Earth 1961

Type: Alternate Earth
Core Continuum Designation: Earth-98

Environment: Earth-like

Usual means of access: Vibrational attunement

Dominant Life Form: Humanity

Significant Inhabitants: Blastaar, Captain America (deceased), Cosmic Ray, Crystal, Daredevil/mayor Murdock, Dr. Strange, Dragon Man and its hatchlings, Fantastic Four, Frightful Four, Green Goblin(d), Hooded Haunt, Hulk (deceased), Human Torch, Edwin Jarvis, Luna/Spike, Alicia Masters, Quicksand, N’Yami Susan Richards, Reed Richards, Susan Storm Richards, Spider-Man, Gwen Stacy (deceased), Thing, Thor, Wizard, Wolverine, Zawadi, Zero Man

First Appearance: Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (1998)

History: see individuals sub-profiles for additional history

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) - Reed Richards and Ben Grimm served in World War II.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) <1961> - Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, and Johnny and Sue Storm took a space flight and were bombarded with cosmic rays, which mutated them to become the Fantastic Four.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) - 1963 saw the debut of Iron Man, Daredevil, and the Hulk.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) <1966> - Galactus first came to Earth.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) <1968> - Sue gave birth to Franklin, the son of Reed.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) - After Reed and Sue retired, they were replaced by Franklin (Zero Man) Richards and Crystal.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) <1973> - The Green Goblin slew Gwen Stacy, and he was subsequently killed in a fight with Spider-Man. Spider-Man vanished that night, never to be seen again.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) - Alicia Masters retired to Arizona to salve the arthritis afflicting her hands.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) - Daredevil retired from crimefighting, but continued to aid Mayor Murdock in establishing schools for the handicapped.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) - Captain America sacrificed his life to save hundred of lives in Oklahoma (see comments).

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) <1996> - Onslaught fought a large number of super-heroes.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) - Crystal sprained her ankle in battle with Dragon Man's Hatchlings.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) - Ben went to Arizona to visit Alicia.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) - Bruce Banner, now nearly seventy years old, died of a heart attack while transforming into the Hulk.

(Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) - The Thing of Earth-616 inadvertently damaged Reed's particle alternator, which sent him to Earth 1961. Assumed by all to be the Thing of their world, he was picked up by the Torch and brought to Four Freedom's Plaza, where it quickly became clear that something was amiss. It was Franklin who made the point of the space trip occurring in 1961, which clued him in. Ben attended the regular Wednesday night Poker Game at Avengers Mansion, where Dr. Strange confirmed his other dimensional status, and Doc, Thor, and Wolverine filled Ben in on how events had occurred on their world.
    Returning to Four Freedom's Plaza, Ben who ambushed by Spike (Luna), who was jealous over Ben's closeness to her family and had followed a plan of her new boyfriend, Oz, to trap Ben with an anti-gravity disc. However, Oz then revealed himself as the Wizard and deactivated the building's defenses to allow the rest of his Frightful Four in. Ben, Crystal, the Torch, Cosmic Ray, Zero Man, and Spike (realizing her mistake) defeated the Frightful Four in time for Zawadi to have Franklin's baby.
    Franklin left the team to live with Zawadi and their daughter in Wakanda, and he was replaced by Cosmic Ray. In addition, Johnny took some steps to repairing the family relationship with Spike, offering her a temporary position on the team while Crystal was healing.

Comments: Created by Karl Kesel, Stuart Immomen, and Cam Smith.

    A perfect illustration of the sliding timescale. On Earth-616 (the mainstream Earth to the non-educated), the Fantastic Four's spaceflight (and thus the start of the modern era) took place about 10-15 years ago...not at any fixed point in time, but 10-15 years before any particular current story you are reading. That's why none of the characters seem to age much.
    This also necessitated the designation as reference to many fixed points as topical references. This means that the dates referred to events that were significant at the time, but that the actual dates themselves are irrelevant. Thus, though Reed and Ben were initially described as having fought in World War II, clearly--since they're not like 80+ years old now, they instead had military experience in other, unspecified military actions. For the most part, any date that specifically ties a normal (i.e.  not having an extended lifespan) individual is topical, and should not be taken as definite. 
    However, certain realities, such as this one, IS tied to specific points and the characters DO age. Thus on Earth 1961, Reed and Ben were in their mid-seventies when this story was published (1998), and would be several years older now. Also, on that world, Reed and Ben did serve in World War II. Beyond those specific dates mentioned above, you can figure that many of the similar events occurred on Earth 1961 as on least for the first decade or two of Marvel Comics.

    One other minor difference. In 1998 of their time, the Fantastic Four of Earth 1961 still worked out of Four Freedoms Plaza, which was either never destroyed by the Thunderbolts or was rebuilt thereafter. There is no evidence that Pier Four ever existed.

    Incidentally, since time continues to roll forward in this world, at the time of this writing, nearly six years have passed. I'd be interested to see how the characters have changed in that time.

    The date of Captain America's death on Earth 1961 would presumably be April 19th 1995, the date of the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh.

    The Jones that Reed is chewing out on Mars is almost certainly meant to represent the grandson of Indiana Jones. I guess it could have referred to Gulliver Jones, but he looked more like Indy, and Reed was referring to past events, not future...

    One small point on my designation system. I do not put a hyphen in timelines designated by date (Earth 1961, Earth 2020, Earth 2099, etc.), and this is to be distinguished from worlds identified by a numeric designation relevant to the core continuum, such as Earth-616, Earth-238 (the Crooked Earth), Earth-597 (home of Lightning Force).

Profile by Snood


Thanks to Joe Rispoli for pointing out our mistaken assumption that Reed & Sue didn't retain their powers in this Earth's modern era.

not to be confused with:

Cosmic Ray

Ray? Storm.

The son of the Human Torch and Crystal, he is the older brother of Luna/Spike, and he joined the Fantastic Four after Franklin left the team.

He is composed of pure energy and can thus fly and pass through solid objects at will. In addition, he can shapeshift into other objects, though he did not demonstrate the ability to alter his color.

--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998





Crystalia Amaquelin Storm.

One of the Inhumans, she married Johnny, and they had two kids, Ray and Luna. She joined the team when Reed and Sue retired, and she took a brief leave of absence after injuring her ankle in battle with Dragon Man's hatchlings.

She has the same ability to manipulate earth, air, fire, and water as her Earth-616 counterpart.

 --Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998


Dr. Strange

Stephen Vincent Strange.

    Few details are known about him, other than that he retains an unspecified level of magical powers and he continues to participate in a weekly poker game at Avengers Mansion, alongside the Thing, Thor, and Wolverine. He shows little, if any, signs of aging.

--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998





Frightful Four

Presumably having many incarnations over the years, for this version the Wizard recruited Blastaar, Quicksand, and the mysterious Hooded Haunt. Blastaar and Quicksand appeared virtually identical to their Earth-616 counterparts, but the origins of the Hooded Haunt were unspecified.

    The Hooded Haunt uses a scythe which proved capable of incapacitating the energy form of Cosmic Ray. In addition, it appeared unaffected by the vortex caused when Franklin opened a portal to the Negative Zone.

    Blastaar grabbed the Wizard and flew through the portal to the Negative Zone, which was his goal all along and his only reason for joining.

--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998










Human Torch

Johnathon Lowell Spencer "Johnny" Storm

A founding member of the Fantastic Four, he was presumably 15 years old or so when mutated in the cosmic ray storm. He went on to marry Crystal and father Cosmic Ray and Luna (Spike), and he became the leader of the FF after Reed and Sue retired.

Though sporting a moderate spare tire, the Torch retained much of his original flaming power, and is perhaps a LITTLE wiser with age.

--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998




Edwin Jarvis

Ever the loyal butler, he continued to serve Avengers, even in his senior years.

--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998






Reed Richards

    A founding member of the Fantastic Four, he had previously fought in World War II. He married Sue and they had Franklin together. Eventually he and Sue retired, spending much of their time in scientific exploration/discovery. At the time of the Earth-616's Thing's arrival, he and Sue had been finishing up an archeological dig of the pre-Kreevian Monument on Mars. Reed had underestimated the length of time the dig would take, and he had lost much of his patience, degenerating into an old coot. As Sue spoke with Ben, he berated one of the archeologists, Jones, "I don't care who your grandfather was...he destroyed more sites than he ever preserved..."
    Ben's call reminded Reed that they needed to get home for N'Yami's birth.

   At one point Reed stretched out to place an Adamantium control crown on Zero Man's head showing that he had retained his stretching powers.

--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998

Susan Storm Richards

    A founding member of the Fantastic Four, she married Reed and give birth to Franklin. Eventually she retired, accompanying Reed on many of his scientific missions. She and Reed returned home for N'Yami's birth, briefly encountering the Earth-616 Thing in the process.

   At one point Sue used her force field to contain Zero Man's effects showing that she retained her powers.

--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998

Zawadi and N'Yami Susan Richards


    Presumably a descendent of the 1950's Wakandan warrior, she married Franklin Richards, and the two had a daughter, N'Yami Susan, who was to be the future ruler of Wakanda. Franklin, Zawadi, and N'Yami relocated to Wakanda shortly thereafter.

    Zawadi means "Precious Gift," and N'Yami was the name of the the Black Panther (T'Challa)'s mother, with Susan being likely a(n) homage to Susan Richards.

Her fighting skills enabled her to serve as a sparring partner to the Thing.

--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998







The daughter and youngest child of Crystal. It was not clear whether her father was Quicksilver (as on Earth-616) or whether it was Johnny Storm. Johnny had told her about the importance of an education, so she wouldn't end up like her old man...that makes me lean towards Johnny, who presumably never graduated from college. She is  younger than Johnny and Crystal's son, Cosmic Ray, so there would have had to have been some infidelity or a marital separation for her to not be Johnny's daughter. That may well be the case as she was more on an outsider to the Fantastic Four. She strongly resented the fact that the Thing, who wasn't even actually related to anyone in the group, who closer to them than she. Her resentment made her an easy target for manipulation by "Oz," who played up her angers, tricking her into leading him into Four Freedoms Plaza before revealing himself as the Wizard. When the chips were down, however, she sided with her family, and afterwards Johnny offered her a temporary spot on the team.

Like her aunt, Medusa, she could extend and manipulate her own hair, which had great tensile strength.

    --Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998




Ben Grimm.

    A founding member of the Fantastic Four, he had previously fought in World War II. He maintained a close relationship with Alicia Masters, frequently visiting her in Arizona after she moved away, but just how deeply they were involved was not detailed. Despite having had to have been at least in his seventies, he remained an active member of the Fantastic Four as of 1998, and his appearance had not changed significantly from his younger self, such that everyone mistook the Thing of Earth-616 for him. He was away when the other world's Thing arrived, and was not actually seen in this story.

--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998


Thor Odinson.

    Few details are known about him, other than that he continues to participate in a weekly poker game at Avengers Mansion, alongside the Thing, Dr. Strange, and Wolverine. Loki continued to occupy much of his attention.

     He shows little, if any, signs of aging, as one expect of one of the extremely long-lived Asgardians, and likely retained much of his power.

.--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998


Bentley Whitman.

    He continued to plague the Fantastic Four, organizing newer Frightful Fours against them. He took the alias "Oz" (get it? Wizard of Oz) and used an illusion-casting device to appear as another disgruntled teen, which appealed to Luna/Spike. He duped Luna into allowing him into Four Freedom's Plaza, but after the Zero Man opened a portal into the Negative Zone, Blastaar took him captive and pulled him into the Zone, intending to use him as a servant thereafter.

--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998











James Howlett, aka Logan.

    Few details are known about him, other than that he continued to participate in a weekly poker game at Avengers Mansion, alongside the Thing, Thor, and Dr. Strange.

    He shows little, if any, signs of aging, and likely possesses much of his old ability

--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998




Zero Man

Franklin Richards.

    The son of Reed and Susan Richards, he grew up to join the Fantastic Four after his parents retired. His dependence on Vibranium to control his powers may be what drew him to his wife, Zawadi, and the two had a daughter, N'Yami Susan Richards, after which Franklin quit the team and relocated with his family to Wakanda.

    Franklin had various energy powers, but his greatest ability was to open a portal into the Negative Zone. He wore a Vibranium headband, which he consumed upon opening a portal. Only exposure to additional Vibranium could close the portal, which threatened to pull in anyone near it.

--Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998





Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 p29, pan3;
    (Ray): p15, pan5;
    (Crystal): p13, pan2;
    (Dr. Strange): p21, pan2;
    (Frightful Four): p27, pan4
    (Human Torch): p10, pan5;
    (Jarvis): p20, pan3;
    (Reed): p12, pan1;
        (Sue): pan5;
    (Zawadi + N'Yami): p37, pan4;
    (Spike): p19, pan5;
    (Thing): p21, pan4;
    (Thor): p21, pan3;
    (Wizard): p26, pan4;
    (Wolverine):  p21, pan5;
    (Zero Man, energy form): p32, pan3
        (face): p35, pan2

Fantastic Four/Fantastic Four Annual 1998 (1998) - Karl Kesel (writer), Stuart Immonen (pencils), Cam Smith (inks), Mark Powers (editor)

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 10/11/05

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