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Name of article[edit]

It's also been called "Earth 123488" and "the Prime Reality" (and of course there's the question as to why it's named after Earth...). Is there anything to say which is the most common/most accurate? User:Timrollpickering

Timrollpickering, please sign your comments. I have done so for you above. Anyway, the article is correctly named; Earth 616 is a far, far more common name than Earth 123488. "Prime Reality" doesn't have exactly the same, or as specific, a meaning. --Lowellian 21:58, Oct 1, 2004 (UTC)
Oops, thought I had. I've not heard the 616 designation much - where has it been used long term? 123488 was in use a bit in the late 1980s, particularly in Avengers, whilst the "Prime Reality" was used a bit c1993-94. And I'm sure many other terms have cropped up - has anything been said that 616 is anything more than just another writer's own designation? Timrollpickering 22:03, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Try reading the article. Or, use Google: 3 hits for "Earth 123488"; 1900 hits for "Earth 616". --Lowellian 22:10, Oct 1, 2004 (UTC)

Alan Moore's answer[edit]

I see you have undone the edit I made clarifying where Alan Moore got the number 616 from, stating you would like me to cite a source. My source is Alan Moore himself; his daughter Leah Moore and her partner John Reppion are online at I asked them if they could check with Leah's father to finally lay the debate to rest; they did, and he told them 616 "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." If you don't want to believe me, feel free to go on their boards and ask them yourself. User:

I assume you are talking about this edit [1] by User:, who has a different IP address. You might consider logging in at Special:Userlogin; it's fast and easy and will make it easier to communicate on Wikipedia. Anyway, whether I believe you is irrelevant; the point is that such a claim cannot be unsourced (see Wikipedia:Cite sources), so could you please provide a direct link to the post? Thanks! —Lowellian (talk) 05:26, May 9, 2005 (UTC)

I don't know why the IP addresses are different, because both are me, on the same computer, using the same internet provider to log online. I find it interesting that I need to provide a source for the "claim", as the various theories espoused about where Alan Moore got the number are not sourced. Up until today, I could not provide a link to a post, as the information was provided in a private e-mail; however someone asked Leah Moore and John Reppion that same question today on their boards. You can read the answer there, confirming what I posted here: User:

Okay, I have added the information to the page. The reason it is a good idea to provide a source in this instance is that the claim is that an authoritative source has stated something definitive about the subject. We don't want to put words in the mouth of an authoritative source. Keep contributing to Wikipedia! —Lowellian (talk) 15:34, May 12, 2005 (UTC)

You added the information, but have left the page inaccurate. John Reppion, who confirmed the number was randomly chosen on the aforementioned thread, is the husband of Leah Moore, Alan's daughter.

They asked him why he picked the number - he told them it was just a random number. The thread on their boards confirms that. Since Alan Moore himself does not do public appearances, nor does he post online, there is no more accurate and authoritive source available, but given their connection to Mr.Moore, there shouldn't need to be; unless someone wishes to doubt their word, there is no longer any uncertainty as to why Alan chose the number. User:

I did not make clear the relationship between John Reppion and Alan Moore because I was unsure of it myself. Above you stated that Reppion was Leah's "partner", which could be interpreted as anything from casual significant other to spouse. In any case, User:SoM has added the information to the page that Reppion is Moore's son-in-law, so that issue should be settled. —Lowellian (talk) 18:54, May 13, 2005 (UTC)

"the issue should be settled" - well, not entirely, but I've given up hoping to make this entry accurate. The entry still says Alan Moore's reason for picking the number is uncertain, and then puts forward a number of fan speculations as to where he got the number from before mentioning as an afterthought, given less prominence than a bunch of unsubstantiated fan guesses, what Alan Moore himself said to his daughter on the matter (which was then recounted by his son-in-law). This isn't Leah Moore guessing why her father chose the number, or vaguely recalling what she thought was the reason years after the fact; this was her specifically asking him why he picked it only a couple of weeks ago. The fan theories have now been discredited, much as some people seem desperate to hang on to them; to now say Alan Moore's reasons for picking 616 is "uncertain" is to imply that either John Reppion or Alan Moore himself are lying, because they've supplied a fairly unequivocal, very "certain", answer to the question. The truly sad thing is that so many people and other sites rely on Wikipedia to be an accurate resource, which means the misinformation this entry currently maintains will continue to be propagated. User:

The speculation belongs on the page for its historical importance: for twenty-something years, fans have been speculating on the meaning. Is that not historically significant? The geocentric model is rejected by virtually all modern scientists; however, it nevertheless has an article on Wikipedia because it is historically important. The plate tectonics article discusses the idea of continents plowing through ocean crust despite the fact that modern continental drift posits a different mechanism of continental plate movement. The Earth-616 page should state the facts clearly. These facts include first, that theories related to the Number of the Beast and the release of FF #1 were proposed for 20+ years, and secondly, that John Reppion issued a statement on the matter in 2005. Readers of this article can then evaluate the evidence for themselves. We have no reason to doubt Reppion's word, but writers have been known to be reluctant to reveal the reasons behind choices in their writing in the past, either because they consider the true meaning to be deeply personal or because they wish to avoid giving an explanation which would be offensive or uncomfortable to some person or group (in this case, those with Christian sensibilities might find the idea of the Number of the Beast being associated with the Marvel Universe uncomfortable). —Lowellian (talk) 02:01, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
Incidentally, I have changed the sentence "The reason Alan Moore chose to name the Marvel Earth '616' is uncertain" to "Since the name was first used, fans have put forth many theories on why Alan Moore chose to name the Marvel Earth '616'"; hope that helps. —Lowellian (talk) 02:07, May 18, 2005 (UTC)

For the record, before I comment further, I just want to say that I can live with the current version of the page, because we no longer have the "Alan Moore's reasons for choosing 616 are uncertain" comment, which gave weight to the fan theories over what Mr.Moore had said himself. Your last modification does indeed help. In answer to the rest of your points: Yes, the fan speculations could be considered historically important, much like the geocentric model but until you amended the page, it was akin to having a page on the Earth which went on at great length about the geocentric model, ratifying it, before mentioning as an afterthought "oh yes, some people think the Earth isn't at the centre of the universe". As to your comment "We have no reason to doubt Reppion's word", which you immediately follow with what you consider as a possible reason to doubt his (or Alan's) word, contradicting yourself, let's just consider why Alan Moore might deny a hidden meaning if it were there:

  1. He's worried it might offend those with Christian sensibilities? But this is the same guy who had battles at the gates of Heaven in Swamp Thing, and lots of pagan mythology in Promethea, so I seriously doubt he cares one whit about what any religious group thinks of him.
  2. He's worried it might upset Marvel by saying their universe is the "Number of the Beast"? I doubt a man who has made clear his intention never to work for Marvel again some two decades ago would care enough to deny it.
  3. He's worried it might hurt sales of his books? He's planning on retiring, and has blocked reprintings of older work in the past on points of principle, so again, financial concerns about losing sales would seem to be of little concern to him.

Frankly, he has no reason whatsoever to lie about why he picked the number, and if he was "reluctant to reveal" some hidden meaning, the easiest way for him to do that would have been to simply refuse to comment. User:

Actually, Alan Moore does refuse to comment, correct? As you stated earlier, "Since Alan Moore himself does not do public appearances, nor does he post online..." So we must rely on second-hand accounts of those close to him to learn what he thinks, and as the telephone game demonstrates, often secondhand accounts may feature some distortion, even when the players are trying their best to preserve the message.
Anyway, I'm okay with the revision by User:SoM, which divides the section up into a speculation and an answer section. I also changed more instances of "it is possible" to phrasing along the lines of "fans speculated that...". I hope the page is okay now. —Lowellian (talk) 22:01, May 19, 2005 (UTC)

"Actually, Alan Moore does refuse to comment" - well, no, he doesn't refuse to comment, he's just less accessible than many because he dislikes doing public appearances and isn't online; he still does interviews readily enough. It's just that up till now, no one thought to ask him this question; as soon as he was asked, he quite happily answered. As for the information being second-hand, if Comics International or Wizard Magazine had run this information as part of an interview with him, I doubt I'd have had such a hard time convincing anyone to amend this page, yet that is easily as second-hand (and probably more likely to contain errors) as this information from John Reppion and Leah Moore. A second-hand account may feature distortion, but there's unlikely to be much distortion that can creep into "616 is a random number".

However, this debate aside, I too am okay with the current version of the page. User:

Alternate universes[edit]

Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes provides a lot of information and numberings. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 05:03, 9 April 2006 (UTC)


Uatu didn't mistakenly refer to it as 616, there was an event that was affecting earth 616 into that state, at the end of the series that new universe was transformed into a new earth of its own.

This is indeed true. Have altered page so. Morwen - Talk 14:40, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Dude, I thought..[edit]

I heard somewhere that it was because at the time Marvel had precisely 616 superheroes. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:28, 21 February 2007 (UTC).


This seems so far-fetched that I'm fairly certain it'll never be substantiated:

For many years, the headquarters of DC Comics was located at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Thus, the name could be a subtle joke that the DC Universe was Earth-666 while the Marvel Universe was Earth-616.

How long does it remain as an uncited statement before it's removed?

(Of course, if someone can cite an article, interview, or text that substantiates the point, I'll withdraw my objection to it.)--Galliaz 11:52, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Alan Davis info[edit]

I'm concerned that the entry presently uses remarks made by Alan Davis at Tom Brevoort's blog to establish what David Thorpe's thoughts or intentions were in the 1980s. While Davis could (of course) serve as a source to establish what he himself thought and intended at that time, he can't actually serve as a reliable source for Thorpe's motivations.--Galliaz 22:32, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Of course he can, Alan worked with Dave Thorpe on the comic. It is completely reasonable (and sensible) that they discussed the things they included in the comic, particularly when they continued to be used after Dave left. Dave Thorpe's opinions on superheroes are well known - he has stated many times he doesn't like the modern genre so it's not a revelation for Alan to say that he didn't. However that's not the real point, Alan Davis states that Dave Thorpe recorded his opinion of the Marvel Universe with the designation 616. He doesn't say he might have or could have or thinks that he did. It's not an opinion of Alan's, it's not about thoughts or intentions. Alan Davis simply states as fact that Dave Thorpe chose 616 to reflect his opinion of the genre. As he was there at the time and was intimately involved I don't see how there's any concern with using him as a source.

It's a lot more believable than a comment from Alan Moore's son-in-law that the choice of 616 was a random selection on Moore's part. Ralaven 07:30, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Ralaven, I should've said that I find that Moore info is problematic, too! I know that Davis had a close working (and probably personal) connection to Thorpe. But my point is that short of independent substantiation of Thorpe's thoughts, ideas, and intentions from the 1980s (established through a contemporary Thorpe interview, letter, memo, or diary), the entry can't independently substantiate Davis's contentions. They have to be listed as Davis's contentions, rather than things that Thorpe thought, did, or said. Now, I'm not saying they might not be true — we just have nothing else to cite that might show that Davis is right.--Galliaz 12:31, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree that it can only be Alan's contention based on what Dave Thorpe said to him (I've swapped stated and contends round to reflect this) but it's hard to see how such a simple statement could be a misinterpretation (whereas the negative from Alan Moore could simply be that he doesn't remember because it wasn't his choice). Furthermore, unless we're going to mind read everybody we have to have a reasonably achievable standard of evidence. For example even if we had a statement from Dave Thorpe he could still be lying (then or now). How would we know? To me a statement from Alan is very good evidence. He was there and the creation of the strip was a collaborative process. Ralaven

I'm afraid I disagree. The negative from Moore wasn't a "I don't remember, it was probably random," it was a "everyone else was choosing low numbers, so I picked a random high one," (paraphrasing); read the above discussion, Moore's son-in-law was asked to ask Moore what the origin of the term was, did so, and reported it back. How is what he reported somehow less "believable" than what Davis has reported? What we have here is two people involved in the creation of the strip reporting two different and incompatable origins for the term, which means one of them has got it wrong. Personally, since Davis is accrediting the creation to someone else (which means, imo, he is more likely to be misremembering) and since Moore's statement makes it clear he believes he created the term, and given that Moore has throughout his career been scrupulous about giving credit to his fellow creators, that Moore had taken it down a radically different path than Thorpe had intended for it AND that the term "Earth-616" didn't turn up until about a year after Thorpe had quit writing the strip, I'm inclined to believe Moore is remembering it correctly. 12:44, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
My point is: we have a statement from someone other than Moore reporting what Moore said. We don't have a source (interview, article, letter) in which Moore himself makes a definitive statement. One doesn't have to cast aspersions on the veracity/reliablitiy of the "reporter" in order to recognize that there's a difference between an "I thought X, Y, and Z" statement and an "A told me he thought X, Y, and Z" statement. I know this seems like nit-picking, but in establishing a chain of information/evidence, there is a real distinction.--Galliaz 02:30, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

And my point is, that in both cases we have "A told me he thought X, Y and Z", and in neither case do we have an interview, article or letter. We have second (or in the case of the Davis information, third) hand accounts of what happened. On one side we have Alan Moore's son-in-law quoting what Alan Moore told him about the origins, and on the other we have Tom Brevoort quoting what Alan Davis recalls David Thorpe said about the origins. In the absence of external evidence, why is one source somehow more reliable than the other? Is John Reppion somehow less believable than Tom Brevoort? And the external evidence supports Moore having it right. The article itself is worded fine (or was when I last checked), giving neither side more credence than the other, but the discussion on the topic here thus far hasn't been as balanced. 12:44, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm assuming that you're not referring to my comments, because I have avoided the issue of credence or "reliability" altogether. Your last comment more or less re-stated the points that I have made in my own previous comments, up until your final clause, where you said: but the discussion on the topic here thus far hasn't been as balanced. I haven't ever speculated about "who might be more credible," instead limiting my comments to the fact that the entry confronts a similar source issue in both the Moore and Davis contentions. If anything, they are equally reliable/unreliable.--Galliaz 03:04, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to request that commenters here please sign their comments.--Galliaz 11:05, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

"I'm assuming that you're not referring to my comments -Galliaz" No, for the most part I'm not referring to your comments when I say the discussion here wasn't balanced. I'm referring to statements such as "Alan Davis simply states as fact" vs. "It's a lot more believable than a comment from Alan Moore's son-in-law" in one post, or the subsequent "it's hard to see how such a simple statement could be a misinterpretation (whereas the negative from Alan Moore could simply be that he doesn't remember", which serve to suggest that somehow what Tom Brevoort reports Alan Davis is saying is more reliable than what John Reppion reports Alan Moore is saying. That isn't a balanced arguement. My comments which began with "Personally" are my own opinion (as noted in the use of that first word) as a counterpoint to the poster who seemed inclined to write off Moore/Reppion's conflicting information seemingly based purely on his feeling that they are less believable or credible witnesses than Brevoort/Davis. The only thing I disagreed with that you posted is "We don't have a source (interview, article, letter) in which Moore himself makes a definitive statement." That's certainly true, but we also don't have a source like that for Davis or Thorpe either, so if you raise that concern for one, it should be raised for both. 12:44, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

You're doing a lot of misinterpreting here. Firstly in regard to Alan Moore's (AM) statement. The believability of the statement is the comment that 616 has no significance. Alan Moore more than anyone in comics would know the significance of 616, so I find it difficult to believe that if he chose it at randomly he didn't realise its significance. It's not that AM himself is less believable it's just that Alan Davis's email fits Dave Thorpe's known position than AM's statement to John Reppion does his. Captain Britain was a minor part of AM's career; he hadn't read it for many years until Marvel published the TPB. So it's very easy to think AM misremembers. It's nothing to do with witness credibility, I'm sure both John and AM were repeating what they thought to be the truth. To say that Davis states something as fact doesn't mean it's true, it just means that he does not believe that he is interpreting what Dave Thorpe said, rather he believes he is stating something Thorpe told him. He could still be wrong. That phrase was used because the discussion was about whether Alan D was interpreting what Thorpe said. Galliaz, as you seem to have missed, was actually saying that both statements were insufficiently reliable. I was arguing that both met my requirements. However the discussion arose because Alan Davis was questioned as a source for a contrary opinion to current belief. I was thus defending his reliability as a source so the argument is bound to be unbalanced - and since when should Talk be balanced! I also strongly disagree that Davis suggesting that another person invented 616 means he's likely to be less reliable! The logic completely escapes me! Furthermore, discussion about whether Tom Bevoort reported what Alan said is a bit of a nonsense - we can be perfectly happy that Tom put online what Alan wrote to him and that Alan is happy with it. What I know about who invented earth 616 is on the main page and I actually believe that AM is correct and that he created it (randomly) as there's no evidence prior to him coming on board of its use (I know I reread all my comics three times), indeed the only reference to an ID for an earth seems to say Earth DC when Saturnyne scans Jackdaw. Even though I think it's less likely to be true I still find Davis's story more believable! I don't think we'll ever know as it was a throwaway line originally of no significance so there are no interviews at the time about it so all we have are conflicting memories. Ralaven 08:26, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Allusions Outside Marvel Comics[edit]

Yes, in Infinite Crisis Alexander Luthor messes with alternate earths. But I fail to see how the numbers have any relation with the main marvel universe. Frankly, the character of Access has more of a connection with the D.C. universe and Marvel universe. After all, several limited series of Access meeting with Marvel (and D.C.) heroes...then Access shows up in a regular issue of Green Lantern. Much more direct then some math. No offense meant. Lots42 (talk) 10:50, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Comics B-Class Assesment required[edit]

This article needs the B-Class checklist filled in to remain a B-Class article for the Comics WikiProject. If the checklist is not filled in by 7th August this article will be re-assessed as C-Class. The checklist should be filled out referencing the guidance given at Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment/B-Class criteria. For further details please contact the Comics WikiProject. Comics-awb (talk) 16:25, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Original research?[edit]

I added the template for the following reasons;

1. Did someone at DC Comics confirmed that they were refering to Marvel's Civil War storyline, if so a source should be given, otherwise it's just original research.

2. I fail to see the connection between the designation of the main Marvel Earth with "the beast from the book of Revalations", so this part should be removed from the article, unless someone has a good reason to let the text stay. (talk) 00:56, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

I decided to delete the Beast ref because no matter how you look at it, it's not an allusion to Marvel's main continuity. Even if Tom DeFalco said 'We're going to name out continuity for the number of the beast', that'd be a ref for a biblical wikipedia article. And I deleted the DC comics one, mainly for safety, because there are HUGE legalistic morasses between the intellectual propertities. I know, I know, but Wikipedia prefers caution in the face of doubt. Lots42 (talk) 04:22, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

C-Class rated for Comics Project[edit]

As this B-Class article has yet to receive a review, it has been rated as C-Class. If you disagree and would like to request an assesment, please visit Wikipedia:WikiProject_Comics/Assessment#Requesting_an_assessment and list the article. Hiding T 14:00, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

It is the date that the Marvel Universe was created[edit]

1961 June, or '61, sixth month, which was when they finished work on Fantastic Four #1, cover date November 61.

This is pure speculation, but could be the beginning for serious research. I suspect that this is the original rationale for 616 even if the creators themselves forgot about it. Kid Bugs (talk) 18:57, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Except that the Marvel Universe technically began with "Marvel Mystery Comics #1" by Timely Comics published in October 1939, and even if you're going by the first comics printed under the name "Marvel" it wasn't "Fantastic Four #1" but "Amazing Adventures #3" in May (August) 1961. (talk) 03:00, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Proposed merge into Marvel Universe[edit]

I propose that Earth-616 be merged into Marvel Universe. I think that the content in the Earth-616 article can easily be explained in the context of the Mavel Universe article, and that the two articles explain the same subject but using different terminology and contexts, which is not necessary and makes it more difficult to find relevant information. Goodsmudge (talk) 09:35, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

  • That would really be a bad idea, since the section in the MU article it would be under is a summary style section. If it needed to be merged, it would really have to be merged into the Main article the summary redirects to: the Multiverse article. However, that too would not be a good idea because the 616 topic is also under a "summary style" section split into its own article because the inclusion made the Multiverse too long. Additionally, merging 616 back in would likely mean that all the other universes/realities/continuities/dimensions would also need to be merged back into the Main article. So I Oppose this proposal. --Gethralkin (talk) 05:31, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Do not merge. The Marvel Universe page would have to be renamed to the the "Marvel Multiverse", and then so would the DC Universe have to become the DC Multiverse, and all other supers publishers too, for consistency, not worth it at all. Plus this is a distinct subject in Marvel when figuring out the setting of any story, "are they in our timeline, or dimension"? "Is this story canon"? "Is this story just a fantasy that does not matter"?Ace Frahm (talk) 22:38, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

David Thorpe[edit]

I asked David about this in an e-Mail, and he says:"616 = number of the beast minus five years (Bowie) x 10". This appears to reference the song "Five Years" from David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust album. The lyrics include "News guy wept and told us, earth was really dying". Near the end of the song, the words "five years" are included about 20 times, so perhaps the "x 10" is just a way of guessing "a whole lot of five year periods" without playing back the song & counting? Metrolyrics It is the 1st song on the album, released 1972-06-06, a decade before the 1st mention of Earth-616 in Captian Britan in 1983. Does anybody actually have The Daredevils comic book in question with the 1st known reference to Earth-616? What happens in that story? Are the 50 earths between 616 & 666 (five years x 10) important in the story? The article could be improved with an image of that issue, if anybody has one. Here's a wayback machine link to the Moore 616 blog postAce Frahm (talk) 22:59, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

That should be put into the article, as all of the relevant references (except the Ultimate Spider-Man, which is almost irrelevant) are unreachable!

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Earth-616/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Reduced from "Top" to "Mid". Concept is not as important as the related article (Marvel Comics) and parent article (Marvel universe). — J Greb 15:01, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 15:01, 6 January 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 13:59, 29 April 2016 (UTC)