This article is a prelude to our Thundra character profile.
“Femizonia” is the timelineUsed here in the sense of an alternate history, where events unfold differently Thundra comes from. It’s a weird alternate future.
Thundra is primarily a Fantastic Four ally. By herself she’s fun and not too complicated, but :
- She first appeared in 1972 and has been returning regularly since. That’s a lot of stories.
- She’s a time traveller. So you just know there’s going to be knots in her backstory.
- Important time travel clarifications only occur in 2008, 37 years after the story began. And only in the Hulk: Raging Thunder one-shot.
Everything used to be in one huge article. It was way too long for, say, people reading on smartphones.
So we’re switching to short chapters :
- Femizonia – a gender study. This here article.
- Thundra – the 1970s and 1980s.
- Thundra – the 1990s and 2000s.
- Thundra – the 2010s, plus the Description, Personality and Game Stats sections.
Femizonia – a gender study
The reality in which the Marvel Universe takes place is Earth-616.
Thundra comes from an alternate reality, Earth-715.
There, a literal war between two genders took place. It’s called “Femizonia” since it’s dominated by women, the Femizons.
(The “gender war” theme was popular in sci-fi back then).
Earth-715 is “ahead” in time of Earth-616. So it’s the XXIIIrd Century there.
Earth-715 is tied with at least two realities :
- Earth-74101, called “Machus”. Another gender war reality, but dominated by men.
Normally, timelines do not work like that. Once they exist, they’re relatively stable and autonomous.
But in this case :
- People from Earth-715 and Earth-74101 can travel to “the past” of Earth-616. And engineer events there to lead more toward 715, or toward 74101. Thundra does that a lot. Think Terminator time travel to change the future.
- If these manipulations result in 715 or 74101 becoming more likely as a future, the “opposing” reality fades away a bit. So, if Thundra makes the “Femizonia” future more likely to pass, the “Machus” future becomes less real.
Another characteristic of Femizonia — and presumably Machus — is that they might be hard to locate. Normally, Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) can track alternate realities without serious issues. But locating and probing these two once seems abnormally difficult.
So far, so good ?
What about Earth-8009, you ask ?
Femizonia is once identified by A.R.M.O.R. technicians as “Earth-8009”.
A common interpretation is that there are at least two Femizonia timelines. Earth-715 and Earth-8009. But digging into the material, I think that Earth-715 and Earth-8009 are the same one.
We’ll discuss this in Thundra’s biography, when it occurs. Don’t worry, it’s simpler than the timelines discussion for Valérian & Laureline.
How Femizonia people look and act, and the state of the planet, has changed several times.
Remember, changes on Earth-616 or on Earth-74101 can retconMaking changes to a character or story after the fact the Femizonia reality. Therefore, Earth-715’s history getting rewritten is to be expected. With cascade effects redefining its present.
So we’re going to discuss several versions of Femizonia.
The earliest Femizonia material was published in 1971. Therefore, Janis Joplin’s posthumous-by-a-few-months album Pearl readily comes to mind.
First version of Femizonia (1971)
(This one appears before Thundra does, in Savage Tales. The B&W, non-comic-code comics magazine. At first, it didn’t seem to be set in the Marvel Multiverse. But it was soon confirmed that it was Thundra’s home reality.)
A high-tech, XXIIIrd century with pseudo-Imperial-Roman architecture and politics.
The female-dominated culture is nominally devoted to peace. Yet they seem to highly value killer instinct and skill at arms.
The clothing is Barbarella-ish science fiction – very tight and showing a lot of skin. The enslaved men run around bare-chested.
(Many gender-conflict-based sci-fi futures back then were male gazey . With a bunch of statuesque chicks running around in bikinis. Who would’ve guessed ?)
Women took over during the late XXIInd century. That was reportedly a reaction to an unsustainable patriarchal world of pollution, war, poverty, hatred and mass death. They wanted to put an end to this destructive folly.
One country is called the United Sisterhood Alliance. Its motto is “Sexuality ! Solidarity ! Superiority !”.
The beast-men are the descendants of the 90% of male children that get abandoned in the wilderness outside of the USA. The 10% remaining boys are enslaved.
Though they are used as sex workers, these males do not apparently have a reproductive purpose. The USA government instead keeps reserves of sperm in its Temple of Genetics.
Presumably this stock of semen is genetically manipulated to ensure super-strong and healthy daughters. Which could also explain the strength of the beast-men in the wilds.
At least one tribe, the Men of the Hills, are not semi-bestial. They fight for gender equality.
One of their agents, Mogon, once ran into one Princess Lyra of the U.S.A., sister to Queen Vega. Lyra was a great warrior who secretly studied the history of the world of man. She longed for a man who would not be enslaved.
It is likely that Thundra’s daughter was named after this Lyra.
Second version of Femizonia (1972/73)
(That one corresponds to the earliest appearances of Thundra in Fantastic Four).
Femizonia looks much more Kirby-ish in architecture and decoration. Not unlike a toned-down Supertown of the Fourth World, or the Eternal city of Olympia.
The Femizons themselves now look and dress much like Asgardians – such as the Valkyrie (Brunnhilde). Their clothes are skintight Spandex in a primary colour, with some metallic ornaments and occasionally showing some skin.
Presumably, these changes resulted from the mounting influence of the Machus timeline.
Duels of honour to the death between women were again depicted.
Many factors from politics, the media, business, etc. conspired to push men and women apart. This took place throughout the XXth century.
The battle of the sexes was not literal at first. It was more like a strong sense of intra-gender solidarity. There was a global, heated competition for men to prove better than women and vice-versa.
A turning point came when the women used genetic enhancements to increase their strength. This was to meet men on an at least equal footing. Resentful men used radiation treatments to gain superhuman strength, but this made them infertile.
Bulging arms race
Human parthenogenesis was developed to avoid extinction. However, men preferred to produce male children and women female children. Worldwide war broke out, male territories attempting to conquer female territories (and vice-versa).
Though it involved superhuman fighters, these wars didn’t wreck the world. The aesthetics of personal strength were so strong that warriors sought melee duels. Nukes, bombers, artillery, etc. apparently went unused.
With swords, tridents, physical enhancements and beasts of war being all the rage, champions became important.
A major female country, the United Sisterhood Republic, eventually created a towering woman and crushingly strong champion – Thundra. As the USR’s Chief-Maiden-Of-Arms she obeyed her Queen – perhaps Queen Vega.
(So the place is no longer called the United Sisterhood Alliance. This could be a retcon, or it might have become the USR after expanding.)
Third version of Femizonia (1974)
More changes are apparent. Some likely are a result of Thundra’s successful foray in the past.
It’s now more sci-fi, and less fantasy.
Femizonia now seems to be a high-tech place, with walls of computers and screens. The women wear monochromatic skintight jumpsuits colour-coded by occupation. Security wears red like Thundra does.
(Two of the guards we see seem oddly identical, and quite resemble Thundra. So cloning *might* be involved in this version).
It’s pretty much what you’d expect to see in an A.I.M. base or S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Except everybody is a bellicose lady of pulchritude. Possibly with a sword.
They still insist on fighting in melee. Their armies are chiefly infantry with swords and spears. However, they also field some sort of tanks. Presumably to attack fortifications.
Despite the low-tech weapons, this Femizonia demonstrates :
- Reliable transdimensionalSomething that goes across two or more universes technology.
- Mature teleportation technology.
- Powerful and precise time travel technology.
The latter allows such stunts as projecting the consciousness of a future person, with full knowledge of future events, into their past body.
Such an agent can trigger chronal divergences. Which means she can create new alternate Earths by changing the past.
It consumes a lot of energy, though. And the time manipulation Thundra can order remains limited.
The United Sisterhood Republic is now an empire, with Thundra as its Empress. This is likely the result of a mix of retcons and territorial expansion.
One scene implies that the seat of Thundra’s government is a vast satellite. It vaguely resembles Shi’ar architectural motifs.
Merged Femizonia/Machus (late 1974)
In late 1974, Earth-715 and Earth-74101 appeared to merge as a single timeline. This was seen for but moments.
My interpretation is that they didn’t actually merge. More about that later.
Fourth version of Femizonia (2008)
This version is reminiscent of a country at war. The buildings are bunker-ish. Their interiors feature lots of bare concrete, like older military bases.
The Femizons’s attire is back to minimal – bikini, or bra and trailing loincloth. They usually carry a melee weapon.
They have a lot of visible computer equipment in their bases. These have a rounded, 2000s-Apple-ish design and glowing flat screens, presumably in 3D.
There’s a somewhat Mad Max (the 1979 one) vibe. But with iMacs from the future.
Most of the USR seems to be pastoralThe countryside, preferably with cattle and sheep. low-tech land. But there’s the occasional big base bursting with activity and high tech.
This lowers ecological impact so the environment can recover. But it’s also a consequence of the sheer lack of natural resources.
The organisation seems to be more Federal than Imperial. A group of USR farmers are described as a “faction”, not as subjects. Thundra is no longer called “Empress”, but “Matriarch”, though she has a Royal Guard.
Perhaps she’s akin to the Queen of the United Kingdom. That is, nominally reigning over a Commonwealth and with limited legal prerogatives in most countries, but having an important symbolic and arbitral role.
The motto of this version of the USR is “Create, Nurture, Protect”.
Most Femizons seem to constantly experience low-level steroids rage. One suspects that their genetic enhancements also give them increased aggression.
Global, all-out war is waged against the men. But the women are holding markedly more territory and seem poised to win in the long term.
Some men are seen with handguns. But they do not appear to use them in combat.
Both sides seem to use monstrous, mutated beasts of war. These have the same role as elephants would in a Classical Carthaginian army.
According to the Femizons the mad dog males will relentlessly attack until the death of the last man on Earth. One assumes that men’s accounts about the women wouldn’t be different.
Proving one’s physical might in melee combat to the death remains critical.
The technology is much ricketier than in the previous iteration. The USR’s time machines are now old and heavily jury-rigged. They run on spit and bailing wire and lack reliability.
Time gates to chronoportTravel through time. objects (or even a signal) become haphazard. They also depend on periodic alignment of timescapes, which may take months or years.
No teleportation tech is evident.
The gear operated by Sisterhood technicians is obviously ancient and irreplaceable. So it’s more post-apocalyptic than sci-fi.
What caused these new retcons is unrevealed
Perhaps there were further interactions with another possible future. Or perhaps there were interactions with another weird world, called Polemachus.
But it seems unlikely that it was any sort of normal, organic evolution of Earth-715’s history.
Fifth version of Femizonia (2010s)
This version is further in the future than usual. At this point, Thundra’s daughter Lyra has become an adult.
The USR is now clearly patterning itself after Imperial Rome again. Its military uses Roman-legionnaire-style equipment, though some soldiers have more of a Celtic style.
Some civilians are dressed in a Victorian style. But it’s presumably just the fashion.
The Empress of the USR has an advisor outfitted with a cybernetic interface (not unlike Stormwatch’s Weatherman). She’s the Gynosure – an hereditary position. The Gynosure preserves and organises the antebellum knowledge.
Marvels of the past
At this point Earth-715 is more clearly a possible future of Earth-616.
- The ruins of major American cities are clearly witnessed.
- Earth-616’s super-heroes (called “overmasters” in the women’s history texts) were clearly part of the old order that fought during the gender wars.
- Tribes of men pattern themselves after the tales of the male superhumans of old. Such as Wolverine (James Howlett), Venom (Eddie Brock) or the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn).
- There are sabre-toothed tigers called “zabus” running around. These might be actual descendants of Zabu.
- Symbiotes (think Carnage) have been weaponised.
Artificial super-powers based on classic super-heroes and villains were widely available before the wars. This may have been a key cause of the genders wars. Perhaps Lobe was more successful in this timeline ?
The USR’s technology remains decrepit and difficult to maintain.
Critically, the birthing matrices used in Milago to spawn new sisters are ancient Oscorp cloning equipment. Which may have been, in turn, based on Miles Warren’s work. Replacing some complex parts is now impossible.
This is largely due to strategic natural resources having been exhausted by the previous age and the wars.
The world is obviously damaged. It also lacks in water, rare minerals and possibly other resources. Dried river beds are a common occurrence, making Earth-715 even more post-apocalyptic and barren than before.
It seems that the Femizons have some level of superhuman strength, but not a high one.
DCH In DCH, the average adult on Earth-715 likely has STR 06 BODY 05. Plus other Attributes close to that of the average shock trooper in the WORG article about soldiers.
M&M In DCA, that’s 5 Ranks of Strength, 3 Ranks of Stamina and 2 Ranks of Defensive Roll. The other values would be close to that of the generic Soldier stats in the rulesbook (page 267).
Source of Character: Marvel’s manly comics for men.
Helper(s): The mighty testosterone raging in my muscular veins. Also, Darci.
Writeup reorganised on the 7th of April, 2021.