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Top Five Best Issues of What If…?

D’oh! It totally slipped my mind that I was supposed to do a Top Five this Tuesday! Ah well, you folks can get it today! Today’s topic is courtesy of Kirayoshi, via the Top Five Recommendation Thread on the Comics Should Be Good forum on CBR, and it is “The Top Five Issues of of What If..?” This was a real tough one, and there are lots of good choices that could easily make the top five, so I’m sure I’ll hear from plenty of you folks on your picks – but here are what I think are the Top Five Best Issues of What If…? (both volumes 1 and 2).

Enjoy!

HONORABLE MENTIONS!

*This two-parter holds a special spot for me just because it is actually based on Chris Claremont’s actual plans for what he was going to do originally before Jim Shooter told them to kill Phoenix. So it is interesting stuff, but while both issues are good, I think they are a bit rushed, because there was SOO much continuity to be squeezed into the two issues.

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Anyone familiar with George Caragonne? Has he written anything else? Rod Ramos did a good job with the pencils.

*This was the very first What If…? issue, and it is a good one, but this is also one of the dorkiest ones, as Roy Thomas manages to explain almost everything in Marvel continuity up until the time this issue came out. Jim Craig had great art on it, though (and the issue IS good, just not as good as the other ones, I think)!

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5. What If…the Avengers fought Galactus?

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What is some times lost in the fact that he was one of the Image founders is the fact that Jim Valentino is a big-time Silver Age nut. Therefore, he was well equipped to write this Roy Thomas-esque story, which is a very detailed account of what would have happened if the Fantastic Four were killed on their space flight, and the Avengers had to pick up the slack.

And, after all, one of the annoying little bits of continuity over the years has been “What the heck were the Avengers doing during Galactus’ first visit to Earth?” Well, now Valentino is giving us an interesting version of Galactus’ first visit, only with the Avengers facing off against him.

Very nice artwork by Valentino, and an overall very fun story.

4. What if Daredevil Became an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.?

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Frank Miller contributes another fun issue with this one [commenter John noted I forgot to mention Mike Baron co-scripting this story. Sorry, Mr. Baron! I meant to credit you!], which tells the story of Matt Murdock being recruited as an agent of SHIELD (something Scott Lobdell later did for real in the last issues of Daredevil Volume 1).

It’s hurt by the weaker first story that took up the majority of the issue, about Ghost Rider, but still, a very good issue of What If…?

3. What If the Fantastic Four had not gained their super powers?

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Like the Miller issue, this issue was helped by the regular writer of the title tackling the story and really embracing the fun idea. John Byrne really got into the idea of what would happen if the Fantastic Four never gained powers.

The end result is a nicely illustrated by Byrne story of the Fantastic Four basically becoming the Challengers of the Unknown. Good stuff.

The other story, about Nova’s powers? Not so good.

2. What If…Spider-Man’s daughter grew up to become Spider-Girl?

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In context, this issue would EASILY be the #1 pick, because What If…?, by the time this Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz issue came out, had become an awful, awful comic book series, with dreadful stories from Marvel staffers and art from not-ready-for-Prime-Time artists.

So when this strong issue detailing the adventures of Peter Parker’s daughter came out, it was such a breath of fresh air.

And the issue was a lot of fun, leading to the equally fun ongoing series about Spider-Girl.

1. What If…Elektra Lived?

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Frank Miller really threw himself into this issue, taking on a real twisted approach of really digging the knife into Matt Murdock’s back by showing how happy things would be if Bullseye hadn’t killed Elektra. It is twisted, but awesome. And the art by Miller is obviously quite good.

Well, those are my picks!

Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

67 Comments

I definitely agree with you on #1 there. That one was good stuff, in a “Aw, man, Murdock’s life sucks!” sort of way. Another one I loved was What If Spidey Kept His Cosmic Powers. Crazy stuff. What If the Avengers Lost Operation Galactic Storm was good, too.

My buddy Gavok is doing a Top 100 What-If Countdown on our site, in part because he is a filthy, filthy masochist. It is here. WordPress sorts the page from newest to oldest for some reason, so check it out from the bottom up. Some of them are books that I’d read, enjoyed, then forgot about, so it’s crazy to see them again.

Neat blog, David! Consider it added to the blogroll! :)

I remember seeing that cover on another comics blog and the snarky comment was “Hoe exactly did Reed get tied up?”

Really, how did he get tied up?

My pal Kurt Mitchell was the first one that I’ve seen to bring up the “how did Reed get tied up?” point!

It’s a really funny point, too! :)

wait a minute what about WHAT If General Ross Became the Hulk that was a very good issue?????

See, that issue should’ve been called “What if Reed Richards hadn’t been tied up?”

I always liked WHAT IF Archangel fell from Grace. Excellent writing by Simon Furman, and the art was appropriately dark and moody.

Those are some good choices.

However, I think my favorite What If of all time is What If The Invisible Woman Had Died?

It’s a very emotionally powerful story, revolving around Mr. Fantastic being destroyed by his own grief. If you haven’t read it, you must.

Oh please – What If the X-Men Had Lost Inferno? should be on the list, if only for the Wolverine-eating-a-baby scene. COME ON!!!!

Wolverine eating the baby caused a huge uproar in my family when my uncle read it. He and my aunt were telling my mom I needed therapy. She told them it was fiction.

I’m rather partial to the one where Reed and Sue’s second child lived, where there were two stories, one in which she was good, the other evil. That was pretty cool.

My favorite What If gag strip was the one where Spiderman married the Black Widow.

I know a guy who hates the What If The X-Men Lost Inferno issue like radioactive biting rats.

I read it as a kid and loved it, but I can see where it’s got some problems now that I’m older.

Neat blog, David! Consider it added to the blogroll!

Just saw this!

Thanks!

Most of the issues on your list didn’t really do it for me, Brian (though admittedly, v.2 #41 and v.1 #36 were pretty great).

I agree with Kyle. “What Tf The Invisible Woman Had Died” (What If? v.1 #42) was one of the strongest issues from any run of this title. My personal favorite, What If? v.1 #40: “What If Had Not Become Master Of The Mystic Arts?”, is probably the greatest single issue of What If? ever published, though it admittedly isn’t as big an emotional punch to the gut as v.1 #42.

The last twelve issues of the original What If? were probably the strongest of any incarnation of this series. I always found it bizarre that the original series was cut down just as the concepts, stories and art were reaching a pretty reliably high level of quality.

What about the one where the Marvel bullpen became the Fantastic Four?

I absoultly loved the first ten issues of the late ’80s WHAT IF?

Though how could you not add, “WHAT IF NO ONE WAS WATCHING THE WATCHER?”

I mean it had Galactus coming to Earth as Elvis.

“But ma’am, the hunger gnaws.”

Priceless.

Oddly enough I was cleaning out my attic today and found a bunch of What If’s. “What If the Marvel Super Heroes Lost Atlantis Attacks?” was a downright creepy issue. Everyone gets aced ot turned into a reptile and Doom goes out like a champ. Plus it has Aquarian.

I’m not really confident that the execution was up to snuff, but just the concept of the five-part Timequake story, where the alternate reality stuf became more than just a framing sequence for out-of-continuity stories and a team of heroes and villains from a bunch of different alternate realities teamed up…that was just dang cool.

Have you ever noticed how a lot of What Ifs had sad endings?

My top 5 off the top of my head-
#5 Assistant Editor’s Month–with all the jokes and one pagers.
#4 What if the World knew Daredevil was Blind? (or similar)
#3 What if John Jameson, Betty Brant, Flash Thompson were bit by the Radioactive Spider
#2 What if Spidey Joined the FF (an honorable mention above)
#1 What if Captain America were revived Today?

I don’t remember the issue or volume number, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Dan Slott’s “What If Doctor Doom Became Sorcerer Supreme?”

Though I realize it may not be popular to like something by Bendis, I liked What If Jessica Jones Became an Agent of SHIELD. It falls into the same category for me of the Miller-penned Daredevil What Ifs and the Byrne-crafted FF issue. You can tell Bendis likes his character. I also thought it was fun how basically the biggest plague upon Marvel comics over the last few years would have been entirely avoided had Jessica just sucked it up and accepted Fury’s offer way back when.

Essentially, Disassembled and House of M are her fault :)

Good call on the Valentino Galactus issue. I always loved JV’s art and him copying Kirby made it quite good. Whoever inked him did an excellent Sinnott impression, too. It’s too bad that JV didn’t continue with that more open style, preferring the endlessly hatched Liefeldism.

I agree with your number one choice, although it’s too bad the story is too short. Other things I liked about it were the Miller/Terry Austin-art and the human-sized Watcher at the grave site.

I remember pulling a copy of the “What if the FF didn’t have powers?” issue out of my bag to read on the bus ride home in elementary school, and an older kid gasping because he initially thought I whipped out a copy of FF #1.

George Caragonne was the principal writer for Penthouse Comics, until he committed suicide by jumping off a hotel balcony.

If you really want to know about him, read this: http://www.newsfromme.com/archives/2005_07_20.html#010097 I warn you that it’s a rather depressing story.

My favorite issue as a kid was the “What if the Avengers had formed in the 50’s” where Roy Thomas showed just hwo much of an obscure fanboy he was, pulling 50’s heroes from Marvel out of a hat (or an horror series everyone had forgotten but him). By the end of the issue, I was ready ot buy an on-going series about them…and I only had to wait 30 years for it.

Ah, but What If Roy had gotten to do both that and the Liberty Legion?

The first 20 issues or so of the 80s What If…? were notable for a few things…

1. They were about 70% X-Men related and 20% Spider-Man related.

2. They featured “hot” artists for the covers at least, and some of the interiors.

3. They oozed cool at the time.

4. They aren’t very well-written.

But What If the series ran too long?

http://www.monkeyspit.net/4thwall/012505.php

Ha!

Good stuff, Jim!

Oddly enough I was cleaning out my attic today and found a bunch of What If’s. “What If the Marvel Super Heroes Lost Atlantis Attacks?” was a downright creepy issue. Everyone gets aced ot turned into a reptile and Doom goes out like a champ. Plus it has Aquarian.

Yeah, I always thought stories like those were the most annoying – like a big comic book snuff film.

I liked #3 – What if the Avengers had never been?

Though I realize it may not be popular to like something by Bendis, I liked What If Jessica Jones Became an Agent of SHIELD. It falls into the same category for me of the Miller-penned Daredevil What Ifs and the Byrne-crafted FF issue. You can tell Bendis likes his character. I also thought it was fun how basically the biggest plague upon Marvel comics over the last few years would have been entirely avoided had Jessica just sucked it up and accepted Fury’s offer way back when.

Essentially, Disassembled and House of M are her fault :)

But where I think the two differ is that Miller’s story followed pretty logically, while Bendis’ story had a lot of huge leaps (highlighting, I think, the absurdity of Disassembled as a story to begin with), like that, of course, JESSICA would be able to notice Scarlet Witch was insane.

Also, when a pet character ends up marrying Captain America? Total rolling eyes moment.

I liked What If the Avengers had been defeated by Korvac. The Korvac/Michael saga was awesome when I was ten, and this issue, while as depressing, as, say, “On The Beach,” was still cool in how cosmic it was. It goes where few stories, including What Ifs, have ever gone, and it was pretty much the capstone on my reading What If. There were too many ‘change one thing and everybody dies’ stories, although I really did like the FF as Challs one.

Oh, and wasn’t there a special issue circa 1983 that printed X-Men #137 the way Claremont and Byrne had intended? It seems like that would render What If #32 moot.

#32 and #33 tell what would have happened POST #138.

Nice list, Cronin, and I really can’t think of any I’d change.

Although I do have a few sentimental faves(call them #6-10);

6) What if Wolverine was an Agent of SHIELD? Layouts by Valentino, inks by Liefeld(and despite this fact the art was fairly decent). In this one, Nick Fury recruits Logan before Professor X has a chance. Ultimately promoted to Senior Director(after the untimely death of Fury in a battle with a Strucker LMD), Logan uses his newfound political clout to discredit Stephen Lang and Senator Kelly, thus ending the government’s persecution of mutants.

7) What if Uncle Ben had Lived(first series)? Stern and Frenz, IIRC. In this one, May Parker was killed, and Peter felt guilty, until Ben Parker discovered that Peter was Spider-Man, and helped shape him into being a hero.

8) What if Flash Thompson became Spider-Man(second series)? Don’t recall who wrote it, but Stuart Immoman did the art honors. I think this was the last ‘old-style’ What-If(with narrative by the Watcher). Flash Thompson, while he was still a bully, ends up becoming a criminal when he takes on the spider-powers, conning Peter into creating his webshooters(odd twist; the burglar ended up robbing the house next door to the Parkers, resulting in the murder of MJ Watson, before she ever met Peter!). Peter later struck up an alliance with Dr. Otto Octavius(averting the catastrophe which turned him into Dr. Octopus), and became the new Spider-Man, using a spider-leg harness he and Octavius created to take down Thompson.

9) What if Wonder-Man hadn’t betrayed the Avengers? Valentino again. When Simon Williams was recruited by Zemo to betray the team, he turned against Zemo. Hank Pym cured his cancer and he joined the new Avengers assembled by Captain America, and ended up falling in love with Scarlet Witch, leading to a fatal confrontation with Quicksilver and Magneto(Magneto killed Pietro, and Wanda avenged her brother’s death). Later, without the memories of Simon to program the Vision’s brain, Ultron simply planted his own mind in Vision’s body, becoming even more powerful.

10) What if Magneto helped Professor X create the X-Men(2004)? A solid Claremont story, although a bit crowded as he tried to completely reimagine the world situation wiht this new team. When Xavier and Erik Lensherr first encountered Strucker(UXM #158), Gabrielle Haller confronted Erik when he attempted to kill the Nazi. Realizing that he would be no better than the humans who persecuted him, Erik threw in his lot with Xavier. I especially enjoyed how Claremont tweaked the personalities of the team members(Kitty with a punk wardrobe, Colossus as a Russian intelligence agent) but still made htem recognizable.

Hang on. What If? vol. 1 #3 — the Avengers story written by Jim Shooter and drawn by Gil Kane — is not only the finest issue of What If? but also one of the finest single comics published by Marvel in that entire decade. (It may be hard for you kids to believe that Jim Shooter was capable of sublime greatness, but I’m here to tell you it was so.) I’m honestly stunned it didn’t even merit a mention on your list!

What If..? #3 had great Gil Kane art.

The story made the first cut (when I cut down to about nine issues), but it didn’t make the cut to honorable mention status, as I felt the story was too maudlin.

What? No ones likes the What If? when Conan comes to the present day, becomes a pimp, and beats up on Captain America?
What’s the Internet coming to?

One of my favourite What Ifs was one where Death’s Head (the original cool one) took on Minion once again – this time using the Avengers as cannon fodder (and they all die). Excellent fight scene and characterisation of everyone’s favourite Freeland Peacekeeping Agent.

Also, when a pet character ends up marrying Captain America? Total rolling eyes moment.

Good point. I think its stuff like that that made me enjoy it so much. It was so far-fetched that it transversed from ridiculous to merely endearing. At least for me.

One thing I noticed about the What Ifs is that they frequently ended with the deaths of major characters. This rang false to me since Marvel rarely did away with their majors back in the day. The more likely thing would be some sort of return to status quo. It was like Marvel was saying, “Oh yeah? You didn’t like the way we originally wrote the story? Well, see how the Marvel Universe would have been ruined if we didn’t do it the way we did!”

I think becasue of that, I always preferred the happier ending What Ifs – because that left room for future adventures and troubles, whereas the ones ending in death left no room for future adventures (presuming What If deaths are more final, which in hindsight doesn’t seem that reasonable a presumption).

I totally agree, The Dane. I don’t like the ones that were “we could never kill off this many people in the actual comics, so it’ll be fun to kill them all off here!”

Honestly, I think that’s sorta lazy.

Much more difficult to write the stories as if they actually WERE in the Marvel Universe.

To wit, the issue of What If…? where the All-New, All-Different X-Men died along with the originals.

What does Professor X do? He just forms a NEW team of X-Men – which is exactly what would have happened if something like that happened in the comics. I liked that (the actual issue wasn’t all that great, but that idea I liked :)).

One thing about What If? #1 that bugged me as a kid was that Spider-Man just stuck a “5” in the middle of the spider on his chest. I thought he should have a costume more like the rest of the FF if he was going to join the group. Plus it would have been a neat visual.

there was a special issue that showed the way the Phoenix Saga was supposed to end, followed by interviews with all involved about why it went down the way it did. It would make an interesting tpb to collect that with #32 and 33.

Though “What If…” had indeed dropped in quality before the end of the book, it had started to crawl its way back up just before cancellation. The Spider-Girl issue wasn’t the only good one, that’s for sure; “What If the Secret Wars Never Ended” was one of my favorites. Of course, it was also the final issue of the series.

I agree that the recent Jessica Jones one was good – so were the next year’s Daredevil-in-Japan and Thor-with-Galactus stories. I didn’t really dig the “Professor X and Magneto” one, however. I forget why. Too rushed? Too focused? something.

“What if Professor X had become the Juggernaut” is a favorite, on the other hand…

–yo
What if I hadn’t posted this?

The Secret Wars thing, though, was more like Exiles than a What If..?

if anything, I’d say the “Time Quake” story was more like Exiles than anything else seen in the book. What about the Secret Wars one makes it more Exiles-y than the average What If?

Timequake was like Exiles, too.

The last issue of What If…? wasn’t really about the nominal What If…? topic, it was really just introducing us to new, alternate universe characters, like the Exiles (especially Nocturne, who is JUST like the What If…? characters – the offspring of two famous superheroes), so that’s why it didn’t feel like a What If…? to me.

Ah, I get you, though Nocturne is really the only Exile who fits that bill. The reason the story didn’t feel out of place to me was that they all came from (and stuck with) the same story.

It was like The Kingdom, but good.

If I read you right, it would have worked more as a “What If…” for you had the story been about the characters setting up their relationships, rather than just referring to them in past tense. Perhaps if the story had ended with the birth of the first kids?

To be honest, though, it just felt like a bigger version of the Spider-Girl story, which just jumped forward from a more recent point.

Still, no matter what, Nocturne will still be the only character who was successfully spun-off from a poster book…

Thank you for doing this countdown. I LOVE “WHAT IF…?” When I used to only be able to get comics sparingly I always looked for a What If because I knew it would be a story that I could fully follow and it was like a mini Marvel U history lesson amongst the over the top weirdness.

What if…? with the Juggernaut is my favorite. It came out in the mid-90s and I forget the team but it was a great issue that really got the feeling of isolation, desolation, and hopelessness down pat.

Oh, and as for ridiculous escalation? That award goes to “What if the Avengers lost the Evolutionary War” where everyone from Wolverine to Ironman to Spider-man becomes a pawn of the High-Evolutionary and they all super-evolve (with big-heads and everything if memory serves) and fly around the universe bringing justice.

Oh, and the odd “Elseworld” type With Thor being Galactus’ Hearald, Namor’s mom dying and Daredevil being in feudal Japan. Those were all solid books. The Wolverine one was passable and I can’t seem to recall what the last one was though.

If I read you right, it would have worked more as a “What If…” for you had the story been about the characters setting up their relationships, rather than just referring to them in past tense. Perhaps if the story had ended with the birth of the first kids?

Yeah, that was the way I was thinking.

The Spider-Girl angle, I think, was pretty much the only way you could have played that story. See the previous What If…? about what if the second child of Reed and Sue had lived.

The only way you can play “What If… the kid lived?” is really to fast-forward and see what happens.

“What if Secret Wars never ended? is a pretty standard What If…? style topic, which Faerber skipped in favor of using the last issue of the title as a Hail Mary for his characters being possibly picked up in a future mini-series (I think Faerber said as much at the time). I don’t blame him for taking the opportunity, mind you – I just don’t think of it as a real What If…? story, which is why I left it off my list.

Kudos to you for getting three of my personal favorites (Daredevil as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., the powerless FF, and Elektra living) onto your list. It was always fun when they got the creators of the regular books to contribute a What If? tale (You should have mentioned that Mike W. Barr cowrote the DD/S.H.I.E.L.D. story with Miller, though).

Some of my other favorites from the first series include the issue where the burglar kills Aunt May instad of Uncle Ben (SUCH a brilliantly simple idea, but it took them 40+ issues to get to it) and “What If Gwen Stacy Had Lived?”. I never read too many issues of the second series, but that Flash Thompson as Spidey issue sounds pretty damn cool. I’m going to have to track that one down.

John Byrne once revealed in an interview the plans that he & Chris Claremont had for “What If Magneto Formed The X-Men?”. It was such a cool plot (Magneto’s X-Men fight & defeat almost every other Marvel hero, which results in Galactus eating the world when the FF isn’t there to defeat him). It’s a shame that it was never produced.

I didn’t mention Baron’s involvement?

That was quite an oversight – as I certainly intended to mention it.

I posted it before on this site: What If The Original Marvel Bullpen Became The Fantastic Four?

Jack Kirby as The Thing and Stan Lee as Mr. Fantastic. Great fun. Published in the 70’s I believe.

““What if Professor X had become the Juggernaut” is a favorite, on the other hand…”

I agree. This was one of the first ones I read.

And getting off topic, looking at those covers makes me miss the old corner boxes with the character pictures inside.

The “Atlantis Attacks” issue of What If? had quite an ending. The snake creatures of Set had decimated the Marvel Universe, and (if I remember this correctly) began to invade alternate realities to conquer. The Watcher looks directly forward (ie., at the reader) on the last panel and warns you that your reality might be next. Holy fourth-wall breaking! I’m guessing this issue was published after Grant Morrison’s run on Animal Man, though. Ah, well.

One that stayed with me from the original run was the sequel to WHAT IF…? #1, going a year into the future of that reality and what happens when Namor returns to New York.

As the recent Bendis “fifth week event What If…?” has come up, I’d like to throw in my two cents. Decent concept, first half to 2/3 read fine but the last part of the issue read like he realized this would be a done-in-one story and he couldn’t do the usual padding. I forgive the Mary Sue ending, but the pace shift in the story was painful. Maybe if they had made the double sized page count of the original run part of the fifth week “tribute” he might have been able to get the whole story in.

Some of my favorite What Ifs?

“What If Death’s Head I Had Lived?” v2#54- oh, Simon Furman’s What If issues varied in quality, but this was quality. I mean, the Thing explodes into little rocky pieces. Namor gets decapitated. And DHI at the end wonders about the heroism of the MU stalwarts he inadverdently got killed- “I hope it’s not catching, Yes?

“What If Rogue Posessed the Power of Thor?” v2#66- Despite a ludicrous even for What If premise, this is a great Rogue story and not a little sad (since instead of the Watcher it’s an in continuity vision Destiny II had). Rogue struggles with her guilt and newfound Godlike powers. Another home run from Furman.

“What If Professor X Became the Juggernaut?” v2#13- the first time I ever hearda that Busiek fella. Excellent, EXCELLENT story that belongs in any Busiek fan’s collection. The Professor achieves his “dream” as the Juggernaut- or has he?

“What If Spider-Man Became a Murderer?”- v2#72- while the story has an insulting cheat in it, this is a good depiction of how Spider-Man would have been had he killed the Burglar by accident. With great power… but in the end, he can’t ignore saving people.

“What If Dazzler Became Herald of Galactus?” V1#33- okay, this story isn’t very good, but the sheer STUPIDITY of it is breathtaking. The Dazzler soars through space, on her roller skates. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

“What If Gwen Stacy had slept with Norman Osborn and Had Twins?”- now THIS- oh wait.

Have to give an honorable mention to the “What If…Rick Jones became the Hulk” issue, because of the goofy dialogue from the gamma-irradiated teenager, which mixed the usual Hulk-speak with corny 50s teen rebel slang: “Squares want to fight Hulk? Hulk ready to rumble!”
Priceless. Whoever wrote it was having some fun, daddy-o.

I have the old Volume 1 “What if Pheonix had not died” issue, whch I always loved dearly. I was either not reading comics or ignoring What If durring Volume 2. Is the Volume 2 Pheonix story a reprint or retelling of the Volume 1 issue? Or a completely new story?

I’d like to give a shoutout to Mark Gruenwald’s “Roaming the Worlds of What If?” issue of Quasar, which has Quaze going into the Watcher’s viewscreen to track down some Living Lazer anomolies that had ended up there… basically an excuse to revisit some of the better and/or more bizarre What Ifs. Any fan of What If should hunt this down; and I hereby nominate Quasar for a future “Comics you should own”.

I always wanted to see “WHAT IF” do the following:

What if the Hulk had remained in his gray, “Joe Fixit” persona?

What if Mary Jane had died instead of Gwen Stacy?

What if Reed Richards and Sue Storm had never married?

What if Wonder Man had never returned to life?

What if Scott Summers had become the Phoenix?

Those are some fine choices, Abe.

They should do a whole bit on different X-Men becoming the Phoenix!

I always liked the 2 issue What If…Spider-Man didn’t remove the symbiote story.

In keeping with the traditional What If…motif of somebody important dying, Spidey himself basically gets used up before the symbiote bails on him and the FF and Avengers try to capture the symbiote. Most awesome moments: the symbiote takes over both Thor and the Hulk before being killed by the Black Cat.

To boot, I think it was even Bagley who penciled.

What IF Spider-Mans’ Uncle Ben had lived was a good issue. Ron Frenz did the artwork and made it very Ditko-ish.

I love Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe. Can it be considered as a What If.. issue?

@DK you can check out the Punisher vs The Marvel Universe miniseries, though its bascially Punisher vs. Marvel Zombies.

George Caragonne did an AWESOME run on Valiant’s The Legend of Zelda in the very early 90s and then went on to do comics for Playboy Magazine.

If I remember right, Caragonne is no longer with us, either.

And he did comics for Penthouse Comix, I believe.

My favorite was What If Wolverine Became Lord of the Vampires!

Some of the more dark-tone issues between issues 87 and 99 rank between the best ones for me, My pick for a top-5 is issue #94 “Kingdom of Cain” (Grim twist on Juggernaut’s motto) and an honorable mention are either issue #99 (Starring Black Cat) and/or #91 (A really twisted take on Bruce Banner).

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