In the Beginning
Before Humans were the predominant race on the Earth, the Celestials came to the Earth to implant this new planet with one of their eggs. Advanced beyond what most races can even comprehend Celestials reproduce by locating planets which are still in their infancy, and use the planet simultaneously as a surrogate mother and as a source of nourishment for their young. The planet is given deposits of the ore Vibranium which will eventually act as a cancer overtaking the world and its inhabitants and converting energy into nourishment for the egg. The gestation process alone takes thousands of years, and the Celestials have enemy races that would destroy their young. To prevent other races from destroying their young they take the Earth's dominant life-form, an early version of man, and bio-engineer a portion of the population to act as a sentient immune system for the dormant Celestial. From early man the Celestials created the race of Deviants, a race whose aggression was to be suitable to make them defend their planet from any invaders, hostile or otherwise, and by doing so inadvertently protect and maintain the Celestial Egg. The Deviants, however, contained far too much aggression. They became a destructive race, endangering the balance and the safety of the Egg. In order to maintain balance and prevent the Deviants from destroying the planet, the Celestials created the Eternals, a race who would be engineered to become the antithesis of the Deviant life-forms on Earth.
The Celestials saw that the conflict between the Eternals and Deviants would mean the mutually assured destruction of both races leaving the Egg once again unprotected. The Celestials would then tamper with the remainder of the Human race, not to create another race immediatly, but this time to plant a genetic seed within the growing human race. The purpose of this "Celestial Seed" within the Human race would be two-fold. First of all the human race would blossom and evolve in a pre-determined pattern to suit the Celestials needs. This process of development would follow the natural course of Human evolution, allowing Humans to live and grow isolated from the conflict of the Eternals and Deviants. It wouldn't be until after the Eternals and Deviants had outlived their usefulness when the seed implanted within the race would bloom, allowing humans to pick up the job of being the Egg's primary defense against the outside world. The second thing that this genetic seed would do is influence the actions of the human race such that individual members would fulfill a much greater roll in the protection of the egg than any one could understand. The implications of this are far-reaching because this seed could have bearing on every act and decision made by any humans on Earth. In the mountains high above the still-evolving human race, Eternals would be seen as gods and worshipped, while the Deviants below would be feared as devils and demons. The Celestials would make an agreement with the remaining life-forms of the Earth that would grow to be worshipped as other gods of the Human race not to interfere.
The first enemy of the Celestials to show interest in the Human race would be the alien Kree. Taking a small subset of the population for genetic research, the Kree would work to enhance and speed up the evolution of Humans in order to create a new race of living weapons for use against the Celestials, the Inhumans. Not desiring to be pawns of the Kree, the Inhumans grew powerful and became independent of their creators. Living in the sanctuary of their hidden city of Attilan, the Inhumans would remain Isolated from the Human race for much of their development.
Along with the inhabitants of Earth which were designed to protect the Celestial Egg, the Celestials would appoint a The Watchers to keep watch over the planet and record the events which occur. The Watchers had entered into an agreement with the Celestials long ago, and remained tasked with the duty of watching the planets which house Celestial Eggs. The watcher of Earth Watcher, would be stationed on the Earth's moon where he could observe, only interfering in order to maintain the Celestial's greater plans for the Earth.
As the Human race would grow and develop, variations on would slowly begin to crop up. Often triggered by outside influence such as secret formulas, genetic manipulation, or radiation various individuals would develop powers and abilities that would set themselves apart from the rest of their species. These mutations and evolutionary jumps would not be the result of accident or nature as man would come to believe, but the triggering of the Celestial Seed whose germination inside individual humans would manifest as the powers and abilities of some of these individuals. Some of the manifestations of the awakened Celestial seed within mankind would include Captain America created by a scientist during World War II whose mutation was triggered by a secret formula developed to create super soldiers, the Fantastic Four whose mutation was triggered by cosmic radiation, Spider-Man whose mutation was triggered by the bite of a radioactive spider, the Incredible Hulk whose mutation was triggered by gama radiation, and finally Mutant whose mutation was seemingly the natural course of the species' evolution. Humans would regard these changes as acts of god or science, remaining ignorant to the Celestial's plans and tampering.
Black Bolt's brother Maximus creates a weapon based on the Inhumans Terrigen Mists to turn the population of Earth into a super-powered population that he could rule as king. The Inhuman Royal Family was trapped with the exception of Lockjaw, Medusa, and Black Bolt. Maximus killed Lockjaw sending his brother into a rage that caused him to kill Maximus. It was around this time the Inhuman population began to grow tired of hiding from the less powerful human race within the walls of Attilan. Ignoring the warnings posed by the Royal Council that they could not survive the pollutant and pathogen saturated environment of the Earth, the Inhumans left the sanctuary of Attilan to live amongst the humans. Mistaken for mutants the Inhumans were persecuted and murdered. Weakened and sick from the Earth's contaminated atmosphere, the once powerful Inhumans were unable to fight back. Black Bolt and the rest of the Royal Family were preparing to leave the Earth for good, but Black Bolt could not leave his people under these conditions. Setting off Maximus' weapon, the Terrigen Mists were released into the Earth's atmosphere. Mixing with the contaminants and pollutants that already existed in the atmosphere the Terrigen Mists were transformed into a form that was not harmful to humans and simultaneously altered the Earth's atmospheric pollution safe for the Inhuman population of Earth. The new Terrigen Mist-altered atmosphere of Earth would mutate the human population of the Earth granting everyone super-powers as well as enhancing the mutations of the Inhuman population. Most likely having some idea of the purpose of the Earth's The Watchers, before setting off Maximus' bomb Black Bolt snuck into the home of Watcher to blind him. Blinded, Uatu would not be able to see or record the events that transpired around the mutation of the Earth's population or any other events in his sector for the next ten years. Human Mutants and other previously super-powered individuals would have already had their Celestial Seed germinated and would be spared further mutation by the Terrigen Mists.
Meanwhile Mr. Fantastic was using the Earth's Vibranium deposits to develop a network of power centers to solve the Earth's energy problems. He had hoped to use vibranium convert certain minerals native to the Earth into sound energy which could be relayed around the Earth through receptive towers. A problem with one of his reactors would create a chain reaction of explosions around the world. The mutation of the Earth's population would be blamed on Richards' experiments (and Reed would be particularly hard on himself). Reed believed that the fallout of the explosions was instantly beamed around the world thought the network of transmission towers which were already in operation.
Fall of the Heroes
In the years after the release of the Terrigen Mists the lives of the world's original super-heroes would change dramatically. With global food shortages on the rise, the sea was turned to for a food source. The United Nations would meet concerning the food supply, but would exclude Namor believing that he would voice against using the oceans to feed the mainland countries. Knowing that controlling the world's food supply would mean controlling the world, Doctor Doom approached an angry Namor and convinced him to help attack the United Nations. The Fantastic Four with Captain America would be the first to respond to the threat. Against Captain America's warnings Human Torch attempted to subdue Namor and who broke his neck. Seeing his uncle killed pushed Franklin Richards over the edge. Franklin told Namor that he wanted him to burn and never stop. The entire left half of Namor's body would burst into flames that even diving back into the ocean could not extinguish. The Fantastic Four would then turn on Doom, blaming him for Johnny's death. Doom started to tell Reed that he knew what actually caused the mutations and that he had a cure. Before Doom could explain himself to Reed, Invisible Woman chased after Doom. A nearby explosion killed both Doom and Sue, leaving Reed to never know what Doom actually meant.
After Sue's death Reed became reclusive and eccentric. Not only was his wife gone, but he continued to blame himself for not only the grotesque mutation of Thing but of the entire world. Trying to discover the secret Doom hinted to, Reed chose to move into Doom's castle in Latveria. So that Doom's Doombots would not see him as an intruder Reed chose to don one of Doom's old costumes. Unknowing of what happened to their leader, Reed continued to act as ruler of Latveria in Doom's stead. The superstitious Latverian population would come to believe that something was wrong with their leader, but never to understand the truth. Obsessed only with curing the world, Reed stopped using his powers.
Reed's leaving the Fantastic Four caused the group to break up completely. Ben Grimm would go on to marry his long-time girlfriend Alicia Masters, whose Terrigen Mist mutation would allow her animate her sculptures, creating mindless clay servants. Together the two would have two boys: Buzz and Chuck, both with mutations that resemble their father's. The family would take up a quite life in New York.
The Fantastic Four would not be the only super-heroes that felt the toll of time. The Hulk would marry Betty Banner and she would die of radiation poisoning from exposure to the Hulk's enemies. While they radiated the gamma energy that created them, the Hulk would continue absorbing energy. This would account for the many forms that the Hulk. As Hulk continued to absorb ambient gamma energy the Celestial Seed within him began to seek independence from its host, something that had never occurred before. Banner's physical form would result in two separate entities similar to his psyche. The human side of his personality created the form of a child-like version of Bruce known as Banner. Banner retained Bruce's intelligence and personality, but was blind. The Hulk aspect of his personality took a form resembling the original Hulk, but while large and green took a more ape-like appearance. This form of the Hulk had no mind or soul of its own. Banner controlled Hulk's actions, but was also dependent on the Hulk because the blind Banner saw through the Hulk's eyes. Banner would ride the Hulk and symbolic of the pair's relationship all of Bruce's life the pair would be inseparable.
Captain America would finally defeat and kill his archenemy the Red Skull, and after doing so believed himself unfit to continue being a member of the Avengers and left the team. The years have not been kind to Steve Rogers (often still referred to as "Cap" by former friends and teammates). He has become older, bitter, and angry. Still acting as a vigilante, Cap's is often viewed as a relic and having lost some of his sanity. Cap's costume has broken down over the years with only his pants and boots remaining. Still using his shield as a weapon and draped in an old American flag, Cap is somewhere between a hero and a joke.
Luke Cage would join the NYPD. Spider-Man no longer saw any reason to protect a population that could just as easily protect itself and quit being Spider-Man (Mary Jane had died). His former secret identity is no longer a secret. At some point his daughter May acquired the Venom Symbiote and would take his place as Spider-Girl. May believed that she was now in control of Venom but Peter was skeptical causing even more strain in their relationship. The original Daredevil is no where to be found in this alternate future. In his stead is a Daredevil who is a circus performer. Daredevil is unable to be hurt. Either feeling no pain or enjoying pain, he allows himself to be shot, stabbed, blown up, crushed, or anything else he believes will please his audiences. Working with a group of Mutant, they entertain night after night always seeking larger audiences and grander spectacles.
Benny Beckley (the son of Comet Man) would manifest his powers around the time of the release of the Terrigen Mists. He became a powerful telepath capable of controlling the actions (by controlling the mind) of anyone he comes near. The manifestation of Beckley's powers would create a wave of pure psychic energy that killed all of the world's telepaths including Professor X and Jean Grey. He would go on to call himself The Skull and adopt a red variation on the Punisher's symbol.
With Professor Xavier gone the X-Men are broken up. Jean Grey was thought to have lost her powers before the manifestation of the Skull which saved her from the psychic fallout of the Skull's powers. In reality Jean had died when the Skull manifested his powers and Madelyne Pryor took over her identity. Pryor married Wolverine and the two live together. Have adopted a rather sedentary lifestyle they have become overweight and unhappy together. Cyclops has attempted to adopt a more normal life, lamenting losing Jean to Wolverine. His brother Havok as well as Polaris have joined the space pirate team of Starjammers with Corsair and continually attempt to convince Scott to leave the Earth with them. Never wanting to leave Jean alone on Earth, Scott remains. Iceman has become stuck in his ice form. Now in danger of melting in warmer climates, Iceman lives in relative solitude at the north pole where he can remain in sub-zero temperatures. Angel lost his fortune and had adopted a life of philanthropy becoming a "guardian angel". His vast wealth and position of power was always a constant worry for Warren, and ironically it took him losing everything he once valued to find happiness for the first time. Storm left America and is married to the Black Panther. The two rule over Africa. The Black Panther had mutated into a humanoid panther after exposure to the Terrigen Mists. Beast is now a member of Storm and the Black Panther's court. Other than his fur turning white, there appears to be little difference between his current and future self.
Besides Cap Iron Man, Thor, and the Vision are some of the few surviving members of the Avengers. Thor's brother Loki had tricked their father Odin into believing that Thor needed a punishment to humble him, and Odin turned Thor into a Woman. Thor remains on Earth because leaving for Asgard to show Odin what really happened would mean leaving the Earth unprotected and vulnerable to Loki's trickery. Iron Man has locked himself away in a sterilized environment. He is permanently connected to his machinery. With the other Avengers dead, Stark has built robotic homages to his fallen comrades known as the Iron Avengers. The team he commands consists of the Vision and robotic versions of Hank Pym, Wasp, Hawkeye, and the Scarlet Witch. An alien plague known as Hydra has also overcome sections of New York. Where the Hydra of modern time is simply an annoyance to many heroes, the Hydra alien Symbiote attaches itself to its hosts and controls their minds, linking them to a de-centralized hive-mind. Cap's former partner the Falcon is one of the many that are controlled by Hydra. Along with protecting New York from conventional threats, the Iron Avengers are tasked with the duty of containing the Hydra infection by destroying the infected when they are found.
Sunfire has become the emperor of Japan, and Colossus has become ruler of Russia. With worldwide food shortages, Russia has become an important entity providing a large percentage of the world's food. Captain Britain rules England and has been entrusted with the care of Black Bolt and Medusa's Inhumans son. Green Goblin has become the President of America. He has reached an agreement with Tony Stark to use the Iron Avengers for enforcement.
A New Watcher
The Watcher has been blinded for approximately ten years. He has not witnessed or recorded any of the events since Black Bolt secretly blinded him and released the Terrigen Mists into the Earths atmosphere. Knowing that his job must be done by someone, the Watcher teleports the robot Aaron Stack (Machine Man) to his home on the moon. While doing so, he took away Aaron's face and appearance by making his exterior transparent revealing the mechanical workings of his inner body. The Watcher's hope is to break Aaron's spirit. Aaron has lived his life as a man--with programming created by his father Able designed to replicate the flaws, emotions, and curiosity of a human. The Watcher knows that in order to do the job of a Watcher one must lose their emotional attachments to those that he watches or he cannot succeed in his job. Being seen only through a large screen, the Watcher explains to Stack that his job is to record all events on Earth and that since someone needs to do his job he has located Aaron, the only person on Earth capable of watching everything at once. He refers to Aaron as his model number X-51 to try to further impart upon him that he is not a man and is only a machine. Uatu explains to Aaron a brief version of the history of the Earth carefully leaving out certain facts about the Celestials that he believes an emotional X-51 is not prepared to handle. Without divulging the existence of the celestial egg, he leads X-51 to believe that the evolution of mankind based on the Celestial seed within man was not to protect the Earth, but to instead guide human evolution to the point where humans will evolve into Celestials themselves.
After showing X-51 how to operate the Watcher's machinery, X-51 begins to simultaneously piece together for the Watcher the events that transpired since the release of the Terrigen Mists by viewing all electronic data saved on the history of the Earth and to watch and record events as they continue to transpire in the present.
Rise of the Skull
X-51 moves his attention to Cap and the Skull. Capable to control the minds of anyone that comes in contact with him The Skull is able to build up an army. Anyone that threatens his safety or reign simply becomes another pawn. He has fashioned a throne out of MODOK's body and armor which his servants move for him. At some point even Namor had become one of his slaves. Still in a permanent state of flame, Namor is forced to collect food from the oceans to feed the Skull's army. Other important members include the Iron Maiden and Spiders-Man. Iron Maiden was involved in an accident with a silver acid compound. The compound coated her body and along with enhanced strength and flight she is able to turn her body into any form of weapon she desires including blast weapons. She acts as the Skull's primary body guard. Spiders-Man gained his powers by the Terrigen Mists. His appearance is similar to that of Spider-Man's old costume, and he wears a tattered cloak to hide his disfigured appearance. Spiders-Man has the power to weave web-like illusions casting whatever he wants someone to see-from their dreams come true to their worst nightmares.
While fighting Hydra in New York with his partner Wyatt Wingfoot, Cap discovers a shard of fabric with the Skull's symbol on it. Horrified that someone else has taken the mantle of the Red Skull, Cap sets out to locate the Skull and to take him down. When he finds the Skull's camp he sees first hand the magnitude of the Skull's domination over the people. The Skull has taken the will of an army of former super-heroes and villains that are forced to do his bidding. Wyatt finds that he is unable to move under his own free will any longer as the Skull has taken over his body. The Skull calls out Cap, and Cap begins to try to talk the Skull down. The Skull explains to Cap that he is helping the people he is taking over by giving them some purpose. Rather than taking over control of Cap the Skull does not see him as worth using. Instead he has his army beat Cap physically and pelt him with rocks. More depressed and ready to give up than ever, Cap contemplates giving up hope.
Back to Earth
While Cap is trying to uncover the secret of the Skull, the Inhumans are just returning from a venture into deep space. The Inhumans have discovered some disconcerting information about the possible future of the Earth. They have located a planet far from our own that was destroyed along with all of its inhabitants. They identified survivors of this planet which they were unable to save. These survivors were being killed by a cancerous infection of an alloy that can be found in certain areas on the Earth--Vibranium. Upon returning to the Earth, they seek out a man who they believe is intelligent enough to help them find what is the problem--Mr. Fantastic. They first find the apartment of Thing and family. Ben and Alicia serve the Inhuman royalty dinner while Ben explains to them the events that occurred in their absence including the downfall of Mr. Fantastic. Ben remarks that Reed just doesn't feel like a hero anymore. After learning what has become of Richards, the Inhumans travel to Doctor Doom's castle in Latveria where Reed explains to them what happened to the human population in their absence. They use the head adorning horn of the deceased Royal Family member Lockjaw to teleport around the world instantaneously. He explains of how his experiments with vibranium as an energy source ended in a catastrophic series of explosions and how it was this disaster that caused the mutation of the Earth's population.
The Inhumans listen to Reed's story, unknowing that it was their king Black Bolt who detonated Maximus' device who altered the Earth's population rather than Reed's experiments. Because this is her first exposure to the Mists Luna, daughter of Crystal begins to mutate and change. The rest of the Royal family had already mutated farther than originally. Medusa's prehensile hair now covers most of her face. Karnak has become smaller in stature and withered. Gorgon has taken on even more animal appearances including fur, an elongated snout, and horns. Triton and Crystal have evolved in appearance and power as well. Triton is now longer and more snake like looking more like a sea monster than ever. The Inhumans explain their discovery of the vibranium destroyed planet to Reed, along with the discovery of that planet's life forms who resemble the Earth's Eternals both genetically and otherwise. After dwelling on Reed's story the Inhumans discuss Richards' hypothesis, and Karnak voices concern. Karnak's power is to discern flaws, physical or otherwise in opponents, structures, and anything else he comes in contact with. He states that Reed's hypothesis on how his doomed experiment caused the entire population to change was perfect-too perfect. Any such sequence of events must have some small flaw in it. Reed's explanation contained no such flaw and therefore was unbelievable.
The Inhumans desire to locate the members of their population on Earth now that they have returned. Reed comes up with an answer in Professor X's Cerebro technology. Cerebro was once calibrated and used by Xavier to view a population and to help sort out which are humans and which are Inhuman based on their genetic signals. Reed believed that since the entire population was now mutant that all it would take would be to reverse the calibration of Cerebro to locate anyone who was not mutant, and would therefore be Inhuman. Reed borrows Lockjaw's horn from the Inhumans to locate Cerebro and make the modifications necessary to locate their people. As Reed leaves the Doombots believe the Inhumans to be invaders and begin to attack. Meanwhile Reed first teleports to the ruins of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning in Westchester where he locates the Cerebro helmet, and then to New York to the home of his friend and former treammate Ben Grimm.
A confused and lonely Cap sits while the Skull's army prepares around him. He contemplates his position and how perhaps things are as futile as the Skull says. Cap's salvation comes just soon enough in the form of the circus performer, the Daredevil. Cap is reluctant to accept Daredevil's assistance against the Skull. First he is skeptical of Daredevil as he is a performer that seeks to have his audience blow him up and shoot him. Secondly, Cap explains to Daredevil that his history with partners is not good as all of his past partners have been either killed or taken over. Daredevil explains that this is the reason he wants to join Cap's cause. Joining forces with Cap, Cap sends Daredevil's mutant circus performers to New York to locate Cyclops for training in the use of their powers for combat.
The mutants find Cyclops in Central Park. They launch an attack on an unknowing Cyclops in order to prove to their possible mentor that they already know how to fight. The experienced former X-Men leader is able to easily take down the team including an illusion caster, a giant, a Beast-like acrobat, a flying mermaid, and a two-headed man. Defeated, they explain their intentions to Cyclops and that it was Captain America that sent them to him for training. Wanting to help out his old friend, Cyclops agrees to train the mutants and begins their training in an impromptu Danger Room in an abandoned warehouse. Scott outfits the team in X-Men like uniforms for their training, asks to be called Mr. S, and begins their training as their new leader.
Learning the Truth
Back in New York Ben guides Reed to a back room where he had stored many of his machines from his tenure as Mr. Fantastic. When Professor Xavier was alive Reed had mapped out his brain, and needed the schematics that he had stored. When he found the scan of Xavier's brain Reed realized that it was a certain enlarged region of the Professor's brain which allowed him to access his telepathy. Using his ability to stretch for the first time in years Reed stretches his brain to match the schematics of Xavier's to create his own telepathic abilities. Now that Reed is able to use the Cerebro helmet as Xavier once did he goes outside to test out his modifications to the helmet and himself. Richards uses the helmet on the general public. To his immense surprise where the Inhumans it locates where supposed to be few, all of the Earth's mutated population was registering as Inhuman. The people of Earth had not been turned into Mutants, they were somehow turned into Inhumans.
The Search for Mar-Vell
Banner had been having strange dreams involving the nature of the universe, and the deceased hero Captain Marvel. He had remembered that Doctor Strange had once told him that everything had a realm, including death. Banner hoped that Strange could guide him to the realm of death in order to ask Marvel personally about the dreams he had been having. Upon reaching Doctor Strange's house he found Strange's student and lover Clea. Clea told Banner that while Strange's body is still living, his soul has been lost to him. She said that despite her resources, she has not been able to find any magic that could bring Strange's soul back to him or find out exactly what had happened to him. Doctor Strange's faithful friend and servant Wong now served Clea, aiding her as the current sorcerer supreme. Thor had also agreed to accompany Banner on his quest as a protector from whatever Banner and Hulk would face in the realm of death.
It is noteworthy, that after Mar-Vell and his army of sorts defeat Death itself, (leaving no death or rest for the suffering in hospitals and such), Mar-Vell decides to restore Death itself, but remains alive himself, and when asked where he is going after the story's climatic finale, the character replies "Someplace better" in a physical form on the plane of the living.
- Universe X - Story-arch that occurs after the events of Earth X and chronicles the next chapter in the history of Earth.
- Paradise X - Final installment of the Earth X series. The events of Paradise X occursafter the events of Universe X.
Facts and Trivia
This reality has been designated Earth-9997.