Hoping to prevent their friend Ben Grimm from being transformed into the rocklike Thing, the Fantastic Four of Earth-1610 used a time machine to travel back to before the teleportation accident that had empowered them all, and reprogrammed the teleporter to successfully work. In the new timeline (Earth-20604), the non-powered friends (Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, Johnny Storm, Sue Storm, and Victor van Damme) used the teleportation device to explore deep into space, traveling over a trillion miles from Earth and encountering the alien race of Skrulls. Unaware that the Skrulls conquered new planets by deception, Richards opened diplomatic relations with the Skrull leader, the Super-Skrull. As a "show of faith", the Super-Skrull gave them a pill which eliminated disease and aging, and even unlocked an individual's latent supergenes; however, it also secretly released pico-bots into the user's bloodstream, waiting undetected for an activation signal, at which point they would hatch and desiccate their host.

Swiftly distributed upon the explorer's return, the pills spread across the globe; within a day humanity began to effectively evolve into a new species. New powers brought new perspectives, and humanity sought new leaders armed with fresh ideas, electing the Norse god Thor as their president. Thor instigated a power-sharing initiative to ensure everyone on the planet could have the pill, and chose Reed to be his vice president. Despite a few people being deformed by their new powers, such as Victor, who became living metal, the lure of the pills proved irresistible to most. A handful of pre-existing immortal superbeings such as Thor, who did not need the pill, declined to take it. The sole normal human who chose not to use it was Ben Grimm, wary of becoming monstrous like Victor. The egotistical Victor, angry that Thor had chosen Richards of him, renamed himself Dr. Doom, repeatedly attempting to gain access to the Baxter Building's time machine so that he could rewrite history. Other recipients also proved less than altruistic, with there soon being over 5,000 active super-villains, such as the Trapster. Many of them targeted Ben Grimm, whose non-powered uniqueness made him a celebrity, trying to kidnap or kill him using death rays, meteors and other weapons, but with even young children now super-powered, Ben's defenders massively outnumbered those who would cause him harm.

Within 18 months Earth was home to over 6 billion superhumans, a "Planet of the Capes" or "Super Earth," as its inhabitants like to call it. Believing the time was ripe for the second stage of their plan, the Super-Skrull arranged a "diplomatic" mission to Earth, allegedly to see how they were progressing. A few hours before their arrival, Ben witnessed a Skrull briefly materialize near him, then vanish again. Still unaware of the treachery hidden in their veins, mankind greeted the Skrulls with open arms, but Ben became suspicious, recognizing the Skrull he had seen hours before to be the Super-Skrull's anti-assassination armor, which protected the aged ruler by duplicating the powers of every superhuman within 100 miles. Having confirmed the pill's dissemination, that evening the Super-Skrull activated the pico-bots and ordered his invasion fleet to move in and eliminate Thor and the other non-pilled superhumans. Richards and Johnny Storm sacrificed their lives trying to kill the Super-Skrull, whose armor permitted him to shrug off their attacks, and the Super-Skrull taunted Grimm, counting down as he sensed humanity's numbers falling, until Ben was mankind's soul survivor. However Ben now pointed out a flaw in the Super-Skrull's plan; with no remaining superhumans, the armor had now powers it could duplicate, and Ben swiftly overpowered his enemy, stripping him of the suit and donning it himself. Leaving the aged Super-Skrull to be killed by Earth's toxic atmosphere, the disguised Grimm reached the Baxter Building and accessed the time machine therein, hoping to prevent first contact by sabotaging the original teleport experiment and thus save mankind; working on limited power, it took several abortive jumps to reach the correct time, his earlier attempts including the point where he had materialized in front of his younger self mere hours before and been mistaken for the Super-Skrull. Having found their dying leader, the Skrulls immediately stormed the facility and demolished the machine, but were too late to prevent Grimm's actions resetting history.

The nature of time travel means that while Ben Grimm of Reality-20604 ensured the Earth-1610 would again follow a path where he became a mutated Thing and humanity did not fall prey to the Skrulls, it is probably that his own divergent timeline, where mankind is now extinct, still exists.


Dr Doom (Victor van Damme), Benjamin Grimm, Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Invisible Woman (Susan Storm), Jasmine the Butterfly-Girl, Positron, Vice President Reed Richards, Skrulls (aka Chitauri), Super-Skrull, Miss Steinberg, Sun-Blast, Trapster, President Thor