Marvel didn’t create the comic multiverse concept, but it’s been utilized rather well over the years. From dystopian alternate universes and hellish dimensions full of monsters, the Marvel multiverse has a variety of worlds jam-packed with interesting stories.
Over the years, Marvel series like What If…? have shown that terrible consequences could ensue if established events went a little differently. There’s a multitude of terrible Marvel alternate worlds to choose from, but some of them are much more terrifying than others.
Updated on July 22, 2022 by Scoot Allan: “The Death of Doctor Strange” storyline ushered in a new Sorcerer Supreme for the Marvel Universe. Clea Strange took over as Earth’s mystical protector, though she originally hails from her uncle Dormammu’s Dark Dimension. The dark alternate realm is just one of many horrifying dimensions and alternate timelines that have revealed the dark side of the Marvel universe.
15 The Negative Zone Is Another Dimension Made Of Anti-Matter
Reed Richards was the first to discover the anti-matter dimension known as the Negative Zone. He created a portal that allowed himself and the rest of the Fantastic Four to enter and explore the newfound dimension. Once inside, they encountered a number of dangerous enemies and discovered that their powers worked slightly differently while inside the Negative Zone.
Powerful conquerors have fought for control of the Negative Zone, including Blastaar, who hoped to expand his reign in the positive matter dimension. The Negative Zone even threatened the main Marvel universe when Annihilus led a powerful armada into the universe through a rift between the dimensions. The Negative Zone can also increase the negative emotions of anyone visiting.
14 Every One Of Moira’s Alternate Lives Was Terrible For Mutants
One of the biggest changes to the X-Men’s mythology in the Krakoan era has been Moira X’s many lives. Human scientist Moira MacTaggert was revealed to be a mutant whose life would restart every time she died. This allowed her to attempt to remake the timeline into something that she thought would be beneficial to mutants, but it was always a terrible failure.
The most important moments in Moira X’s alternate lives revealed that things were increasingly terrible for the mutant race. No matter what she did, humanity always struck with some form of Sentinels and wiped them out. It gave her the belief that mutants were always doomed, which led to the creation of Krakoa as a mutant nation.
13 The Myriad Realms Of Otherworld Hold Delights & Dangers
Otherworld is composed of multiple worlds and combines the various myths of the British Isles. It is usually overseen by the Omniversal Majestrix Opal Luna Saturnyne. Otherworld was often explored by characters like Captain Britain and Excalibur, though the Krakoan age of the X-Men has also featured Otherworld heavily.
Otherworld’s many worlds are full of adventure and terror, with dragons guarding treasures, vampires ruling over whole kingdoms, and the Fae tricking all who come into their sphere of influence. Otherworld hides something sinister, with realms of tricksters and monsters ready to devour the unwary traveler. Traveling safely takes a combination of wisdom and power to avoid the numerous wars fought there.
12 The Darkforce Dimension Is A Realm Of Complete And Depressing Darkness
Powerful energy known as Darkforce comes from the similarly named dimension comprised of total darkness. The Darkforce Dimension has developed a number of conduits to Earth’s dimension that have allowed dark creatures and liquid blackness to invade. Anyone traveling into the Darkforce Dimension without a guide would be lost forever in the emotion-draining realm.
There are quite a few mutants with connections to other dimensions whose powers stem from the Darkforce dimension. Cloak’s costume holds a portal into the Darkforce Dimension that can leave anyone who passes through it traumatized. Other characters are able to teleport though as well, though most suffer from exposure if forced to spend too much time there like Blackout.
11 Age Of Ultron Introduced A World Where Ultron Had Killed Just About Everyone
Age Of Ultron isn’t a fan-favorite event, but really doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Ultron’s return to Earth and the destruction of pretty much every human on the planet is a terrifying tale. Even the bravest heroes were reduced to broken people. Ultron and his forces completely controlled everything, wiping out any opposition to their rule.
Wolverine and Invisible Woman went back in time to fix it. However, when Wolverine killed Hank Pym to stop Ultron, it created another reality that was almost as bad. Magic had taken over in a reality that ended in an all-assault by the forces of Morgana Le Fey. Of the two realities, the Ultron-controlled world was much scarier as the implacable AI allowed no opposition.
10 Weirdworld Is A Collection Of Mystical Locations In Another Dimension
The floating island of Weirdworld is a collection of mystical locations that were brought together during the Secret Wars event on Battleworld. The original Weirdworld was combined with places like Crystar’s Crysalium and Arkon’s Polemachus during the reality-altering event. It was filled with powerful sorcerers and dangerous monsters that threatened any visitor to the dimension.
The Champions were mystically transformed into fantasy-inspired heroes and villains when they found themselves in Weirdworld. Other heroes, like Black Knight and Man-Thing, have become defenders of the Realm, which faces constant battle and struggle amongst powerful warlords.
9 Days Of Future Past’s Alternate Future Was The Brutal End Of The X-Men’s Dream
Marvel made a huge splash by putting its own spin on alternate timelines and dimensions with the X-Men’s “Days Of Future Past” storyline. It introduced the concept of dystopian futures ruled by the most dangerous types of Sentinels, which would feature in quite a few storylines following “Days of Future Past.”
One of the things that made “Days of Future Past” so scary was that no one is safe. Sure, the Sentinels kill everyone superpowered as part of their programming but they controlled the humans as well. That allowed them to kill any mutants or superhumans when their abilities first manifested. “Days of Future Past” was yet another terrifying look at A.I. gone wrong.
8 The Dream Dimension Is Ruled By Nightmare And Used To Inspire Fear
Unlike other realms in the Marvel universe, the Dream Dimension is a manifestation of humanity’s collective consciousness. It is fueled and molded by the dreams of everyone on Earth, which means it’s a constantly changing dimension that also existed on another astral plane.
The Dream Dimension is ruled by the demon-lord known as Nightmare who created his own Nightmare World within the realm. Nightmare was able to feed on the dream of anyone in his realm by terrifying them with haunting nightmares. The Dream Dimension on its own isn’t terrifying, but the presence of Nightmare can turn it horrifying in an instant.
7 Thanos Wins Introduced A Dark Universe Transformed Into An Empty Necropolis
Thanos is one of the most dangerous forces in the Marvel Universe. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the “Thanos Wins” storyline. Pulled into the future by the Cosmic Ghost Rider, Thanos saw himself victorious. He ruled over an empty place, where he had long ago extinguished just about all life. Thanos’s last desire was to die.
“Thanos Wins”presented the Marvel Universe as its own tombstone, as Thanos’s rampage finally found its logical conclusion. The inevitability of Thanos’ eventual victory is played out in all of its terrifying grandeur, which made that dark alternate reality incredibly terrifying.
6 Limbo Is A Hellish Realm Of Demons And Magic Ruled By Sorcerers
Limbo is one of many hellish alternate dimensions in the Marvel Universe. Formerly ruled over by Belasco, the demon lord stole Illyana Rasputin and raised her as his heir. She mastered magic there, eventually overthrowing him to become the queen of Limbo. Magik became one of the strongest Rasputin siblings due to her time in Limbo.
Even under Magik’s sway, Limbo is still an exceedingly dangerous place. Full of monstrous demons, it’s a dangerous place to wander into and only the most powerful escape without becoming food for its denizens. Limbo has a way of infecting anyone who stays there for too long, as seen with the Inferno babies who were raised brutally in the hellish dimension.
5 The Cancerverse Is An Alternate Dimension Corrupted By Dark Gods
The death of Captain Mar-Vell was a tragic moment in Marvel’s history. Things went a bit differently in the reality that would become known as the Cancerverse. Mar-Vell struck a deal with the other-dimensional Many-Angled Ones that allowed them to corrupt everything in the universe.
The majority of the living beings fused into one horrifying undying organism while the corrupted heroes led by Mar-Vell attempted to expand into the mainstream reality. While life ultimately ruled in the Cancerverse, the absence of death allowed the Many-Angled Ones to turn reality into a nightmare-fueled monster.
4 Mephisto Rules His Own Dimension Which Is A Hellish Nightmare
Mephisto is one of the scariest beings in the Marvel Universe. He uses his vast power to trick mortals and take their souls. Mephisto isn’t the actual devil but plays on classic devil imagery, all the better to trick those he desires. He even has his own hellish dimension, a place for his demon servants and stolen souls to reside.
Mephisto’s dimension is the kind of place that few willingly go to. It’s where he’s at his most powerful and there are few beings who can defeat him there. Even if they can, they’d still have to deal with his demonic servants, making the whole thing fraught with peril.
3 The Age Of Apocalypse Universe Featured A Genetic War In A World Without Xavier
The Age Of Apocalypse storyline has aged well as one of the fondest remembered X-Men stories of the ’90s. In a timeline where Charles Xavier was killed before he ever founded the X-Men, Apocalypse took over North America. Only Magneto and his X-Men were left to stand against him.
The AoA ended in a nuclear armageddon, though things somehow continued to get worse. The world was a blasted hellscape, torn apart by war and full of people who had lived through years of terrible conflict. Even with Apocalypse gone, there was always a new enemy who even managed to threaten the mainstream Marvel universe.
2 Dormammu’s Dark Dimension Is Full Of Legions Of Foes Ready To Attack
Dormammu is one of Doctor Strange’s biggest villains because he is a powerful being in charge of his own dimension. While the Dark Dimension has a lot of similarities with other hellish alternate realms it is also quite different. It has the cliché fiery pits and brooding castles, but also strange psychedelic dreamscapes composed of the fabric of the multiverse.
At the center of it all is Dormammu, the dread lord of the whole realm. Amazingly powerful, he’s the most dangerous person in the dimension. Only the skill and luck of Earth’s magical defenders have kept Dormammu from extending his Dark Dimension into the Marvel universe.
1 The Scariest Zombie Apocalypse Of All Took Place In The Marvel Zombies Universe
Marvel Zombies has always had a strangely comedic tone for a story about a superpowered zombie apocalypse. That humor was contrasted by stark brutality, and Marvel Zombies included some of the saddest deaths the Marvel universe has ever seen.
The fact that the zombies are the heroes who used to save people makes this one of the most terrifying Marvel dimensions. Broken by their hunger, they became an unstoppable force. Superpowered zombies with their full intellectual faculties upped the usual threat level of zombies, as did their plans for expansion into other universes to end their hunger.
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