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The Multiverse is the aggregate of all dimensions and parallel realities in existence. Although dimensions are just portions of reality within a universe, there are also parallel universes that coexist with one another. 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, a scientist named He Who Remains chose a collection of universes 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 Time Variance Authority'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 arise 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, numerous branches were created across different points in time, which paradoxically gave birth to alternate universes that had always been part of what individuals like the 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 access alternate 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 Mystic Arts was more than necessary.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Multiversal War
- 1.2 Attack on Ta Lo
- 1.3 Humanity's Discovery
- 1.4 Attack on the Sanctums
- 1.5 Trapped Between Dimensions
- 1.6 Destroyed Earth Reality
- 1.7 War Against the Chronicoms
- 1.8 Time Heist
- 1.9 Fracturing the Multiverse
- 1.10 Observed by the Watcher
- 1.11 Age of Ultron
- 1.12 Guardians of the Multiverse
- 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 existence of infinite universes 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.
Attack on Ta Lo
Thousands of years ago, the people of Ta Lo prospered in peace until the Dweller-in-Darkness and his armies attacked and nearly escaped into the earthly realm. However, the leaders of Ta Lo created an army consisting of the greatest warriors to combat this threat, but it nearly failed until the Great Protector helped. Together, they drove the Dweller back to its realm behind the Dark Gate, being guarded over ever since.
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.
While on a mission with his wife Janet van Dyne, Hank 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, an alternate dimension where time and space become obsolete notions.
In 2015, Pym gave Scott Lang the Ant-Man Suit and 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 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.
In 2018, Pym created a Quantum Tunnel and a Quantum Vehicle in his Mobile Laboratory in order to access the Realm. After receiving word from Lang about a message from van Dyne, Pym travelled into the Realm and was able to locate van Dyne. After being reunited with each other, they returned through the Tunnel. Shortly afterwards, Lang returned into the Realm to collect quantum healing particles for Ava Starr, but became trapped inside the Realm for five years.
In 2023, Lang was released from the Realm and met with the Avengers to tell them about it. Tony Stark supplied the team with Time-Space GPS's to navigate the Realm and helped Rocket Raccoon build a large Quantum Tunnel for entry. Clint Barton went on the first test run into the Realm and travelled to an alternate 2018. Following this, Stark, Lang, Barton, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Rocket, Thor, Bruce Banner, James Rhodes, and Nebula suited up in quantum suits and travelled the Realm to alternate timelines on their mission.
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.
Destroyed Earth Reality
- "Planet Earth went from smooth to chunky, and Quake is the one who did it."
"And you don't think I'd remember that?"
"Well, actually, not according to the Multiverse theory. You probably never heard of it, but in quantum physics, there's a theory that, for every universe, there are infinite parallel universes."
- ―Deke Shaw and Daisy Johnson[src]
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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 an alternate Peggy Carter.
Fracturing the Multiverse
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.
Observed by the Watcher
One of the first alternate universes observed by the Watcher was during World War II in an alternate 1943, where Peggy Carter chose to stay in the room during Project Rebirth, which inadvertently changed events so that she became Captain Carter and Steve Rogers became the HYDRA Stomper.
Another universe observed by the Watcher was in 2008, when Yondu Udonta decided to outsource his search of Peter Quill to the Ravagers, which resulted in T'Challa being kidnapped instead, changing events so T'Challa became Star-Lord.
In another universe, Christine Palmer decided to join Stephen Strange to go to the ceremonial dinner, resulting in Palmer's death and causing Strange to go on a quest to find a way to revive her only to lose himself to dark magic and discover the rest of the Multiverse. The Ancient One revealed that this universe was split into two after using dark magic from the Dark Dimension. The Watcher was troubled by this, but could not intervene as he watched Strange Supreme throughout his transformation and his attempt to revive Palmer after the crash. As Strange asked the Watcher to save him, he reprimanded him on his past mistakes, wishing that he could intervene, but could not due to his oath. However, Strange tried to forgive him and regretted his actions as he was trapped in a Mirror Dimension bubble and witnessed Palmer disappear in his arms.
Moving on, the Watcher observed a universe where Janet van Dyne had contracted a virus, known as the quantum virus, from the Quantum Realm. She spread it on to her husband when he came to rescue her, thus starting a global zombie apocalypse.
Later on, he found a universe where Erik Killmonger had saved Tony Stark from the Ten Rings attack in Kunar. By exposing Obadiah Stane, killing Stark, James Rhodes, and his cousin, Killmonger had deliberately started a war between Wakanda and the United States of America.
Afterward, the Watcher found a universe where Thor was the only child raised by Odin and Frigga and held a worldwide party on Earth. However, when the Watcher was about to move on to another universe, a portal opened in front of Thor, unleashing another universe’s Ultron with the Infinity Stones and his army upon Thor's universe.
Age of Ultron
Following this attack, the Watcher went to Ultron’s universe, commenting that this particular story broke his heart. In this timeline, Ultron successfully uploaded himself into the vibranium body granting him greater power. Defeating the Avengers, Ultron decimated Earth, leaving it near-unlivable. After his victory, Thanos arrived in order to take the Mind Stone, but was quickly killed by Ultron. Taking the remaining Stones, Ultron gained knowledge of other planets throughout his universe. He began a campaign of destruction, going from planet to planet and exterminating all life, until his universe was empty. With his purpose complete, Ultron reached a higher form of being, and as the Watcher narrated, Ultron managed to sense his presence. Seeing into the Nexus of All Realities, Ultron realized that there were universes beyond his own, which frightened the Watcher, as the Multiverse could be in danger.
Panicked by this, the Watcher believed that this universe still had one last hope. He turned his attention to that universe’s Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton, the two surviving Avengers, as they searched the KGB Archives in Russia for a way to defeat Ultron. They eventually found their solution, a copy of Arnim Zola’s AI, hidden at the HYDRA Siberian Facility. The Watcher repeated that this universe still had hope, only for Ultron to burst into the Nexus and begin attacking him. Back on Earth, the two heroes managed to upload Zola into one of Ultron's sentry drones, but he was ultimately unable to connect to Ultron. As sentry bots swarmed the heroes, Barton sacrificed himself so that Romanoff and Zola could escape.
Meanwhile, the fight between the Watcher and Ultron continued, as the two made their way through several different universes of the Multiverse. The Watcher fought as best he could, but failed to stop Ultron. On the brink of death, the Watcher escaped through a portal, abandoning the Nexus and allowing Ultron to usurp him, giving him complete access to the entire Multiverse. The Watcher sought out the help of the only other being who knew he existed, Strange Supreme, who he previously abandoned. However, Strange sympathized with him and agreed to help.
Deciding that Strange would not be enough to defeat Ultron, the Watcher decided to put together a team of individuals from across the Multiverse. He recruited Captain Carter, T'Challa Star-Lord, Gamora, Erik Killmonger, and Thor, with Strange joining them as well. The Watcher deemed them the "Guardians of the Multiverse" and gave the six heroes their mission: Destroy the Infinity Stones with the Infinity Crusher, and transported them to an uninhabited universe, where they could fight Ultron alone. After a brief fight with him, they managed to steal the Soul Stone and escape to Ultron's home universe. With that universe's Natasha Romanoff joining the team, the group fought united against Ultron. When the Infinity Crusher failed to destroy the stones, they were able to improvise and managed to upload Arnim Zola's analog consciousness into Ultron. Zola then subsequently erased Ultron from existence from the inside.
While celebrating their victory, they were betrayed by Killmonger, who took the Stones and Ultron's armor for himself. However, once Zola took over Ultron's body, he also attempted to take the Stones. As the two fought over the Stones, they were separated as Strange managed to capture both Killmonger and Zola, along with the Stones, in a pocket dimension, which the Watcher shrunk down to hand-held size. Bringing Strange back to his home universe, he entrusted him with guarding the pocket dimension, which Strange happily agreed to. The Watcher then returned everyone to their home universe, except for Romanoff, who refused to return to her destroyed world. Instead, the Watcher brought her to the universe where her counterpart had died, which was currently in the middle of Loki's invasion. The Watcher then watched over the collective Multiverse, stating how every world and every story is his home, and that he would protect it to the end.
- 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 travel to alternate timelines.
- 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, a mystical book that can access the Multiverse.
- 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.
- Izel's Realm: A dimension home to a species of non-corporeal, emotionless beings. This realm is connected to the Earthly Plane through the Temple of the Forgotten.
- Actiniaria Dimension: A dimension that is uninhabitable and can only be visited in astral form.
- 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.
- Ta Lo: A hidden magical village in another dimension where Asian warriors live alongside mythical creatures.
- Nexus of All Realities: The cross-dimensional gateway between alternative universes and realities.
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, Soulworld, and Ta-Lo.
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.
In order to travel to Ta Lo, one has to make it through a forest maze that is nearly impossible to travel through due to its rapidly changing form as well as a gateway behind the waterfall at the end of the maze. Shang-Chi, Xu Xialing, Katy Chen, and Trevor Slattery were able to make it past these obstacles with the help of Morris.
The Nexus of All Realities could only be accessed and noticed by those that have great power such as having all the Infinity Stones as seen when Ultron noticed the The Watcher observing him. Ultron could break through the barriers to the Nexus using the Infinity Stones. With such force, it is possible to break through into other universes within the Nexus as seen during Uatu's fight with Ultron.
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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