Multiverse Fiction: A narratological approach to infinite worlds narratives

Keywords: Multiverse, Storyworld, Transmediality, Possible Worlds Theory, Narratology


In recent years, movies and tv shows have increasingly adopted the notion and the structure of the multiverse from superhero comics, resulting in a great popularity of the concept across a wider audience. The article aims to define the basic features of contemporary multiverse narratives, and to explore some of their textual applications. The first part will deal with the narratological theory of parallel worlds in fiction, following Marie-Laure Ryan’s and Karin Kukkonen’s analyses, to outline five key features shared by each multiverse narrative. The second part will be devoted to three significant case studies, that show three different applications of the multiverse as a textual device: Everything Everywhere All at Once as an example of intertextual narrative; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, that relies on a cultural dominant; and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a transmedial storyworld expanded through the characteristics of the multiverse.


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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, dir. Peyton Reed, USA, 2023.

Back to the Future, dir. Robert Zemeckis, USA, 1985.

Cloud Atlas, dir. The Wachowski Sisters and Tom Tykwer, Germany-UK-USA, 2012.

Coherence, dir. James Ward Byrkit, USA, 2013.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, dir. Sam Raimi, USA, 2022.

Everything Everywhere All at Once, dir. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, USA, 2022.

Loki, created by Michael Waldron, Disney+, USA, 2021-2023.

Ratatouille, dir. Bran Bird and Jan Pinkava, USA, 2007.

Rick and Morty, created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, Adult Swim, USA, 2013-present.

Rubber, dir. Quentin Dupieux, France, 2010.

Spider-Man, dir. Sam Raimi, USA, 2002.

Spider-Man 2, dir. Sam Raimi, USA, 2004.

Spider-Man 3, dir. Sam Raimi, USA, 2007.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, dir. Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson, USA, 2023.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, dir. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, USA, 2018.

Spider-Man: No Way Home, dir. Jon Watts, USA, 2021.

The Amazing Spider-Man, dir. Marc Webb, USA, 2012.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2, dir. Marc Webb, USA, 2014.

The Avenges, dir. Joss Whedon, USA, 2012.

The Incredible Hulk, dir. Louis Leterrier, USA, 2008.

The Matrix, dir. The Wachowski Brothers, USA, 1999.

What If…?, created by A. C. Bradley, Disney+, USA, 2021-present.

How to Cite
D’Amato, G., & Diani, L. (2024). Multiverse Fiction: A narratological approach to infinite worlds narratives. Between, 14(27), 593-614.