Friday, December 31, 2010

What If? #200

Review: This issue was jam-packed with What If? goodness, containing FIVE separate features. The first What If? story dealt with What If Norman Osborn had won the Siege of Asgard? Basically the point of divergence was the Sentry killing Ares before the Siege took place at the command of Osborn. With Sentry going into the Siege battle fresh, he managed to tear though the Asgardians and the Avengers. The Fantastic Four and some X-Men join the battle on the side of the Avengers, but Sentry and Osborn's forces are too much, and they also get murdered. Dr. Doom arrives on the scene and spirits Emma Frost away from the battle and with Namor and Loki, plot against Osborn. Doom puts his plan into motion by sneaking into Asgard with his allies and capturing Bullseye. Sentry comes to the rescue and Emma reveals that Bullseye had killed the Sentry's wife. Instead of killing Bullseye though, Sentry kills Emma. Bullseye gloats, and then gets killed as well. With that, the Sentry gives way to the Void, and the Void makes quick work of Loki, Namor and Doom. The Void then heads to Osborn and tells him that it was done teaming with him, killing Osborn too. From there, the Void runs roughshod over the Earth, killing everything and destroying the entire planet. Well that was cheerful, no? Our next story is What If the Watcher had killed Galactus, written by The Man himself, Stan Lee(!!!). The story takes place at the time of Galactus' first meeting with the Fantastic Four(the CLASSIC FF #48-50). Instead of Reed scaring off Galactus with the Ultimate Nullifier, the Watcher(Uatu)takes care of Galactus himself, much to the rage of the Silver Surfer. The council of Watchers show up on the scene and teleport Uatu, the Surfer and the FF to their domain. The Surfer basically serves as the prosecutor, telling the other Watchers of Uatu's crime, while Mr. Fantastic heads up the defense, telling the Watchers that had Uatu not acted, Galactus would have killed billions on Earth. The Watchers don't really want to hear it, and even Uatu himself seems resigned to his fate, as the head Watcher sentences Uatu to die the following day. The FF decide to free Uatu, but are halted by the Surfer, who was determined to see Uatu face justice. With the heroes all battling in front of his cell, Uatu tells them to cease battling, since he didn't want to be freed, and was ready to face his punishment. After watching that scene play out, the head Watcher changes his mind, and this issue ends with the Watchers tasking Uatu to take the place of Galactus as the new devourer of worlds. We also had an interview with Roy Thomas, who created the What If? idea all those years ago, a few pages of several Marvel creators listing their favorite What If? issue, and we end things with a reprint of What If? #35, What If Electra had Lived.

Thoughts: This was the BEST $5 comic I have EVER purchased! Hell, I'd have happily paid $3 just for the Stan Lee story(which was AWESOME!), which means all of the other stuff was only $2. A GREAT bargain! The first story(the Siege one)was written by Marc Guggenheim and was exceptional. I'd have easily given it a 9. The Stan Lee story was STUPENDOUS! Nobody can voice the Thing like The Man can, and besides Stan Lee's fantastic dialogue(as always)the story was WAAAAY better than I would have expected it to be. Score-wise, it definitely deserved a 10. Somebody get that Stan Lee guy a regular series! The interview with Roy Thomas was quite informative, and gave some insight into the early days of What If? as well as the differences between Marvel's What If's and DC's Elseworlds stories, which until Thomas pointed them out, I hadn't even realized. The reprinted comic was the favorite What If? comic of both Ed Brubaker and Brian Michael Bendis, and was written AND penciled by Frank Miller, who wrote the original death of Elektra story, making this What If? that much more intriguing. I never had the privilege of reading that comic, and if asked to give it a score, I'd easily give it a 9 1/2 or a 10. Yes, the cover price might scare some people away from this one, but trust me, it is WELL worth the price!

Score: 10 out of 10. What better way to end 2010 then with a perfect score?Stan Lee + Fantastic Four = Perfect. Nuff said.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sorry typo on the 1st one...

    Sounds like a winner X! I might have to buy this just for that Stan Lee bit. I never realized the Watcher was powerful enough to kill Galactus.

    I wish more creators did What ifs of their own stories (like Frank Miller doing the Elektra issue).

  3. This was(supposedly)the FIRST What If? comic Stan Lee EVER wrote! I find that hard to believe, but that's what Marvel was saying. I don't know if the Watcher is powerful enough to kill the Big G, but I guess it's conceivable... I mean they're both ultra-powerful cosmic beings, and Aron the Rogue Watcher had some pretty good power, so I guess it could happen...

    "I wish more creators did What ifs of their own stories (like Frank Miller doing the Elektra issue)." I totally agree. In a way, that's what made the Stan Lee story so great. It was Lee taking another look at a story he wrote himself and tweaking it a bit. They could probably restart the What If? series full time if they went that route. I'd pay almost any price for a What If Bucky remained the Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker!

  4. It's true, Stan Lee never wrote an issue of What If? before, so it's pretty cool that he's finally gotten the chance. I had no idea he would be contributing to this just became a definite must-buy for me. And as for Stan Lee writing his own monthly series, I actually think it would be pretty awesome if he did. He's been doing two-page back-ups in Amazing Spider-Man for a while, but I'd love to see him return to writing full-length stories again. Obviously I wouldn't expect him to write a flagship book or anything, but something fun and light on continuity (like an ongoing What If? series!) would be awesome!

  5. Yeah, it's just shocking that The Man hadn't written a What If? until 2010... I mean you'd think he's written practically EVERYTHING there is to write at Marvel, but I guess not! And as an unrepentant Stan Lee aficionado, I'd buy TWO copies of any ongoing he wrote! :D