Earth X envisions a world where everyone has superpowers, including heroes like Hulk and Daredevil, who face tragic new realities.
The Red Skull wields immense telepathic control, pitting Captain America against former allies in a world of anger and despair.
Galactus saves Earth in Earth X, revealing a deeper Celestial connection and setting the stage for Universe X and Paradise X.

Consider this: the Earth no longer has any differences between people because everyone has become some kind of mutant. Every single person on earth has evolved into some type of super-powered individual and there are only a handful of humans still existing on the planet.

This is the premise for Earth X, published by Marvel Comics in 1999. The story, which grew from a grain of an idea from artist/writer Alex Ross, became a phenomenon and one of the many ways that Marvel chose to end its universe. Earth X took existing characters and put them at the end of the world. It showed how heroes and villains were trapped by their beliefs, their physical forms, and their overwhelming purpose to simply be heroes.

The World Is Changing with Earth X

Many of the greatest Marvel stories start with the “What if?” scenario. In this case, the question was what would happen if nearly everyone on Earth gained superhuman abilities? Reed Richards believes that his experiments have made it so the entire world has been mutated. The Fantastic Four have been disbanded due to the death of Johnny Storm (killed by Namor, the Sub-Mariner) and Sue Storm. The X-Men are long gone, and Scott Summers is now leading a team of new X-Men who are just sideshow freaks from a traveling circus.

Daredevil is an unkillable crazy person with a death wish who runs a traveling show and attempts crazy stunts to try and kill himself every night, to no avail. Even the Hulk has been affected, with Bruce’s personality truly splitting and turning him into a small boy with a giant monster protecting him. Spider-Man is older and paunchier, his daughter is now Venom, The Watcher has taken a protégé because they can no longer see, and the world is a boiling mass of anger and despair. And then there’s the Red Skull.

A Child Will Lead Them

The Red Skull is different in this universe. No longer a former Nazi officer, we are now faced with a young, blonde boy with such immense telepathic control that on the day of his birth, all telepaths were killed, including Charles Xavier. The Red Skull is now making his way across the country, pulling in thousands of people to follow and protect him. he wields them like his own personal pawns and only Captain America is there to try and stop him.

Captain America is also the only person that The Red Skull will not control because he finds it funnier to watch him fight his friends, who have no control of their own as they attack. At this point, Captain America is nearly 100 years old and is showing his age, with an A practically carved into his now bald head. He wears the tatters of an American Flag as a toga around his body as a reminder of the ideals he once held.


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Terrigen Mists and A Seed

One thing to note is that Reed Richards is wrong. The mutations aren’t his fault and the people are not actually mutants. They’ve all been turned into different creatures because of the terrigen mists used by the Inhumans. At the same time, the reason for super-powered beings on Earth has been discovered. People are essentially antibodies to fight off outside invasions because the Earth is actually one big egg. We are gestating a Celestial and have been put here to make sure nothing happens to it. This revelation, coupled with the arrival of Celestials to witness the birth, brings the planet to a place where the disbanded former heroes must come together to somehow defeat them and their far-too-imminent fate.

The Name That Saves The World

In a last-ditch effort, Black Bolt flies into space and uses his immense voice to call out into the void. The word he says is “Franklin.” When he does, Galactus arrives and rips the Celestial Embryo from the core of the planet, saving Earth. It turns out that Galactus had been killed decades earlier and the extremely powerful Franklin Richards had willed himself to take his place in the universe. The story seems over, the world saved, but there are so many more pieces to tie up that the story continues in Universe X and Paradise X.


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The “Logan Universe” Effect

Where Logan gave Wolverine a fitting ending, Earth X could bring all of the characters from the MCU to fight their final threat together. The story encompasses the entire universe we all know and love, including many characters that will eventually get their time in the MCU. So, when the MCU decides to go into a darker space, Earth X could be an amazing place to finish. That being said, the odds of it actually happening seem faint. It would require far more time and effort than the lead-up to Infinity War and Endgame and Marvel Studios seems to have less of an attention span these days.

Don’t Make It a What If…?

The one thing that shouldn’t happen is to make this a What If…? episode or even a series of episodes. The show has already adorable-fied Marvel Zombies and Marvel 1602. Sure, some people will enjoy it, but the heart of an amazing run of stories and character development will be lost. What would make it more interesting would be to start an Elseworlds Marvel brand that allows more leeway for cutting-edge directors to explore the universe with far less oversight. It’s The Batman and Joker movies alongside the normal DCU. We all know they don’t count, but we love them anyway.

Marvel could do a lot worse than Earth X. The question is whether they have the stomach to do it.

“}]] If there’s an alternate version of the multiverse to explore, the MCU might find its salvation in the Earth X storyline.  Read More