On the 2nd of May, 2008, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man was released, kickstarting what we now know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU. In November of that same year, the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol 1. #5 was released, which assigned the MCU the reality designation of Earth-199999, as opposed to the designation given to the Prime Marvel Universe in which the Marvel comics are set in, Earth-616. This not only firmly established the MCU as part of Marvel’s greater Multiverse, but it also provided a way of categorising it into the larger library of titles produced by Marvel. This was what fans and Marvel referred to the universe as for a while until a certain film came along and changed that, but we’ll get onto that later. Despite this, however, the MCU didn’t seem too concerned with delving deep into the idea of alternate universes, largely focused on telling the story of the Avengers in Phase 1. In Phase 2, however, things began to change, they began to…expand.

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