Ms. Marvel's Iman Vellani, Comic Geek, Knows Kevin Feige Is Lying About The MCU's Numerical Designation

In the upcoming Disney+ series "Ms. Marvel," Iman Vellani plays Kamala Khan, a superhero fan who becomes a superhero in her own right. It's a perfect bit of casting, as Vellani herself is apparently a major Marvel comics fan in her own right, and now she gets to play a hero on screen. At a "Ms. Marvel" launch event this week, Vellani revealed just how deep her Marvel knowledge goes by calling out a minor —or secretly major? — detail in the MCU.

The combo of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" officially introduced the MCU multiverse this year, with the latter film featuring Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his companions traveling to a few different variations on earth. At some point amidst the chaos of inter-universe travel, a version of Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) tells Strange that the main version of Earth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is called Earth-616.

Vellani is one of many Marvel fans who doesn't quite buy this. In an interview with Deadline Hollywood (via The Direct), the actress confidently shares her own theory about the MCU's numerical designation within the multiverse. "I don't believe that the MCU is 616," she declares to an interviewer, adding, "as much as Kevin Feige can make us think it's 616, it is 199999!"

It's not Earth-616!

This is a bold callout from an actor —and, more so, Marvel fan — who clearly knows her stuff. While Vellani doesn't outright say that she thinks Marvel President Feige is pulling a fast one on us, she seems very sure of her own take on the MCU's place in the multiverse. And honestly? She seems to be right.

Marvel comics has introduced myriad versions of Earth since its inception, but the main timeline from which all other plots and variations branch off is considered Earth-616. Also called the Prime Universe, Earth-616 includes the primary and original comic book versions of characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Doctor Strange. However, as Vellani says, the on-screen Marvel world has already been given its own designation within the comics, Earth-199999.

As meta and confusing as this distinction may be for non-Marvel comics readers, it actually makes sense: by giving the on-screen version of the story a different designation than the comic version, any changes from page to screen seem not like creative liberties or mistakes, but like valid storytelling choices given that each is their own distinct reality.

If Feige is playing the long game with the multiverse, he's been doing it for a while, as Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio also called the MCU world Earth-616 in 2019's "Spider-Man: Far From Home." Regardless, it's great to see enthusiastic Marvel fan turned superhero Vellani on the case.