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Published January 25, 2024

Welcome to Counter-Earth, the High Evolutionary's Twisted World

On Counter-Earth, the High Evolutionary bends the laws of evolution to his iron will, away from the prying eyes of super heroes and villains alike.

As one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe, the High Evolutionary has devised dark machinations that have placed him in direct conflict with everyone from Thor to the Hulk. Obsessed with controlling evolution, the High Evolutionary largely keeps his secret experiments on a celestial body known as Counter-Earth. As the X-Men face the FALL OF X, which threatens to end the glory of the Krakoan Age for good, the High Evolutionary has resurfaced with a tool that could help mutantkind in their war against Orchis.

Here is everything you need to know about Counter-Earth and how the High Evolutionary has used his planetary hideout over the years. Additionally, learn more about the other Counter-Earths that have been created by Marvel's most omnipotent cosmic characters, as well as this new Counter-Earth's significance for the X-Men.

THE ORIGINS OF COUNTER-EARTH

Debuting in MARVEL PREMIERE (1972) #1, the very first Counter-Earth was created by the High Evolutionary, who programmed the planet to vibrate one microsecond out of sync with Earth to conceal its existence. While creating Counter-Earth, the High Evolutionary's genetically modified associate Man-Beast intentionally disrupted the process, resulting in a version of Earth that didn't contain any super heroes in it naturally.

Counter-Earth evolved rapidly, complete with its own versions of Reed Richards, Peter Parker, and more. However, these doppelgangers never got to achieve their super hero destinies due to Man-Beast's tampering.

With no heroes to protect his rapidly evolving world, the High Evolutionary recruited Adam Warlock to prevent the civilizations on his planet from descending into chaos. The omnipotent Beyonders even took an interest in Counter-Earth, temporarily storing it in a cosmic museum of oddities collected from around the universe. Then, Thanos destroyed the original Counter-Earth while he possessed the Infinity Gauntlet, a blow that shook the High Evolutionary to his core.

THE PURPOSE OF COUNTER-EARTH

In addition to offering sanctuary from the prying eyes of meddling heroes and villains, Counter-Earth served as the High Evolutionary's most ambitious experiment. From this hidden planet, the High Evolutionary maintained a relatively controlled environment, accelerating evolution of its inhabitants as he saw fit. So, after Thanos destroyed the original Counter-Earth, the High Evolutionary began to change his strategy when he created its replacement.

The High Evolutionary populated Counter-Earth exclusively with New Men, genetically engineered humanoids made from rapidly evolving animals. Observing his experimental world closely, the High Evolutionary purged any creatures that didn't meet his esoteric ideals for intelligent life or evolve as he intended. The High Evolutionary's overarching goal was to create the ultimate evolution by his own hand, with Counter-Earth providing the perfect environment to achieve this.

OTHER COUNTER-EARTHS

Since losing the original Counter-Earth to Thanos, the High Evolutionary has regularly created new versions of it to continue his ambitious genetic experiments. Each of these Counter-Earths are hidden away to varying degrees, allowing the High Evolutionary to practice in solitude and secrecy. However, after learning of the High Evolutionary's activities, the villainous Maker approached him in ULTIMATES 2 (2016) #7 about joining forces and using Counter-Earth as their joint base of operations.

The High Evolutionary is also not the only cosmic character who has created a Counter-Earth. For instance, Franklin Richards used his omnipotent powers to create a Counter-Earth that helped facilitate the rebirth of several heroes after their harrowing battle against Onslaught in HEROES REBORN (1996). Rather than using this Counter-Earth to conduct experiments, Franklin revised the histories of classic heroes before reintegrating them into the main Marvel Universe.

COUNTER-EARTH AND THE X-MEN

As the X-Men endured coordinated attacks from the anti-mutant organization Orchis, they struggled to find a way to stop the impact of Orchis' laced Krakoan drugs on the human population. Fortunately, the heroes realized that the High Evolutionary possessed a mechanism capable of helping them disseminate a cure, as he had previously offered it to them as a way to sterilize all of humanity. As a result, Synch and Talon embarked on a desperate heist to Counter-Earth in order to obtain the life-saving device they needed.

Previously, Synch and Laura Kinney—Talon's younger self—had negotiated a ceasefire with the High Evolutionary in exchange for a drop of her mutagenic blood, with which he planned to further his experimentation. However, when Talon and Synch returned for the High Evolutionary's "bio-bomb," the villain completely obliterated Talon. Now, the X-Men have the data they need to potentially stop Orchis' latest plot—but at a steep cost.

Join Synch and Talon's doomed trip to Counter-Earth in X-MEN #30, now on sale!

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