Scientists theorize that we are not alone, and not just in the universe! In fact, it is believed that there are many more realities than our own, filled to bursting with unusual creatures and changes big and small. While the multi-verse concept may just be a theory in our universe, the multi-verse is very much real in Marvel. In fact, Marvel is home to thousands of realities, each one different from the other. Over the years, fans have learned of alternate realities such as the Ultimate Universe, a reality in which Captain America was never frozen in ice, and many more. While some of these alternate realities aren't too different from the main Marvel U, there are some alternate realities that are just plain bonkers.
Yes, the Marvel multi-verse houses some truly weird alternate realities. There's an Earth where everyone is a cyclops, even a universe of apes, and there is no end to these crazy alternate realities. Writers have been exploring the Marvel multi-verse for years now, leading to plenty of out-there stories of elephant X-Men, gun-toting ducks, and spank-happy Punishers. So join CBR as we take a look through the multi-verse to bring you the 20 strangest alternate reality Marvel characters!
20 LOBO THE DUCK
Depending on who you ask, the Amalgam Universe was either a fun experiment or a flaming train wreck. Sure, combining Wolverine and Batman to make a new hero named "Dark Claw" is dumb, but it's also fun! But combining Lobo and Howard The Duck? Now that's just plain weird.
Combining the trigger-happy bounty hunter with a talking duck is certainly a head scratching decision, making Lobo The Duck the strangest character to emerge from the Amalgam event. In his one and only appearance, Lobo The Duck traveled the galaxy to determine who had murdered several prominent Amalgam superheroes. Oh yeah, and he did so with a transforming dog named Impossible Dawg.
19 MARVEL APES
The year is 2008. The Marvel Zombies series makes money hand over fist, becoming one of the most popular events in comics. Marvel decides to launch another event to introduce readers to a strange alternate reality very different from our own. But this new reality features a lot less zombies... and lot more monkeys.
Marvel Apes does exactly what it says on the tin, introducing a universe of Marvel monkeys. With characters such as Spider-Man and L-ook-i, the series had more monkey puns than you could shake a stick at. Also, the "Apevengers" in this universe are all vampires. Ape vampire versions of Marvel's most popular characters? Yeah, this is one strange alternate reality.
Deadpool is strange enough, but the multi-verse always finds a way to up the ante when it comes to strange. Case in point: Mimepool.
Stay with us, this one gets weird. In Deadpool vol. 2 #1000, the Deadpool Corps. visits an alternate reality in which Earth is besieged by mind-controlling berets. The berets have turned the Avengers into mime zombies (mimebies, if you will), and the Deadpool of this Earth is struggling to handle the beret invasion. While the mimebies are ultimately defeated, Deadpool is infected by a beret, becoming the silent but deadly Mimepool. Oh, and then the Deadpool Corps. strap Mimepool to a rocket and shoot him into space, never to be seen again. Comics, everybody!
17 AUNT MAY, HERALD OF GALACTUS
Aunt May has served as the kind, level-headed voice of reason for Peter Parker since 1962, and she's generally been able to live a life free of superhero shenanigans. But one particularly bonkers issue of Marvel Team-Up brought Ant May smack-dab into the world of caped do-gooders by making Spidey's kindly Aunt the herald of Galactus.
In the issue, Aunt May and Franklin Richards are attending the circus, which is attacked by Galactus, who has sought Franklin out to make the young boy his herald. Aunt May intervenes as Galactus shoots energy from his hand, transforming May into Golden Oldie. May then embarks upon an adventure that sees Galactus becoming addicted to Twinkies, May seeking out a sentient pile of dough named Dough Boy to become Galactus's new herald, before ultimately having her powers absorbed by Franklin. When it comes to weird alternate reality character, this Aunt May is the gold standard.
16 ANT ANT
Ant-Man! With the amazing power to shrink to the size of an ant! Sure, this power is impressive for a human being, but for an ant? Not so much. Apparently, no one had the heart to break this news to the alternate reality hero known as Ant-Ant.
An inhabitant of the same wacky animal universe that spawned Spider-Ham, Ant-Ant is a hero with the power to shrink to the size of an ant. Problem is, Ant-Ant already is an ant, making his power pretty much useless. But that didn't stop the diminutive Ant-Ant from suiting up and fighting the good fight, so kudos to this weird hero for not letting a little problem like "you are pretty much useless in battle" stop him from chasing his dream.
15 MAN-THING DOCTOR STRANGE
You can file this alternate-reality Doctor Strange under both "weird" and "totally awesome." Sure, a Doctor Strange with face tentacles is certainly odd, but there is no denying that this character is completely rad.
Hailing from the Mutant X universe, this Doctor Strange attempted to free Dr. Ted Sallis of the Man-Thing curse, only to become a victim of the curse himself. While Strange's new noodle is certainly off-putting, this Strange is not only Sorcerer Supreme, but serves as the guardian of the nexus of all realities, making for one formidable (and weird) hero.
14 MARRIED SQUIRREL GIRL AND ROCKET RACCOON
You know, love can spring from the most unexpected places. Sometimes, love can blossom between people who are so different, it seems as though it just shouldn't work, leading you to wonder just what caused them to get together in the first place. That's probably what everyone was wondering about this alternate-reality pairing of Rocket Raccoon and Squirrel Girl.
Appearing in one page in Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration #1, readers are given a glimpse into an alternate reality in which Squirrel Girl and Rocket Raccoon are getting hitched. No context is given, and the couple look happy, but it does leave you wondering just how the two heroes got together. We know love is blind, but you think that saying might be null and void when it comes to a talking raccoon. Talk about a weird Marvel alternate reality.
13 POWER PACHYDERMS
You might know the Power Pack as the super team composed of precocious children in color-coordinated spandex. Despite the similarity in names, the Power Pachyderms have nothing to do with the Power Pack. No, that would make too much sense. Rather, the Power Pachyderms are a bizarre alternate reality team of X-Men elephants.
Composed of elephant versions of Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine (complete with adamantium tusks), and, for some reason, Elektra, the Power Pachyderms battled a musically-inclined version of Magneto named Clarirnetto and his villainous New Musicians. Perhaps realizing an elephant Cyclops that shot lasers out of his trunk was just too strange, the Power Pachyderms appeared in a single issue and were promptly never seen again.
12 HULK THE MENACE
While Marvel was plugging along in the '80s, across the pond in jolly old England, Marvel UK was busy doing its own thing. Free of oversight of the domestic office, Marvel UK found it could do pretty much whatever it wanted in the issues of repackaged Marvel stories they were putting out. So what did the writers at Marvel UK decide to do? They created a weird mash-up of The Hulk and Dennis the Menace, of course.
Debuting in 1980, Hulk the Menace was a pint sized rascal with distinctive green skin and a love of smashing. Much like the UK version of Dennis the Menace on which the character was based, Hulk the Menace starred in bite-sized comic strips that saw Hulk harassing his neighbors and pulling pranks on his home world of Earth 33 1/3. The character was a hit with readers in the UK, but this oddball alternate reality Hulk never made it state sides, and Marvel probably prefers to keep it that way.
11 POPE BEAST
When Hank McCoy isn't busy yelling "Oh my stars and garters" or going through yet another transformation into a weird new cat-like appearance, he spends his time as the X-Men's resident scientist. But in one strange alternate reality, Beast turned away from science and became a man of the cloth. And not just any man of the cloth: he became the Pope!
In X-Factor vol. 3 #24, Beast and Dr. Strange were traveling through the multi-verse, when the pair stumbled upon a reality in which Beast was His Holiness. Pope Beast was found to be praying for salvation from an impending extinction of the mutant race, mirroring the crisis back on Earth-616 after M-Day. While Pope Beast has not been seen since, it's likely he is still out there in the multi-verse, handing out blessings and hacking up furballs.
10 MARVEL BULLPEN FANTASTIC FOUR
Jack Kirby and Stan Lee are responsible for creating some of the most beloved heroes in all of comic-dom. But in one very strange alternate reality, Stan The Man and King Kirby weren't just creating heroes; they became heroes themselves!
In What If? vol. 1 #11, Lee, Kirby, Marvel Vice President Sol Brodsky, and Secretary Flo Steinberg are bathed in cosmic radiation after receiving a mysterious box at the Marvel Comics office, causing the Merry Marvel gang to transform into the Fantastic Four. What follows is a story in which Lee and Kirby team up with Namor to battle the Skrulls to save the world, before vowing to continue to protect the Earth as the Fantastic Four. Stan Lee as Mr. Fantastic and Jack Kirby as the monstrous Thing? That's just plain weird. 'Nuff said!
9 DOG WOLVERINE
Anthropomorphic versions of heroes and villains are nothing new in the vast Marvel multi-verse. After all, when you've got heroes like Spider-Ham thwipping around, the bar has been set pretty high for weird animal versions of popular characters. Now allow us to introduce you to Dogverine.
While Spider-Ham is a walking, talking cartoon pig, Dog Wolverine is just... a dog. He can't talk, he walks on all fours, he has a leash, he sleeps in a dog house; the whole nine yards. But he also happens to have adamantium claws that pop out of his dog paws. Oh, and he has sideburns. With all of these traits combined, you have Dogverine, a thoroughly weird alternate-reality Wolverine.
8 J. JONAH JAMESON ADOPTS SPIDER-MAN
The feud between the cigar-chomping J. Jonah Jameson and the web-slinging Spider-Man is classic, with the newspaper magnate and the wall-crawler constantly working to pester the other. But in one particularly odd alternate reality, JJJ and Spidey weren't rivals: they were actually related, and they fought crime together!
In What If? vol. 2 #61, Aunt May and John Jameson perish when a rocket crashes into an event Peter Parker was covering for the Daily Bugle, leading to Jameson adopting the young man. Jameson blames Spider-Man for the death of his son, leading to Parker's new adoptive father constructing a robot to hunt Spidey down. In the end, Jameson discovers Peter is Spider-Man, the two put aside their differences, and Jameson uses his robot side to fight crime alongside his adopted son. Sure, having Jameson and Parker make peace is all well and good, but seeing Jameson stomp around in a metal suit emblazoned with "JJJ" is pretty weird.
7 UNCLE BEN SPIDER-MAN
It's one of the most classic origin stories in comics: Peter Parker is bitten by an irradiated spider, become Spider-Man, fails to stop a robber, only for the robber to murder his Uncle Ben, instilling in Parker the ethos that "with great power, comes great responsibility." But what if the roles had been reversed? Well, it would be awful weird, which brings us to the Uncle Ben Spider-Man.
Hailing from Earth-3145, the Ben Parker was bitten by the spider rather than his nephew, turning Uncle Ben into Spider-Man. As the Wall-Crawler, Uncle Ben protected New York, only for Peter and his wife May to die at the hands of his arch nemesis, the Emerald Elf. The multi-verse is home to many alternate-reality versions of Spider-Man, but seeing kindly Uncle Ben suit up in the famous spider-tights makes this Spidey one of the weirdest.
6 JUGGERNAUT PROFESSOR XAVIER
Professor Charles Xavier: kindly old man in a wheel chair that can scramble your mind with a thought. Cain Marko: giant man mountain that can turn you into a paste with a punch. Though these two might be brothers, these crazy kids couldn't have less in common. But in one weird alternate universe, the roles were reversed, and it was Xavier that became the fearsome Juggernaut.
In What If? vol 2 #13, Xavier and Marko encounter the Ruby of Cyttorak while in deployment in Korea, but in his rush to stop Marko from grabbing the cursed ruby, Xavier falls on top of it, becoming the Juggernaut. What follows is a diverted timeline in which mutant hysteria spirals out of the control without Xavier to keep the peace. Xavier forms a militant police X-Men, and Magneto and the X-Men ultimately launch JuggerXavier into space. Also, seeing a muscle bound version of the wheelchair bound Xavier was just... weird.
5 MARVEL MANGAVERSE PUNISHER
Ah, The Punisher. Everyone's favorite grim and gritty anti-hero prefers to use guns, explosions, and all sorts of stabbing. But in one alternate reality, The Punisher was a lot less shoot-y and a lot more... tickle-y.
In the so-early-2000's-it-is-physically-painful event known as Marvel Mangaverse, readers were introduced to the Mangaverse version of The Punisher. Instead of the gruff, gun-toting anti-hero fans know and love, this iteration of the Punisher was a whip-wielding geisha named Sosumi Brown, who had a tendency to use tickle torture to extract information from her targets. Honestly, the less said about this particular one, the better!
4 SANTA DOOM
Who doesn't love Santa Claus? This jolly old fat man brings joy to the world every Christmas, and his smiling face has become a source of happiness for children everywhere. But we feel as though kids might be less receptive to ol' Saint Nick if Doctor Doom assumed the mantle.
In one particularly out-there issue of What The--?!, Santa was injured in a trap whilst visiting Latveria, leading to a reluctant Doom taking over Santa's duties. While Doom couldn't resist the temptation to fight the Fantastic Four while dressed as Santa, a wide-eyed little girl helps Doom and the Four to realize the squabble could wait, leading to the group banding together to deliver Christmas presents. In the end, Doom learns the meaning of Christmas (kinda), and fans were left scratching their heads at this very weird alternate-reality.
3 LEISURE SUIT CONAN
"Conan, what is best in life?" "To smack your enemies, see them dropped like a sucka before you, and to hear their lamentations!" At least, that's what we'd imagine Conan The Barbarian would say in the thoroughly bizarre alternate reality that saw the Cimmerian become a... let's call it an "entrepreneur of the street."
Back when Conan was a part of the Marvel universe, an issue of What If? imagined a world in which Conan was whisked to modern times and stranded. While you'd think a bloodthirsty barbarian from an ancient land might struggle to acclimate, Conan fits right into the 20th century, eventually attempting to woo a woman while dressed in his finest pimp garb, all while walking a cheetah on a leash! Sure, it's weird, but we could all aspire to be as fly as Conan in a white suit with a pet cheetah.
2 SUPER RACIST IRON MAN
There are terrible decisions, and then there is Marville. To call this comic a train wreck would be insulting to trains. After all, Marville has gone down in history as one of Marvel's biggest misfires, and it's easy to understand why. From its nonsensical plot to its awful comedy, Marville does just about everything wrong. That brings us to super-racist Iron Man.
At its core, Marville is a parody of DC's Smallville, starring Kal-AOL, the son of Ted Turner and Jane Fonda, who has traveled to the past to become a superhero. In the ensuing mess of a story, Kal travels to an alternate universe in which Iron Man and Black Panther are extreme right wing fanatics. Cue Iron Man vaporizing innocent people and nearly dropping a racial slur while discussing African Americans. Yeah, this alternate reality Iron Man is weird, but he's mostly just terrible.
Comics can be weird. After all, an ill-tempered, mystery-solving duck from Cleveland, Ohio managed to become a cult favorite among comic fans, and Marvel was all too happy to keep churning out the further adventures of Howard the Duck. But, apparently, a crime-solving duck from Cleveland wasn't quite strange enough. Introducing Juggerduck.
Set to debut in Cosmic Ghost Rider #3, the Juggerduck is exactly what you think: this alternate reality mountain of muscle is Howard the Duck, imbued with the mystical Gem of Cyttorak, becoming the Juggernaut. As a member of a possible future iteration of the Guardians Of The Galaxy, which includes strange members such as a Rocket Racoon/Groot hybrid, the Juggerduck protects the universe and generally punches things into a patte. Juggerduck hasn't even made his official debut as of yet, and he's already one of the strangest alternate-reality Marvel characters of all time.