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Alternate History / Comic Books

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  • Julius Caesar conquered Gaul (modern France), defeated Vercingetorix and annexed the territory to the Roman Empire. All of it? Yes. All of it. Asterix is based on an alternate history scenario: Caesar defeated only most of the gauls, with the exception of an Undefeatable Little Village that resists, then and ever, the invader. All the conventional Roman warfare is useless, because the village druid created a magic potion that gives Super Strength. All Asterix stories are either about a futile attempt of Rome to conquer this village in some non-standard way, or Asterix and Obelix making a visit to some other ancient civilization (all of them, however, were just humoristic expies of modern countries, rather than realistic portrayals of their ancient counterparts).
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  • Back around 1994, the Epic Comics series Lawdog revolved around the idea of travel, sometimes accidental, between alternate histories and alternate worlds, and a square-jawed tough cop who patrols the roads between the worlds and tries to protect the more civilized and peaceful Earths from things like invasion by technologically advanced Nazis who won World War II in some timelines, or contamination by aggressive and dangerous lifeforms from an Earth where evolution took some very different turns one or two billion years back.
  • Some of the comics that Alan Moore created for America's Best Comics and DC Comics lean toward Alternate History. Tom Strong, for example, lives in a city designed by architect Winsor McCay (in our world, the cartoonist creator of Little Nemo.)
    • The existence of costumed vigilantes (and one actual superpowered being) in Watchmen caused several major differences from real-world history (e.g. the United States won the Vietnam War; Richard Nixon is still President in 1985; the threat of the Cold War going hot is all too real even in the late 80s; electric-powered cars became commonplace in the US).
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    • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen initially starts out as a steampunk crossover of characters of Victorian literature, but in following volumes all of fiction begins to intertwine with actual history. Half-fairie Queen Gloriana rules instead of Elizabeth I, postwar Britain sees the rise and fall of the Ingsoc regime and there's a war in Qumar in the Noughties.
  • Give Me Liberty, by Dave Gibbons and Frank Miller, about the United States under the more and more authoritarian Republican president Erwin Rexall, which eventually fall apart after an assassination attempt leaves him in a coma.
  • DC Comics' Tangent books take place in a world where the Cuban Missile Crisis ends in Florida and Cuba nuking each other at roughly the same moment, turning the Cold War hot. The resulting world, compared to ours, is ahead of the times technologically (paper books are seen as antiquated and quaint) but behind the times culturally (the hippie movement has only recently begun). Despite being published by DC, this alternate reality was not a divergent DC universe; Amazons, the Justice Society, Gotham City, there's nary a concept from the DCU to be seen. This is due to the premise of the world, which takes DCU names and applies them to entirely different concepts.
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  • Arrowsmith, by Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco, is a fantasy take on this trope. At the forging of the Peace of Charlemagne (the Pax Nicephori in the real world), the various hidden magical races of the world decided to make their existence openly known to humanity, also joining in the peace treaty. The United States of America is actually the United States of Columbia in this series, which takes place during this world's version of World War I. Dryads, trolls, dwarves, etc. live among humanity, magic co-exists side-by-side with technology. The Industrial Revolution is causing a magical revolution, as spells become mass-produced for the first time in human history.
  • Omega Complex is set in a world in which US president John F Kennedy wasn't assassinated; he ends the Vietnam War and gets elected for a second term, during which he sponsors research into the effects of radiation on humans.
  • Vertigo's DMZ is a variant that alters recent American history, in that the reaction to 9/11 and the ensuing change in U.S. foreign policy, was a far more violent and self-destructive one anwhat's left of d led to the USA erupting into a second civil war. The end result is a less than perfect union, with the resultant factions being the so-called Free States, the United States and the titular DMZ (formerly known as Manhattan).
  • Samaritan from Astro City prevents the Challenger disaster and destroys his own timeline. He apparently remains in existence because of his connection to the fundamental forces of the universe.
  • Ian Edginton and D'Israreli's Scarlet Traces and Scarlet Traces: The Great Game are unofficial sequels to The War of the Worlds. Both involve a Great Britain where it became an even greater world power through the reverse engineering of the failed Martian invasion technology, which later leads to a war on Mars. However, the setting is a Crapsack World, with many living in poverty, and a increasingly fascist state developing.
  • Jour J has this has the premise of each volume. What if the Cuban Missile crisis had gone hot? France and England become the world's only superpowers after the USSR is destroyed and what's left of the US falls apart. What if France had preemptively bombed Nazi Germany's military buildup? France becomes a fascist regime and goes to war with England. What if Spain was still a Muslim kingdom when Christopher Columbus sets out? The expedition is killed by the descendants of Viking settlers. What if the Titanic hadn't sunk on its maiden voyage? It still sinks two decades later, taking Albert Einstein and Adolf Hitler with it. What if the Germans had taken Paris in World War 1? The French send assassins to kill the Tsar before he can pull Russia out of the conflict, who end up killing the future Lenin and Stalin.
  • Ministry Of Space by Warren Ellis is an alternate history in which the UK captures all the WWII German rocket scientists before the US and USSR can. Thanks to this and the iron will of Space Ministry head John Dashwood (who funds research with stolen Nazi gold), the UK space program reaches the moon by 1960, and has colonies on Mars and the asteroid belt before the end of the 20th century, but equal rights for non-whites is unheard of.
  • Pat Mills' Invasion, which ran in the 80s, was a straightforward story in which the USSR is conquered by the renegade Volgan republic which then launches an invasion of all Western Europe in the then near future of 1990. When the series was resurrected in the 2000s and set in what had become modern times, it was simply declared an alternate history in which, during the 90s, Russian dissidents break away and form the Volgan republic, which then manages to conquer all of Russia, and thus the events of Invasion occur in the 90s. Each Story Arc of Savage opens with the words "Another Britain" to reinforce this.
  • Block 109. Adolf Hitler is killed in 1941. Nazi Germany wins the war against the Western Allies but is losing the war against USSR. Features Hitler's dreamed capital of Germania, some Stupid Jetpack Hitler stuff such as Nazi nuclear weapons, futuristic aicrafts, futuristic soldiers in armors, mechas and even zombie-making virus.
  • Lilith: The titular heroine gradually alters history. First in small ways, leaving an almost unnoticeable effect on history, and then in major ways. Like averting the assassination of Emperor Commodus, and reversing the outcome of the Battle of Sekigahara.
  • The Boys has a point of divergence in World War II, when a Super Serum is invented and immediately, unsuccessfully weaponized. The ongoing attempts to turn superheroes into something that can be used in war instead results in the superheroes being the focus of a massive media empire. The main deviations are the presence of Vought-American throughout the twentieth century, Robert Kennedy winning the presidency, George W. Bush dying in a chainsaw accident before his political career manifested and the destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge due to a botched rescue attempt by the Seven instead of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
    • Since Vought Aircraft in this universe was founded by Frederick Vought instead of Chance M. Vought, the already troublesome F4U Corsair’s counterpart, the F7U Grizzly, was disastrous and nearly cost the US its advance in the Pacific.
    • Dakota Bob, the President during the series's present day, apparently got his political career started as a backup vice-presidential candidate for George H.W. Bush, after Dan Quayle's verbal tics got him thrown off the ticket. After he and his Lethally Stupid Vice President are murdered, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States before presumably stepping down in favor of Barack Obama.
    • In the "Barbary Coast" arc, Mallory tells Hughie about meeting Prescott Sheldon Bush - father of George, grandfather of George W., prominent figure in conspiracy theories - in 1944, on the eve of the Battle of the Bulge. In real history, the elder Bush did not pursue political ambitions until 1950; in The Boys, he's already a senator from Connecticut, although his explicit connections to Vought-American provide a handy reason why he might have gotten ahead of the game. The elder Bush is promptly shot dead in a German ambush, whereas the real Prescott Bush lived until 1972.
    • No one ever mentions why, but the War on Terror in this universe is being fought primarily in Pakistan. Several characters mention that the U.S. has troops on the ground there.
    • The Battle of Ia Drang in this universe was a total defeat for the US, with the 1000 American airmobile cavalry troops completely wiped out by the 2500 Vietnamese they faced, thanks to being issued the useless Vought M-20. Presumably, Colonel Hal G. Moore and Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley were among those killed.
    • The Fall of Saigon in 1973 is implied to have gone much worse. The flashback image is a frantic version of this famous picture by Hugh Van Es, with several South Vietnamese civilians trying to cling onto the last helicopter as it's taking off, while others are seemingly being trampled to death by the crowds rushing up the stairs.
  • The Patient Zero arc of Crossed Badlands (issues 50-56) confirms that Gordon Brown was Britain's prime minister when the civilization-ending Crossed pandemic began, thereby making him (presumably) the last ever Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in that world.
  • Milo Manara's Borgia series is more or less faithful to history, but the last book goes off the rails: the King of France dies in the eruption of the Vesuvius, Savonarola is sodomized to death by the Pope on a bed of spikes, Cesar Borgia conquers cities with Leonardo da Vinci's working superweapons and flying machines, etc. Though the end sort of snaps back with the death of Cesar in Spain.
  • The Blake and Mortimer series obviously diverged from our history at some point before the 1940's : Tibet rose as a superpower (the Yellow Empire) at that time, accumulating enough super-weapons to conquer the world through a Blitzkrieg World War Three, before being defeated by a world Resistance movement led by the British Empire thanks to their superior super-weapons. Then, during the 1950's, the Soviet Union almost managed to conquer the West thanks to Soviet Super Science and even though its plan was foiled at the last moment, it's very likely it would have resulted in World War Four. However, the series has very little continuity and those wide technological and geopolitical divergences are not really taken into account in other episodes.
  • In Über, the Nazis successfully create an army of near-unstoppable superhumans – but only in April 1945, when Germany was already an utter ruin. Thus, as one character describes it, it's not so much a story of "Germany winning" as one of "everybody losing". The course of World War 2 rapidly changes as the series progresses, with a new German offensive on the Eastern Front, the destruction of most of Paris, and the partial defeat of the US Navy by Japanese superhumans.
  • Mini Comics Included features the Literary Commandos; in their world, just about every celebrated writer in history is, uh, not a writer (except for Charles Dickens, who is a One-Book Author and whose only book is crappy and long forgotten). No, instead they're either members of the elite Literary Commandos, who guard the timestream, or among the cadre of villains who threaten it. Members of the LC include the taciturn archer Marksman Twain, the cunning ranger Virginia Wolf, and the massive wrestler Thomas Pain.
  • The Royals Masters of War, has the presence of super powered royalty though much remains similar to real life history. Their intervention in the Second World War, however, makes more drastic deviations from our timeline. With the war ending with the bombing of Hitler's bunker in Berlin by the RAF, guided by one of the British Royals.
  • Ex Machina is a minor example, where the main character managed to save one of the Twin Towers during the 9/11 attacks.
  • Liberality for All, made in 2005 and set in 2021, has Al Gore win the 2000 American presidential election instead of George Bush (Word of God says this is due to Ralph Nader dying in a car crash beforehand), which somehow results in a future where al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein still rule Afghanistan and Iraq, and American conservative pundits are fugitives.
  • Secret Empire runs on this trope: Steve Rogers had his mind altered to not only be a HYDRA agent, but also believe that the Nazis were actually winning and the Allies created the Cosmic Cube to alter history and have it so that they won instead. When he takes over the United States, one of the changes he does in have the history books changed to have his view of history inserted.
  • The graphic novel Rome West runs on this, as its premise is a Roman fleet being blown far off course by a storm and arriving in the future site of the real world NYC. From there, they strike alliances with the local tribes and create a new Roman Republic which comes to dominate North America, except for small colonial purchases by the British and Dutch (the Spanish being driven off after the Western Romans capture Columbus' crew and reverse engineer their guns). Among other things also demonstrated in the wider world, the Byzantine Empire lasts until the late 20th century, Spain and China fight a colonial war in Australia, and the Panama Canal gets dug by the Western Romans in the 16th century.
  • Chassis: History deviates during The Great War. The Plague known as 'The Virus' or the 'Perfect Plague' swept across the world in 1915; forcing hasty peace talks and and an end to the war in 1916. A Global Unification Congress (GUC), consisting of the world leaders present at the peace conference, is established to find a cure for the plague. By the time a cure is found in 1917, 80 million people have dies worldwide. The money and effort put into finding a cure rapidly advance the development of science and technology. Lower world population figures make it easier to deal with poverty and food shortages on a global level, averting the Great Depression and World War II. By 1949, the GUC has rebuilt Europe, there is not a sign of global aggression in sight, births are at an all time high, Eleanor Roosevelt is president of the USA, and the Aerorun is the number one sport in the world.
  • The Last West takes place in a world where the first atomic bomb test was a failure, leading to the US abandoning its quest for atomic weapons and all scientific and technological progress halting in 1945.
  • Baker Street is set in an alternate-universe London where World War II never happened and the Victorian influence on British society continued into the 1980s. Supporting material mentions that Hitler annexed Czechoslovakia, but was foiled from any further expansion by an alliance between the UK, France, Russia and America.
  • JFK Secret Ops: In this comic's timeline, John F. Kennedy survived the bullet to the head he took on November 22nd, 1963. From there he started hunting down everyone who was involved in his assassination attempt at the behest of his government.
  • Spider-Man: Life Story: On account of the intervention of the superheroes, on both sides, the Vietnam War drags on and continues until 1977. However Nixon apparently still resigned. Actual nuclear bombs drop in The '80s furthermore as the Cold War gets hot during the Secret Wars. By The '90s, America had won the "Russian War" with the help of its superheroes and Tony Stark's weapons.

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