The new film sees Benedict Cumberbatch return as the sorcerer for his second standalone film, this one titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
In the sequel, he comes across America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a superhero with the ability to travel a variety of universes, filled with Marvel characters old and new.
*Spoilers follow – you have been warned*
Strange finds himself travelling the multiverse with Chavez, and they end up in a world that see sthem imprisoned by the Illuminati, a secret group made up of several recognisable faces.
Before Strange comes face to face with the Illuminati, though, he discovers that a variant of his former lover Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) is working there. It’s this version of Palmer that utters a line that’s generating an excited response from viewers around the world.
Palmer tells Strange that the universe hes travelled to is known as Earth-838. She then reveals that the world of the MCU is known as 616.
Marvel Comics readers have been trying to work out whether the MCU universe was Earth-616, which is considered the “main” universe. Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio previously claimed it was in Spider-Man: Far from Home, but some fans thought the character might have been lying.
However, the confirmation in Doctor Strange 2 has divided comic book readers, who believe there to be many discrepancies with the way the world has been translated on screen. Others felt that the film universe should be numbered differently so that it could exist as another world within the multiverse that the film characters could perhaps find their way to in a future film.
Twitter user @KeyBrains wrote: “Doctor Strange is a really cool movie. BUT it’s really, absolutely, stupid-actually wrong, in fact-that they call the MCU universe the 616. That is spoken for! Wtf literally any other designation would work.”
Another comic book fan. @allsorrows, added: “This is so petty but the MCU should NOT be designated 616. Like… the comic universe exists somewhere out there… so like… what’s up with that.”
But, Twitter user @acscosplay levelled: “People are actually upset that they called the main mcu timeline “earth-616”? 616 is Marvel’s main universe in the comics, so they’re just keeping the number for the main universe in the movies. It doesn’t create issues. It’s just a number.”
doctor strange 2 calling the mcu universe 616 is so evil the damage these movies are doing is insane pic.twitter.com/c9phi9VtZz
— chiara🦇 (@brucewxynes) May 6, 2022
In all the multiversal “madness” of Doctor Strange, how do they just call MCU Earth 616 like the comic universe doesn’t exist? They’re clearly not the same universe.
AFAICT the only 616 that legit exists in film is Jake Johnson Spidey from Into the Spider-Verse.
— Julian LaRosa (@J_LaRosa415) May 8, 2022
Doctor Strange SPOILER: Of course comic fandom is throwing a fit because the movie identifies the MCU as "Earth-616," and it's not accurate to the comic "616." Different medium. They just use 616 to establish the MCU as the "main" cinematic universe, and the others as alternates.
— GamerThumbTV (@GamerThumbTV) May 7, 2022