Script Roy Thomas
Breakdowns Ron Wilson
Finishes Mike Gustovich
Colors Tom Vincent
Cover Dated July 1989
What If the Avengers Had Lost the Evolutionary War?
Splintered from Avengers Annual 17
The Evolutionary War ran through several Annuals in 1987.
According to Wikipedia :
The reading order for the event is :
The Evolutionary War
Part 1: X-Factor Annual #3
Part 2: The Punisher Annual #1
Part 3: Silver Surfer Annual #1
Part 4: New Mutants Annual #4
Part 5: Fantastic Four Annual #21
Part 6: The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22
Part 7: X-Men Annual vol 1, #12
Part 8: Web of Spider-Man Annual #4
Part 9: West Coast Avengers Annual #3
Part 10: The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #8
Part 11: Avengers Annual #17
I only own the New Mutants Annual 4, Part Four, of the crossover. I did own and read the Spider-Man Annuals before selling them.
It takes one page for Utau to set up the issue. So here what was changed to make it possible. High Evolutionary defeated Hercules instead of the other way around. The Avengers escaped before they could defeat the High Evolutionary. The Avengers being – The Lady Yellowjacket, Captain America (when he was The Captain), Falcon and Beast. If Jocasta was able to destroy the Genetic Bomb, instead of the base. So the one thing they were suppose to do, stop the Genetic Bomb from going off, did not happen.
The issue officially opens with Captain America coming to the surface after the Quinjet crashed into the water. He had helped, as his old WWII ally and fellow Avenger, Namor, brings him to the surface. The other three Avengers, are dead. Oh Beast, you will be quasi-missed. The remnants of the Genetic Bomb scatter around them.
Within hours, the world is bathed in the particles. People start panicking.
This was during the Australian Outback era of the X-Men, as Wolverine asks Gateway to gather the X-Men.
High Evolutionary, watching the news, is glad to see his hard work is now paying off.
The West Coats Avengers – Mantis, Wonder Man (the Colossus of the Avengers), Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye and the Vision, are standing outside, watching the dust – and quietly bathing in them. When the dust lands on a human, it sticks to them but it goes right through non living things, like the Vision.
The X-Men – Wolverine, Colossus (in the same panel with his Avenger counterpart), Storm, Dazzler, Longshot, Rogue and Psylocke – appear in front of the West Coast Avengers. Hawkeye is surprised, as the world believes them dead. Namor and Captain America appear before these gathered heroes.
Wolverine suspects Namor is behind this, which seems silly. Namor calls Wolverine a mutant, which seems racist and silly as he himself is a mutant.
While they are all chatting, Mantis points at Wolverine. His claws have grown from a foot to four feet. Which seems odd, as those are metal and not part of his actual body or powers. All the mutants start becoming enhanced. Colossus is permanently in his human form. Rogue has the powers of all the gathered heroes, and she got them just by being in their presence. Psylocke can hear all of their thoughts. Scarlet Witch’s hex powers have increased. Longshot’s luck powers have doubled. The mutants also look like they have bulked up. Namor has grown stronger.
The humans have started noticing that mutants have benefited from the dust. The humans, on the other hand, their heads have become giant, like Egg Head or the Leader’s own head. They have giant heads and have lost the hair on the top of their heads. Even the human members of the Avengers are getting big heads. Aliens like Mantis, also gets a big head. Captain America and Hawkeye’s head increase so much that they burst through their masks.
Wolverine is quick to get enraged, as he expects the humans’ next move is to blame mutants. The gathered humans have no interest in that, they can see mutants for what they are, the next step in evolution.
We look around the world and see that humans are all getting big heads. With their giant heads, comes peace of mind and a sense of unity.
Iron Man can’t wear his armor anymore but he has no interest in it. The need for violence is no more. Spider-Man, who was artificially mutated as a teenager, has gained three more pairs of arms. The Thing has become even more rocky and with spiky rocks. The Hulk has Banner’s mind but gets to keep his hair on his head.
Daredevil doesn’t get a big head but all of his senses have been enhanced, so he has to go into the wilderness and get away from the noise.
X-Factor, minus Beast, are walking the streets like they never could before. It seems like humans have become mindful but at the same time, have lost their individuality while the mutants have gained additional powers but kept their main personalities.
X-Factor is heading towards a building. Doctor Doom stands before them, He just wants to wish them well, as he takes of his faceplate. He has no scars but his head is huge. The human minds are slowly becoming linked together.
The mutants and the mutated heroes have gathered to determined what is next. Shadowcat is in the meeting, so that’s pretty cool. Why she is up in the air, is beyond me. I guess she is air walking.
Captain America asks the heroes, who are now like gods, to do right for Earth and the Universe, then leaves. Even the villains feel the need to do good, as they no longer need money and power.
Everyone turns to Wolverine for leadership. Everyone, even the humans, shout “It is Time!”
Dormammu, Mephisto and Nightmare, pick the worst time to attack Earth. Doctor Strange, Talisman and Doctor Druid rise up to defeat them. Their mystic know how combined with the minds of the human race, shuts down the invasion so quickly. All six individuals disappear for all time.
Captain America and Punisher try to lead the humans. The human race keeps evolving each day.
The mutants are going to leave the planet.
Thor, who is unaffected and High Evolutionary see the mutants and other super beings fly off to space – on their own, no spaceships are needed. High Evolutionary came to lead the humans but they don’t need guidance. Thor is a god so he isn’t needed on the planet.
The Inhumans, who were living on the Moon at the time, follow the mutants into space. I’m not sure how they were given the ability to fly in space, unassisted.
The Eternals join the combined heroes’ energy.
Various alien races don’t like the idea of Earth heroes in space and have created a fleet to knock them out of space. The mutants don’t want to hurt the aliens but they will not fly away from the threat and makes short work of the aliens.
Moments in space turns out to be really years on Earth. We see that Captain America has been buried. The mutants seem to be immortal but not the humans. Daredevil comes out of hiding, he still doesn’t have a big head. For some reason, Daredevil hasn’t aged as he cut out all sensory input – which I didn’t know is what causes us to age. He is so beyond the five normal senses that he can now communicate with his mind.
Daredevil will try to teach his fellow humans to live like he does. Vision, standing next to Hawkeye’s tombstone, asks if he can join Daredevil. He doesn’t have a human mind, so he needs Daredevil to talk aloud.
High Evolutionary is still waiting for the right time to take leadership of humans.
Decades pass. The mutants are looking for Galactus. Nova, his herald, stands before the mutants. They kill her, which angers Silver Surfer. They take him out and Galactus shows up. He tries to absorb the mutants’ energies but they slay him.
On Earth, it seems the human race is all white. They also have gotten rid of all buildings. They can fly but choose not too. Daredevil is dead. Vision is alone to walk the Earth, he turns himself off.
The mutants come up against Death and Eternity. They absorb Death, and now take on Eternity.
Earth is about to be attacked by the Celestials, they deem to destroy the planet.
The mutants take on Eternity and further merge with it. They are tempted to come to Earth but decide to keep going forward.
The humans, whose heads look like they are about to crack open, destroys one of the Celestials. The other three go away. The humans merge and become one with the planet.
Somehow, High Evolutionary is in space. He thinks he is equal to the new Eternity but they squash that thought. They let him live, as he fathered this future. Eternity creates a new universe. The new Entity splits into Death and Eternity for this new universe. The mutants are no more, they are in one or the other now.
So in classic What If fashion, the human race is no more.
There are some fun house ads in the back. Atlantis Attacks, the crossover in the 1998 annuals. Doctor Strange is getting a new ongoing, as if Moon Knight.
Inside back cover is an ad for some Atari games – Tetris, Pac-Man and Gauntlet are three of them. I’ve heard of RBI Baseball (mostly from the Uncanny X-Cast) but I haven’t played it before.