EARTH-59462

Type: Alternate Earth
Core Continuum Designation: 59462 (see comments)

Environment: Earth-like

Usual means of access: Vibrational attunement

Dominant Life Form: Humanity

Significant Inhabitants: Carruthers, Flight Leader (Dan Hampson), Hulk, SolPlanet League (Terran Commando Sergeant Superdare, unidentified Terran Commandos, others), Spider-Man, Thing, Voraks, unidentified narrator, unidentified wizard (see comments)

First Appearance: Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes#163 (March 22nd 1976)

History:
(Super Spider-Man and the Titans#206 (fb) - BTS) - In Reality-59462 Earth's progress in space exploration was far ahead of Reality-616, and by 2020 Mars, Venus and several of Saturn's moons had been colonized. This was tied to a commensurate higher level of Earth-bound technology, with for instance what looked to be high speed transit via raised, clear tubes criss-crossing cities carrying passenger capsules, and giant landing pads for flying vehicles atop landmarks such as the U.K.'s Houses of Parliament.

   To defend the solar system, the SolPlanet League had been established, a military force with Commandos drawn from all the inhabited worlds. Earth also had native superheroes, at least some of whom were apparently direct counterparts to heroes on Earth-616. However, somewhere out in space, the alien Voraks made plans to attack.

(Super Spider-Man and the Super-Heroes#163 (fb) - BTS) - In 2026 a "magician" facilitated a surprise attack on Earth by using a "telesender" to open a vortex beneath the River Thames, allowing a stream of alien invaders to circumvent the SolPlanet League's defenses and launch an attack on London.

(Super Spider-Man and the Super-Heroes#163) - At first the surprise attack seemed to be working, and it looked like London might fall to the invaders, until American heroes Spider-Man, the Thing and Hulk arrived on the scene and turned the tide.

(Super Spider-Man and the Titans#206 (fb) - BTS) - Thanks to the heroes the aliens were stymied long enough for the SolPlanet League to scramble its forces. Faced with this opposition, the Voraks fled back into space and tried to retreat across the solar system, but the League's Terran Commandos were in hot pursuit.

(Super Spider-Man and the Titans#206) - Near the moons of Saturn the Terran Commandos fought a pitched battle against the retreating Voraks, destroying many of them.

Comments: Created by Frank Hampson.

   This reality appeared as two giant single-panel spreads in the Marvel UK Spider-Man reprint comic, Super Spider-Man and the Super-Heroes/Super Spider-Man and the Titans. To quickly explain to non-US readers why the name of the comic changed, in Britain it was common for publishers to merge a poorly selling title into a more successful one, thus hoping to get the readers of the failing title to buy the more successful one. When this happened, the new merged comic gained some strips from the cancelled title and the name of the comic was temporarily changed to show both prior ones - in this instance Spider-Man Comics Weekly had merged with The Super-Heroes prior to the first of these one-panel tales, and then absorbed The Titans prior to the second episode.

   The two spreads were produced by Frank Hampson, best known for being the artist who created Dan Dare, the space-faring star of The Eagle comic, each respectively among the most influential characters and titles in British comics history. The two panels were, afaik, the only time Hampson ever worked on a Marvel title, and it's hard to convey to those who don't know British comics lore how big a deal this is for that reason alone - the nearest analogy I can think of is if Siegel and Schuster had produced a one-off Spider-Man story for Marvel US.

   On our list of alternate realities, Earth-59462 was down as debuting behind-the-scenes in Uncanny X-Men I#462, when we were introduced to Flight Leader, the Corps member from that reality. Flight Leader was inspired by artist Frank Hampson's Dan Dare, one of the best known and influential characters in British comics - his visuals made that clear, but even absent those that connection is not speculation, as I have the script for the issue and Chris Claremont's instructions to artist Alan Davis noted the character was "from a world derived from Frank Hampson's Dan Dare."

   Then, much more recently I learned of these two posters Frank Hampson drew for Marvel UK. And those art pieces told a brief story that showed a slightly-in-the-future world (2026) where Marvel superheroes such as Spider-Man, Hulk and the Thing existed alongside space-faring Terran Commandos including one Sergeant Superdare, and the Terran Commandos armor is clearly meant to echo Hampson's work on Dan Dare. In the image on the right, you can compare for example the horizontal-striped metallic chest, skirt and leggings of the Commando armor (right) and that of the Treens from Dan Dare (left). On the image to the right there's the space helmet of Dan Dare (top left), the helmet on the costume of Flight Leader (blue, next to Dare's space helmet), and the helmet of Sergeant Superdare; you can also see the glove design for Dan Dare's spacesuit (right side of the image) and the matching design of Sergeant Superdare's spacesuit gloves.

   So per Claremont's instruction, Earth-59462 is derived from Frank Hampson's Dan Dare, and I'd just learned of a Marvel reality created by Frank Hampson with major echoes of his Dan Dare work. As I noted to Appendix head honcho and reality-designator, "I fully admit there's no solid evidence linking them, but it seems very appropriate that a Corps member based on Frank Hampson's Dan Dare should originate from the same reality as the one depicted in the only work Hampson produced for Marvel UK." Snood concurred, so unless some new info comes to light about Flight Leader's world that prevents this fitting, we're now revising the first appearance of Earth-59462 to be Super Spider-Man with the Super Heroes#163 (1976).

Profile by Loki.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Earth-59462  has no known connections to:


Carruthers

Carruthers was seemingly the servant of the unseen narrator who was describing the invasion of London as it happened. When the narrator suggested the events unfolding might herald the final sunset on the British Empire, Carruthers became visibly upset, prompting the narrator to tell him to stop sniveling. Moments later the tide turned against the invaders thanks to the sudden arrival of several American heroes. Announcing to Carruthers that they were saved, the narrator then informed his servant that he'd like three lumps of sugar in his tea today.

   Some twenty hours later as the SolPlanet League's forces pursued the now-fleeing aliens through the solar system, Carruthers relayed a message of congratulations at the defending force's positive sitrep, informing them that their victories were a "jolly good show," and inquiring if anyone wanted some tea.

--(mentioned) Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes#163  (Super Spider-Man and the Titans#206


Hulk

When London was suddenly attacked by alien invaders, the Hulk was among the heroes who came to its aid.

Comments: Mentioned as "just coming up, out of frame," the Hulk wasn't actually depicted in the single panel tale. Given the era this story was written in, it's unlikely that Frank Hampson would have intended this alternate reality version of the character to be anyone other than Bruce Banner, though obviously that identification is unconfirmed.

--(mentioned) Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes#163


SolPlanet League

The SolPlanet League were a defense alliance of inhabited planets in Earth's solar system, which included Terra, Mars, Venus, Saturn's moons and guard satellites manned by robot defenses. By being transported directly to Earth the Voraks initially caught the League off-guard, avoiding giving the defenders any opportunity to detect and intercept them further out in the system, but the League rapidly reacted after this first shock, and the Voraks were forced to retreat back into space. By 18 hours after the initial attack the Commander of the SolPlanet League's Space Cruiser Fleet had assumed command of the defense operations, by 19 hours the Fleet was in hot pursuit of the fleeing Voraks, and by 20 hours the conflict had moved out to the region around Saturn's moons.

--Super Spider-Man and the Titans#206



Sergeant Superdare

Sergeant Superdare was a SolPlanet League Terran Commando who took part in pushing the invading Voraks back out of the solar system.

Comments: Given he was created by Frank Hampson there's no doubt whatsoever that this character is named after Hampson's most famous creation, Dan Dare.

--Super Spider-Man and the Titans#206



Spider-Man

When London was suddenly attacked by alien invaders, "All-American arachnid" Spider-Man was among the heroes who came to its aid, taking up a stance on London's newest architectural marvel Bull Tower, a massive building that dwarfed the nearby Houses of Parliament.

Comments: Given the era this story was written in, it's unlikely that Frank Hampson would have intended this alternate reality version of the character to be anyone other than Peter Parker, though obviously that identification is unconfirmed.

--Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes#163



Thing

When London was suddenly attacked by alien invaders, the Thing was among the heroes who came to its aid.

Comments: Given the era this story was written in, it's unlikely that Frank Hampson would have intended this alternate reality version of the character to be anyone other than Ben Grimm, though obviously that identification is unconfirmed.

--Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes#163



Voraks

The Voraks were hostile aliens who sought to conquer Earth. Described derogatorily as "armoured parrots," they had clawed hands and prehensile clawed feet, and the SolPlanet League believed that despite their largely humanoid build they were either robots or silicon-based lifeforms. Each "man-unit" wore an "armor-plast fighting suit" powered by "vitavorak" energy beamed to them from their distant home base to backpack-like energy receptors, meaning that they required no food, fuel or atmosphere to survive. They flew by riding on rocket sleds which used fusion motors in outer space and magnetic motors when in range of planetary fields; each sled had a mounted "polyprojector" mounting capable of firing energy beams on three different settings: Stun, kill and burn.

   In 2026 they were transported (perhaps teleported) from a base outside the solar system directly to London by an agent or accomplice described as a "magician," who opened a vortex for them in the River Thames using a "telesender" from which the invaders poured out. Though this surprise attack circumvented the SolPlanet League's defenses and caught mankind off guard, a trio of superheroes - Spider-Man, Hulk and Thing - responded swiftly and foiled the assault. With the SolPlanet League defenses launching, the Voraks fled back into space but were pursued all the way to Saturn's moons by the League's Terran Commandos.

Comments: There's no explanation given why the retreating Voraks didn't simply go back through the vortex rather than taking the long way through space, leaving themselves open to being harried by the SolPlanet League. It may simply be that during the London battle one of the heroes destroyed the telesender, or that the vortex only worked one way.

   The Voraks were unidentified in their first appearance, merely being alien invaders, but by the time of their second appearance the SolPlanet League had discovered their name and was speculating about their composition, but had yet to confirm their point of origin.

--Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes#163  (Super Spider-Man and the Titans#206



Narrator

An unseen individual described the attack on London as it happened, noting how a magician had unleashed the aliens on the city, and stating that the situation seemed bleak, before suddenly announcing the arrival of the superheroes who had come to repel the invaders.

Comments: The narrator seems to be detailing the attack live, like a reporter at an event detailing what they are watching to a television audience. Given that the narrator apparently speaks to the similarly unseen Carruthers during this account, and that in the second part that same Carruthers seems to respond to the military report of the conflict's subsequent progress as the aliens are driven back through the solar system, the report writer may be the same person as the narrator. And if that's the case, since the military report writer is presumably one of the SolPlanet League Terran Commandos, then perhaps the report writer/narrator is Sergeant Superdare, the only Terran Commando named in the artwork.

--(voice only) Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes#163


"Magician"

An unseen, sneaky "magician" was deemed by the narrator to be responsible for opening a whirlpool vortex in the Thames River, at the bottom of which was a "telesender" that was used to funnel through a seemingly endless stream of hostile alien Voraks to attack London.

--(mentioned) Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes#163


images: (without ads)
Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes#163, p17-18, pan1 (London attack)
Super Spider-Man and the Titans#206, p17-18, pan1 (space battle)


Appearances:
Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes#163 (March 22nd 1976) - Frank Hampson (writer, art), unknown editor
Super Spider-Man and the Titans#206 (January 19th 1977) - Frank Hampson (writer, art), unknown editor


First Posted: 01/14/2022
Last updated:
01/15/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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