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Earth-161 is a reality that generally mirrors Earth-616 in much of its past. However, there are key divergences that center around this reality's version of the X-Men in particular and Mutants in general. In particular is the fact that mutants, with a few exceptions, all suffer from what is referred to as "Mutant Burn Out" in which their mutant powers will eventually cause their bodies to burn out, ending their lives prematurely. It is theorized that, on average, Burn Out has prevented mutants from living longer than 60 years.[1]

Familial Differences/Alternate Origins

There are a number of familial differences that are unique to Earth-161. For example, on Earth-161 evidence suggests that Wolverine is the biological son of Sabertooth.[2] In addition, the Trask family stretches back to World War II and Nazi Germany, starting with patriarch and scientist Dietrich Trask. His contemporary descendants include Bolivar Trask and his two children, Larry and Zigfried (with his wife Amelia Trask).[3] Also in this reality, the Stark and Trask families are cousins.[4] It also appears that most of the Howling Commandos, with the exception of Nick Fury, have either died or retired and have been succeeded by their children and/or grandchildren in S.H.I.E.L.D.[1] Also unique to this reality is the nature of Mr. Sinister. In this reality he is a nearly immortal mutant trapped in the body of a young boy and the form most commonly encountered by the X-Men was nothing more than an artificial construct.[5] Also in this reality, the name of the X-Man known as Gambit is Remy Picard as opposed to "Remy LeBeau" as in most other realities.[6] Another difference is in that of the Asgardian thunder-god Thor. During this period on Earth-616 the mantle of Thor was carried by Eric Masterson. In this reality, while Thor resembles Masterson, he speaks like the true Thor. As the real Thor on Earth-616 was dormant within Masterson at the time, this would suggest that the fusion of the two beings on Earth-161 is slightly different.[7]

Primary Historical Differences

A number of events in the past and during the modern age of Earth-161 mirror that of Earth-616 in most respects with a number of exceptions.

During World War II, the Nazis amassed a number of strange technologies, likely of alien origin, in order to retrofit them for their war effort. Among the scientists they hired to partake in these explorations was Dietrich Trask who began pioneering a method of detecting differences in the human genetic structure without the use of a standard blood test, the precursor to his descendant's work that would eventually lead to the invention of the Sentinel robots. This operation was destroyed and Dietrich was assassinated thanks to a joint American/British mission which included Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos as well as Captain Logan (later Wolverine) of the Canadian military.[8]

Another major difference in this reality is that Howard Stark was a bigot who sought to eliminate the mutant race and was responsible for relocating the Trask family to South America so that they could continue their family research which eventually led to the creation of the Sentinels. Stark help fund the Consortium, an organization that intended to monitor and eventually wipe out the Mutant race.[4] When Howard Stark passed away, his son Tony was eventually brought into the Consortium, however as he was the heroic Iron Man, he secretly sought to take down the Consortium from within.[9]

Outcomes of some of the X-Men's past battles occurred differently, such as when Psylocke was transformed into Lady Mandarin during the Acts of Vengeance crisis. On Earth-616 this process was facilitated with the help of the Mojoverse's Spiral and her Body Shoppe;[10] however, in this reality it was revealed that the transformation was performed by the Hand clan of ninja assassins using a combination of science and magic.[11] During the so-called X-Tinction Agenda, like on Earth-616, many of the X-Men and their associates were captured by the Magistrates of Genosha to answer for crimes against their nation. This also included the X-Men's leader Storm who at the time had been de-aged to that of a young woman just entering into adolescence. Like on Earth-616, Storm was instrumental in helping the X-Men, New Mutants, and X-Factor defeat Cameron Hodge. On Earth-616, Storm was merely restored to her adult form during the course of the conflict;[12] however, on Earth-161 events occurred in a much more complicated fashion.

In this reality, Genoshan Genegineer, David Moreau had Storm pose as a Genoshan Mutate, secretly spiriting her away while Hodge was otherwise preoccupied battling the X-Men, in order to plot against Hodge. With Storm's powers cancelled out by the Press Gang's Wipeout, Moreau instead had a Bio-Synth of Storm that would retain all her powers, as well as those from Wipeout, until such a time Storm's true powers could be restored. However an unexpected side effect caused the Bio-Synth to grow rapidly into adulthood, prompting Moreau to have his minion Pipeline switch Storm with her Bio-Synth in the middle of battle to make it appear that Storm had suddenly reverted to her adult form with her full mutant powers. In reality, the Bio-Synth took Storm's place and the real Storm was stored on Pipeline's terminal to be freed later. However this did not come to pass as both Moreau and Pipeline were killed in the destruction of the Magistrates' headquarters in the aftermath of the battle, leaving no one alive who knew about the switch. The X-Men were unaware that the Storm that continued to fight alongside them was a bio-duplicate of their true friend. The Consortium gained access to Pipeline's terminal and used it to restore Storm from the data-stream, however without Pipeline to facilitate the process it was incomplete creating a version of Storm which had little-to-no memories of her life before meeting Gambit. The restoration also caused an energy form of the true Storm, with all her memories, to materialize on Genosha. It was located by Iron Man who confided in her his attempts to take down the Consortium from within, and after outfitting her with a unit to maintain her cohesion, he had the true Storm lay low until they could finalize their plans. Meanwhile, the X-Men continued their adventures nearly identical to those of their Earth-616 counterparts, with the exception of the fact that the Storm that they fought with was not their true friend. As a result, when the X-Men later battled on Muir Island against the Shadow King, the biosynth of Storm was affected by the Shadow King's evil influence and soon after was contacted by, and began acting as an agent of, the Consortium in their plots against the X-Men.[9]

Another stark difference between Earth-161 and Earth-616 surrounds that of Scott Summers' son Nathan. As on Earth-616, Nathan was kidnapped and brought to the moon by Apocalypse. However, whereas on Earth-616 young Nathan was infected with a Techno-Organic Virus and was sent into the distant future where he eventually became the future soldier known as Cable,[13] on this reality events occurred differently: Although the whole situation has yet to be detailed, it has been stated that Nathan was rescued thanks to Archangel's girlfriend Charlotte Jones, changing the course of history.[7] After the encounter, Cyclops had sent his son to Alaska where he grew up under the care of his great-grandparents, his space pirate grandfather, and his team of alien Starjammers.[14] Complicating things is the fact that this reality has its own version of Cable, whose origins and motivations are largely unknown and speculative at best.[15]

The final alterations to the general history between Earth-161 and Earth-616 before the major divergences between the two occurred during the final conflict between the X-Men, Magneto and the newly formed Acolytes on Asteroid M.[16] In this reality, Magneto and his Acolytes died (and unlike their Earth-616 counterparts, have apparently perished for good) while Fabian Cortez managed to escape via an escape pod, leading to a worldwide manhunt for Cortez spearheaded by SHIELD with the X-Men's assistance.[17]

Unique History

Following the defeat of Magneto, Wolverine and Jean Grey were sent to investigate Hand activity on a tropical island. There the pair began a romantic relationship prior to being captured by the Hand who attempted to turn them into Hand assassins, however they were saved by their fellow X-Men and since kept their romance a secret from the others.[11] With the aid of SHIELD, the X-Men continued their manhunt for Fabian Cortez with the assistance of Excalibur members Nightcrawler and Shadowcat. The group succeeded in capturing Cortez and turned him over to SHIELD, but not before a collision of powers between Cortez, Wolverine, and Shadowcat inadvertently caused one of Logan's claws and his DNA to transfer into Kitty's body, slowly granting her powers similar to his own.[6] Shortly after the team's return to the X-Mansion, Logan discovered the youthful Storm (later named 'Ro) in Storm's room and the Bio-Synth murdered him in secret. Logan's father Sabertooth then went to the mansion to get revenge against Storm, but she blinded him with a lightning strike that his mutant powers could not heal due to the early stages of Burn Out.[2] When the X-Men realized that "Storm" had betrayed them, a battle broke out and Shadowcat learned that one of Logan's claws was implanted in her body, which she then used to scar Storm's face. By this point the Consortium sought to eliminate Storm in order to hide their involvement, but failed to do so and Storm managed to escape.[18]

The Storm Bio-Synth fled to Wakanda where she was granted asylum by the Black Panther who was also fooled into thinking that she was the real Storm. Using T'Challa's feelings for the real Storm to trick him into proposing to her, Storm conspired with his old foe Erik Killmonger to assassinate the entire Wakandan royal family including T'Challa, and in the end betrayed Killmonger in order to make it appear that Killmonger acted alone so that the Wakandan people would accept her as their beloved ruler. The ruse worked and effigies of the Panther god were torn down and replaced with statues of their new leader whom they dubbed "Perfect Storm".[19]

In the interim, the X-Men discovered the Mutant Burn Out epidemic and the fact that their leader Charles Xavier had been hiding it from them for years. Also at this time the Consortium had fully compromised SHIELD and used their inside agents to assist in the freeing of Fabian Cortez.[1] The X-Men were soon dispatched to South America where Sentinels were sighted.[8] Leading to their discovery of a Consortium facility operated by Zigfried "Ziggy" Trask,[3] however during the clash, Ziggy and her Neo-Sentinels managed to escape the X-Men.[20] The Consortium then began completing their construction on a satellite armed with a weapon that would wipe out the mutant race from the face of the Earth.[14] The X-Men later came to the aid of their former teammate Colossus and the Black Widow in a clash with Cossack,[21] but failed to stop him from transforming Colossus' sister Illyana back into the evil Black Magik.[22] The X-Men defeated the Cossack and Black Magic, but Black Magic managed to escape, promising to terrorize the X-Men anew in the future.[23]

Meanwhile, Mystique tricked her children Nightcrawler and Rogue into traveling to South Carolina thinking they were coming to help Kurt's ex-girlfriend Amanda Sefton. A fight broke out leading to Rogue being injured enough for Nightcrawler to attempt mouth-to-mouth, the resulting contact caused the pair to switch mutant powers permanently, which was Mystique's plan the whole time in order to save Rogue from the Burn Out due to Mystique and Kurt's unique genetics.[24]. By this time Nick Fury discovered that the Consortium had infiltrated SHIELD and mobilized a covert strike with Sabertooth and Daisy Dugan.[25] During their assault on a Consortium base, they uncovered experiments being conducted on Fabian Cortez who was dying from Burn Out, as well as Tony Stark's involvement with the organization and their orbital platform.[26] The X-Men launched an assault on the Consortium Orbital Platform,[4] once more clashing with Ziggy Trask and her Neo-Sentinels.[27] In the aftermath of the battle, Tony Stark revealed his intentions to take down the Consortium from within and sacrificed his life along with the Beast in order to destroy the orbital platform before it could wipe out the mutant race, seemingly killing Amelia and Ziggy Trask and destroying the last of the Neo-Sentinels in the process.[28] The X-Men then suffered yet another loss when a data breach of Shi'ar caused by Charles Xavier allowed the Warskrulls to attack the Shi'ar empire. Empress Lilandra sent her Imperial Guard to Earth where they clashed with the X-Men until Charles Xavier ended the battle by agreeing to surrender to the Shi'ar for punishment.[7]

Following this, the Consortium used their ties within SHIELD to convince the Avengers that the X-Men were responsible for Iron Man's death. However during the battle, Shadowcat used a combination of Shi'Ar technology and Lila Cheney's Tesseract tech to make it appear that the entire X-Mansion and the X-Men were destroyed in a massive explosion, while in reality they were brought out of synch with reality. Safely hidden in plain view the X-Men, Nick Fury, and the remaining SHIELD agents loyal to Fury then continued their mission to bring down the Consortium.[5] Upon Fury's death, Ziggy Trask (having survived) was appointed as director of SHIELD while Mr. Sinister began taking efforts to capture Cyclops's son Nathan, while Archangel gathered the remaining mutants loyal to the X-Men in order to bring them underground so they could deal with the threat of Burn Out. Having grown tired of living in secrecy, Rogue briefly left the X-Men's sanctuary and for a time fought crime in New York with Spider-Man,[15] before being pulled back into the fold.[29] Soon after Moira MacTaggert and Sabertooth were captured by the last surviving Morlocks seeking a cure from Burn Out from the former and revenge for the Mutant Massacre from the latter.[30] However the X-Men intervened bringing the Morlocks to Genosha where they allied with the Ghost Panther in a revolution of the region which was under threat of invasion from Perfect Storm, while the X-Men narrowly avoided being discovered by SHIELD as still being alive.[31]

Mr. Sinister then sent his Marauders (along with a clone of Sabertooth) to capture Nathan Summers, clashing with the Starjammers.[32] Corsair managed to escape and rallied the X-Men who clashed with the Marauders. During the fight Shadowcat was gravely wounded by a clone of Wolverine.[33] The X-Men succeeded in slaying all the Marauders, save for the Wolverine clone who survived. With their mission seemingly a success, half the team returned to the mansion while the rest decided to remain in Alaska.[34] Discovering that the clone is still alive, Shadowcat tracked it to Japan with 'Ro where they presumed that it plotted to attack Logan's former lover, Mariko Yashida. Upon their arrival they discovered that the Silver Samurai, apparently acting for his sister, was aligning the Yashida clan with Matsu'o Tsurayaba's Hand.[35] However a subsequent clash with the Wolverine clone led to Kitty and 'Ro's arrest. They were freed by Mariko who turned them over to SHIELD director Ziggy Trask, revealing that she was now part of the Consortium, having decided to join in revenge for Logan leaving her for Jean Grey, and the X-Men allowing him to die. The Consortium then offered 'Ro to Perfect Storm in exchange for an alliance in her bid to take over Genosha.[36]

However, en route to Wakanda, 'Ro was rescued by the X-Men and the Ghost Panther.[37] During the course of the battle, Ghost Panther revealed herself to be the energy form of the true Storm and explained the true origins of her three selves.[38] As the battle raged, SHIELD and Consortium agents once again involved the Avengers into the fray,[9] however the X-Men defeated them and revealed the Consortium's manipulations, although not before Havok was killed and Nightcrawler absorbed a seemingly lethal amount of Thor's godly powers. Ultimately, the X-Men and the Avengers defeated the Consortium and Storm merged herself with 'Ro and Perfect Storm, defeated in battle.[39] In the aftermath of the battle, Nightcrawler was taken to Asgard for possible treatment, Storm took her bio-synth's place as ruler of Wakanda and restored peace between Wakanda and Genosha. The X-Men once more returned underground, staying dedicated to finding a cure for Mutant Burn Out and protecting the world and those who would fear and hate them for being mutants.[40]


X-Men, Nick Fury, Gabe Jones Jr., Consortium. SHIELD


  • Earth-161, featured in Chris Claremont's X-Men Forever and X-Men Forever 2, chronicles the adventures of the X-Men following the events of X-Men (Vol. 2) #3 as if Claremont had not stopped writing the series. As such, it can be assumed that anything published by Marvel after that point is not considered part of the canon on Earth-161. The only exception that is apparent is that the Wolverine (or at least his clone) in this reality also has bone claws.

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