Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top 10 Tuesdays - 10 Marvel What Ifs That Came True

For this edition of the Top 10 Tuesdays, I've decided to spotlight 10 Marvel What Ifs That Came True. For the purpose of this of this list, I'm going to focus more on the actual title of the What If? as opposed to the contents, which featured how they answered the What If? at the time. Instead, I'll be applying those 'what ifs' to current events and how Marvel has brought about the same effect in more modern times. You can view the entire list, comment on your favourite What Ifs that came true or let me know about any I missed, all after the jump.


#1. What If the Amazing Spider-Man had not married Mary Jane?
As seen in: What If? Vol 2 #20

While this What If? didn't feature Peter Parker making a deal with the devil to get out of his marriage, it is still rather funny that, after all these years, Marvel would actually deliver on the premise of this 'imaginary' What If tale.

#2. What if the Hulk had become a barbarian?
As seen in: What If? Vol 1 #23

No, Greg Pak did not write this issue and, no, this was not a part of the recent Planet Hulk storyline that was all the rage in the Hulk titles. All this proves it that anything as awesome as a barbarian Hulk would have to be followed up on in the main titles at some point. Shame on Marvel for taking so long.

#3. What If the world knew Daredevil was blind?
As seen in: What If? Vol 1 #8

This What If? story was taken one step further by former Daredevil writer, Brian Bendis, in his modern day classic, "Out", storyline where the feds literally out Matt Murdock as Daredevil to the world by leaking it to the press.

So, while this What If? only dealt with the world knowing he was a blind hero, Marvel went and let the whole world know he was blind and who he really was under the mask.

#4. What If Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four?
As seen in: What If? Vol 1 #1

I think it's fitting that the very first What If? story actually did come true many years later when Spider-Man ended up teaming up with Ghost Rider, Wolverine and Hulk to form the 'new' Fantastic Four in the now classic, Fantastic Four #347-349. This was later followed up in a What If? tribute book to the late Mike Wieringo, which came out late last year and to which the artwork accompanying this text comes from.

#5. What If the Beast and the Thing continued to mutate?
As seen in: What If? Vol 1 #37

Technically, this What If? is only half right - only Beast would go on to mutate further. We could argue that Thing has 'mutated' over time as artists brought their own flare and style to the Thing's rocky exterior, but, for the purpose of this post, we'll let it slide as the Beast, did in fact, mutate into the more 'beast-like' version to the left in Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men.

#6. What If the X-Men died on their first mission?
As seen in: What If? Vol 2 #9

Another iffy addition to this list, the X-Men to which this What If? refers were actually the X-Men from Giant-Sized X-Men #1 (ie. Colossus, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, etc).

Seeing as Marvel would later retcon the events of that issue, in X-Men: Deadly Genesis, in order to make room for the third Summer's brother, Vulcan, who led a new team of X-Men on an ill-fated first mission that say all but two of them survive, I think it's safe to count this one as having come true to some extent.

#7. What if Phoenix had not died?
As seen in: What If? Vol 1 #27

I actually feel kind of bad including the next two entries on my list as both characters die and return every second Tuesday. Even worse, Pheonix has had more than one What If? asking about whether she survived or not.

#8. What If Elektra had lived?
As seen in: What If? Vol 1 #35

Similar to Phoenix above, Elektra has died and come back from the dead so many times, I feel like I'm cheating you guys including this on the list. However, it's hard to deny the inclusion when I can name several different occasions in which she "had lived".

#9. What If the Age of Apocalypse had not ended?
As seen in: What If? Vol 2 #81

For the 10th anniversary of the Age of Apocalypse event, Marvel celebrated with a series of one-shots, all set prior to the actual events of the Age of Apocalypse, and a limited-series set after the events of X-Men: Omega titled, X-Men: Age of Apocalypse.

While it was probably 10 years too late coming out, the limited series did tell what happened if the Age of Apocalypse had not ended, thus proving this What If? true.

#10. What If the Punisher became Captain America?
As seen in: What If? Vol 2 #51

Another instance of 'maybe, sorta, kinda' came true, Punisher: War Journal #7 introduced Frank Castle's tribute to the fallen Captain America in the form of a Cap flavoured Punisher costume as Frank tried to uphold the beliefs and values of his fallen hero. If anything, this gave me an opportunity to post pictures of the Capunisher costume, which always makes me laugh.

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Rawnzilla said...

The Thing actually did mutate further, as seen on this cover of Fantastic four #324. His exterior became more jagged and sharp. I think this counts as a mutation, as it had to do with a second exposure to cosmic rays. I could be wrong.


Klep said...

I agree with Rawnzilla. The Thing's changes in appearance were married to changes in his power level. When he was more rocky and jagged, he was also supposed to be substantially stronger. That counts as a further mutation in my book for this purpose.

Kyle said...

i also think they did a "what if peter parker was the clone" DURING the 90s clone saga -- just a few months before announcing peter was the clone -- then announcing a year later that he wasn't. I also read somewhere that the deal with Mephisto was an idea they had for ending the clone saga, before they scrapped it. Now here they are bringing it back ten years later.

werehawk said...

Can't believe the Pet Avengers didn't make your list! (From What If Vol.1 #34). The originals included Pet Avengers Lockjaw, Redwing, and Zabu. But I wish the new series had are Aragorn, Devil Dinosaur, and Emma the ant like the What If did. I approve of Frog Thor and Lockheed however (and leaving out Dragon Man and Howard the Duck).

Rawnzilla said...

I noticed that I seem to bit nitpicking your articles recently. I'm only doing this because your articles are so interesting and well done that I want to see them do even better. I always that it was funny how some of Marvel's What Ifs came true. There's also "What If Iron Man was a traitor", and "What If the Hulk had the mind of Bruce Banner"

Jacob said...

I'm diggin' all these newer articles.

Randallw said...

I hated the 10th anniversary AoA series, and I have all the original issues (except the Nate ones), and Exiles from the start. I'd say my top 2 complaints about it were

1. Wolverine's female clone, etc.
'Hey I know, lets shoe horn in more alternate versions of characters that hadn't even been created when the original series came out. Like X-23. Sure the timeline is different but that doesn't mean we can't still add new characters'

2. The US recovery.
'yeah I know the US was a wasteland and most humans had been rounded up in camps and killed, but for the anniversary (which is a few years later) lets just make America look like 99% of the population was hiding and only have a few ruined buildings'

To be fair I did like one small aspect, Xorn (again, let's use alternate versions of characters created after the original series) turns out to be a character that Colossus sacrificed. Now she's sort of 'you know what, screw you'

Kirk Warren said...

@Rawnzilla - Don't worry about it. I didn't even consider it nitpicking. You were actually pointing out a mistake I made (knew Thing got rockier, didnt realize it was a power up too).

@Kyle - I remember the 'what if the clone was the real deal' story, but decided to leave it out since they eventually went back on that change at the end of the Clone Saga.

@Werehawk - If the announced Pet Avengers book had ended up being more than simply for comedy, I probably would have had it make the final cut for this list.

@Jacob - Glad you like them! Eric, Matt and myself have been putting a lot of effort into them.

@Randallw - The new characters they brought in annoyed me as well. I wanted to revisit the AoA, not see new versions of characters that didnt even exist at that time.

AirDave said...

Really like this Top 10 Countdown. What If? was always one of my favorite titles. Very cool!

Daniel Woburn said...

Everyone always says "oh, Jean Grey is always coming back from the dead." but hasn't it only been twice?

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