I came upon this idea while reading Steve Englehart‘s fantastic Lost In Space-Time epic, and taking in account the many changes to Marvel Comics during the 80’s, especially during Jim Shooter’s tenure.
If, before the many changes to Marvel characters took place, one could simply inquire, to any neophyte comics enthusiast, or even one not versed at all, very basic questions about said characters, and the standard answers would apply:
“Spider-Man? Red and blue costume“;
“The Hulk? Green and dumb“;
“The Fantastic Four? Big rock guy; stretchy guy; flaming guy; invisible chick“;
“Captain America? Steve Rogers, super-soldier“…and the like.
A lot of that changed with the advent of the Beyonder.
Without his introduction to the 616 Marvel Universe, we would not have had:
Spider-Man’s black uniform, which became the Venom symbiote;
James Rhodes may have enjoyed a further tenure as Iron Man (he also partook of materials in the chamber that housed the symbiote that eventually compromised the Iron Man armor);
She-Hulk joining the FF when Ben Grimm stayed on the Beyonder’s patchwork planet, due to him shaking off the mental barrier Franklin noticed in FF #245 that stopped him from changing back to his human form (meaning that he never would have left Alicia Masters long enough for her to gravitate to Johnny Storm, which would have been interesting if she still had been exchanged for Lyja the Skrull);
Bruce Banner losing the battle of ascendancy in his control of his alter-ego’s form, and eventually returning to the savage Hulk for some time;
The New Mutants would have never been removed from existence;
Rachel Summers would have not as of yet encountered the M’Kraan Crystal;
The only Doctor Doom in existence would have been Kristoff Venard, implanted with Doom’s memories (The Norm McArthur Doom was still present, but seemed to lack the steadfastness of Kristoff, as evidenced in FF Annual #20)…and so on and so on.
If you’ll recall, Counter-Earth was eventually placed by the Beyonders into a museum.
In that case, this would be an Earth that was NOT visited by the Beyonder. It stands to reason that, when the High Evolutionary created Counter-Earth, that many of the denizens were common to our Earth, along with his New Men. After all, he was familiar with Peter Parker, as Professor Miles Warren was once his assistant.
I would guess that some analogues to our heroes would exist on Counter-Earth, though Heroes Reborn may have touched upon this (the Counter-Earth present here may have been an amalgam of the existing Counter-Earth and Franklin Richards‘ imaginings). However, I believe that the implications haven’t truly been realized.
Anyone want to discuss this further?