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Over the past two million years, there have always been multiple human species on earth at any given time. Homo erectus is a waste-basket of as many as 14 different species crammed into one not by any of the usual methods of identifying extinct species from fossils, but simply because they appear in the same geological strata. Paranthropus robustus might be taken for a giant, while the recent discovery of Homo floresiensis in Indonesia cannot help but remind many of us of the hobbits from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Indeed, his fantasy of Middle Earth begins to seem more like the normal state of human affairs.

The Holocene interglacial period has seen the rise of Homo sapiens, but other human species have persisted in the margins of the world. The incredible mutations that led the ancestors of Homo mermanus beneath the seas are still poorly understood, but when Greek sailors encountered their civilization beneath the Atlantic Ocean, it inspired tales of a lost continent. The “mutants” who have emerged since 1945 are a not-yet entirely understood phenomenon. Since any child either has the “x-gene” or not, it could be argued that mutants constitute a new sub-species or race, possibly Homo sapiens mutans. Mutant supremacists sometimes insist that they are a new species altogether, which they call Homo superior. This is not only poor Latin but scientific rubbish, since mutants clearly breed with non-mutants and produce viable offspring regularly. I fear, though, that just as scientific definitions have done little to inform discussions of race among the broader public, there seems little hope for it doing much to quell these sentiments, either.

Dr. Henry McCoy, 1967, Oxford University

Timeline of Earth-8629

Some years have events tied to specialties. These events are known to any character with that specialty at that level or higher.

1933

The Nazis take control of Germany. Within the year they begin a program to develop a serum that will enhance a human being’s physical performance to create a “super soldier.”

1938

The United States learns that the Nazis’ “super soldier” program, stalled for years, has begun to make headway thanks to research by a Jewish scientist named Dr. Abraham Erskine. A covert mission smuggles him out of Germany. He begins helping the United States begin its own “super soldier” program.

1941

The United States begins testing a “super soldier” serum on African-American soldiers. Over 300 die. Their families are told that they died in battle. Five survive the procedure. They are sent into Europe on extremely dangerous missions, until only one — Isaiah Bradley — remains.

1942

The “super soldier” serum is used on Steve Rodgers. Dr. Erskine is killed shortly thereafter. The government hides evidence of the program, but sends Rodger into Europe as “Captain America.”

1943

James Watson, Francis Crick, and Nathaniel Essex publish their paper describing the double helix structure of DNA. Isaiah Bradley is court-martialed and imprisoned at Leavenworth because his existence is seen as potentially embarrassing to the government.

1945

Captain America is MIA and presumed dead while on a mission to stop an advanced Nazi bomber headed for the United States when it goes down in the North Atlantic. Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

1949

Robert J. Oppenheimer testifies before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

1959

President Dwight D. Eisenhower pardons Isaiah Bradley and has him released from Leavenworth. The “super soldier” program that produced him and Steve Rodgers is declassified and disclosed to the public. Many, particularly African-Americans, hail Bradley as the true Captain America.

1960

J. Edgar Hoover submits a report to the House Committee on Un-American Activities detailing the powers of known mutants in the United States, including Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr.

1961

In his farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warns Americans about the rise of a military-industrial complex. Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr found the Xavier Institute. Bay of Pigs invasion fails in Cuba. The Berlin Wall is built. The Soviet Union launches the first man into space.

1962

Cuban Missile Crisis. The Mutant Brotherhood seizes upon Uganda’s first election as an opportunity to turn it into a mutant homeland, running Erik Lehnsherr as a candidate for Prime Minister and encouraging mutants from around the world to come. Charles Xavier forms a team of five of his most talented students, dubbed the “X-Men,” to stop them. Milton Obote wins the election instead.

Science/Covert Expert: The military tries to further the “super soldier” program from World War II. Dr. Bruce Banner’s experiments with the serum turn him into the Hulk.

1963

President John F. Kennedy assassinated. Buddhist monks protest the war in Vietnam, including Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation. Marilyn Monroe is found dead. Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring. Lyndon B. Johnson begins expanding the war in Vietnam.

Science/Covert Expert: While demonstrating new Stark Industries technology in the country, Tony Stark is captured by Viet Cong. He is imprisoned with Nobel-prize winning physicist Ho Yinsen, with whom he is expected to build weapons for their captors. Secretly they build the first “Iron Man” suit for Tony Stark, which he uses to escape, though Yinsen dies during the attempt.

1964

The Warren Commission’s report concludes that John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Erik Lehnsherr. He becomes the most wanted terrorist in the world. The United States enlists the aid of the X-Men to apprehend him. They have several engagements with the Mutant Brotherhood, but Magneto himself remains at large. Senator Robert Kelly (R-PA) brings the first draft of the Mutant Registration Act to the Senate floor. It is defeated.

Iron Man appears in Vietnam, By year’s end, he reveals himself to be Tony Stark, the President & CEO of Stark Industries, one of the military’s largest contractors.

1965

Malcolm X assassinated. The United States send troops into Vietnam. Isaiah Bradley defends locals against the police in the Watts Rebellion, which ends only when the X-Men intervene to separate the two sides and negotiate a peaceful resolution.

1966

Albert Speer is released from Spandau Prison, and assassinated days later by a mutant with the ability to teleport himself named Telford Porter. Porter is captured by the X-Men, and confesses that he killed the former Nazi to impress Magneto. Porter is executed in large part because the government has no facility that can contain him.

The Black Panther party is established in the United States. Mass protests against the draft begin. In China, Mao Tse Tung launches the Cultural Revolution.

1967

Che Guevara is executed in Bolivia. Svetlana Alliluyeva, Stalin’s daughter, defects to the United States. Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. Israel significantly expands its territorial holdings in the Six-Day War.

Following the execution of Telford Porter, the Department of Justice announces plans for a new facility on Riker’s Island code-named “The Raft” that will be capable of incarcerating mutants.

1968

The war in Vietnam ends because of mutant involvement, ending the Cold War and focusing the efforts of both the United States and the Soviet Union on answering the threat posed by mutants with the creation of S.H.I.E.L.D.

1969

The Mutant Registration Act is passed. The Stonewall Riots. The Norse gods return, forming the city of Asgard. Reed Richards becomes the first man to walk on the moon, but monsters begin emerging from the depths upon his return. Jean Grey dies while combatting the Shadow King at Woodstock.

1970

Ororo Munroe comes to the United States from Wakanda to aid the Black Panthers, leading to a series of events which reveals to the world the existence of an ancient mutant called Apocalypse. He briefly seizes control of the United States and launches hundreds of Sentinels to destroy Madagascar. Erik Lehnsherr is released from prison to help stop Apocalypse, and emerges as a national hero after helping stop the Sentinel attack. Rogue, Cyclops, Iceman, and Beast defeat Apocalypse, leaving him in a giant, diamond form on the National Mall.

Graydon Creed helps organize a new political party called the Friends of Humanity which sweeps the midterm elections in November on the platform of removing any politician who yielded to Apocalypse’s threats from office, and replacing them with new people dedicated to protecting ordinary humans from the threat of mutantkind. The Stryker Crusade, led by an anti-mutant televangelist named Reverend William Stryker, becomes a nationwide phenomenon.

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