The current “meta” (as gamers like to say) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the multiverse. Marvel Studios is currently full-on into the concept of the multiverse and callbacks to previous cinematic universes by incorporating some old notable characters that came before MCU. Of course, with Sony’s ‘Spider-Verse’ movies and Spider-Man and Doctor Strange messing with timelines and realities, people started to wonder how many universes are out there. Well, there is one that has us, the Earth-1218. In this article, we will discuss Marvel’s Earth-1218 and how it is connected to our world.
Earth-1218 is a designated name for “our” reality. In this universe, superheroes and other superpowered beings don’t exist but are part of the fictional media. According to Marvel Comics, Earth-1218 is “our” world, a boring universe without superpowered individuals, and those could only be found in fictional media – it essentially confirms the same Marvel Comics history as we know with Namor, the Sub-Mariner marked as one of the first comic book characters. The three most notable characters who are aware of “our” universe by breaking a fourth wall are Deadpool, She-Hulk, and Gwenpool.
This particular universe first appeared in Marvel Comics in 2008, and since then has been destroyed by incursions during ‘Secret Wars,’ but Reed Richards restored the universe after the said event. Quite an interesting topic, so let’s indulge in it.
What is the definition of the universe in Marvel Comics?
Before we kickstart this topic fully, let’s discuss the definition of the universe in Marvel Comics. Of course, this topic might be self-explanatory, but in comics, everything needs to be specifically set up to make sense to readers who follow multiple stories and characters simultaneously.
For example, Mr. Fantastic in Earth-616 is a genius who uses his intellect and resources to protect the whole universe from extraterrestrial threats. Moreover, he is in (mostly) happy marriage with the love of his life Sue Storm, his fellow Fantastic Four member, also known as Invisible Woman.
However, in the Ultimate Universe, specifically Earth-1610, Reed Richards is a much darker character whose life falls apart when Magneto destroys New York with Ultimate Wave, leading to Sue Storm rejecting his marriage proposal and the ultimate end of the Fantastic Four.
The “dark” Reed Richards eventually becomes the Maker, whose worldview gets more skewed and ultimately becomes the threat to the whole multiverse. Essentially, the Maker becomes one of the multiverse’s strongest and most notorious beings.
Each universe holds different versions of various characters, and major comic book events like ‘Secret Wars’ and ‘Spider-Verse’ showcase these interactions and storylines.
According to Marvel Comics, the Universe, or continuity, is a single reality. Earth-616 is the main continuity/reality of Marvel Comics. The definition of the universe isn’t the same as ‘dimension’ or ‘galaxy,’ which refer to the likes of Mephisto being from the alternate dimensions or Celestials being from another galaxy.
The universe is part of the Multiverse, which is a group of alternate universes,’ and it is part of the Omniverse, which is the collection of every single planet, the universe, megaverse, multiverse, dimension, galaxy, and so on of the Marvel Comics. Interestingly enough, DC Comics is part of the Omniverse as well, but there is one universe that resembles “our own” – Earth-1218.
What is Earth-1218, and how it’s related to our world?
Earth-616 is the main continuity of Marvel Comics, where most major events of “our” history happened, like World War I and II and 9/11, but it has superpowered individuals, mutants, and aliens.
However, there is one universe considered boring to our Marvel heroes, which doesn’t have any superpowered individuals, and they are only fiction – Earth-1218.
This universe has all superpowered characters and realities that are considered fictional are owned by Marvel Comics – they are all fictional. The history, or the beginning of Marvel Comics, follows “real-world” happenings like Timely Comics being the predecessor to Marvel, and Namor, the Sub-Mariner, being the first ever superhero character, first appearing in ‘Motion Picture Funnies Weekly’ in April of 1939.
After Namor, the rest of the characters appeared in the same comics, later to be known as Marvel Comics. This is why this universe is considered “our” world – it mirrors everything from the real world.
Earth-1218 first appeared in ‘New Exiles’ #3; specifically, it was numbered for the first time in one Marvel comic. Of course, this universe (besides being “boring”) is significant because only a few Marvel characters know its existence since they interact with its inhabitants by breaking the fourth wall.
She-Hulk was the first superhero in Marvel Comics to break the fourth wall and is consistently doing it for decades. In ‘The Sensational She-Hulk’ #1 from 1989, She-Hulk broke the fourth wall by threatening the readers to destroy ‘X-Men’ comics if they didn’t check out her new series. This cool premise stayed with her character today, although she doesn’t do it as regularly.
Deadpool was created in 1991, and Merc with a Mouth took this premise to the next level. He consistently interacts with readers from Earth-1218 (our world) and uses it to his advantage – he travels from comic book issue to another to be a nuisance to other characters, and he likes messing with Spider-Man.
Of course, Loki, Rick Jones, and Squirrel Girl are others who broke the fourth wall in Marvel Comics, but She-Hulk and Deadpool do it consistently. However, there is one unique character, and that’s Gwenpool.
As you can notice from Marvel Comics, Multiverse has alternate versions of one character, like the aforementioned Mr. Fantastic and the Maker, but there is one character that is truly its own, and that’s the character named Gwen Poole.
Gwenpool first debuted in ‘The Unbelievable Gwenpool’ comic book series in 2016. She isn’t considered an alternate version of Gwen Stacy, but a woman who considers herself as being from “our” world, Earth-1218.
At least she thinks she is – Gwen Poole comes from the universe where superheroes are fictional characters from comic books and movies, but it is suggested that she isn’t Earth-1218.
Why? Well, Gwen never existed in our world because she is from a similar universe – the only difference is her family’s existence. The universe was never numbered in Marvel Comics, but the official wiki marked the universe as Earth-TRN565.
Nevertheless, Gwen used her knowledge of Earth-616 and its characters, entered it, and became a mercenary known as Gwenpool. Quite an interesting premise, confirming that superpowered characters don’t exist on Earth-1218.
In the ‘Shatterstar’ comic book series from 2019, we learn from Grandmaster that superpowered characters that enter Earth-1218 will lose their powers momentarily. He states in the fifth issue that the strict rule of “our” reality prevents from gods and superheroes existing.
Ultimately, we can say that “our” world is very much present in Marvel Comics, which mirrors what DC Comics did with Earth-Prime being their own depiction of the real world.
What are your thoughts on the topic? Let us know in the comments below!