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- "This universe is only one of an infinite number. Worlds without end. Some benevolent and life-giving. Others filled with malice and hunger. Dark places, where powers older than time lie, ravenous... and waiting. Who are you in this vast multiverse, Mr. Strange?"
- ―Ancient One to Stephen Strange[src]
The Multiverse is the collective term for all parallel dimensions and realities in existence. Although most dimensions are just portions of reality within a single universe, some parallels dimensions are just parallel realities that coexist in this vast collection of universes. The Multiverse is believed to be explained by the eternal inflation system, however, the exact nature of its existence is unknown to its inhabitants.
Once the Multiversal War came to an end, the individual known as He Who Remains chose a collection of realities that followed the same baseline and isolated it from the rest of the Multiverse. This collection was dubbed the Sacred Timeline and was assigned to the Time Variance Authority for protection. the TVA's secret work was to prune and delete the timelines that branched off either by time travel or unscripted decisions by individuals who lived in the Sacred Timeline that could cause the birth of an evil version of He Who Remains which could lead to a new Multiversal War. After the death of He Who Remains at the hand of Sylvie Laufeydottir, the Sacred Timeline was left unprotected and multiple branches were created across different points in time which paradoxically gave birth to alternate universes that had always been part of what individuals like Ancient One and The Watcher knew as the Multiverse.
The Multiverse is always in fluctuation, and the several outcomes of certain events, which could result in the creation of alternate timelines, can be perceived and studied. Machines like Victor Stein's time machine and the Chronicoms' time stream were able to sense the nearest possible outcome within the timestream of the Multiverse. Realms where time is irrelevant, like the Quantum Realm, are a mechanism to travel either through time or between timelines.
On Earth, to those who knew of the existence of the Multiverse this meant the existence of evil beings as Dormammu that could threaten the peace of their worlds was more than certain. Hence, organizations like the Masters of the Mystic Arts were created. Travel between dimensions of the Multiverse is also possible. Some places located in other dimensions as K'un-Lun could be accessed from Earth in certain periods of time. While some other dimensions like the Mirror Dimension can be visited through the use of Sling Rings. The interactions between dimensions and the Earthly plane in humanity's story and the danger it meant proved how the existence of the Masters of the Mystical Arts was more than necessary.
- 1 History
- 2 Dimensions
- 3 Inter-Dimensional Travel
- 4 Behind the Scenes
- 5 References
- 6 External Links
Eons ago, a variant of He Who Remains in the 31st Century discovered the multiverse as other variants had also made the discovery. Making contact with each other, the variants made peace until other variants, notably Kang the Conqueror, had the idea to conquer other universes. This eventually led into the Multiversal War where each variant fought each other for dominance. However, He Who Remains came upon contact with Alioth, taming and weaponizing the creature to end the war, which led to the subsequent creation of the Time Variance Authority.
First Recorded Contact
During the 1940s, scientists began experimenting with nuclear energy; during one such experiment performed by Isodyne Energy, a rift was created where a substance dubbed Zero Matter entered this dimension. Eventually, the scientists Whitney Frost and Jason Wilkes became infected with the substance. Frost actively sought more of the Zero Matter and reopened the rift; however Wilkes entered the opening. Upon his return, he described his experience in another dimension outside the Earth realm.
In 2015, Hank Pym gave Scott Lang the Ant-Man Suit he had used in the past. While on a mission with his wife Janet van Dyne, Pym witnessed his partner shrinking into a subatomic size in order to break through a missile's titanium shell and disable it. Although the mission was a success, van Dyne was lost in the Quantum Realm, another dimension where time and space become obsolete notions. Pym, heavily traumatized by this loss, warned Lang about the danger of shrinking to a too great extent and ordered him never going beyond the suit security boundaries.
However, after Lang went to protect his daughter at his ex-wife's house, he had to shrink to a subatomic level to break through the titanium of the Yellowjacket Suit to disable it. Lang succeeded in stopping Darren Cross, however, he became trapped in the Quantum Realm. Lang began desperately searching for a way to return home rather than be trapped within there forever. In his resolution to return to his daughter and survive, Lang retrieved a Pym Particle Disk and placed it into the regulator of his Ant-Man Suit, bringing him out of the Realm.
Attack on the Sanctums
After becoming disillusioned to the teachings of the Ancient One, Master Kaecilius and his Zealots launched a campaign to save the world by offering it as a tribute to the entity Dormammu. After tapping into Dormammu's dimension for power, Kaecilius and the Zealots attacked the London Sanctum, destroying it and part of the Sanctums' nexus in Kamar-Taj in his attempt to break down the mystical shields that protect Earth from the Dark Dimension. After failing to destroy the New York Sanctum, Kaecilius moved on to Hong Kong, where he was met by Wong and the other Masters of the Mystic Arts. However, the Masters proved no match, as Kaecilius defeated them and destroyed the Hong Kong Sanctum, allowing the Dark Dimension to bleed into the Earthly Plane. However, Doctor Strange was able to reverse the destruction after brokering a deal with Dormammu, turning Kaecilius and the Zealots into Mindless Ones and restoring the Hong Kong Sanctum shortly afterward.
Trapped Between Dimensions
On a S.H.I.E.L.D. mission to rescue the supposed 'endangered' Eli Morrow, who was actually creating a machine powered by Quantum Batteries, a lethal amount of inter-dimensional energy was expelled throughout the Roxxon Power Plant. This subsequently transported the nearby Leo Fitz, Phil Coulson and Robbie Reyes to a trans-dimensional state between the Earthly Plane and Dark Dimension, the dimension in which they were slowly being dragged further towards. During this time, these three men could see and hear everything that occurred in their dimension, yet were unable to communicate and interact with anything.
Having figured out that Coulson, Fitz and Reyes were trapped, Aida, who had begun reading the Darkhold, began constructing an Inter-Dimensional Gate to rescue them. After some time, in which they, Reyes in particular, were being dragged to Hell, Aida finished the portal and brought them back into their dimension.
In 2023, the Avengers travelled the Quantum Realm using Time-Space GPSs to enter different points in alternate timelines in order to retrieve Infinity Stones. However, Nebula accidentally became entangled with an alternate version of herself and made an alternate Thanos from an alternate 2014 timeline aware of the Avengers' plans. The alternate Thanos captured Nebula in his warship and used an alternate Nebula to transport him and his army to the main timeline. Later, Steve Rogers used the Quantum Realm again to return the Stones and Mjolnir to their timelines, but also went to live in an alternate 1940s timeline with Peggy Carter.
To be Added
The Multiverse Expands
After Loki and the TVA failed to stop Sylvie in 2050, multiple reset charges were scattered throughout the Sacred Timeline, creating multiple branches of realities at the same time, disrupting the Multiverse. However, the TVA were quickly able to stabilize the timeline.
When Loki and Sylvie found the Citadel at the End of Time, they met He Who Remains. He Who Remains explained the Multiversal War to them and why he established the TVA. He then told them that if they killed him, his variants would run free and the timeline would be ruined. Conflicted whether he was telling the truth, Loki tried to stop Sylvie from attacking He. After Sylvie had sent Loki away, she killed He Who Remains. Immediately, the Multiverse expanded and several timelines began to branch off the Sacred Timeline and off each other in infinite proportions. This ultimately fractured the Multiverse. Additionally, Kang the Conqueror came into power over the Multiverse and the TVA.
- Earthly Plane: The dimension where Earth is located, alongside the other Realms and a vast number of other planets and galaxies.
- Quantum Realm: The closest realm to the Earthly Plane, as it can and has been accessed by means of decreasing one's size to the extent they enter a different realm. Even though time and space behave differently in this realm, it's difficult to determine at which subatomic level does matter leave the Earthly Plane and enter the Quantum Realm. The Quantum Realm can be used to time travel to alternate reality dimensions.
- Astral Dimension: A parallel dimension in which the astral form of organisms exist purely detached from our physical bodies. In a simplified way, the Astral Dimension contains the 'soul' while the Earthly Plane merely contains the physical form of organisms. This dimension is incredibly close to the Earthly Plane, as some actions made toward the individual within the Earth Plane can have dramatic effects on their form within the Astral Dimension. This dimension is also a realm in which, according to Wakandan lore, the soul settles after death. For Black Panthers, it is where they can go to commune with their ancestors after ingesting the Heart-Shaped Herb. While living in hiding in Sokovia, Scarlet Witch used the Astral Dimension to read the Darkhold.
- Mirror Dimension: An exact parallel dimension as to the Earthly Plane. It shows all movement and action that occur within the Earthly Plane, and yet no action within the Mirror Dimension can ever be witnessed nor will ever have an effect on the Earthly Plane. In this way, the Mirror Dimension is used as a battleground away from the Earthly Plane, in order to keep the public safe. While it can be accessed through the use of the Sling Ring, both the Ancient One and Doctor Strange have demonstrated being able to enter the dimension without it.
- Mandelibus Dimension: The Mandelibus Dimension is an ever-shifting realm that resembles an unending cavernous tunnel that branches off into different, separate tunnels. Light enters from an unknown source through openings above. The continuous shifting surreal landscape had the ability to cause continuous repeating infinite fractal patterns to appear.
- Dark Dimension: The ruler Dormammu, a primordial entity, feeds off the planets and stars from the Earthly Plane in order to expand the Dark Dimension. Magic practitioners have the capacity to draw power from this dimension. The Dark Dimension is also composed for specific domains, including one that involves the Loa and another that involves Morgan le Fay. Within this same dimension, there is a realm called Hell. A mysterious and mostly unknown place, with most of its characteristics and inhabitants left unrevealed. The only known inhabitant of this place is the Spirit of Vengeance, and, considering that it does not want to return to Hell, this realm must not be a desirable nor pleasant place.
- K'un-Lun Dimension: The mysterious mystical city of K'un-Lun is located in a different dimension, and can be accessed on Earth from a range of mountains in China.
- Fear Dimension: A dimension which manifests the fears of those exposed to it.
- Actiniaria Dimension: To be added
- Grass Jelly Dimension: A dimension that is uninhabitable and can only be visited in astral form.
- Flowering Incense Dimension: A dimension that is uninhabitable and can only be visited in astral form.
- Void: A point at the end of time where pruned objects and beings from branching timelines are sent by the Time Variance Authority.
Traveling between dimensions is incredibly difficult and usually requires a lot of energy. Yet several shortcuts do exist. The Masters of the Mystic Arts use Sling Rings to travel between dimensions, as long as they can invoke a clear enough image in their minds as to where they want to go. However, it has been shown that some dimensions can be accessed without the use of the Sling Ring, but only by extremely powerful and knowledgeable people. Notable dimensions that have been accessed without the Sling Ring are the Quantum Realm, Dark Dimension, Astral Dimension, Mirror Dimension, K'un-Lun Dimension, and the Soulworld.
The Astral Dimension can be accessed by souls through Astral Projection; physical bodies cannot enter that dimension. Similarly, the Mirror Dimension can be accessed without using a Sling Ring; however, one needs a Sling Ring in order to get back to the Earth plane, otherwise they get stuck in the Mirror Dimension.
Others have also been able to travel between dimensions. Aida, with the help of the Darkhold, constructed an Inter-Dimensional Gate to free Phil Coulson, Leo Fitz and Robbie Reyes from being trapped between two dimensions. The Ghost Rider also developed the ability to open inter-dimensional portals between the Earthly Plane and Hell Dimension with his Hellfire Chain.
Behind the Scenes
- The Multiverse mentioned in Doctor Strange is referring to the collection of dimensions contained within Earth-199999. In the comics, the term Multiverse refers to the collection of all alternate universes, not simply dimensions within one universe.
- The possibility of parallel universes was teased in Doctor Strange by the Ancient One, who stated that the known universe was "one of an infinite number", and later by Karl Mordo when he warned Strange of the possible consequences of using the Time Stone. The multiverse theory itself was later explained in A Life Spent by Deke Shaw when he told Daisy Johnson, further alluding to the expanded Marvel multiverse as seen in the comics.
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