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Each Marvel 'continuity' is assigned a designation that indicates its 'Universe Number'.

These are used to distinguish different (and often concurrent) timelines across comic books, television (including animation) and movie incarnations.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been assigned the designation: Earth-199999

Something about this designation seems to indicate that number has some kind of significance; both because of the seemingly deliberate recurrence of the number 9 and the designations length.

Most other continuities within the Multiverse have shorter designations, such as Earth-616 (Original Marvel Continuity) and Earth-1610 (Ultimate Spiderman). Others are made up of seemingly random numbers, Earth-818793 (Army of Darkness) or Earth-92131 (X-men Animated Series).

I imagine whilst some of those designations are likely to be totally arbitrary in their composition, I wonder if there is a reason why the Marvel Cinematic Universe chose such an interesting designation?

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When hulk is thrown to earth 1-200000 the incursion happens. This will happen in a future comic book (summer 2015) Unfortunately I cannot tell you anything else but let's just say it will be big. Darrius Hoply, Employee at Marvel. I overheard some execs saying it and I did a bit of snooping around. –  Darrius Hoply Oct 25 at 9:01

1 Answer 1

There is some significance behind a few of the designations used in the Universes, whilst others appear to be totally random.

For example, the original Marvel universe was set in Earth-616. From the Earth-616 Wikipedia Page:

A difference of opinion exists regarding the selection of the number 616. In 2005, Alan Moore's son-in-law John Reppion (who is married to Alan Moore's daughter Leah Moore), stated on an Internet message board that the number 616 was arbitrarily chosen by Moore and had no significant meaning, saying it "was just a random number of no significance chosen because people always seemed to be talking about 'earth 2' or 'earth 4' but never any higher numbers.(1)"
However, Alan Davis has said that it comes from 616, a variation on the Number of the Beast, picked because Dave Thorpe "wasn't a fan of the modern superhero genre" and expressed this in his stories, "such as recording his opinion of the Marvel Universe with the designation 616."2

(1) http://johnreppion.proboards.com/
(2) http://www.marvel.com/blogs/Tom_Brevoort/entry/719 (Currently broken link as Marvel perform site updates).

This question was also asked on Yahoo Answers and an eagle-eyed reader noticed this trend:

There is no set rule for numbering each alternate dimension so many of the numbers seem to be random. Some have been numbered after the publication date of the issue in which the universe first appeared in especially the Earth's that have appeared in the "What If" series. For example, What If (Vol. 2) #41 was published in Sep. 1992 and in "Marvel Encyclopaedia: Fantastic Four" that Earth was numbered Earth-929. Most of the 920-940 Earth's appear to follow that system. A few of the Earths that first appeared in 2001 appear to use Earth-10xx instead of 0100 or 100. Another one that I think is kind of cool is Earth-818793 which was featured as part of the Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness miniseries. The numbering was derived from the release years of the Evil Dead trilogy since the movies were released in 1981, 1987 and 1993.

However, the Earth-199999 universe you mentioned doesn't appear to be covered anywhere or discussed by any of the comic's creators, and thus its numbering appears to be random.

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