Did anyone else use to read Marvel's What IF series?

One of my favorites involved some guy called The Beyonder who had the power of an entire universe within his body. One of my favorite “boxes” was when he got a bit fat from eatting too much Earth grub and he just sort of “energized” the fat away.

I picked up comic-collecting years after the What If series wrapped, but I’ve picked out a few since then. And, sadly, too many of 'em have a “Earth-616 is the best of all possible worlds, everything different will lead to sorrow” theme. But there have been some gems—“What if Iron Man Sold Out” was pretty facinating.

Oh yeah, :dubious:
I really loved the one where Jean Grey got a lobotomy!! :rolleyes:

Wasn’t that bit used as a throwaway gag in issue #4 or #5 of the Secret Wars II miniseries? The Beyonder was surrounded by babes and read their minds that his accumulated fat was disgusting to them, so he casually melted it away by converting it to energy.

I’ve read two What If issues, both relating to Spider-Man. The first was what if Ben Parker had lived and the other was what if the alien costume had not been removed?

It’s easy to understand where they’re coming from, though. The guys who write this stuff knew they’d never get to really kill Spider-Man, but in What If nothing counted, so they could do whatever wild-ass thing they wanted.

I’ve got two or three of the first series I picked up at cons, and I collected the second series for a year or two when it first came out. A month or two ago Marvel put out a bunch of new What If’s in a span of one of two weeks, although I hear most aren’t very interesting.


I have the entire first run. It’s one of my favorite series of all time. Peter Gillis, who wrote a lot of the later ones, was very underrated. There were some classics – Miller’s “What If Elektra Had Lived?”, Byrne’s “What If the Fantastic Four Didn’t Have Superpowers?” Isabella/Kane’s “What If Gwen Stacy Had Lived?” Not there weren’t a lot of really, really bad stories throughout the run, because there were. Mostly written by Don Glut.

I never read the second series. Since my knowledge of Marvel history ends at around 1985 I have the feeling that I wouldn’t be able to follow many of the stories.

I’ve got a really great one I inherited from my dad: “What if the Marvel Bullpen became the Fnatastic Four”. Stan Lee was Mr. Fantastic and Jack Kirby was the Thing. I’m totally spacing on who was the Invisible Girl and the Human Torch tho’…

The cover art has the Torch’s first name as “Sol” and the I.G.'s as “Flo” if that helps anyone with a better knowledge of the early Marvel bullpen.

I loved this series. I have the one where the alien costume took over Peter Parker. My favorite one though was the What If Sue Richard’s gave birth to a second kid or something like that. It actually had two stories. One where the kid was evil and one where she was good. That was a good one.

I actually think Flo was Stan Lee’s faithful secretary and Sol might have been an intern or something. I’ll have to dig out the issue when I get home…

Sol Brodsky was production manager and also did some inking. Flo Steinberg was the receptionist or Stan Lee’s assistant in the early days of the Bullpen.

The only “What if” I ever read was the “What if the Watcher was a stand-up comedian?” parody issue, featuring “What if everyone who was ever an Avenger was still an Avenger?”, with about 75 heroes rumbling en masse out of headquarters to rescue a cat from a tree.

I’ve got at least two different “What If…Phoenix hadn’t died?” issues. I keep them in a box alongside my copy of the original ending of the Phoenix/Dark Phoenix saga. Kind of interesting…

“What If Spider-Man’s Clone Lived?” is another interesting one in light of all that clone nonsense from the nineties.

I was really into Marvel comics when I was in college (early 80’s). The first one I read was a “What If”. I remember one of the parodies…“What if Iron Man had an eating problem instead of a drinking problem?” The panel showed a hugely obese Iron Man in a restaurant ordering: “I’ll have a cow…and a Tab.”

funny stuff.

The best What If…? has to be issue #54, since it gave Death’s Head’s creator a chance to go and undo the grand-scale raping his character suffered at the hands of no-talent hacks. :slight_smile:

I still have my dog-eared copy somewhere of the one and only “What If” title I ever owned, and that was #1- What If Spider Man had Joined the Fantastic Four?

Well, Watcher, if *ifs *and *buts *were candies and nuts, we’d all have a better Christmas. :wink:

I loved that stuff. Also interesting was the “untold history” that got put into this series, such as the two substitute Captain Americas and the 1950’s Avengers.

Does anyone remember “Obnoxio the Clown versus the X-Men”? On the cover, front and center was Obnoxio holding an apparently dead Kitty Pryde, while the rest of the X-Men looked on in horror. Obnoxio was asking “hey, kids, what’s black and yellow, and don’t breathe no more?”*

I loved that comic.

*…a dead schoolbus.

I only remember a Spiderman parody: He used logic to defeat his enemies. The scene had him crashing through the villains window, then engaging in a philosophical debate. At the end the villain says “You have defeated me with your logic.” I still use that line when someone points out a mistake I’ve made.