EARTH-89721 (Evolutionary War)
Type: Alternate Earth, specifically a Divergent Earth
Usual means of access: Presumably vibrational attunement
Dominant Life Forms: Humans
Significant Inhabitants: The Entity, the Godlike Ones, the High
Evolutionary, the Living Earth, the Lost Hero,
the Avengers, the Captain, Dr. Druid, Dr. Strange, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, the Punisher, Spider-Man, Thor, Talisman (Elizabeth Twoyoungmen), the Vision, Wolverine, the X-Men.
First Appearance: What If? II#1 (July, 1989)
History: (What If The Avengers Had Lost The Evolutionary War?) -
In this reality, the High Evolutionary killed Hercules, but he himself survived. As a result, the Avengers were forced to retreat to the quinjet. While they flew away, Jocasta was unable to destroy the High Evolutionarys submersible base and the Genetic Bomb was detonated. The shockwave sent the quinjet hurdling into the ocean. Falcon, Yellowjacket, and the Beast were all killed. Namor, who witnessed the explosion, saved the Captain from dying. As Namor tried to swim the Captain to shore, the fallout from the Genetic Bomb descended upon them in the form of shimmering sparks. Soon the fallout rained down upon the entire world. Mass panic and confusion breaks out.
Later in Santa Monica, Mantis, Wonder-Man, the Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, and the Vision try to determine what was going on. They are startled by the sudden appearance of the X-Men, who were teleported in by Gateway. The X-Men are also curious as to what happened, but the Avengers are unable to offer an answer. Namor shows up with the Captain, who told them all of them of the Genetic Bomb. Without warning, the fallout begins to take its effect. Wolverines claws grow to enormous size, Colossus can no longer change back to human form, Rogue gains the powers of everyone around her and Psylocke begins to painfully feel the thoughts of everybody present and cant control it. Namor, Longshot, and the Scarlet Witch find their individual powers had been greatly enhanced by the hundred-fold, and everyone grows much bigger and begins to glow. The civilians who have been watching begin to mutate as well, their brains growing to gigantic sizes. The same thing happens to the Captain, Hawkeye, Wonder-Man, and Mantis. The only one who is unaffected is the Vision.
Massive changes occur. With humanity now possessing enhanced intelligence, war in the Middle East ceases to be, as the opposing sides now realizing the meaninglessness of the feud. In South Africa, racial prejudice becomes a thing of the past. Also, humanity no longer fears superhumans, and has taken to worshipping them, referring to them as Godlike Ones. Iron Man, now with his enhanced brain, removes his armor for the final time, knowing it no longer has any purpose in this new era. Spider-Man has mutated into having eight arms, the Thing and Ms. Marvel have grown to giant stature, and the Hulk now possess Bruce Banners mind (only mutated many times beyond what it once was). Daredevil has mutated so that his senses are so powerful that he cannot control them. He retreats to some caves to shield him from the overwhelming sensations, and goes into hibernation.
The Thing holds a gigantic meeting at Madison Square Garden for all of the Godlike Ones. As X-Factor journeys to the meeting, they bump into by Dr. Doom. Doom, like all of humanity, now has an augmented brain and has resolved to give up his dreams of conquest. He greets X-Factor and reveals that humanitys minds are quickly becoming linked. Present at the meeting is a hundred or so Godlike Ones, many of whom were once villains but have renounced their evil. The Captain announces that there is a gap between mutated human and mutated superhuman, and he must leave them to be about his own kind. The mutated superhumans choose Wolverine to be their leader, sensing he alone possesses the appropriate qualities.
Feeling threatened by the massive amount of power now possessed by humanity, Dormammu, Mephisto, and Nightmare create a portal to Earth and with their legions of demons, attempt to destroy it. They are opposed by Talisman , Dr. Strange, and Dr. Druid, all of who are vastly more powerful than before with their mutated brains. They two opposing forces clash to a standstill, until finally both sides cancel each other out, each being vaporized. Steve Rogers and Frank Castle work to lead humanity to further evolution. The Godlike Ones vaporize Madison Square Gardens with their combined mental powers and announce that their destiny is no longer keyed to humanitys, and they are leaving for outer space in search of a new purpose. A shimmering aura evenlopes them all and they ascend to the stars. The High Evolutionary watches from a nearby building and resolves to continue to observe, as humanity is developing well without his guidance. Thor, who is also watching departs for Asgard, never to return again.
The Godlike Ones fly through space, swiftly becoming mentally linked with each other. They fly over the moon, and evolve some of the Inhumans, who join them in their quest. Further on, they are joined by the Eternal Uni-Mind, which adds its energy to theirs. Later, they are attacked by the combined star-fleets of the ShiAr, the Kree, and the Skrull races. The Godlike Ones mentally contact them and explain that they mean no harm, but it is to no avail. One of the ships fires upon them and in retaliation the Godlike Ones obliterate the entire fleet.
Meanwhile, what has been like moments to the Godlike Ones has been actually several decades for those back on Earth. Mankind has continued to evolve under the guidance of those once heroes who did not leave with the Godlike Ones. Hawkeye and the Punisher died long ago, and the Captain is just being buried, when Daredevil re-emerges from hibernation. He is immediately recognized by those attending the Captains funeral as the "Lost Hero". Daredevil no longer retains any of the five senses that used to "normal", but can bypass them by through telepathic means. Judging Daredevil to be the next step in their evolution, the people ask him to help them evolve as he has. Daredevil is met by the Vision, who has remained on Earth as well. Unbeknownst to them, they are watched by the High Evolutionary.
The Godlike Ones continue their quest and have slain the Stranger and the Elders of the Universe. They seek to do the same to Galactus, but are met by Nova, who tries to stop them. She is no match for them, and the Godlike Ones annihilate her. The Silver surfer is enraged and also tries to kill them, but is shoved harmlessly away. Finally, they find Galactus, who seeks to consume them as punishment for killing his herald. However, the Godlike Ones overwhelm Galactus with energy, and Galactus, rather than admit defeat, self-destructs. Back on Earth, Daredevil has aided mankind to evolve to the next step. Now even the youngest infant can levitate. All communication is done by pure telepathy, no words have been spoken for years. Pollution has been wiped out long ago, and Earth has become a paradise. The Vision stands by the grave of Daredevil. Feeling that he no longer has a purpose on this world, he destroys himself in a self-contained solar flare.
The Godlike Ones then meet Mistress Death and Eternity. Now knowing what their destiny is, the Godlike Ones merge with Death and then head for Eternity. Simultaneously, humanity (who has continued to evolve and now have no distinguishing physical characteristics) is visited by a host of Celestials (Arishem, Gammenon, Hargen, and Ziran) who sentence humanity to destruction. At the same time, the Godlike Ones and Death merge with Eternity, becoming the Entity. The Entity turns its gaze to Earth, where it sees humanity vaporize Arishem and cast away the remaining Celestials. Then humanity merges into a single mind and that mind becomes one with the Earth itself, becoming a sentient Living Earth.
The High Evolutionary visits the Entity and asks to join it in its destiny. The Entity refuses and the High Evolutionary realizes his folly. The Entity departs from the universe, and journeys into an alternate reality that has not yet begun. It then initiates a "big bang" in the nothingness, creating a new universe. Afterwards it splits apart into Eternity and Death again, the essences of the Godlike Ones being absorbed into one or the other. Without Eternity or Death, the original universe implodes in on itself, the original universe collapses in on itself. The only thing that survived the event is the Living Earth due to its immense mental powers. The High Evolutionary stands upon its surface, both it and he in total stasis, awaiting a new Entity to come and re-create the surrounding universe.
(Quasar#30) - Quasar of Earth-616 observed this reality while searching for the Living Laser, who had passed through the Watcher's dimensional portal.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and Ron Wilson
This was the first issue of the second What If ? series.
Presumably, the Living Earth and the High Evolutionary are still in stasis. Its also possible that the Silver Surfer survived, but I would doubt it.
One thing about this story strikes me as ridiculous. The Godlike Ones need a leader, someone with the responsibility and intelligence to lead them to their new destiny. So out of all the potential leaders they couldve picked (Reed Richards, Storm, the Hulk, Magneto, the Leader, Spider-Man, etc.) they choose Wolverine?! Ogh ..
Despite this bit of lunacy and some other things (I was a bit miffed that they decided to kill off Galactus, Nova, the Stranger, and the Elders for no apparent reason), I think this story is pretty keen. I like the two end results of humanitys divergent evolution. I think its high time some attention was turned to the Living Earth and the Entity, because both seem to have future potential.
The Living Earth has no connections to
Daredevil, the Lost Hero should be distinguished from:
The Godlike Ones
The fallout of the Genetic Bomb mutated all superhumans present on Earth so that their powers and minds were enhanced to the hundred-fold. They were soon dubbed Godlike Ones by the mutated humanity. Most of these Godlike Ones were called together by Ben Grimm, and they determined that their destiny was a separate from the destiny of humanity and left to outer space, under the leadership of Wolverine. While in space, they underwent further evolution (becoming a sort of collective) and were joined by several other beings. They slew the Stranger, the Elders of The Universe, Nova, and Galactus. Later, they merged with Death and Eternity to form the Entity.
Normal, non-superhumans grew gigantic brains and gained enhanced intelligence as a result of the Genetic Bombs fallout. Under the leadership of the Captain, Hawkeye, the Punisher, and others, they advanced further and the world united. Later, with the help of Daredevil, the Lost Hero, they made the next step in their evolution, gaining telepathy and other mental abilities. Humanity would ultimately become the Living Earth.
Daredevil (or the Lost Hero)
He developed super-senses so powerful, that he could not handle the massive sensory input. He retreated to some caves to hibernate. After a few decades, he awoke from hibernation and found he had developed telepathy as well. He would later help mutated humanity achieve the next step in their evolution.
The High Evolutionary
He was responsible for the mutation for humanity and superhumanity. He and the Living Earth would be the only two beings to survive the collapse of their universe. Without the presence of Eternity and Death, the High Evolutionary and the Living Earth were trapped in complete stasis. Presumably, thats how they remain.
What If? II#1 (July, 1989) - Roy Thomas (writer), Ron Wilson (pencils), Mike Gustovich (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Quasar#30 (January, 1992) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Joel Zulueta, Pat Broderick & Co. (pencils), Fred Fredricks (inks), Kelly Corvese (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
Last Updated: 02/13/03
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