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Alternate history

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Michelle Jahn
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2010, 01:18:43 pm »

Comic books
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Alternate history has also appeared in comic books. An early example is Captain Confederacy, which is set in a world where the Confederate States of America won its independence and has created a Captain America-type superhero for propaganda purposes.

Influential comic writers have also used an alternate history as the background to their story. Alan Moore's 1986 comic series Watchmen is set in an alternate United States that not only has costumed adventurers as commonplace fixtures within American society, but also contains other alternate history elements including an American "victory" in the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon serving five terms as president. Warren Ellis' 2001 comic mini-series Ministry of Space features a British space program that had its foundation in the United Kingdom's recovery of scientists and technology at the German rocket installations in Peenemünde ahead of the US Army and the Soviets.

There have also been alternative history webcomics like Roswell, Texas, which diverges when Davy Crockett survived the Alamo, leading to the expansion of Texas.

Marvel and DC have their own titles where they can tell alternative stories based on their own characters (What If...? and Elseworlds, respectively). Most set the stories in different times or base them on different genres with some based on a divergence in their fictional history.

However, some are genuine alternate histories, with Batman: Holy Terror based on the premise that Oliver Cromwell lived for another decade. Some of the newer DC Multiverse alternate Earths could be legitimately described as alternate histories. On Earth-9, the emergence of metahumans led to a limited nuclear exchange ("the Cuban War") in 1962, leading to the destruction of Florida and Cuba, US intervention during the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and the survival of the USSR into the nineties (see Tangent Comics.). On Earth-10, Nazi Germany won the Second World War. On Earth-17, the United States and USSR fought a thermonuclear World War III in 1986, with some human survivors. On Earth-30, the Soviet Union won the Cold War due to the technological boost provided by Superman, whose vehicle landed in the Ukraine, instead of Kansas (see Superman: Red Son).

In 2009, Bryan Talbot created Grandville, a graphic novel set in a world mostly populated by anthropomorphic animals, in which France won the Napoleonic Wars, invaded Britain and guillotined the British Royal Family. Grandville also features elements of steampunk.

In 1978, "The Sentinels", one of the first serials in UK Misty (comics), featured an alternate reality where Nazi Germany conquered Britain in 1940, and it interfaced with the mainstream universe via two apartment blocks.

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