WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Freedom Fighters #3 by Robert Venditti, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira and Adriana Lucas, on sale now.
What if the Nazis won World War II? That's the question Freedom Fighters asks in DC's latest examination of Earth-X. America has been conquered by the Germans, and only a ragtag team of heroes are left to resist a world ruled under one flag. This is a world where the heroes are our last hope. The only problem is that both sides have heroes of their own.
Introduced in 1973's "Crisis on Earth-X," the parallel Earth served as a way to bring Quality Comics characters like Uncle Sam, Human Bomb, the Ray, Phantom Girl and more into DC continuity. However, in the years since, one man has taken the spotlight. Overman, the Nazi version of Superman, is the first thing people think of in relation to Earth-X, and now he's back -- maybe.
Whatever Happened to Nazi Superman?
In this version of Earth-X, Adolf Hitler lived into the 1960s before passing on his expansive empire to his son, Adolf Hitler II. Now in the modern day, a new group of Freedom Fighters are ready to save the country. Meanwhile, the next generation of the Hitler bloodline is preparing to take the spotlight.
Desperate to get the Freedom Fighters under control, Hitler II discusses bringing in his superpowered son to lead the attack against this threat. The Germans have their weapons -- giant mech units called Gonzos and sadistic Plasstic Men agents -- but those are just tools for the Third Reich to use. Adolf Hitler III is the hero of their people, so what better way to wipe out America's revolution than by calling in Overman? Going by solicitations for future issues, we know he's on his way, and it appears we may have actually met him in the latest issue.
The thing about Hitler's grandson is that he's a clearly virulent superbeing who is allowed to run unchecked thanks to his bloodline. When we first hear about him, it's believed he is too young and bombastic to lead an operation as important as this, but desperate times call for desperate measures. He's just sadistic enough to get the job done.
When we finally see him receiving his orders, it is revealed that he has been busy viciously mutilating a prisoner. His calm demeanor on the phone, even with the horror show behind him, makes it clear that if he is this universe's Superman counterpart, he's one who has no sense of virtue, humility or generosity in him. This is a monster, and now he's coming for America's last great hope.
Goodbye to The Multiversity
The introduction of what appears to be a different version of Overman would be the final piece of evidence confirming that the Earth-X seen in The Multiversity is no longer in continuity. Grant Morrison and Jim Lee's story from 2015 had Superman land in Nazi Germany during the war, instead of Kansas. He would go on to take over the Third Reich from his adoptive father and form the New Reichsman.
The world seen in Freedom Fighters is very different. Hitler made it through the end of the war and continued his bloodline. Now Overman is the grandson of Hitler, and he has yet to take full control of the German empire. The biggest change has been in the character's personality. He no longer seems to be the honorable man who was born under the wrong circumstances. This is not an Overman who regrets his place in the world. Instead, he enjoys it immensely -- and that makes him terrifying.
There are many things we still don't know, like if he's alien or human, has natural powers or artificial or if he really has anything to do with Superman at all. However, it can be assumed by this point that there isn't a Nazi version of the Justice League in this world. Something that big probably would have been brought up by now.
That leaves us to wonder about the implications of this change. Grant Morrison was given the task to map out the DC Multiverse and create new worlds to work with. While the concept of the world is still very much intact, it's hard to see any kind of continuity between the two. If DC is already allowing this world to receive a major shakeup, it's worth wondering if other worlds laid out in The Multiversity are also up for a change.