What If? Classic—Volume 5

what if classic volume 5 cover trade paperback
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Fun stories, nice classic art

With infinite options some story choices are questionable

Comic Info

Comic Name:  What If? (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writers:  Mary Jo Duffy/Michael Fleisher/Mike W. Barr/Frank Miller/Steven Grant/Bill Flanagan/Rich Margopoulos/Bill Mantlo/Roger Stern/Mark Gruenwald/Peter Gillis

Artists:  Jerry Bingham/Tom Sutton/Frank Miller/Alan Kupperberg/Rich Buckler/Bob Budiansky/Mark Gruenwald/Ron Wilson

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2008

what-if-#27-phoenix-uncanny-x-men

What If? (1) #27

Reprints What If? (1) #27-32 (July 1981-April 1982).  Uatu the Watcher is in a unique position.  The endless possibilities of realties are in front him to watch and study.  He can see a world the Phoenix did not commit suicide to save the universe, where Daredevil became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Wolverine killed Hulk, and Korvac defeated the Avengers…these stories and more the Watcher watches…and tells their tales.

Written by a number of writers, What If? Classic—Volume 5 collects six issues of the Marvel series which first hit stands in 1977.  Like previous volumes, the collection has a nice clean look that really enhances the released comic books.

The stories in What If? are almost always fun.  With so many possibilities, it is difficult to make a choice on what issues should be covered (especially since the series was a bimonthly comic).  With that in mind, you have to wonder about some of the choices.  It also sometimes becomes difficult for the writers to put all the information the reader needs about the original events into the story.

In this collection you have not only the What If? stories but a back-up series for What If? (1) #27-30 involving the Kree, the Eternals, and the Inhumans.  These are in the traditional Marvel Universe canon and just “untold tales” what Uatu has decided to present.  They include the origin of the Eternals and the Inhumans.  If I’m reading What If?, I want a crazy What If? story and not a story that I could find in a regular comic.  It is also unfortunate that the back-up story started in issues before this collection, so readers will find it a bit confusing to be put into the story midway.

what-if-#30-spider-man-clone-inhumans

What If? (1) #30

The What If? stories however are fun.  In this collection you have What If the Phoenix Had Not Died?, What If Ghost Rider Where Separated from Johnny Blaze?, What If Matt Murdock Was an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.?, What If the Avengers Were the Last Super Heroes on Earth?, What If the Sub-Mariner Never Regained His Memory?, What If Spider-Man’s Clone Had Survived?, What If Wolverine Had Killed the Hulk?, What If there Was No Fantastic Four?, and What If the Avengers Had Become Pawns of Korvac?  The collection is relatively eclectic, but like many What If? stories, the world ends up falling due to the idea that occurrences aren’t just happenstance and have a greater meaning (a big Butterfly Effect idea).  The Matt Murdock issue also features art and writing by Frank Miller during his popular run on the Daredevil series (and is often collected with his work there).

What If? was a fun series.  The first volume of the series was a lot of fun but pretty weighty due to the length of the issues.  The second volume had more issues, but also had to cram a lot of backstory in the issues.  I prefer sticking with the original presented here.  The What If? Classic line continues with What If? Classic—Volume 6.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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