Counter-Earth (comics)

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Counter-Earth
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
In story information
Type Planet

Counter-Earth is the name of a fictional planet in Marvel Comics. There have been four versions of the hypothetical planet known as Counter-Earth, each one a near-duplicate of Earth.

Publication history[edit]

The first Counter-Earth has appeared in Marvel Premiere #1-2 (April 1972), Warlock #1-3 (August–December 1972), #5-6 (April, June 1973), Incredible Hulk #176-178, Fantastic Four #172-175, and Marvel Two-in-One #61-63 (March–May 1980). Counter-Earth received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #17 (2005).

Fictional history[edit]

High Evolutionary Counter-Earth[edit]

The first Counter-Earth was built by the High Evolutionary with the help of at least some of the Infinity Gems[1] as part of his "Project Alpha". The High Evolutionary artificially creates a Counter-Earth specifically located to hide it from "True Earth", on which he has greatly accelerated evolution and the passage of time. He plans to populate it with a purified human race, but shortly after the creation of the "new Adam", Man-Beast interferes in an act of revenge and introduces a killer instinct into the new human race. Human history repeats itself (including the crucifixion of Christ) but without the benefits of super heroes (or the misfortune of super-villains[2]). So that the High Evolutionary does not have to destroy his creation, Adam Warlock descends to the new planet to save it from Man Beast as well as humankind's violent tendencies.

In Marvel Premiere #2, counter versions of Reed Richards, Victor Von Doom and Bruce Banner are mentioned as scientists that gained no super-human powers unlike their "True Earth" counterparts. In Adam Warlock #2 (1972), Richards and Von Doom are mentioned again as "cordial, if rival, colleagues". Tony Stark is mentioned as having not been injured and Peter Parker is mentioned as having died from "radioactive over-exposure". However in later developments, Counter-Earth is home to Reed Richards' twisted counterpart Brute,[3] as well as to Necromancer (a counterpart to Doctor Strange). It had very few superheroes and had Adam Warlock as its champion for a length of time in the early 1970s, fighting mainly the Man-Beast and his allies who had been exiled from Earth by the High Evolutionary. It was eventually moved away from the solar system by the Pegasusian Sphinxor who was acting under the orders of the Beyonders who then placed Counter-Earth in a space museum.[4] Counter-Earth is later destroyed by an enraged Thanos during The Infinity Gauntlet storyline. However, the destruction was not depicted in the storyline.[5]

The Goddess's Counter-Earth[edit]

The second Counter-Earth, dubbed Paradise Omega, was built by the Goddess, using the Cosmic Egg, a collection of 30 Cosmic Cubes.[6] Unlike the other Counter-Earths, it had no animal life at all and served as the base for the Goddess' chosen heroes. Its existence was only brief; it was destroyed at the end of Infinity Crusade #6 by Thanos telling the Cosmic Egg to self-destruct.

The Franklin Richards Counter-Earth[edit]

The third Counter-Earth was created by Franklin Richards in the transition from the Onslaught storyline to the Heroes Reborn event. As Franklin watched the Fantastic Four, Avengers, and others sacrifice their lives to defeat Onslaught, he unwittingly tapped into his latent cosmic power to create a pocket universe and divert the heroes there to prevent their deaths. On the Earth of this new dimension, the heroes relived altered versions of their pasts, unaware of their previous lives in the "mainstream" Marvel Universe, where they were presumed dead.[7]

The Celestials took notice of Franklin's creation and initially demanded that he now eliminate one of the two universes, but finally relented on the condition that all beings native to Earth-616 evacuate the pocket universe and never return. The pocket universe was then placed under the authority of Ashema the Listener.[8] However, the rogue Dreaming Celestial had undermined Ashema's control, plagued the world with chaos and disaster, most notably creating floods that submerged New York City. When Doctor Doom inadvertently returned, he resolved to secure control of the world and save it from the Dreaming Celestial by transporting the planet outside of the pocket universe, relocating it to his native dimension on the opposite side of the sun from Earth-616.[9][10] Doom began referring to this world as "Planet Doom," although other observers began to use the more neutral term "Counter-Earth."

Counter-Earth was created by Franklin to greatly resemble his own world, and many elements on Earth-616 have an equivalent of some sort there (For example, although Counter-Earth's Captain America was actually the displaced Steve Rogers of Earth-616, both planets have their own Nick Fury). The Counter-Earth versions of the Young Allies, Lady Dorma, Otto Octavius, the Masters of Evil, and the Master Man have risen to prominence following the departure of the Earth-616 heroes, as well as individuals with no known Earth-616 counterpart, such as Rebel O'Reilly and Lancer. The Rip, a dual entity representing order (as "O") and chaos (as "Kay") emerged to announce its duty to decide the final fate of Counter-Earth.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

After relocating the planet, Doom returned to Earth-616 to join forces with the Fantastic Four and defeat the Dreaming Celestial, who retaliated by trapping Mister Fantastic inside Doom's armor and transporting Doom himself back to Counter-Earth.[15] Doom quickly regained his power base and returned to Earth-616 to reclaim Latveria as well.[16][17] As opposition forces on Counter-Earth began to mount against him, Doom sought to tap into radiation sources deep inside the planet to use in a contingency plan; however, he instead discovered an artificial construct, which he erroneously concluded to be an electronic "reality engine" that monitored and controlled Counter-Earth. Seeking to exploit this discovery, Doom was led to believe he could reprogram the planet to any reality he wished, but soon determined that a world he could shape to his desire offered no challenge. Travelling through the Negative Zone, Doom returned to Latveria, creating a power vacuum that would plunge Counter-Earth into chaos.[11][18]

Later, the Thunderbolts became stranded on Counter-Earth and resolved to stay and govern the planet, using the abandoned Inhuman city of Attilan as a capital.[19] While investigating the destruction of Tokyo by anomalous radiation, the Thunderbolts' visited the Mir Mine in Siberia, where they found the same construct Doom had discovered, now revealed as a massive alien spacecraft.[20][21] The vessel's proximity to its Earth-616 counterpart created a chain reaction that threatened destroy both planets. As part of their plan to save Earth and Counter-Earth, most of the Thunderbolts returned to Earth-616, while Jolt stayed behind and joined the Young Allies in carrying on the Thunderbolts' work.[22]

During a conflict across parallel realities between the Exiles and Proteus, the Exiles attempted to confuse Proteus by misdirecting him to Counter-Earth when he attempted to travel to Earth-616. Upon witnessing Proteus's arrival, the Rip condemned Counter-Earth and commanded Proteus to carry out its destruction. Proteus raised the undersea civilization of Atlantis to the surface, killing all of its inhabitants, but was defeated by the Young Allies and the Exiles before he could use Atlantis's nuclear arsenal.[23]

Onslaught Reborn[edit]

The fourth Counter-Earth was also created by Franklin Richards after the events of House of M unexpectedly resurrected Onslaught, who immediately resumed his mission to appropriate the power of Franklin Richards. To elude Onslaught, Franklin transported himself, the Fantastic Four, and several of the Avengers to a reality resembling the circumstances of Heroes Reborn, where the heroes had no memory of their Earth-616 lives. After Rikki Barnes (the Bucky of Counter-Earth) sacrificed herself to trap Onslaught in the Negative Zone, the heroes and Franklin were returned to Earth-616, where the heroes retained no memory of the incident. Rikki reappeared on Earth-616 shortly after the events of Civil War, whereupon she learned of the death of Captain America.[24] Rikki later adopted the identity of Nomad.[25]

The Onslaught Reborn world is separate from Counter-Earth, existing in its own unique pocket universe.[26]

Other versions[edit]

Spider-Man Unlimited[edit]

In the comic book series based on Spider-Man Unlimited, Counter-Earth appears as the main setting. Besides the appearance of Brute (a servant of the High Evolutionary who is a secret ally of the Human Rebels), there was also a Beastial version of Wolverine and a lizard version of Chameleon.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The High Evolutionary's Counter-Earth appears in the 1999 animated television series Spider-Man Unlimited. This version is a planet that exists at the other side of the sun. 50 years before the event of the series, a man from Earth arrived because he was angry with the human race for causing wars on Earth. The man married with a woman from the planet and raised a family, but one day he noticed that the behavior that he left behind started showing up on Counter-Earth. To keep this planet a paradise, he started to experiment on animals in an attempt to create a peaceful race. Once he succeeded, he named the race "Beastials." The Beastials eventually decided to take over the planet and to control the human citizens of Counter-Earth. About thirty years later, the man built Castle Wundagore and gave himself the name "the High Evolutionary". During the High Evolutionary's reign, the Beastials are shown as the dominant species and the humans are a lower-class minority. The High Evolutionary's Knights of Wundagore oversaw the Machine Men (a group of robots who serve as the High Evolutionary's police force). Twenty years after the High Evolutionary's arrival, John Jameson decided to investigate the planet after NASA's Alita 1 was destroyed by the High Evolutionary in an effort to keep his planet unknown to the people of Earth. Venom and Carnage had their own plans to make Counter-Earth a planet for the Symbiotes. In order to save John Jameson, Spider-Man went to Counter-Earth where he had an encounter with the Knights of Wundagore and had befriended the human rebels that John Jameson is helping out. Counter-Earth also includes its own versions of Spider-Man's enemies like Green Goblin (a human rights activist and ally of Spider-Man), the Hunter (Counter-Earth's version of Kraven the Hunter and one of a few humans to live in the upper parts), Vulture (a human who gained Beastial powers), and Electro (who was a Beastial electric eel).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marvel Premiere #1 (1972)
  2. ^ Marvel Premiere #2 (1972)
  3. ^ Warlock #6 (1973)
  4. ^ Marvel Two-in-One #61-63
  5. ^ Warlock and the Infinity Watch #4
  6. ^ Infinity Crusade #1 (1993)
  7. ^ Onslaught: Marvel Universe
  8. ^ Heroes Reborn: The Return #1-4
  9. ^ a b Heroes Reborn: Doomsday #1
  10. ^ a b Heroes Reborn: Doom #1
  11. ^ a b Doom: The Emperor Returns #1
  12. ^ Heroes Reborn: Rebel #1
  13. ^ Heroes Reborn: Young Allies #1
  14. ^ Heroes Reborn: Masters of Evil #1
  15. ^ Fantastic Four vol. 3 #25
  16. ^ Doom #1-3
  17. ^ Fantastic Four vol. 3 #31
  18. ^ Doom: The Emperor Returns #2
  19. ^ Thunderbolts #60-64
  20. ^ Thunderbolts #72
  21. ^ The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe 2005: Alternate Universes
  22. ^ Thunderbolts #74-75
  23. ^ Exiles #81-82
  24. ^ Onslaught Reborn #1-4
  25. ^ Nomad: Girl Without a World #1-2
  26. ^ The All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (Hardcover) Vol. 13, Young Allies entry

External links[edit]