EARTH-28918

Type: Alternate Earth, Divergent Earth

Environment: Earth-like

Usual means of access: Vibrational Attunement

Dominant Life Form: Humans

Significant Inhabitants: Avengers, Bruce Banner, Beast, Clint Barton, Bucky, Cannonball, Captain America, Frank Castle (Iron Man), Cyclops, Daredevil, Betty Dean, Dum-Dum Dugan, Abraham Erskine, Nick Fury, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goring, Jean Grey, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler, Horatio ?, Hulk (Logan/James Howlett), Human Torch, Iceman, Jack ?, Gabriel Jones, Ted Koppel, Heinz Krueger, Magda Lensherr, Magneto, Dino Manelli, Mimic, Namor, Nightcrawler, Ben Parker, May Parker, Peter Parker, General Chester Phillips, Anna Pym, Henry Pym, Quicksilver, Red Skull, Reed Richards, Franklin Roosevelt, Scarlet Witch, Jasper Sitwell, Joseph Stalin, Howard Stark, Tony Stark, Doctor Strange, Thor, Toro, Wendigo (Paul Cartier), Samuel Wilson (Giant-Man), Arnim Zola

Significant Locations: Alamogordo, New Mexico; Camp 402

First Appearance: What If II#28 (August, 1991)

History: (What If II#28 (fb)) - <December 1940> This world diverged from Earth-616 when Steve Rogers saved Dr. Erskine from the Third Reich agent, allowing the creation of more Super-Soldier subjects.

(What If II#28 (fb)) - As in the normal world, Captain America had many adventures alongside Bucky against the Red Skull.

(What If II#29 (fb, bts), Uncanny X-Men#268) - Captain America encountered Logan in 1941 Madripoor.

(What If II#28) - The Shinto Imperialists attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

(What If II#28) - After Pearl Harbor, Rogers informed Bucky that he had to dissolve their partnership. Rogers left for a top secret army base near Alamogordo, New Mexico. Promoted to the rank of captain, Rogers discovers that 500 men have been turned into Super-Soldiers similar to him. Among these new Super-Soldiers are Dum-Dum Dugan, Gabriel Jones, and Nick Fury. They carry less durable duplicates of Captain America’s shield.

At a meeting with General Phillips, the Super-Soldiers are informed of Operation: Invaders. Hitler has invaded the Soviet Union, so the USA plans on dropping a battalion of paratroopers into Berlin. That night, three specially modified experimental Stark/Northrop XB-35 bombers carry the Super-Soldiers to their mission. Watching on the tarmac are Dr. Erskine, Phillips, and Howard Stark.

(What If II#28) - <December 24, 1942> At 10:45 PM on December 24, 1942, the Super-Soldiers arrive in Berlin. They reach the German Reich’s Chancellery. Gabriel Jones dies in the assault, but Captain America leads his men into the building, busting down the door. The Red Skull shoots at Captain America, but Captain America’s comrades slay the Red Skull.

(What If II#29 (fb)) - Unknown to Captain America, the Red Skull was not truly dead; his mind was transferred by Arnim Zola into a clone of Steve Rogers' body.

(What If II#28) - Captain America and his men arrive in Hitler’s office and find Himmler, Goring, Goebbels, and Hitler himself. Hitler is spared so he can face international justice. Bucky, Toro, the Human Torch, Namor, and Betty Dean hear the news as Japan also surrenders.

Captain America and his men visit Auschwitz, where they meet a young boy named Magnus (who will later become Magneto). The Super-Soldiers return to the USA on the ship the Queen Mary. As Dum Dum Dugan wears a skirt and Dino Manelli does something at a party on the ship to celebrate the victory, Nick Fury talks to Steve Rogers. Then, a group of renegade wolfpack ships (under the command of the Red Skull in his new body) which did not surrender on December 25 blow up the Queen Mary. Only "Steve Rogers" survives-but actually the Red Skull has assumed Rogers' identity. The real Captain America is lost at sea. "Steve Rogers" is picked up by rescue boats.

Welcomed back to the USA, "Captain America" is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by Franklin Roosevelt. "Rogers" reveals his identity to the public at the ceremony. Roosevelt announces that Rogers will lead a new international peacekeeping organization to replace all conventional military organizations. The Supreme High-Command International Echelon For Liberty and Defense, S.H.I.E.L.D.

By 1943, S.H.I.E.L.D. has grown quickly, with "Rogers" personally selecting each candidate for membership. For his own protection, Dr. Erskine no longer appears in public. Guarded by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents at all times, Erskine only deals with Rogers.

(What If II#28) - <1944> In 1944, Rogers appears before the Senate Armed Services Committee with the announcement that the effects of the Super Soldier serum wears off after a year to eighteen months without a booster shot created by Doctor Erskine. The serum cannot be put into mass production for civilian use.

(What If II#28) - <1948> In 1948, Roosevelt orders that SHIELD invade Moscow and unseat Joseph Stalin.

(What If II#28) - <1956> In 1956, Rogers wins the election and arrives in the White House. He promises to distribute the serum to all US citizens, but later announces that as the serum was created for his body, members of different heritage groups may suffer damage to the immune system if they take the serum. At a meeting, a SHIELD agent named Horatio asks Rogers to consider what would happen if the public discovers that the serum given to minorities was tainted, and that the booster shot scare in 1944 was a sham. Rogers shoots Horatio.

Civil rights leaders protest the holding back of the serum, but SHIELD crushes the opposition, with violence in Detroit. "Relocation camps" emerge. Loyal citizens receive serums, dissidents do not.

When Reed Richards leads his friends unto the fateful flight into space that made them the Fantastic Four on Earth-616, they are shot by a SHIELD agent. Bruce Banner engages in experiments to use gamma rays to augment the super soldier serum in his veins. As these experiments are forbidden by the government, Banner is murdered by SHIELD. Peter Parker, too young to receive the Super Soldier serum, is bitten by a spider and becomes Spider-Man. After a brief career as a tv star, he returns home one night to see his family murdered. A group of SHIELD agents in a SHIELD Hunter Squadron (including Frank Castle and Clint Barton) kills Peter Parker.

Kept young by the Super Soldier Serum, Rogers continually achieves reelection.

(What If II#29 (fb), Incredible Hulk I#181) - Paul Cartier apparently became the Wendigo under roughly similar events to those of Earth-616. Logan, apparently working for the evidently then still free Canada, investigates the Wendigo. He is captured and a priest transfers the Wendigo curse to Logan. However, something in Logan's half-bestial nature, combined with the spark of purity in his soul, enabled his personality to gain dominance over the Wendigo's savagery.

(What If II#29 (fb)) - <1988> SHIELD agents came to British Columbia to ravage the land, kill or drive off the Native Americans, and build oil wells. Logan in Wendigo form fights them off. Logan reveals that upon seeing his Wendigo form, the SHIELD agents started to call him the Hulk.

(What If II#28) - <1991> "Steve Rogers", President of the USA, appears on Nightline with Ted Koppel. "Rogers" recalls how in December 1940 he saved Erskine from murder. "Rogers" feels proud that his actions allowed every loyal American to have the serum. Later, as he goes to his limousine, "Rogers" informs a subordinate named Jack that he wants the South American problem dealt with. Upon hearing of a riot in Camp 402, "Rogers" orders the liquidation of one in three as an example.

One day, in the Bowery (among the poor not seen fit to receive the Super Soldier Serum), an amnesiac Namor is hunted down by the SHIELD Hunter Squadron. He jumps into the Hudson. The shock of the water causes Namor to remember his past. He tries to find his people, but discovers that Atlantis (or at least an outpost of it) has been destroyed, apparently by order of Steve Rogers. Namor reemerges in the North Atlantic and faces the SHIELD Hunter Squadron again. He defeats them.

Swimming away, Namor finds the wreck of the Queen Mary. Emerging above the Arctic Circle, Namor finds a group of Inuits worshipping a figure frozen in ice……the true Captain America.

(What If II#29) - Namor looks at the frozen figure of Captain America. Frank Castle (now in Iron Man armor designed by Tony Stark) sneaks up on him and renders him unconscious. He and his subordinates (including Clint Barton and Jasper Sitwell) place Namor in a special containment unit and examine the unconscious Captain America. Captain America revives and instinctively attacks and subdues the SHIELD men. He releases Namor.

Captain America persuades Castle to fight alongside Namor and him for justice. Castle agrees and kills Barton and Sitwell. Captain America, Castle, and Namor form the Avengers. The three then fly for British Columbia, now the 57th state, after having accessed SHIELD computers to find possible new recruits. Arriving in British Columbia, they meet Logan. Captain America recalls meeting Logan in 1941 Madripoor (per Uncanny X-Men#268). Logan turns into the Wendigo and attacks the Avengers, but they convince him to join their team.

Traveling to Leonia, New Jersey, the home of Doctor Henry Pym, the Avengers discover Pym murdered……and a man named Samuel Wilson attempting to burgle the house. Finding out how Pym had discovered the Pym particles, they decide to give Wilson Pym’s invention so he can join them as Giant-Man.

Traveling to Westchester New York, to the Magnus Academy for Gifted Youngsters, they meet Magnus and see the corpses of the Mimic, Magda (Magneto’s spouse) the Beast, Nightcrawler, the Scarlet Witch, Cyclops, Cannonball, Quicksilver, Jean Grey, Iceman, and others. Magneto departs, saying he will not join the Avengers.

The Avengers consider strategy. Castle informs Cap that the Super Soldier Serum is manufactured in the SHIELD Helicarrier. They sneak in. While inside, they observe as SHIELD tortures Thor. Imprisoned by the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak (which SHIELD stole from the murdered Doctor Strange), they held Thor at bay, while electrocuting him at higher and higher voltage, trying to get him to release his hammer (see comments). The Avengers free Thor.

Minutes later," President Rogers" receives a phone call alerting him to events. The Avengers have engaged the SHIELD agents in battle. Captain America makes it to the serum vault, where Dr. Erskine has been kept away from the world since 1945. Captain America realizes that the truth of the Nazi nightmare that the USA has become has been kept from Erskine.

He brings Erskine to a bay of tv sets which project the news.

    Then "President Rogers" arrives to confront Captain America. He reveals that he is actually the Red Skull. He reveals how he was not slain in the 1940’s-his mind was transferred into a clone of Steve Rogers' body thanks to Arnim Zola. The Red Skull then directed a wolfpack of submarines to attack the Queen Mary. He then was released into the waters and found by rescue ships. The impersonation of Rogers continued for years. Also, the Skull memorized the Super Soldier serum (he recites some of it), keeping Erskine tucked away as a living vault.

The Red Skull pulls out a firearm and trains it on Rogers, but Erskine jumps in the way. Captain America and the Skull struggle, and during the fight, the Skull is electrocuted.

Captain America goes to the lower part of the SHIELD supercarrier to lead the Avenges into one last battle with SHIELD. They all die, but free the USA from Nazi tyranny.

Comments: Created by George Caragonne and Ron Wilson.

Thor's nature as a pagan god likely offended the Nazis,  which may have been why he was singled out. Past stories have shown Thor allied with the Nazis (specifically, Invaders I#32 & 33), but the worship of the Norse/Germanic gods is archaic.
    Alternatively, they could have just feared Thor's power and taken steps to make sure he could not act against them. Or they may have thought they would be able to use Thor's hammer if they could get it out of his hands.
    --Snood.

   
    The Earth-616 Captain America appears briefly in a framing sequence in #28.

    This story states that Steve Rogers was born in 1921, since he could not run for the Oval Office till 1956 at the age of 35 (though of course it was really the Skull in his Zola-provided body).

    Namor jumps to the conclusion that the USA under "President Rogers"/Red Skull had Atlantis destroyed. On Earth-616, Namor was similarly wrong when blaming atomic tests for the destruction of Atlantis, as in fact it was Destiny (Paul Destine) who attacked Atlantis in 1955, as seen in Sub-Mariner#1, Avengers Annual#18, and Saga of the Sub-Mariner#6. Since Namor ends up in the bowery the way he did on Earth-616 thanks to Destiny, and since Destiny's destruction of Atlantis took place in a timeframe before "Rogers" became President, possibly Destiny destroyed Atlantis on this Earth, too.
    Nothing to do with the entry, but I just wanted to point out that Saga of the Sub-Mariner (which was written with the intention of being definitive) established that years passed between Atlantis's abortive attempt to join the UN in 1955 (erroneously placed in 1952 in a news report in the Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner miniseries) and Destiny's attack; Namor's narrative says as much, and when the amnesiac Namor came to NYC, a bystander claimed that he had "kissed off the human race years ago," referring to his abandonment of surface activities in 1955 (which is when Sub-Mariner Comics ceased publication).  I'm not aware that 1955 has been given elsewhere post-Saga as a definitive date for Destiny's attack, but I may have missed something.
    Personally, I would put Destiny's attack at 1958; as depicted in Marvel:  The Lost Generation, in 1958 Namora showed no concern about searching for a missing Namor and was instead working with the Monster Hunters, so Namor had either not yet disappeared or had at least not been gone long enough to cause concern, while during the 1950s Avengers adventure (which, given the 3-D Man's involvement, probably occurred in late 1958 or early 1959) Namor was her primary concern.  I realize that Marvel:  The Lost Generation also claims that in 1961 Namor had been missing for six years but, well, that's an error.  IMHO.  : )  Or maybe Byrrah was using an obscure Atlantean calendar.
    --Ronald Byrd

    The Inuits were still alive in 1991 according to this story.

    One wonders what became of Toro and the Human Torch.

    The preview cover for #29 on the letters page of #28 showed Henry Pym in the Avengers, but Sam Wilson became Giant-Man.

    George Caragonne, author of this story, later killed himself by jumping. He worked for Penthouse Comix.

    Footnotes in these issues reference Uncanny X-Men#268 and Incredible Hulk I#181. This would indicate that roughly similar events happened on both Earths. Thus, the Wendigo on this Earth would have been Paul Cartier.

Clarifications: Nobody on this Earth should be confused with their Earth-616 counterparts.

The Captain America of this Earth should not be confused with...

The Hulk, Logan of this world, should not be confused with:

Iron Man, Frank Castle of this world, should not be confused with:


Appearances:
What if..? II#28-29 (August-September, 1991) - George Caragonne (writer), Ron Wilson (pencils), Ralph Cabrera (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)


Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 06/28/05

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