Unlike Earth-616, Earth-98 does not operate on a Sliding Timescale, and as such the passage of time and the details of events have progressed much slower. In this reality the Modern Age of Heroes (which is identified as the birth of the Fantastic Four) occurred in the year 1961, whereas the Earth-616 universe currently[note 1] measures the Modern Age as being in existence for about fourteen years. When this reality was visited by the Thing of Earth-616, the modern age of his reality had existed for ten years, while the modern age of Earth-98 had existed for 37 years at that time. It should also be noted that while "year ten" of the modern age of Earth-616 will always be moving forward in time, the year that Ben Grimm-616 visited this reality will always be the calendar year 1998. Events on this world appear to be more or less analogous to Earth-616, despite the differences, but the timeframe moves much slower.
In the year 1961, scientist Reed Richards, test pilot Ben Grimm, Reed's fiancé Susan Storm, and her little brother Johnny went on an unauthorized rocket flight into space in order to beat the Soviet Union in the space race. While Reed's rocket reached orbit, it was bombarded with cosmic rays, which caused the rocket to crash land. Emerging from the rocket, the four adventurers discovered that they had been endowed with super-human abilities from the cosmic rays. Reed Richards could stretch his body, Sue could turn invisible, Johnny could burst into flame, and Ben was transformed into a inhuman thing. Calling themselves Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the Human Torch and the Thing, respectively, they all agreed to use their powers for the good of mankind. They formed this world's premier group of superheroes known as the Fantastic Four. They became the vanguard of a new era of super heroes. Only 16 years old, Johnny remained with the team for many years.
The early 60s saw the birth of other superheroes as well, including Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Daredevil, Doctor Strange and the Avengers. While details of the exploits of these heroes are mostly unknown, these exploits are more or less similar to their Earth-616 counterparts, however the passage of time in which these events advanced much slower. During this period the Fantastic Four's Thing began a relationship with blind sculptress Alicia Masters in 1962. The Torch also had a romance with Crystal a member of the Inhumans in 1967. Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl got married in the year 1963 and gave birth to their son Franklin in 1968.
Over the Years
The course of history continued on much like it did on Earth-616, only at a slower rate. Johnny and Crystal's relationship ended in 1970 when the pollution of the outside world forced her to return to Attilan. By 1973 she had met and fallen in love with the speedster known as Quicksilver. They were married a year later. In the year 1982, Crystal and Quicksilver had a daughter whom they named Luna. Eventually her and Pietro's relationship ended and Crystal and Johnny reconnected, although the circumstances are unknown as they differ vastly from the events on Earth-616. In this reality, Johnny and Crystal had a son they named Raymond.
By the 1990s, Franklin was a full grown adult who joined up with the Fantastic Four as the "Zero Man", requiring a special headdress to keep his powers in check. Luna grew up to be a rebellious teen and began calling herself "Spike" after her ability to mentally control her hair. Ray, having developed shape-shifting powers, also joined the Fantastic Four as "Cosmic Ray". Reed and Sue retired from heroics and began exploration of the planet Mars. With Alicia Masters developing arthritis, she and the Thing retired to Arizona. Franklin soon started a relationship with Wakandan princess Zawadi. In 1996 the heroes of this world stopped the threat of Onslaught on their world, however the details of those events are also largely unrecorded. At some point Daredevil retired from heroics. As Matt Murdock he became the mayor of New York City and used his alter-ego to help promote the construction of schools for children with disabilities.
By 1998, Spike had started dating a man named Ozzie who, unaware to her, was the Fantastic Four's old foe the Wizard. Not long after this, Bruce Banner passed away due to his failing health. A day later, the Thing of Earth-616 was accidentally transported to this world thanks to a particle accelerator accident. Spotting the Thing on the New York docks, Johnny confused Ben with the Thing of this reality. Johnny took the Thing to the Four Freedoms Plaza, where he learned how different this entire reality was and that Franklin and Zawadi were expecting a child and experienced the resentment Spike felt towards her family. Bewildered by how different things were, the Thing ventured to Avengers Mansion where he heard a poker game was being played. There he met this reality's versions of Doctor Strange, Wolverine and Thor, who quickly discovered Ben's true identity mid-game and decided to tell him how everything happened in this reality.
When the Thing returned to the Four Freedoms Plaza he exposed the Wizard's plot to infiltrate the headquarters and clashed against the Frightful Four alongside the Fantastic Four. Zero Man used his powers to open a portal into the Negative Zone trapping their foes there. At that moment Zawadi went into labor and soon gave birth to a daughter, whom she and Franklin named N'Yami Susan Richards. Shortly after N'Yami's birth, the effects of the particle accelerator wore off, sending the Thing back to his native reality.
- ↑ As of the year 2016
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