THE CROOKED WORLD (EARTH 238)
Type: Alternate Earth
Core Continuum Designation: Earth-238
Usual means of access: Magic, dimensional warp technology
Dominant Life Form: Humans
Representatives: The Fury, Hulk, Mad Jim Jaspers of Earth-238, Crazy Gang of Earth-238, Sidney Crumb of Earth-238, Mrs. McGeary of Earth-238, Algernon, the Junkheap that Walked Like A Man, Prime Minister Scott, Queen Margaret the First, the Status Crew, Home Secretary Wilcox-Smyth, Autumn,
Jeff, Sharon, the Block 45 Gang, and the Crumby Gangs;
Last Heroes of Earth-238--Bash Street Bunty, Captain U.K., Colonel Tusker, Miracleman, Iron Tallon, The Arachnid, Gaath, Android Andy, Captain Roy Risk, Puppetman, Tom Rosetta, Rick
Affiliations: Mad Jim Jaspers of Earth-238
Enemies: Lord Mandragon
Aliases: The Crooked World, Earth-Mad Jim Jaspers, Dimension of Mad Jim Jaspers
First Appearance: Marvel Superheroes#377 (Marvel UK) (September, 1981)
History: Earth-238, sometimes known as the Crooked World, was (according the King Arthur) the most retrograde of the linked Earthworlds. This estimation was echoed by Saturnyne, Omniversal Majestrix, who was leading a small squad of men, the Avant Guard, on behalf of the Dimensional Development Court in order to give it an evolutionary push before its backwardness retarded the progress of all the other Earths.
Unknown to these well-intentioned interlopers, the cause of this problem was an immensely powerful mutant, Mad Jim Jaspers, who could warp reality with his mind. Even without trying, his insanity was leaking over into the general populace, making them more aggressive and reactionary than they would otherwise be. He had masterminded the extermination of all the other superhumans on his world using the Status Crew and a killer cybiote called the Fury, leaving him unchallenged to do as he wished. The Fury was an unstoppable killing machine that never gave up, and it had hunted down every superhero on its world, until it cornered the last few huddled together in a desperate attempt to stave off extinction. Within two years it had eliminated every hero on the planet. Only one, Captain U.K., had managed to survive this purge by escaping to another dimension.
Into this mix came the Captain Britain of Earth-616, along with his companion Jackdaw, an elf from Otherworld. They had been sent to this reality by Merlyn, supposedly to help this Earth develop, but in reality as part of Captain Britain's training before he would be forced to face the even more powerful version of Mad Jim Jaspers that resided on his own Earth. Initially confused by the fascist state of Britain he had landed in, the good Captain soon discovered Saturnyne's plot and after some discussion, joined forces with her. With each other's assistance, it didn't take long for Britain to be exposed to "the Push" up the evolutionary ladder it needed. But even as the heroes celebrated their success, Mad Jim Jaspers unleashed his full powers and turned his entire reality into a twisted nightmare where no physical law could be certain to hold force.
In the midst of this chaos, the Status Crew struck against the other-dimensional interlopers, unleashing the Fury. It made short work of Saturnyne's assistant Dimples and Captain Britain's sidekick Jackdaw, and would have killed the Captain too, if Jaspers had not intervened, granting him a brief reprise. Jaspers explained that he was the force behind the world going insane, and then dropped the shattered hero in the middle of the superhero graveyard, where the Fury finally killed him beside the empty grave of Captain U.K. Its work done, the Fury stopped to think.
Shortly thereafter Saturnyne was put on trial for her failure to carry out a successful Push on Earth-238. The Judge at her trial, Lord Mandragon, ordered and then carried out the destruction of the entire 238 Continuum in order to stop the spread of the Jaspers Warp to other universes around it.
The Fury survived.
Comments: Created by David Thorpe and Alan Davis. Destroyed by Alan Moore and Alan Davis.
The entire Crooked World saga started as a bit of a mish-mash. It's unclear what David Thorpe had planned in the long run for the fascistic Earth-238, but when Alan Moore came in he proceeded to demolish everything that had come before (his lead character included) in the space of 11 pages (2 five page episodes, and the last page of the episode that had come before them). Not content with turning that entire Earth into a madhouse with no set physical laws, he then blew it all up a few issues later.
When Moore needed a bunch of Earth-238 superheroes for the Fury to slaughter, he liberally borrowed them from old British superhero strips. Ironically, one of the characters he used was the 1950's superhero Marvelman, whom he would later revive properly in the British Warrior magazine. In the Crooked World, Marvelman's counterpart was called Miracleman, which ironically would be the name that Marvelman would be sold under in the States a few years later, following threats of legal action from Marvel Comics.
Clarifications: Not to be confused with
Wilcox-Smyth (Marvel Superheroes#381) -
Wilcox-Smyth was the Home Secretary of Britain in the
Crooked World, responsible for maintaining law and order.
When he heard that a costumed hero was gallivanting around
the country, after they were all meant to have been
banned in the sixties, he swiftly lost his temper and
ordered the Status Crew sent in.
(Marvel Superheroes#384) Captain Britain imagined Wilcox-Smyth as being the insane puppetmaster behind the outrages of Crooked World Britain. (Which is weird, as the two were never seen to meet).
|Autumn (Marvel Superheroes#383) - Autumn
was a seven year old girl whose father was out of work. She
asked Brian Braddock to give her a quid (one pound
sterling). With no native currency he was unable to
oblige, but offered to show her some magic. When she
agreed he took her flying, and she told him that
"Sometimes I think this must be the worst world
anywhere." Her innocent questions were what finally
provoked Captain Britain into helping Saturnyne with her
efforts in the Push.
(Marvel Superheroes#388) - Onboard Mad Jim Jaspers flying teacup, Captain Britain was confronted by Autumn, only this time her head was surrounded by a wreath of fire. Whether this was the real Autumn or an image conjured up to torment him was never established, as reality was hard to determine by this point. This was the last straw for the hero, who ran away, and fell out of the teacup into the heroes' graveyard.
|Sharon and Jeff (Marvel Superheroes#384) - Jeff was from Cromwell Road, Sharon was from
Kirkdale. They met while on holiday and were best friends,
but in this Crooked World, each district had its own gang
(Sharon's was the Block 45 Gang, and Jeff's was the Crumby
Gang), and coming from different districts, they could not
afford to meet each other. In spite of this Jeff went to
Kirkdale to visit his friend, only to be attacked by a
gang of youths. Captain Britain witnessed this and stepped
in to prevent him from being seriously injured. Sharon,
who was trying to stop the local boys from beating her
friend, explained the situation to the hero, who then
flew both of them home. When he got to Jeff's home he
found a mob of local people (alerted by Sharon calling
ahead) preparing to go and battle the residents of
Kirkdale for injuring one of their own
(Marvel Superheroes#386) - Jeff was returned home, but Captain Britain needed the aid of Jackdaw and the evolutionary enhancing fluid to prevent a dangerous gang war between the two areas.
Marvel Superheroes#378-384 (October, 1981 - April, 1982) - Dave Thorpe (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Paul Neary (#378-381) & Bernie Jaye (#382-384) (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#386 (June, 1982) - Dave Thorpe (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Marvel Superheroes#387-388 (July-August, 1982) - Alan Davis (#387) & Alan Moore (writers), Alan Davis (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Daredevils#1-2 (January-February, 1983) - Alan Moore (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Daredevils#5-7 (May-June, 1983) - Alan Moore (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Mighty World of Marvel#10 (March, 1984) - Alan Moore (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Tim Hampson (editor)
Captain Britain II#14 (February, 1986) - Alan Davis (writer/artist), Ian Rimmer (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 08/17/02
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