin on the stories of the super heroes we all love so much.

  2. I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information? Mangadex