Marvel Universe 838 Timeline & Every Difference To The MCU

WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness spends a lot of time visiting Earth-838 – here’s how it differs from the MCU. The idea that Doctor Strange 2 would explore the multiverse raised expectations as to what different worlds Strange would encounter, and the film delivered on that matter. While not every rumored cameo came true, by the time of the Doctor Strange 2 ending, the film had provided some huge special appearances and suggested exciting possibilities the MCU has for the future.

The Doctor Strange 2 trailers already revealed that the movie would introduce the MCU Illuminati – except not on its main Earth. Thanks to America Chavez’s powers, MCU’s Doctor Strange was able to visit several different universes, including one that resembles the MCU a lot, yet had some vital major differences. While some universes in Doctor Strange 2 are on-screen for just a few seconds, Earth-838 was an essential part of the film.


Related: Doctor Strange 2: Who Is America Chavez? Powers & Origins Explained

At first, Earth-838 looked very similar to the MCU. However, as Strange found out more about that universe, its main differences became clear. Earth-838 having Professor X as the first X-Men to appear in the franchise – or the Fantastic Four already existing – are major ones, but not the only ways in which Earth-838 differs from the MCU.

Inhumans Are Different

Black Bolt Inhumans

While Doctor Strange’s 2 Illuminati scenes did not go into detail about the background of its members, it is safe to say that the Black Bolt – and by implication, the Inhumans – of that universe are quite different from the ones in the MCU. The biggest difference is obviously Black Bolt’s looks, as – despite being played by the same Inhumans actor, Anson Mount – Earth-838’s Black Bolt wears a much more comic accurate suit than the one from the show. It is also important to remember that whether or not Inhumans is part of the MCU canon has become a complicated topic after the show’s disastrous first and only season, meaning that Earth-838 and the multiverse may have been the only way the MCU found to make the best out of the Inhumans’ potential.

Mordo And Strange Are Friends

Doctor Strange Multiverse Illuminati Setup Doctor Strange Post Credits Mordo SR

If MCU’s Mordo wanted to kill Doctor Strange, on Earth-838, things went much smoother for the sorceress duo. Earth-838 Mordo does not seem to have renounced the weaponized use of magic as the MCU Mordo did, meaning he never swore his Doctor Strange as an enemy – in fact, they were friends. That said, Earth-838 Mordo had reservations about his universe’s Doctor Strange, which were proven justified given everything Earth-838 Strange did.

Thanos Dies On Titan

Doctor Strange and Thanos

The MCU’s Avengers eventually defeated Thanos, but it seems like the Illuminati was able to stop the Mad Titan before the snap. On Earth-838, Thanos died impaled on Titan after facing the Illuminati – meaning that all of the snap and then blip storylines from the MCU never happened. Interestingly, even though they defeated Thanos, the Illuminati had to deal with another all-powerful being causing mass destruction: Doctor Strange.

Related: Doctor Strange 2’s Post-Credits Scenes Explained (They’re Both Important)

The X-Men Exist

Another huge difference between Earth-838 and the MCU is that the X-Men canonically exist in the Earth-838 universe. Doctor Strange 2‘s Professor X cameo was the first time that a member of the X-Men officially appeared in the MCU without taking away their mutant status, and it does not seem like his name or abilities reminded Doctor Strange of anyone back home. The MCU’s plans for the mutants are still a mystery, and introducing as big an element from the comics like the X-Men into a universe that has been around for nearly 15 years will be no easy feat. At the moment, the alternative that the MCU found to already use mutants following the acquisition of Fox by Disney was the multiverse.

Wanda Has Kids

Doctor Strange 2 Trailer Scarlet Witch Kids Billy Tommy

The difference between Earth-838 and Earth-616 and their versions of Wanda’s children is what ultimately drove the plot of the film. MCU’s Scarlet Witch, now a villain, would not stop before she could reach her children – except that they were another Wanda’s children. In Earth-838, Wanda lives a happy life with Tommy and Billy, with no hint of magic or multiverse involved. Interestingly, Vision was not in Doctor Strange 2, so it is hard to say if he was the father of Earth-838 Wanda’s children. In fact, in a universe where Ultron worked, it is possible that Vision does not even exist. Either way, just before Scarlet Witch’s death at the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessEarth-838 Wanda assured MCU Wanda that Tommy and Billy would be loved.

Captain Carter Was The First Avenger

Captain Carter Hayley Atwell

Much like what was shown in What If …?, on Earth-838 it is Peggy Carter rather than Steve Rogers who becomes a super-soldier. Considering that Captain Carter was described in Doctor Strange 2 as being the first Avenger, then there must be some explanation as to why she is active in the present day. The reason may be the same as in What If …?with Captain Carter was transported to the future, or it could be something similar to what happened to Steve Rogers in the MCU, leading her to be frozen for 70 years.

The Fantastic Four Already Exists

Will John Krasinski Play Reed Richards In MCU Fantastic Four SR

The presence of Reed Richards in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has major implications for Earth-838 and the MCU. This is the first time a member of the Fantastic Four has appeared in the franchise, and because it was through the multiverse, Doctor Strange 2 was able to have a Mister Fantastic, played by John Krasinski, who had been acting alongside other heroes for a long time now. There will be a Fantastic Four in the MCU as a movie for the superhero family has already been confirmed, but it’s clear that the Earth-838 Mister Fantastic played a much earlier role in his own universe’s proceedings.

Related: Doctor Strange 2 Cast Guide: Every Marvel Character Who Appears

Maria Rambeau is Captain Marvel

Doctor strange multiverse of madness captain marvel maria rambeau

Having Captain Marvel as a powerhouse hero is a similarity between Earth-838 and the MCU, but it is Maria Rambeau who carries that title in the universe shown in Doctor Strange 2. The skill set showcased by Captain Marvel in Doctor Strange 2 looks similar to the ones from her MCU counterpart, meaning that their origin story and how they got their powers likely are also similar. The most logical explanation for this is that, on Earth-838, the explosion of the Tesseract engine hit Maria and not Carol, thus explaining why the former is Captain Marvel in this Doctor Strange 2 universe.

Ultron Worked

Doctor strange 2 Ultron Drones

While Earth-838 had to deal with its fair share of trouble, Doctor Strange 2‘s Illuminati seems to have taken care of some issues that in the MCU became much bigger problems. Thanos is a clear example, but so is Ultron. Here, Tony Stark’s idea of ​​autonomous units acting as protectors seems to have worked, and the Ultron AI seems okay with serving the Illuminati. What may have been decisive for this difference between Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘Earth-838 and the universe that audiences know so well is the presence of Reed Richards, the smartest man on the planet, who the MCU has yet to encounter.

Next: Everything We Know About Doctor Strange 3

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