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->''"All these years I thought it was [[ComesGreatResponsibility power that brought responsibility]]. It's not. I was wrong. It's [[TheFettered responsibility that brings power.]] It's knowing what needs to be done that brings strength. And courage. [[PapaWolf That's my daughter]]... And I won't let her remain a mindless slave of the Skull."''
->-- '''[[Comicbook/SpiderMan Peter Parker]]'''

FlashForward the MarvelUniverse to about thirty years in the future. Aaron Stack, the Machine Man, is awakened by a monolith. The black slab rips away his synthetic skin and human appearance and transports him to a lost city on the moon. There he is greeted by Uatu, TheWatcher, who has been blinded. There, Aaron is told that he is to be the new Watcher, and to release all aspirations to be human.

Meanwhile on Earth, civilization has crumbled, and prominent heroes as well as villains across the world have risen to power to save their nations. America is under the control of NormanOsborn, the Goblin King. Across the world, people are enslaved to the parasitic Hydra. [[ComicBook/IronMan Tony Stark]] has armored himself in a sanitary skyscraper. Half of the ComicBook/FantasticFour are dead. Marching up to the streets of New York is the mysterious Skull, who has built an army by controlling all he meets.

Oh, and everyone (and we mean literally '''''EVERYONE''''' on Earth) has super-powers. Nobody knows why.

And thus begins a journey from the dawn of the universe to its twilight, exploring the themes of heroism, empowerment, life, death, afterlife, and the cosmos.

Written by Jim Krueger and drawn by John Paul Leon, with ideas from Alex Ross' sketchpad. It has two sequels, ''Universe X'' and ''Paradise X.''

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!!''Earth X'' contains examples of:
* AbusivePrecursors: The Celestials.
* AFateWorseThanDeath: In retaliation for killing his uncle Johnny, Franklin Richards uses his RealityWarper abilities to make it so that {{Namor}}'s body us constantly burning for as long as he lives.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: The Monster Generation is made up of people who mutated so hideously that they became outcasts even among the entirely mutant population of Earth.
* AlternateContinuity: WordOfGod from Marvel is that nothing from this series is canon to the mainstream MarvelUniverse. [[FunnyAneurysmMoment Except Norman Osborn ruling America.]]
** One minor detail that [[CanonImmigrant did get incorporated]] into the main [[TheVerse Verse]] is that the ''[[TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey 2001]]'' monolith from Machine Man's origin story was a Celestial gizmo. In the last issue of his 1990's series, the Celestials take him away into space using a monolith.
** Infecting Earth's population with the Terrigen Mists to turn everyone into Inhumans has been done twice in the Mainstream universe- during War of Kings and now during ''Inhumanity''. We are sure it's an alternate continuity, right?
* AlwaysABiggerFish: At the beginning of chapter 12, the Celestials tower over the skyline of New York City. At the end of chapter 12, {{Galactus}} towers over the Celestials, looking big enough to literally munch the Earth in one bite. When he actually fights them, he's reverted to a smaller form, but he still turns out to outpower them.
* AndIMustScream: What became of [[spoiler:The Eternals.]]
* AssimilationPlot: [[spoiler: Before the start of the comic, much of the Inhuman population began leaving the Hidden City and Black Bolt along with Inhuman Royal family planned on leaving for space. [[TheInhumans Black Bolt]] knowing many of them would be weakened by the pollutants outside of the Inhuman home and targeted as being mutants or being too different, decides to release a weapon, of his brother Maximus' design, that would release [[AppliedPhlebotinum Terrigen Mists]] all over the world mutating the entire population of the world so that no one would be able to tell who was originally human, Inhuman, a regular mutant or not.]]
* BaldOfAwesome: Steve Rogers has no hair.
* BatmanGambit: Magneto calls his Brotherhood "Evil", which places the X-Men as being the judges of Mutanity, at the same time portraying Xavier as a bigot, thus winning converts by the score around the world.
* BewareTheSuperman: Justified and explained. Also, Beware The General Populace.
* BigBadEnsemble: It's a three way between The Skull, Osborn and The Celestials, though the Skull and Osborn are pretty much [[BigBadWannabe Big Bad Wannabes]] in comparison to the Celestials.
* BittersweetEnding
* BodyHorror: The Monster Generation, which includes a woman with a spider for a head and a man whose bones grew too fast for his muscles to keep up with.
* ABoyAndHisX: Bruce Banner and his diaper-wearing, ape-like Hulk.
* BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu: [[ComicBook/IronMan Tony Stark]] goes into battle against the Celestials. They blast his armor into scrap (actually shooting off an arm). But he only needed to slow them up....
* BroughtToYouByTheLetterS: Steve now sports scars on his forehead in the shape of an 'A'. The Skull calls him Alice.
* CrisisCrossover: Everybody gets involved in this. And we mean ''[[TheMultiverse everybody]]''.
* DeathSeeker: Daredevil.
* DoingInTheWizard: The Asgardians are revealed to be [[spoiler: SufficientlyAdvancedAlien {{Shapeshifter}}s]].
* TheDogBitesBack: When Toad and Magneto involuntarily exchange powers, the former becomes one of the mightiest mutants on Earth, outsts the latter from control of Sentinel City and makes him his personal court jester, abusing him every chance he had.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: What happens when [[spoiler: the growing Celestial hatches.]]
* {{Elseworld}}
* EnfantTerrible: [[spoiler:The Skull.]]
* EpicHail: Black Bolt calls for help and dies in his CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* FaceHeelTurn: Clea. Also Uatu (not so much this as a Face Heel Reveal; he's always been like that).
* FromASingleCell: The second Daredevil can do this.
* GenderBender: Thor is a woman. That is all.
* AGodAmI: Ubiquitously deconstructed.
-->''"Why did they hide? Wouldn't they be treated as gods?" "Yes. But mankind always turns on its gods. Isn't that right, Uatu?"''\\
''"And I wondered... could a goddess lose her faith? And what does a goddess put her faith in?"''\\
''"The Celestials made us gods, so who do we pray to now?"''\\
''"(Hank) Pym's first creation as a god was to make a monster."''
* GodivaHair: Medusa, several times. (Later averted for no apparent reason, all things considered. SceneryCensor with shadows replaces it.)
* HeelFaceTurn: Loki.
* HeroicMime: Black Bolt.
* {{Homage}}: Inspired by Aaron/Machine Man's origins in the ''2001'' comic book, and the theme of human evolution, there are several homages to ''2001: A Space Odyssey,'' most notably when Aaron wakes up to find a monolith at the foot of his bed.
* HumongousMecha: [[spoiler:Tony Stark's tower is a gigantic robot made from the remains of the Red Ronin, whose guns [[AbnormalAmmo fire IRON MEN SUITS]].]]
* IdenticalStranger: Spiders Man happened to mutate in such a way as to very closely resemble Spider-Man when he was, you know, still Spider-Man.
* IncendiaryExponent: + Half of Namor = Even ''MORE'' Badass.
* IncorruptiblePurePureness: Alicia Masters, and with [[JustifiedTrope good reason.]]
* InformedAbility: In the sketchbook special, Ben Grimm is said to be a voice of wisdom in a world still in shock. It doesn't show.
* InherentInTheSystem: All of Mankind's ills are because of the Celestials.
* InteractiveNarrator: Uatu and Aaron Stack.
* LegacyCharacter: The Skull, Ahura Boltagon/Black Bolt II, The Iron Avengers...Really, the place is crawling with them.
* LensFlareCensor: Mar-Vell, via the big star on his chest, the bottom ray of which covers his unmentionables if they'd be visible.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Nearly every Marvel character as of 2000 is touched upon here, as well as many, many others specially created.
* MerlinAndNimue: The backstory shows this relationship between Comicbook/DoctorStrange and Clea. Clea got fed up with being Strange's student, decided he was just using her for sex, then betrayed and killed him.
* MetaOrigin: It's all [[spoiler:the Celestials']] fault. Everything in the universe.
* MythologyGag: Far too many to mention.
** But it should be stated that pretty much every character's altered appearance is meant to be a Mythology Gag of some sort. For instance, the fact that half of Namor's body is now on fire is apparently a reference to the original, Golden Age Human Torch. Alex Ross had depicted a fight between Torch and Namor in his ''Marvels'' series.
* NeckSnap: [[spoiler:How Cap defeats the Skull.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Reed Richards turned Galactus into a star, which allowed the [[spoiler:Celestials to run around and impregnate entire planets]].
* NoMatterHowMuchIBeg: Cap gave the Black Panther the Cosmic Cube, capable of reshaping reality. He's not going to give it back.
* OldSuperhero: Obviously.
* PeoplePuppets: The Skull's shtick.
* PinocchioSyndrome: Aaron Stack really wants to be more human.
* PlanetaryParasite: It's revealed that Celestials gestate their young inside of planets, and genetically manipulate the dominant species to turn them into superpowered protectors for their child.
* PowerPerversionPotential: The Skull uses his mind control to force Venom (Mayday Parker) into becoming his "lady".
* PresidentEvil: Norman Osborn.
* {{Retcanon}}: The plot point of Black Bolt [[spoiler: releasing the Terrigen Mist across the globe to create a new race of human/Inhuman hybrids]] was later brought into the mainstream Marvel canon during ''Comicbook/{{Infinity}}'' and its follow-up, ''Comicbook/{{Inhumanity}}''.
* RightMakesMight: The above quote.
* ScrewYouElves: ''"You know what your problem is, Uatu? Your head's too big."''
* ShoutOut: Lots of them, resulting in a great many ironic roles.
* ShroudedInMyth: The identity of Daredevil is the subject of this sort of rumor. Some say he's [[Comicbook/GhostRider Johnny Blaze]], Comicbook/{{Deadpool}}, Foggy Nelson, the original Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} (don't ''ask!''), or [[Comicbook/GreatLakesAvengers Mr. Immortal]], but nobody knows for sure.
* StarfishAliens: The new parasitic Hydra.
* StarSpangledSpandex: Mar-Vell.
* TheStoic: Black Bolt, but not out of disdain.
* SummonBiggerFish: [[spoiler: What happens you are facing down a bunch of [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever Celestials]]? You send in a giant IronMan. That don't work? Send in '''GALACTUS'''.]]
* TakeUpMySword: Wyatt Wingfoot uses the deceased [[TheFalcon Falcon]]'s flight harness as Captain America's new partner. He even calls himself Redwing after the Falcon's [[NonHumanSidekick pet bird]].
* UnreliableNarrator: Uatu.
* WearingAFlagOnYourHead: CaptainAmerica wears a toga made from a flag. Nobody minds.
* WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway: It's never really explained just what is uniquely useful about Dogface, Double-Header, or Mermaid's powers, particularly in a mutant-dominated world.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: That's easy. No one's human ''now''.
* WingedHumanoid: Wyatt Wingfoot/Red Wing, Luna, as well as many other unnamed characters.
* WriterOnBoard: A mild case, but you get the feeling that all involved (especially Alex Ross) ''really'' don't like Wolverine.
** Also, Peter Parker's One True Love was Gwen Stacey, and he only married Mary Jane out of guilt. Explored further in the sequel series, which had Peter Parker's "perfect world" depicted as one where he was married to Gwen with a son named Ben, rather than what happened in his real life where he married MJ and had a daughter May (who was this reality's Venom). Again, another mild case but you do get the feeling that the creators (again, especially Alex Ross) definitely had their own feelings on who Spider-Man's OTP was.

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!!''Universe X'' contains examples of:
* {{Autocannibalism}}: Multiple Man eats a duplicate of himself while lost in the frozen wilderness. This results in him becoming the new {{Wendigo}}.
* BatmanGambit: Mephisto offers the key to Limbo to Cap, knowing full well that Cap will throw it back in his face, sending Belasco back in time to his first appearance in the Savage Land.
* {{Chessmaster}}: Mephisto's been manipulating everything.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: The Marvels of the dead who don't know they're deceased have their costume colors rendered negative. Those who do know - and have ascended to Paradise - retain their natural color. Usually, anyway.
* DeadToBeginWith: The many dead heroes fight for paradise. They can only be defeated if they believe they're alive.
** Also, MoonKnight, Marlene Alraune, the Living Mummy, and everyone else brought back by the Reanimator Stone. They just never knew it.
* DeathSeeker: In addition to Daredevil, there's Marc Spector/Moon Knight, the Sons of Set, and by extension, Red Ronin and the Tong of Creel.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: ''"Mar-Vell will be reborn as the perfect child of Him and Her. And the child's name will be Mar-Vell."''
** Also; ''"He was hidden with the person I would least likely be thought to ally with. I put him in the place people would never think to look. I gave him to the man who killed Susan's brother. I gave him to the man who killed Susan's brother. I gave your son to Namor, king of Atlantis. And hid him far beneath the eyes of man."''
* FaceHeelTurn: Multiple Man. Nightcrawler. Wong.
* HeelFaceTurn: The Absorbing Man. ''Doctor Doom.'' ''Thanos.''
* HeelRealization: The Gargoyle.
* HumongousMecha: The Seven Silver Samurai and the Iron Avenger Monolith, all built by Tony Stark. He certainly has a penchant for them.
* ImAHumanitarian: Jamie Madrox/Multiple Man with himself.
* IAlwaysWantedToSayThat: ''"Welcome, (Isaac) Christians. You can't know how long I have wanted to say that."''-Mephisto
* InteractiveNarrator: Now taken over by Kyle Richmond/Nighthawk and the Gargoyle.
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: A particularly convoluted example--Rom (the Spaceknight, not the [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Ferengi]]) is a Marvel character, but he was originally created as a toy--which flopped. But the rights to the character have reverted to the toy creator anyway. Rom appears de-cyborged in Limbo using the chestpiece of his cyborg armor as a shield, and is referred to only as "the greatest of the Spaceknights".
* LossOfIdentity: This is what happened to Asgardians before they ''were'' Asgardians, and what would happen to Earth.
* LotusEaterMachine: Spiders-Man traps Peter in a world where he actually saved Gwen's life. For a while, he doesn't want to leave.
* PettingZooPeople: Black Panther, Wakanda's Ani-Men, Dog-Face of the new X-Men, Ka-Zar and Shanna, and many others of the mutated humanity.
* PuppeteerParasite: The Hydra organism created by Owsborn.
* ProHumanTranshuman: Once the truth about humanity being genetically manipulated by the Celestials and mutated by Terrigen mists is revealed, Richards creates massive torches to burn the mists out of the atmosphere to allow people to become human and fertile again. [[MugglePower Inhumanity does not like this,]] and starts destroying the torches.
* RockBeatsLaser: Eons ago on the moon (long story), the primitive Kree slaughtered the peace-loving, star-crossing Skrulls.
* ShoutOut: "Why does Death come on wings? Why not [[Literature/{{Discworld}} as a skeleton?]] Or in [[ComicBook/TheSandman the form of a teenage girl?"]]
** [[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail "None shall pass."]]
* SupermanStaysOutOfGotham: An interesting attempt to [[JustifiedTrope justify]] one of the bigger examples of this in the Marvel Universe; one charater suggests that the reason the ComicBook/{{X-Men}} and the other superheroes kept on butting heads rather than working together more often is that the major dark forces of the world- strongly implied to include Mephisto, and other such demonic entities- manipulated events to play up anti-mutant prejudices so as to keep them apart.
* TemporalParadox: Apparently, this is how alternate universes are made.
* TimeyWimeyBall
* TookALevelInBadass: The Absorbing Man. In fact, he destroyed a third of the world's population. (The Avengers keep it quiet.)
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Not really, but the new Inhumanity works very hard to keep their new power, and are prepared to kill anyone who would take that away.
* WolverinePublicity: Subverted, as he's hardly in the story at all.
* YouShallNotPass: Subverted. The Black Knight tells this to the Tong of Creel as they assault Windsor Castle, but enough of them manage to get by King Britain's army to achieve their objective.

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!!''Paradise X'' contains examples of:
* AntiAntiChrist: Inverted by Loki, who decides to bring about Ragnarok; because it's the right thing to do.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: Those who live in Paradise, and further yet, the Avenging Host.
* BatmanGambit: Aaron/X-51 plucks heroes and villains out of alternate realities to warn other Reed Richards' about the growing Celestials in their planets' cores. The Watchers come out of hiding to judge Uatu, and Aaron sends them to alternate worlds (by way of portal-spamming) to let those Earths know that they are being watched, thus setting the infinite war against the Celestials in motion.
** Another one; Thor, Loki, Dr. Strange and Xen trek to Asgard to find Clea. When they get to Yggdrasil, they find out that she's in Hel. Odin then appears, and they make a deal, trading one of their band in Clea's place (them's the rules). Loki volunteers to be the substitute, but Odin rejects the offer, and chooses to take Thor instead. After returning to earth and killing [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot zombie Fin Fang Foom]], Thor teleports back, revealing that he had freed everyone in Hel with a speech, and ''that'' was the plan all along. If it was Loki who did it, they wouldn't have believed him. But Thor... who wouldn't believe Thor? As Loki put it; ''[[ShoutOut "Ain't I a stinker?"]]''
* CaptainErsatz: Hyperion, [[LampshadeHanging referred to repeatedly as a "super man"]] His storyline is meant to be the AlternateCompanyEquivalent of ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'', and the expanding Paradise that's devouring the Negative Zone is an affectionate parody of the "white wall" effect in ''CrisisOnInfiniteEarths''.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: Thor, Loki, and Sutur can change forms at will. Just by thinking ''real'' hard.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Jude, the Entropic Man.
* DeadlyDistantFinale
* DeathSeeker: Hyperion. And the patients of the Human Torch hospitals.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: ''"In Egypt, a Reanimator Stone was found. This was needed to reanimate those in Death's Realm, to carry them over to their new existence."''
* DropTheHammer: Mjolnir is now Thor's hammer hand.
* EyesAlwaysShut: Matt Murdock, although this might just be an artist quirk.
* FaceHeelTurn: Mar-Vell? [[spoiler: Nope. Just an OmniscientMoralityLicense.]]
* FlatWhat
* FriendlyNeighborhoodVampires: Bloodstorm.
* AGodAmI: Mar-Vell.
* GodsNeedPrayerBadly: Belief holds the Asgardians together. Without it, they wouldn't even have an identity.
* HeelFaceTurn: Iron Man 2020. Blastaar and Annihilus. Phoenix. The artificial Hyperion. Jude. Surtur. The Skull.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Bobby Drake, Iceman's entire role. Peter Parker even [[LampshadeHanging Lampshades]] it.
* {{Jerkass}}: Vance Astro, and by extension, the old GuardiansOfTheGalaxy.
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: Zatanna (or her cousin, Zachary Zatara).
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Even the long-dead live, after a fashion.
* MergedReality: What the Elders of the Universe try to create. They don't succeed.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: After Mar-Vell destroyed Death, hospitals are filled to the brim with people who cannot die, existing in a state of perpetual suffering.
* PinocchioSyndrome: Now transfered to Deathlok.
* PlagueOfGoodFortune: Mephisto's curse on Doctor Doom, the defining reason behind his hatred for Richards.
* PowerPerversionPotential: A brief instance late in the story, after Captain Britain marries Medusa; she of the PrehensileHair.
* TheProblemWithFightingDeath: The old and sick start piling up, needing the help of Jude to fix.
* ProgressivelyPrettier: Jude's features look softer after it is revealed that he is not malicious, and only spreads entropy as his own measure of mercy.
* SceneryCensor: Angel Steve always has an American flag curled around his body. It's just floating there, right above his groin.
* ShootingSuperman: Fully lampshaded in the last issue, with Hyperion standing in for Superman. Especially egregious because all parties are ''already dead'' and in an afterlife dimension.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: As usual in comics, but applied more than usual to the males as well. See LensFlareCensor above; also, Captain America in his angelic incarnation has only a strip of red-and-white bunting that streams around his body at a distance.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Really, who can die now?
* YouBastard: "We fought and died and were brought back to life over and over again for your damned comic book need for excitement!"

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