Sunday, May 1, 2011

What If? Classic, Vol. 5 (#27-32)

#27 (Jun 1981): Phoenix had lived instead of killing herself after becoming Dark Phoenix.
The Sh'iar Empire briefly contains the force within Jean Grey by using a "psychic
lobotimizer" (which strips her of her "natural" mutant powers) but it only works briefly,
as Phoenix comes back out of her during an X-Men fight with Galactus. Eventually the
X-Men catch her going out to outer space at night to secretly eat planets and stars to
feed the Pheonix force. They try to contain her, only to all be killed before Dark Phoenix
destroys the earth once she realizes what she has done. Plus yet another B-story about
the Kree. C+

#28 (Aug 1981): Two full-sized stories (and a mini-story) in one issue. The first story
speculates on what would've happened if Ghost Rider had been seperated from his host Johnny
Blaze. A ancient wizard steals the Ghost Rider spirit from Blaze in order to attack the Vatican
and become the "ruler of all Christianity" by brainwashing the Pope with magic or something.
Somehow the Rider and Blaze are still physically connected to the point where a physical injury
to one equally effects the other. Blaze uses this to his advantage, slaying the "Wizard Rider"
with his own magic sword...but this kills Blaze as well. I'm kinda curious on how the Pope is
the ruler of all Christianity considering the Protestants, among other groups, but whatever. The
second story involves a young Daredevil being found by Tony "Iron Man" Stark shortly after the
accident that blinds him. Stark ends up turning him over to Nick Fury and SHIELD, who then recruits and trains Daredevil as one of their agents. Meanwhile Daredevil's dad is kidnapped by HYDRA, but Daredevil manages to save him in time. Kinda predictable. And a [main continity] C-story involving the Eternals getting their ass kicked by the Kree for stealing one of their ships or something. The Kree capture a couple of them and realize that they're altered humans, which strikes them as unusual since Earth is still in the Stone Age. So the Kree go to Earth in an attempt to create their own subrace of "superhumans". Only the first story is really any good (if a bit odd), IMO; the substory about the Kree is somewhat interesting but has nothing to do with the "What If" concept, honestly. C-

#29 (Oct 1981): The Avengers (pre-Captain America) team up with a superbeing from the future
named Centurian in order to "save the Earth" by depowering all known superheroes and villains.
After a while the five Avengers become the only remaining beings with superpowers, and more
or less retire after Centurian reminds them that the goal was to remove all superpowers from
Earth. The Hulk does try to resist and has to be forced back into Banner form, while Thor
goes back to Asgard and the other three (Iron Man, Giant-Man, and the Wasp) stop using the
technology that gave them their powers in the first place. Centurian then tries to conquer
the Earth once he's convinced that all the superbeings are gone but Thor teams up with
the remaining Avengers (sans Hulk) to defeat the Centurian. Interestingly enough, this
alternate world was already showed in an Avengers issue, where Immortus (an alternate history
version of the Centurian) sends the mainstream universe's Avengers to this universe in
order to mess with his alternate history counterpart. In that issue the mainstream Avengers
manage to stop this world's Avengers from accomplishing their goal, but in this issue they
never appear to interfere with the Centurian. There's a B-story involving some mainstream
universe history between the Eternals and their cousins, the Inhumans. The C-story
speculates on what if the Sub-Mariner had remained a homeless amnesiac instead of regaining
his memory due to the intervention of the Human Torch. In this world the Sub-Mariner ends
up serving on a ship and using the name "Smith". He's loyal to the ship's captain even
though the rest of the crew think the captain is insane for his endless search for the
"center of the Earth". After a mutiny where the captain dies and the ship sinks, the
Sub-Mariner ends up stranded in Inuit territory, where they recieve him as some sort of god
because of his strength and how he can walk around naked in subzero weather. Ironically
their other "god" is a frozen Captain America, who in the mainstream universe was only
unfrozen after the Sub-Mariner throws his tomb of ice into the water while attacking the
Inuit during a temper-tantrum or something. Okay issue that actually ties in to mainstream
stories that dealt with alternate dimensions. C+

#30 (Dec 1981): Spider-Man's clone had lived. Yes, this was rehashed 15 years later in
mainstream conuinity as the Spider-Clone saga. This issue is more entertaining, but only
because it's funny to see the clone slowly realize who he is in reality (due to his
memories being outdated by a few years). The two Spideys team up to beat on the Kingpin,
then they make some sort of compromise where they switch-off on being Spider-Man every
couple of days. Plus a B-story about the Inhumans. B-

#31 (Feb 1982): Wolverine kills the Hulk during his Marvel debut. He then kills a Canadian
citizen who drunkenly attacks him in a bar. Rather than turn himself in, he becomes a
fugitive until Magneto finds him and recruits him into the Brotherhood. Soon Wolvie joins
the X-Men (the original five, not the 70s "rebooted" version) as a Brotherhood spy and
secretly disables Cerebro, but he then turns on Magneto after Magneto tries to kill Jean Grey.
He slashes Magneto to death but Magneto lives long enough to force Wolverine to rip out his
own throat with his claws. The second story involves the Thing going off on a rampage after
the cosmic flight that created the Fantastic Four. Somehow his behavior has ripple effects on
this reality in that Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor, and the Hulk never become their superpowered
selves. Tony Stark and Bruce Banner use a special weapon in order to depower the Thing but it
backfires instead, making him stronger. By this time, however, he's so demoralized about
everything he just wanders off into deliberate obscurity rather than continue to fight the
military and various superbeings. The weapon accidently depowers the rest of the Fantastic Four
for good, however. Interesting issue. B-

#32 (Mar 1982): A powerful being named Korvac takes control of the Earth when the Avengers
fail to defeat him. He kills them all and then "recreates" them as loyal servants. He
manages to become one of the most powerful beings in his universe (at one point he manages
to seal it off from all other universes by sheer thought only) but eventually finds himself
under siege by every single godlike being that he didn't manage to kill. He uses Galactus's
"Ultimate Nullifer" to utterly destroy the universe rather than surrender. LOL. This is the
first issue where the Watcher actually tries to interfere rather than just observe events. C

Overall: The best of the "What If" collection I've read so far, which isn't saying much. :/ C+

No comments:

Post a Comment