The modern concept of a multiverse has intrigued physicists, philosophers, and fiction writers for the past century. Ever since the Silver Age, mainstream superhero comics have creatively exploited this theory. While it’s often utilized to create derivations of popular characters, it also gives creators an opportunity to craft stories that differ from the norm and thus Multiverse Comics are very popular.
Explored in series like What If, Exiles, and Captain Britain, Marvel’s Multiverse is overflowing with fascinating ideas and stories. Some settings – like those depicted in Age of Apocalypse and House of M – have become cornerstones of Marvel’s catalog. In the myriad of parallel universes, these are among the most interesting.
10. Forever Yesterday Explores A Marvel Universe With A Different Ethnic Makeup
For many modern Marvel fans, the New Warriors are mostly remembered as being one of the catalysts for the Superhuman Registration Act in Civil War. Their own series was rife with interesting tales unique to the teen superhero team. Perhaps the most famous story arc from New Warriors is the seminal Forever Yesterday.
On this Earth, Middle-Eastern and African cultures dominated history (instead of European cultures). This led to a very fascinating Avengers lineup with characters like Thor and Captain America replaced with Horus and Captain Assyria. In the original story, Nova is among the only mainstream heroes of European descent.
9. Supreme Power Showcases The Home Of Marvel’s Justice League
Common tools used in superhero comics are pastiche and parody. The Squadron Supreme are Marvel’s reflection of the Distinguished Competition’s Justice League. With Supreme Power, J. Michael Stracznski and Gary Frank updated the team’s usual moral ambiguity to new levels.
In this version, Hyperion is a government agent and Batman analogue Nighthawk is a merciless killer of white supremacists. Eventually, this world crossed over with Marvel’s Ultimate Universe in the Ultimate Power limited series, giving fans a taste of a modern Marvel vs DC story.
8. King Hyperion Rules His Planet With A Fist Of Steel
While the Hyperion of the Supreme Power universe started out as a government-controlled operative, his sins do not compare to those of this variation. In one universe visited by the Omniverse-hopping Exiles, Hyperion became the ruler of Earth.
After Mark Milton murders all the superheroes and crowns himself King Hyperion, humanity fires the Earth’s nuclear arsenal in a ditch effort to destroy the evil Superman. Unfortunately for them, they only succeed in annihilating themselves, leaving Hyperion as the sole inhabitant of Earth. King Hyperion then turned his attention to the multiverse.
7. 2099 Envisions The Near Future Of The Marvel Universe
The Marvel Multiverse is filled with many glimpses of possible futures. One of these universes is the home of Miguel O’Hara, the Spider-Man of 2099. In the vein of works like Blade Runner and Akira, 2099 is a cyberpunk take on the Marvel Universe, focusing on speculative technology and the increased power of corporations.
This timeline is sometimes thought to be the actual future of the mainline continuity; however, as it’s only a possible future, it’s also considered a unique universe of its own.
6. The Original Guardians Protect The Marvel U of the 31st Century
Going even further, the Guardians of the Galaxy hail from the 31st Century. In this universe, humanity makes colonies among the other planets of Earth’s solar system. Eventually, the classic Marvel alien race ‘the Badoon’ enter the solar system and completely annihilate the colonies and invade Earth.
Survivors of the colonies – one from each – unite as the Guardians of the Galaxy to resist the Badoon threat. This world also features the far-off influence of modern Marvel characters. An entire alien race known as The Stark form their culture around abandoned Tony Stark technology and a gang of Punishers works under the Badoon in New York.
5. Noir Imagines Marvel Characters In The Depression Era
Just as there are several speculations of Earth’s future, the Marvel Multiverse offers readers the chance to view characters in a historical setting. The Noir line depicts a world where Marvel favorites popped up around the Great Depression. These variations behave more like the pulp and radio characters of the early ’30s like The Shadow, who’s often more willing to employ lethal measures than modern superheroes.
The art style of this line was evocative of film noir, featuring plenty of alleys and shadows. This universe also features a couple Golden Age heroes who fit the era perfectly, such as Thomas Halloway: the Golden Age Angel.
4. The New Universe Attempted To Be More Realistic Than The Main Continuity
Totally unconnected from Earth-616, the New Universe featured brand-new characters in a more “normal” world. The intention of the New Universe was for it to be exactly like the real world except for the White Event phenomenon, which was supposed to be the sole origin of superpowers. Most heroes also didn’t tend to wear flashy costumes. However, some titles were inconsistent with these concepts, which may have contributed to its suppression in the Marvel Multiverse.
While the New Universe has largely been left in the past, versions of characters like Starbrand and Nightmask have lived on in the main Marvel Universe. It’s also crossed over with Quasar, largely due to legendary comics’ writer Mark Guenwald’s involvement.
3. The World Of Spider-Man: Life Story Sets Characters In The Time Of Their Publication
The Marvel Universe persists on a sliding timescale, which means history is in a constant state of modernization to keep characters from aging. For instance, Iron Man was originally a product of the Vietnam War, but now his origin is rooted in Afghanistan.
Similarly to Fantastic Four Annual 1998, the world of Spider-Man: Life Story sees the world age in real time. Peter Parker begins his career in 1962 at the age of fifteen, and for the next fifty-seven years, he lives a full life before his death in 2019. This world offers more significance to legacy and death than the traditional universe.
2. Strikeforce Morituri’s Earth Is Under Siege By Aliens
In one corner of the Marvel Multiverse, the alien species known only as The Horde has invaded Earth. To combat this threat, Earth’s scientists eventually develop a process to create superheroes. Unfortunately, the members of Strikeforce Morituri only have a limited time before the very process that gives them their abilities claim their lives.
The world of Strikeforce Morituri is largely separate from the mainline Marvel Universe, including no variations of familiar Marvel heroes. However, in one issue, there are the brief Easter eggs of Silver Surfer’s board and Captain America’s shield in The Horde’s trophy room.
1. Battleworld Is A Consolidation Of The Multiverse
In the original Secret Wars, Battleworld is a patchwork planet formed out of pieces ripped from the Marvel Universe to act as an arena for the entertainment of the Beyonder. The Battleworld of the 2015 series is a similar patchwork but composed of the sole remnants of the Multiverse after its collapse.
Almost every popular world from Marvel’s publishing history was represented. These sections were independent nations lorded over by Barons in the service of God Emperor Doom, who held it all together with the stolen powers of the Beyonders. Eventually, Mr. Fantastic used that power to recreate the multiverse.