Earth-8, the parallel universe previously know as the extradimesional world of Angor is the reality inside the DC Multiverse, where most of the Marvel characters homages and doppelgangers live. This world can be considered as the answer to the Marvel' Squadron Supreme, an analog concept. The creators of the original characters were Dick Dillin and Mike Friedrich.
At first, only know by their representatives, the Champions of Angor, who debuted the same year and month than the Squadron Supreme (February, 1971), the world of Angor would not be fully explored until after the Crisis on Infinite Earths by JLI creatives Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire. Later Giffen, DeMatteis and Bart Sears would expand the world of Angor and their characters, mainly their villians. Later, the writing team, along with Mike Mckone would introduce the world itself and several others characters always under a parodic light.
After Infinite Crisis and during Countdown, Angor was officially designed as an alternate earth, and assigned number (earth-8). It was more explored during the Countdown tie-in Lord Havok mini-series by Frank Tieri and Liam Sharp, paroding more the style used by Marvel in storylines like Civil War and the Ultimates.
After Flashpoint, the concept would be rescued by Grant Morrison for his Multiversity series, under a totally different visual and conceptual reinvention, more close to the classic spirit of the marvelous competence, and this time being a more evident reference.
The first encounter between the characters of Angor and the Justice League was on Cam-Nam-Lao, an alien dead world. Before beign wasted, the ruling corporations of Cam-Nam-Lao send automatons to gather minerals, and other resources, from other worlds. As the Justice League of America were attacked on Earth by once such automaton, so, too, were the heroes of the planet, Angor. Their superheroes, the Champions of Angor attacked and went to search to whoever had sent the robots. Who they found was the Justice league, victims of the same predicament. Now, said heroes arrive on Cam-Nam-Lao, immediately mistaking the Justice League of America, and Zatanna, to be responsible for launching the attack on Angor. The Justice League of America, and Zatanna, assume the same about the heroes of Angor. An epic battle ensues. While deflecting Jack. B. Quick's debris attack, the Flash propels a chunk of rubble at the Blue Jay. Zatanna urges the Green Lantern to throw up a protective energy shield, around the badly injured Blue Jay. The Green Lantern is forced to drop the shield, so that he can bring the full power of his ring to bear, to heal the Blue Jay. The Justice League of America make peace with the Heroes of Angor, who depart for their own world.
The debut of the Champions of Angor coincided with the Squadron Supreme, mostly because it was an "unofficial crossover" agreed between both the creators from both books. Curiously, depiste there was already stablished existence of the multiverse, Angor wasn't catalogued as a parallel earth, but as an ambigous "other-dimensional planet" populated by human-like looking aliens with the same marvelous level of technological development and cultural tendencies than earth. Only silver age logic can explain such coincidences.
The final destiny of Angor would be revealed after the Crisis of the Infinite Crisis, by the suddenly appearance of Wandjina, Silver Sorceress and Blue Jay on earth, with a radical anti-nuclear weapons agenda. This because their own world ended in a nuclear war, leaving nothing more than a radioctive wasteland behind with very few survivors. The last superheroes spend their time trying to help the dying human race but their good intentions were not enough. The world has become so radioactive than even superbeings couldn't endure the high toxic levels too much. Captain Speed, one of the original members of the Champions of Angor, died of radiation poisonig, depiste the efforts of Silver Sorceress for helping him with her hexes.
After concede defeat, , the last Champions, abandoned their home using the magical abilities of Silver Sorceress. They arrived earth with a more agressive agenda than included the eradication of all the nuclear arsenal and would lead them with clashings against the Justice League and the Rocket Red Brigade. But their anti-nuclear weapons crusade would end tragically. It would be on earth where the angorian Wandjina would meet his demise.
Sometime later, Silver Sorceress returned alone to Angor and a new aspect of the end of this world would be revealed through Blue Jay words: meanwhile the Assemblers possed for the cameras, a group of supervillians, the Extremists, under the leadership of Lord Havok convinced all the supervillians of Angor to work together. With alll the villians under his guide, Havok took control of all the nuclear arsenal of the world and blackmailed their leaders, demanding total surrender. But the world governments rejected their demands and the villians just drop the bombs. Apparentely, only the main conspirators, the Extremist, were the only survivors of that event. After discover than the Sorceress also was alive, they followed her path to earth, hungry for new worlds to conquer.
When they tried to repeat their previous scheme on earth, they were opposed by Captain Atom and the JLE. However the JLE was defeated and send to Angor, where they were under the custody of Carny, another extremist and ruler of Wacky world, an amusement park totally run by humanoids automatons. The fact was than even the original Extremists had died by radiation poisoning, all but Dreamslayer and robotic replicas were the ones threatening Earth. The following battle against Carny woke up Mitch Wacky, creator of Wackyworld and the robot technology, from his cryogenic sleep. Depiste their amazing development in cybernetic tech, Angor was very underdevelopted in health treatment and a common cold was a deadly disease. After overcame the shock to discover than his world was gone, he returned with the JLE to earth and helped them to stop his own crazy creations.
A deeper exploration of Angor would be seen in JLQ # 3. Mitch Wacky and Kilowog, then the repair man from the JLI, in a risky move, traveled back in time to change history and save Angor from destruction by undoing the origin of the Extremists. However, it was the intervention of Mitch Wacky what caused the explosion than created the Extremists, in a paradox event. This revelation send Uncle Mitch in a deep depression.
In this travel, Mitch, Kilowog and the JLE also meet the Assemblers, in their prime glory. Following the comedic spirit of the JLI of that time, spoofing on the style and dramatic performances of the Marvel characters, including their inner conflicts, which include from the anti mutant segregation problems of Captain Speed to the psychological traumas of the several members, specially Bowman and his black widow type of woman obssession and the physical pains of the Massive Man. Also the origin of the Extremist parodied on the reapeted trope of the nuclear induced origin of the Marvel characters, a pretty used concept in the Silver Age, among the most famous characters of the house of ideas.
This incarnation of Angor don't would be seen again until Convergence, when it was revealed than Angor's New York (circa 1994) was one of the cities from extint realities collected by Brainiac. Apochryphally, some new inhabitants were added via retcon, including the New Extremists characters, originally from the mainstream earth and an alternate version of Spider-Man**.
When the multiverse was resurrected and rebuilt after Infinite Crisis and 52 (the weekly), Angor was recognized at last as an official parallel earth. Reintroduced in the weekly maxi-series Countdown and more explored in Lord Havok and the extremist, the new earth-8 had now a more darker tone echoing similar concepts seen into the Ultimates/Civil War arcs comics, subjects which were happening in the Marvel comics at the time.
Angor as Earth-8 had various differences from the main DC earth, including the existence of other countries, different buildings (the White Tower instead the White House), religion (the Deity instead God), the name of the country (United States of Angor) or his geopolitical reality (Angor's USA had a bigger territory, including parts of Mexico and Canada). It must also noted than the planet isn't called "Earth" but "Angor". New characters as Americommando and Barracuda, were inspired in the Crusaders, old enemies from (DC) earth-X's Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. Others like the Zen-Men were new additons to the angorian landscape.
Now, the superhumans of earth-8 after a violent fight between two opposed different factions, were under martial law and assembled in a military institution, the Meta Militia, resembling the Initiative concept, but reaching a more facistic extreme, including concentration camps and death penalty for the unregistered metas. Opposed to them stands Havok and his extremists, who where against the militaristic attitude borned of Angor's own civil war. Havok's rebel actions included the invasion of Slovekia and the assassination of Tin-Man, who was the acting president. Americommando, Tin-Man sucessor, was less tolerant to the Extremists actions and ordened sevaral armed reprises against them.The tensions between Americommando and Havok would escalate and were accelerated with the intervention of Monarch until a full war between both factions and the Meta Militia invaded which ended with Blue Jay taking control of the United States of Angor after a coup d'etat.
Final Crisis Superman Beyond:
As part of his Multiversity story, Grant Morrison prepared a reworked new vision of Angor characters, but still keeping their trademarked similarity to Marvel characters. They made a one panel cameo appearance in the Final Crisis Superman Beyond mini series, along with others future characters from that series (such as Doc Fate and SuperDemon). This earth however it was said to be earth-6. This could had beem an editorial mistake or a change of plans after Flashpoint, and should be considered apocryphal. Post Flashpoint, the expy Marvel universe returned to be earth-8 and the designation of earth-6 was given to the "Just Imagine" Stan Lee's Universe, which still keeps the Marvel reference.
Post Flashpoint & New52:
The new vision of earth-8 explored in Multiversity, added an curious characteristic: In the comic universe, they are characters from the publisher Major comics, readed in several other universes, including earths 4, 10, 16, 23 and 36. Curiously there are no publications of Major comics in earth-33. The same characters of Major Comics also leads severals franchises of successful movies.
Earth-8 is now the home of the Retaliators, which include characters similar to their previous incarnations, some rebranded (i.e. Wandjina is now called Wundajin) but different, or totally reinvented like American CrUSAder, Machinehead, Bug, Ladybug Behemoth, Deadeye, & Major Max. Others characters from that universe include the Future Family, the G-Men, Stuntmaster and Lord Havok & the Extremists. Also has been confirmed Captain Speed and Silver Sorceress indeed live in earth-8.
Must be noted than a doppelganger of earth-8, earth-7, was also introduced in Multiversity. Thunderer, the doppelganger of Wundajin, recogniced some of the characters of earth-8 as people who looked like his friends, but who weren't not them. It was stablished than Earth-7 is pretty much similar to Earth-8 in history and inhabitants, but with subtle differences. In some way, Earth-7 was an "Essential" (Ultimate) version of "616" (classic) Earth-8.)
Recently earth-8 was attacked by forces from beyond the universe, the same forces than destroyed its twin universe. The earth was invaded by their own alternate doppelgangers from earth 7, gentrified (somekind of zombies). All the heroes from earth-8 were assembled to stop the invasion, with little success. Depiste the combined efforts of the crew from the Ultima Thule and the other teams from earth 8 (from the G-men to the Future Family) the Retaliators were almost defeated. However, with the help of the heroes from other earths who arrived as an extradimensional cavalry, earth 8 survived and averted the danger.
One last task was still pending: they traveled to earth 7 to discover who was the dark force behind the attack. After confront the Empty Hand, the heroes were returned to earth 8, warned about the danger than represents for them the inhabitants of earth 33. Machinehead, the armored member of the Retaliators joined the extradimensional heroes as a guardian of the multiverse.
During the events of Convergence, The pre-Infinite Crisis Angor characters returned briefly as defenders of their version of New York. The Extremists fought against the pre Flashpoint Titans; Both Atoms (Ray Palmer & Ryan Choi) fought against Barracuda; Batman, Robin & Red Hood stood against the New Extremists leaded by Carny; Ambush Bug briefly share a friendly talk with the Louse-Man. In all the engagements the angorians were defeated. Later, the main Extremists team joined Deimos army, but their battle was interrupted by Telos intervention, who along with Brainiac returned them to their cities and to their proper timelines/universes. As aftermath, it was implied than the modern multiverse (seen in Multiversity) and their earths are a continuation/evolution from the previous original one, including the relation Angor/earth 8.
Justice League of America: Re-Death & Rebirth
The presence of Earth-8 is felt again when the Extremists reappear in the prime earth in the DC Rebirth series Justice League of America. The Extremists are again bearers of bad news, when they announce than their world, (which they again call Angor) has been destroyed, again because of the manipulations of Havok. Being the last survivors, the extremists tried to conquer earth-0, but Batman and his Justice League defeated them.
However trying to found a way to bring back to life to Angor, Batman, Black Canary and Dreamslayer were opposed to the Adjudicator, who was judging if Angor deserved the right to be resurrected. Meanwhile Batman tried to convince the Adjudicator, Havok returned to earth-8 and tried to revive Angor under his rule again. But in the end, he and Dreamslayer offrered their lives in exchange of the resurection of their world, just as the same as it was before they destroyed it. The Adjudicator agreed and Angor was restored to a full living world, as it was before. If Havok and Dreamslayer were also revived along with the resurrection of their world, along with the deceased Extremists, it is unknown. Meanwhile, the surviving Extremists continued to be prisioners on earth-0.
An inmediate effect of this recreation seems to be than the G-men returned to their pre-Flashpoint identity, becoming the Zen-Men again.
Recently, earth 8 was under siege of an invasion of dark matter creatures from the dark multiverse. tracing the surce,the retaliators, along with their allies, the Zen-Men, travelled to earth 23, a place victim of the same invasion. Both teams found a confused Wally West also trying to stop the darkness. Believing him to be part of the problem, both teams went against Flash,but the speedester could deal with both teams and used an instrument given to him by the Tempus Fuginaut to push back the invading darkness. As the darkness left earth 23, the angorians heroes received communications than in their home earth, the darkness had retreated in their world too. They left for their home not before express their gratitude to the fastest man alive, even if he was not able to hear them in that moment.
The Retaliators were seen also in the reunion the the Justice League of Earth 0 prepared in the house of heroes to warn the other earths of the multiverse about the incoming menace of Perpetua. Depiste their help, only Bug and Machinehead survived the destruction of the multiverse to help in the final battle against the Darkest Knight. The consequence of that battle was the rebirth of the multiverse at the will of the mysterious Hands, including earth 8.
Infinite Frontier: Secret War
After the events of Dark Nights Death Metal and the consequent rebirth of the multiverse, Machinehead continued as member of Justice Incarnate. Unknown to the other members of Justice Incarnate, Machinehead was contacted by the Psycho-Pirate, who seed his mind with fear to the multiverse. This impulsed Machinehead to ally himself with the Pirate, Darkseid and other persons with similar fears and also convinced by the Psycho-pirate to set barriers between worlds. For this, several heroes from earth 0 were abducted and send to Earth Omega in different vessels. However, the vessel containing Thomas Wayne, the Batman from the Flashpoint universe was destroyed and sevarl pieces were scattered around the multiverse. Machinehead had to fight against Lord Havok to recover one of these pieces. However his intention was not restore the ship but use the technology to set barriers between the universes. After this plot the plan was revealed, Machinehead made reference to a war fought in secret against an alternate universe than the heroes from earth 8, ultimately, lost, with all signs pointing to earth 0 as the cause of the defeating. Even if it obvious than the sentece was a reference to Marvel's secret wars, it is unclear if Machinehead was refering to events related either previously in other books or to some unchronicled events than took place in earth 8. The trauma of this events, added to the influence of the Psycho-Pirate pushed to Machinehead to betray Justice Incarnate, and set a new team, Injustice Incarnate, with the objetive of keep the earths separated and stop the crossovers between worlds. Such decision was supported by the totallity of the Retaliators members. Unknown for them, however, Machinehead was apparentelly killed by Darkseid on earth Omega.
Justice League Incarnate
After some time worring about the whereabouts of Machinehead and the lack of any communication from him, Doctor Multiverse revealed than he apparentely died in another earth. With a huge disdain towards any multiverse bussiness, the Retaliators had no time to mourn his fallen collegue as the evil conqueror Tartarus attacked their world, searching to obtain the multiverse crack that had appeared above their city. The forces of Tartarus were overwhelming, and the American Crusader and Behemoth fell to their power, apparently dying in combat, in the arms of his colleague Silver Eagle.
The heroes got a better chance when Justice Incarnate arrived searching the beacon, which was a clue to discover the whereabouts of Barry Allen. However , Darkseid also arrived and he deal with Tartarus. There, the Retaliators revealed than they know about Machinehead plots and agree with them, to avoid further interventions from the multiverse (in a parallel to the events previous to Secret Wars in Hickman's Avengers). As the beacon started to moving to another universe, Darkseid and Tartarus battled each other, with victory for the Lord of Apokolips. However, Avery Cho and Dr. Multiverse were capable of displace the beacon beyond earth 8, leaving the native heroes to lick their wounds and with not better opinion of the multiverse situation.
Suicide Squad: New Line-up
Earth 8 would later suffer the attack of Amanda Waller' Suicide Squad, as part of an strategy of Waller to lure out Rick Flag. There, a renewed team of Retaliators would face them with new members as a New American Crusader, a new Machinehead and Purple Rain, a replacement to Silver Sorceress. Also it was show than Behemoth was again alive. However the cunningness and violence of the killer of the Suicide Squad. Major Force, was too much for the new membership of the Retaliators and they were overcame. Major Force apparently killed Purple Rain, and the New Machinehead, but those are unconfirmed deaths. As an apparentely last act of attack, Purple Rain formulated a spell to send their teammates to safer places and at the same time summoned a new team, the Lightning Strikes to attack the Suicide Squad and avenge the fallen Retaliators.
Comparative Characters & Teams table
- * Janus, the Everyway Man is mentioned in Pax Americana (earth 4) as a character of Major comics who has meet Major Max (Captain Mar-Vell analog). Considering the reference (the psychodelic 60s-70's cosmic comics from Marvel), it is possibility than Janus could be either intended to be, either, an Adam Warlock analog or maybe a Thanos analog previous to the debut of Tartarus.
- **Louse-man, the Angor's Spider-man analog was revealed via retcon in Convergence Supergirl: Matrix 2 issue. In a relaxed talk with Ambush Bug, he revealed his secret origin: he obtained his powers from being bitten by radioactive lice. To be noted, even if there was the appearance of a different looking Spider-man analog living in Angor previously to its destruction in JLQ 3, he was never named.
- There existed another earth-8 briefly just before the outwritting of the multiverse in Crisis on infinite earths without any relationship with Angor: visited by Alan Scott from earth-two and Captain Marvel from earth-S, it was a world without heroes but it have its own replica of the Starheart in China, still undiscovered. This earth-8 appeared in All Star Squadron... number 52. Later, during Infinite Crisis, Alex Luthor would affirm than pre-crisis earth-8 would had been the home of Helena Bertinelli, Kyle Rayner, Jason Rusch and Timothy Zanetti if the Crisis had not happened.
- Even if Angor/earth-8 have most of the DC's Marvel inspired characters, there are also a lot of others parodies/homages unrelated to this world. Among them it can be count: the already mentioned Crusaders (Freedom Fighters enemies, inspired in the Invaders), the Maximums,(Superman/Batman enemies, very based on the Ultimates), General Glory (Guy Gardner's hero, a parody of Captain America), the Hybrids, the Knight-Shift (Teen Titans and Legion of Superheroes enemies, respectively, both teams inspired on the X-Men), Mr Nebula & the Scarlett Skier (JLI "troublemakers", spoofs on Galactus and the Silver Surfer) among others. Also, several characters seen in the Inferior Five adventures, such as Man Mountain, Cobweb Kid Iron Pants and the Egg's men are direct parodies to the early Marvel comics characters.
- Also in Wildstorm's The Authority, there were presented, The Americans, a more darker and twisted parody to the Avengers. These characters debuted in 2000, when Wildstorm was already a property of DC comics. The tone of the series made some similarities played down.