The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 9

September 9th, 2006 by | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today I bought the Essential Luke Cage, which has his first 27 issues. Sadly, Mr. Fish shows up in issue #29. DAMN IT!

Anyway, the article.


Issue: Volume 2, #73
Writer: D.G. Chichester
Artist: Tom Grindberg
Spider-Man death: No
Background: The Fixer had Jack Murdock killed for refusing to take a dive during his big fight. Matt Murdock was already training under the martial arts master Stick, and with his drive for justice, one day became Daredevil. Years later, he would become the mortal enemy of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. Here, Kingpin hears about the Fixer/Murdock incident and how young Matt has been seen with Stick. This interests him and he decides that this boy might be worth looking at.

We see young Matt Murdock on the day after his father’s death, unaware but suspicious of why he hasn’t seen him yet. It’s a day in the life as we see him deal with bullies and briefly talk to Stick. Policemen show up and bring him to the morgue to identify his father. As Matt is leaving, Kingpin’s assistant arrives and gives him a card (then realizing his obvious mistake, since the words are in print) telling him to meet Wilson Fisk at spice warehouse near a pier. Matt recognizes the name and goes even colder.

At the warehouse, Matt is attacked by a snake planted there for him. He grabs it and holds it at bay before Kingpin reaches over and crushes its head. “You leave the job only half-done, Matthew. Never tolerate a viper in your midst.” Kingpin explains that he knows about what happened to Jack Murdock and that he can do something about it. Matt has to make a decision of whether he wants to go get revenge himself or to have the Kingpin do it for him. Since it’s guaranteed and easier, he lets Kingpin take care of things.

We see a montage of all of those involved with Jack Murdock’s death being killed, including the Fixer, who is buried alive in concrete. At Jack’s funeral, Matt overhears Kingpin talking to his assistant about how he understands the loss he’ll take from killing his own men, but he thinks young Matt will make it worth the while. Matt plans to use his father’s life insurance to push himself through community college, but Kingpin puts an end to that idea. He’s going to hire the best tutors he can get to teach Matt about law. As Matt packs for his new life, Stick comes in through the window.

The different lawyers Matt learns from teach him all the corners of their world. One teaches him law in general. One tells him to use his own blindness as sympathy for the jury. One insists that he needs to fully understand everyone involved with the case, as books will only get you so far. Matt briefly discusses the contradiction of studying law when the Kingpin himself spits in the law’s face. Kingpin assures him that there is a common ground between them and Matt hopes to one day find it.

At night, Matt would put on a disguise and jump around rooftops. He has no real regrets, but he does wonder how things would’ve been different had he turned against Kingpin’s original offer. Throughout the issue we do see how Matt’s path has affected different supporting characters; some good, some bad. Syndy the prostitute never gets kicked out of a window and instead becomes both a Hollywood madam and a successful author based on her autobiography. Without Matt to stand up for him, Foggy Nelson continues to live his life as a pathetic verbal punching bag. He quits college and goes to correspondence school, leading to a life of divorce hearings and ambulance chasing. Without Matt’s recklessness, Elektra’s father is saved through diplomatic means. She becomes an international lawyer, with a hobby of collecting martial arts memorabilia. Karen Page herself becomes a successful actress with her own television series.

Fast forward to Matt’s adulthood. For the umpteenth time, he saves Kingpin’s fat by convincing a jury that Wilson Fisk is an honest spice merchant and that the authorities are merely trying to persecute him for his success. We see that Wilson and his wife Vanessa accept him as a second son, while Richard Fisk resents him for it.

One day, Kingpin and Matt visit the warehouse where they originally met. Kingpin has Jack Murdock’s belongings in storage and figures that since Matt’s in town, he’d want to take a look. Matt thanks Wilson for all he’s done for him, but feels that he can’t twist the law for him anymore. Kingpin agrees with no argument. Matt’s law expertise has given Wilson Fisk respectability, and he isn’t going to squander it. From now on, he will disconnect from the criminal underworld. Matt is happy about that and the conversation is changed to an old devil mask he finds in the warehouse. It’s a mask that Jack Murdock used to wear to the ring. Matt puts it on and Wilson smiles. We see the two resemble father and son and all is good. For a moment…

Richard Fisk and two goons arrive, having heard the conversation. Richard is angry about his father’s decision, as it’ll mean he can’t inherit the reins to the mafia. He has his men fire on the Kingpin. One of them tosses a Molotov cocktail at Matt, but he catches it and tosses it back, burning the man alive. Matt, wearing his father’s red devil mask, defends himself against the other goon and beats him to death with a wooden plank. He picks up a metal bar and tosses it into Richard’s legs, taking him down. Richard pleads with Matt about how jealous he was and how sorry he is. Matt’s hearing can sense the dishonesty as Richard reaches for a knife. Matt kicks him over a railing, to his death. Never tolerate a viper in your midst…

Kingpin dies? I’ll be damned.

Matt acts strong during the funeral and comforts Vanessa. Other mob figures offer comfort for him, saying that if there’s anything they can do, he just has to ask. Matt reads between the lines. He knows what this means. He’s been thrusted into being the leader of the New York City mob. The story ends with him sitting on the construction of the soon-to-be-finished Fisk Tower. He holds his father’s mask in his hand and faces down the city. He can only make out shapes with his condition, but he knows the color of both the city and its soul. There is no true good or true evil. There is only gray.

Next to the Hulk, Daredevil seems to get shit on more than anyone else in these stories. There are different ways you could take this story. You can consider it hopeless that Matt Murdock is being forced onto the other side of the law. You can consider it hopeful that someone like Wilson Fisk had plans to redeem himself. You can believe that Matt Murdock got what he deserved for taking the easy way our or maybe that he never had a chance from day one. It’s not the most spectacular issue, but it makes for a good read.


Issue: recent
Writer: Karl Kesel
Artist: Paul Smith
Spider-Man death: No
Background: When Reed Richards found Victor Von Doom’s notes, Doom sent him out of the room and began a lifetime of heated rivalry. Reed, meanwhile, always stuck with his best friend Ben Grimm. But what if Reed had a stronger friendship with someone in his mental ballpark?

Shortly after sending Reed away, Doom walks over to his notes and muses at how stupid his rival is. Then he notices that his calculations really are slightly off. He runs to Reed and Ben and with a humbled tone, tries to make amends. He and Reed begin to discuss their own scientific theories and other intellectual concepts as Ben gets lost in the conversation. Reed, now with a mental peer as a friend, becomes close with Victor. As it’s later mentioned, Ben later dropped out of college and joined the army.

Five years later, Victor gives a speech about how he and Reed have together created a ship that could travel space as easily as an airplane can travel the skies. The four of them – Reed, Victor, Sue and Johnny – will take it out for a test launch. Just when it seems that this alternate version of Victor Von Doom is a pretty nice guy, we see him verbally cut down Johnny for being annoying and useless while the other two are out of earshot.

As it turns out, Victor’s wealth has been a life-saver in terms of funding Reed’s experiments. He understands that Sue doesn’t like Victor too much, but ignores it. He also seems oblivious to how Victor moved up the launch date in order to over-shadow Sergeant Ben Grimm, who is taking part in his own science experiment for the government. More on that later. Shortly before the launch, Victor tries to make his move with Sue, but she tells him that she loves Reed and not him. Victor is insulted, as he’s richer and smarter than that blasted Richards. Her rejection makes his next decision much easier.

The four fly into space and soon hit a bombardment of cosmic radiation. Reed assures everyone that he installed shielding to prevent any trouble. Victor laughs and tells him that he made a mistake in the calculations; one that Victor decided not to fix. Victor’s body is suddenly washed over with armor that will protect him while the other three die from the exposure and the upcoming explosion. Victor brings the craft back to Earth and crashes it into a desert.

For a second, it’s like 616. Reed realizes he can stretch. Johnny is on fire. Sue can turn invisible. All of the sudden, Doom starts screaming. The armor had an opposite effect: it’s actually concentrating the cosmic radiation into him! He grows into a big, rocky monster and screams, “LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE!” He reaches into the wreckage, wraps himself in a green cloth and pulls out a jetpack he had there for… some reason, I guess.

It’s here we see what exactly Grimm’s been up to lately. He’s at a military test site, helping test the new gamma bomb. Thunderbolt Ross is thankful that he got that vagrant Rick Jones out of the testing range before they could start. Ben Grimm and Bruce Banner start up the process, but they suddenly see that there’s activity on the site. Once Ben sees what’s going on, he takes off to help. Unfortunately, due to the damage the area sustained from the Doom/Richards brawl, Banner can’t stop the explosion. Grimm continues to race over and tries to help his old friend Reed. Hearing that the explosion was imminent, he gets Reed to cover, but takes the brunt of the gamma blast. Reed is stunned for a moment, but then dodges as the mutated Doom is still after him.

Then what happened…? Well, in Marvel they say…

…that Ben Grimm’s feet grew six shoe-sizes that day.

For the next few pages, we get Ben Grimm-as-Hulk vs. Dr. Doom-as-Thing in a fight that is mainly Grimm furiously attacking Doom, who keeps dodging and out-fighting the jade giant while making fun of him for it. Doom grabs his jetpack, turns it on and punches Grimm with it, thinking it’ll be a fatal blow. Grimm just smiles at him and tells him, “Maybe Doom not smart like he thinks!” Angrier and therefore stronger, Grimm pounds the living crap out of Doom.

Reed tries to stop Grimm from crushing Doom with a large rock. Grimm lashes out and throws the rock at Reed. Sue and Johnny try to stop him, but Grimm continues to go on a rampage. He picks up another rock and moves towards Reed, but Reed tries to talk him down. He explains how sorry he is about what happened between them and that he realizes that he let money and science get in the way of family and friendship. He is still Ben’s friend and asks for forgiveness. Grimm hesitates and sense finally kicks in. He reverts back to his human self and collapses.

Doom escapes on his jetpack and Reed notices that he no longer has his funding. Sue brings up the morale and says that they can get another lab and use their powers for the good of mankind. The four stack their hands in the middle and agree: they will become the Fantastic Four. The final page is a nice collage of the Fantastic Four supporting characters with that world’s version of the team posing in the foreground.

If this issue has taught me anything, it’s that Ben Grimm has far more body hair than Bruce Banner. The main problem of the issue is that it seems to cater to the Fantastic Four movie by totally ignoring all the stuff about Latveria and Cynthia Von Doom. Therefore, Doom comes across as nothing more than an ass. Even then, I can’t fault the issue too much. The moment we find out Ben Grimm is working on the gamma project, things take a turn for the awesome. The whole Hulk situation turns the issue around, mainly for the brawl with Doom. “GRIMM CLOBBER DOOM!” just makes me so giddy. It’s nothing much, but compared to the rest of that year’s batch of What Ifs (none of which are on the list, other than What If General Ross Became the Hulk), it was like Watchmen with Alex Ross art, scented with bacon. Neat art, too.


Issue: Volume 2, #9
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Rich Buckler
Spider-Man death: No
Background: In one of the most important X-Men stories of all time, the team investigated the island Krakoa, not realizing that it was alive. They all became prisoners, being sucked of their life-forces. Xavier put together a rescue team out of Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Storm, Sunfire and Thunderbird. They showed up, released the X-Men, and helped defeat the monster by screwing with the gravity and sending it into space. They safely escaped on the Blackbird jet and a new era was born in X-Men history. So what if the team couldn’t get to the Blackbird in time? I bet that would suck.

In Scotland, Moira McTaggart gets a telegram that Charles Xavier is in poor health and needs her immediately. Young Rahne Sinclair (who would one day become Wolfsbane) pleads to come with her, since her adopted father is a complete jerk. The two go to America and find Beast waiting for them. So as not to frighten them, he wears a latex disguise to make himself look human. He introduces them to Xavier, who doesn’t appreciate Beast’s gesture in hiring Moira as the housekeeper. He acts completely empty and emotionless, insisting that he not have any physical contact with anyone.

Beast removes his disguise and tells Moira and Rahne about what the mansion used to be about and how the X-Men died. Beast was with the Avengers at the time, so he wasn’t there for the mission against Krakoa. By chance, he visited and found Xavier borderline suicidal. He sticks around out of fear of what Xavier could do to himself. Moira and Rahne decide to stay there too, though it’s rather painful for Moira. She used to be in love with Xavier, and now he’s mostly quiet and resigned to solitude.

One day, Count Nefaria makes an announcement that he and his Ani-Men have taken over a military missile silo and will cause massive destruction unless their ransom demands are met. Beast immediately tries to contact some of the other teams.

Beast decides to use Cerebro himself. Since he’s not a psychic, he only has limited use of its power. He searches for specific mutants and tries to get them to join aboard. Scarlet Witch is on her honeymoon with Vision when she hears the message. Quicksilver gets the message too, and only agrees because his sister is in danger. Beast tries to contact Namor, but instead gets Namorita. Theresa Rourke is training with her uncle Black Tom when she hears Beast’s voice. Finally, Beast comes across Thunderbird’s younger brother James Proudfoot. James is really pissed since he knows about how his brother died. He agrees to help out, but only if he gets to meet Xavier later.

After talking to Proudfoot, Beast starts screaming. The strained Cerebro can’t take any more abuse and explodes. Xavier enters the room too late, though he does figure out what Beast was attempting. Even though Beast and Rahne are missing from the explosion, he assures Moira that they’re all right.

They explain the teleporting by having Beast feed the computer data on Nightcrawler into his head so… you know, it’s not really worth typing. The group breaks into the military base and fight the Ani-Men for a while as Rahne stays behind. The villain Dragonfly begins to hypnotize the makeshift mutant team and commands them to attack each other. Xavier, looking on mentally, has a fit. They’re all going to die, just like the others. On the upside, the fight with the Ani-Men has destroyed all the control apparatuses, rendering the missiles and self-destruct sequences disabled. Xavier mentally communicates with Rahne, telling her that she’s their only hope. He helps push her into jumpstarting her mutant power, transforming her into a wolf. She attacks Dragonfly and saves her friends.

The tide is turned and Count Nefaria tries to escape in his plane. Theresa (now calling herself Banshee, in honor of her dead father) uses her sonic voice to blow up the plane before it can get away. This is similar to the 616 continuity, where Thunderbird sacrifices himself with a similar action. The explosion knocks her out of the sky, but Proudfoot is there to catch her.

Xavier speaks to them all, showing how proud he is. He wants them to become his New X-Men. Quicksilver needs to be with the Inhumans and Scarlet Witch is dedicated to the Avengers, so they both decline with the promise that they’ll be there if the X-Men ever need their aid. Banshee, Namorita, Rahne and Beast are all fine with joining. A guilt-ridden James Proudstar isn’t sure if he truly belongs. He admits to everyone that he blamed his brother’s death on Xavier and even entertained thoughts of killing him with his own bare hands. Seeing Banshee’s heroic almost-sacrifice showed him what his brother stood for and how wrong he was. Xavier compliments his bravery and says he still wants him on the team.

Moira is impressed with Xavier’s reaching out to the boy, but Xavier asks what the boy’s shame is compared to his own. Moira gives Xavier some words of encouragement and helps him turn away from his own self-hatred. Feeling optimistic for the first time in months, Xavier asks Moira to wheel him over to the computer room so he can start rebuilding Cererbro. There’s work to be done.

X-Men? More like the C-List! This is one of the few, or maybe only, issue of any comic where I’m mainly interested in what’s going on with Xavier. With the general knowledge of the Krakoa storyline and the amazing cover, you’re already sucked in because you just have to see what kind of mental state a guy like Xavier would be in after failing so badly twice over. The third-string X-Men team isn’t something I’d like to read in normal continuity, but it was still a nice touch, since with all the mutants out there, the only thing preventing an X-Men roster from coming together is really Xavier’s will. Definitely one of the better Beast-related stories I’ve read.


Issue: Volume 2, #34
Writer: Scott Gimple, Darren Auck and others
Artist: Tom Morgan, Sam Delarosa and others
Spider-Man death: Yes
Background: Here we get another comedy issue. So… there’s not much to go over here, is there?

There are a lot of quick comedic gags and I won’t mince words: most of them are awful. Stuff like What If Storm was an Air Traffic Controller and What If Wolverine Hibernated only get a roll of the eyes and a groan before I turn to the next page. The issue is also too short, especially when compared to the other two humor issues, so it doesn’t have much of a chance to make you laugh. Not to mention that one of the few stories in there is about Spider-Man having some kind of “adorable” mutant spider-baby that is so bad, I almost considered taking this issue off the list.

That is, except for two things. One, a slight redeeming factor, is What If the Punisher was the Stern, Yet Fatherly Type.

Then there’s the main story of the issue, What If Thanos Changed Galactus Into a Human Being? Much like in regular continuity, Galactus attacked Thanos after the mad titan had obtained the Infinity Gauntlet. Here, Thanos decides to punish Galactus with what he considers a fate worse than death. Galactus is transformed into a human being and is sent to Earth. It’s worth noting that, not surprisingly, this What If isn’t exactly strict with the story it’s based on. Earth isn’t spiraling away from the sun, like it was in Infinity Gauntlet.

Human Galactus lands in Kansas, naked in the rain and unable to remember who he is. He stumbles into a trailer and we get a good look at Galactus’ new form. Due to some kind of cosmic coincidence, Galactus now looks exactly like Elvis Aaron Presley! This blows the mind of the woman who owns the trailer, Gertrude, a single mother and major Elvis aficionado. Galactus passes out at her doorway, but she takes him in and takes care of him. As she puts it, he probably has “amoeba” like she once saw on Gilligan’s Island, which is why he can’t remember anything.

Gertrude tries to make Galactus remember who she thinks he is. She has him listen to Elvis’ albums, watch his movies, read up on him and teaches him how to dance. Galactus, as it turns out, is a quick learner on the guitar and has a beautiful singing voice, that immediately swoons Gertrude. The two can’t understand it, but he has to be Elvis. Why he isn’t dead or fat, they can’t figure out. All that matters is that he’s back and he’s been given a second chance.

For the next few weeks, Galactus lives with Gertrude and her son Toby, happily enjoying the simple Southern lifestyle. He gets a gig at a local bar, which keeps him obscure enough for the time being. A man approaches him to do a benefit show for farmers and Galactus takes him up on the offer. When Gertrude pipes in with her concern of how he’ll be recognized, Galactus just takes it in stride. Like anyone would really believe that Elvis is still alive and well. He’s Elvis and even he has a hard time believing!

His performance gets the attention of the media and it’s soon widely known that the King has returned. As Galactus, Gertrude and Toby look at all the fans crowded outside the trailer, a visitor teleports behind them. It is Adam Warlock, showing off his newly-won Infinity Gauntlet. Now that Thanos is defeated, Galactus can return to his old status quo. Galactus has no idea what he’s talking about (“Who are you? What power? Why do you look like a mango?”), but Warlock returns his memories with the wave of his hand. Now that he remembers who he is supposed to be, Adam Warlock wants him to go back to being the Devourer of Worlds. Gertrude says that he could instead stay back on Earth and be the King of Rock n’ Roll.

Elvis and Galactus really aren’t so different in the end, at least to me. Both are larger than life personalities in gaudy outfits. They’re intriguing figures and are notably unique in their own respective worlds. Whether it’s the world of music or the world of comic book characters, they will always have their own places as colorful legends for years and years to come. When put together into this one story, it’s completely far-out yet at the same time funny, satisfying and just a little bit touching. The story is only seven pages long, but I always find myself smiling whenever I read it.


Issue: Volume 2, #52
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Manny Galan
Spider-Man death: No
Background: Years ago, as mentioned in the story Triumph and Torment, Dr. Doom sought out the Aged Genghis, the world’s most ancient sorcerer. He hoped he could teach him to release his mother’s soul from Hell. Aged Genghis merely refused him and sent him on his way. Around that time, surgeon Stephen Strange sought out the Ancient One and became his student. Now, Stephen Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme of his world. But what if Victor Von Doom took that left turn at Albuquerque?

Victor, with a slight scar across his cheek, finds the Ancient One and insists he be his pupil in order to free his mother’s soul from Hell. The Ancient One looks over Doom’s backstory and decides to allow it. While Doom is a vain ass, there is a nobility and spark of goodness in him. Doom humbles himself and says that in return for the teachings, the Ancient One will be the first he has ever referred to as “master”.

Baron Mordo looks on and isn’t pleased. As time passes, his irritation becomes anger, then hate, then fear. Doom learns the secrets of magic far faster than Mordo ever has. Mordo barges into Doom’s study and attacks with a barrage of spells… that do nothing. Doom, actually a robot, grabs Mordo by the neck and installs something into his skull. The real Doom walks in to explain.

One day, as the Ancient One is meditating, Stephen Strange enters. Doom shows no interest in his problems and tries to send him away. The Ancient One interjects, telling Doom that if he can truly help out Strange with his problem, then there is nothing left the Ancient One can teach him. Doom takes Strange away, chops off his hands and replaces them with robot duplicates. Now his surgical skills will be even more accurate and he can continue that road. The Ancient One looks on in disapproval.

“And so Stephen Strange leaves and Victor Von Doom has failed me. He failed to see that man’s true problems – not those in his hands, but those in his heart and soul. Victor is not the man destined to be my successor and unlike Mordo, he’s too cunning to keep under my control… It would be best for all if I fulfill my part of our bargain before he masters any more of the mystic arts. But is he ready enough for the challenges of the Netherworld?”

The Ancient One gathers the various Sorcerer Supreme bells and whistles to aid Doom, since he needs something to make up for his lack of experience. Doom surprises the Ancient One with the revelation of his new metal armor. They enter Hell and immediately meet Mephisto, who is just so excited to torture Doom. When Doom’s mother, Cynthia, is brought up, Mephisto points her out nearby, being attacked by demons. He yawns and says he’s done with her, so if they really want her back, they’re free to take her.

Doom, without thinking, rushes towards her. Mephisto transforms into a disgusting giant creature with hideous manboobs, laughing about how easily he’s split up and therefore weakened the duo. The Ancient One grows to equal size and fights the devil while Doom rushes through demons to get to his mother. The Ancient One sees that a demon is sneaking up on Doom, so he smites the demon at the cost of his own life. Mephisto hits a fatal blow while the Ancient One is distracted. Doom is momentarily taken aback, shouting, “Mast—Ancient One!”

In another realm, the Dread Dormammu is beaming, as with the Ancient One out of the way, there would be no better time to invade Earth.

Back in Hell, Mephisto laughs at his victory. No way can Doom beat him. All of the sudden, the Ancient One begins to glow. Mephisto made one major mistake: he only killed the Ancient One’s body. His soul, on the other hand, doesn’t belong in Hell. It rises and takes Cynthia Von Doom with him. Mephisto tries to stop him, but the light burns his hands. With the devil distracted, Doom returns to Earth. There he finds his man-servant Mordo waiting for him. Doom comes to realize quickly that Dormammu is trying to take advantage of the Ancient One’s death. He’s going to need some help on this.

Then we check in with the Fantastic Four. All the demons terrorizing the city catches their attention, but soon they shift that attention to the big metal guy with the big red cape standing in the room. In his spirit form, Doom says that at the moment, he’s also fighting Dormammu and that he had to transfer the portal from Dormammu’s world into New York City so the heroes could fight off his minions. Doom needs some special jewel from the days of Blackbeard the Pirate and the Fantastic Four need to go fetch them.

Reed is fine with it, but Thing argues against it. Since time is of the essence, the four agree and go back. They disguise themselves and then brawl with pirates, much like in regular continuity. Through the awe of all the other pirates, Thing discovers that the legend of Blackbeard the Pirate is entirely based on Thing’s time in this era. The team gets the jewel and return to the present, though Thing decides to stay. He likes the respect.

Back in the present, NYC is being racked with demons and all the heroes of that era (back when Daredevil wore yellow) fight them the best they can while in the sky above, Doom and Dormammu battle with all hands glowing brightly. Doom is getting the worst of it, but luckily Richards stretches in and tosses him the jewel. Doom catches it and lets loose a spell that sends Dormammu back to his home dimension, possibly forever.


Reed Richards sits and admits to the other heroes that he doubted Doom, yet in the end, he saved them all. Iron Man’s “boss” Tony Stark has hired Dr. Strange to fix him up, but the damage is to extensive. Victor Von Doom, Sorcerer Supreme, is going to die. Strange stands alone with Doom’s dying body, feeling a bit down.

“Well, Von Doom, we’ve come full circle. I can never pay you back for what you did to my hands… but Stark’s check will help ease the pain.”

As a couple robots teleport in, Doom weakly speaks. “This moment… has been prepared for.”

“Still hanging in there, eh, Doom? Give it up. You’re all out of time.”

“Oh, no, Strange. I… we… have all the time in the world…”

Strange notices the robots, who advance, grab him and pull him into a portal. “What… What’s going on?”

“From the moment I met you, Stephen… I sensed great mystical potential in you… Close to… dare I say my own. A glorious destiny awaits you, Dr. Strange. A glorious destiny…”

And with that, Doom flatlines. Strange is brought to the Ancient One’s temple, where Mordo’s head is reduced to a smoldering flame (re-read Doom’s speech about the nannite bomb if you don’t get why). Strange is strapped down by the robots and his mind is replaced with Victor Von Doom’s memories. As the Watcher states, Doom’s term as Sorcerer Supreme is both the most short-lived and longest-remembered.

Now that was fun shit. We get a good look at Doom as being stuck in-between his roles as noble protector and scheming bastard with no boundaries. The story bounces around a lot, between Doom’s training, the Triumph and Torment take-off, the Fantastic Four side-story and the final battle with Dormammu, but doesn’t feel too rushed. I like the can of worms that comes with the ending, as it’s only a matter of time before both the heroes get an idea of what’s going on with Doom and Doom goes after his hated Reed Richards.

Next on the countdown: Death, demons and a couple trips to Hell.

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7 comments to “The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 9”

  1. Whoa… Dan Slott wrote that What If? I didn’t notice it the first time I read it.

    The ending was nice and creepy.

  2. …that Daredevil one is *interesting*. And I love Galactelvis; it’s so weird a concept, yet works so well. Plus, the Doom one truly shows how one person can be so awesome, yet such an ass.

  3. At Wizard World Philly this year I showed the issue to Slott, and he said, “While I liked this, it has some of the WORST dialogue I ever wrote!”

  4. […] become when you toss in delayed retcons and new pieces of canon. For instance, there’s the issue What If the X-Men Had Died on Their First Mission, where the New X-Men team (Wolverine, Storm, etc.) go to Krakoa to save the original X-Men and they […]

  5. […] was pleased that I enjoyed that one, but was really down on himself for the issue where Dr. Doom became Sorcerer Supreme. He said that he had a couple ideas for new ones, including one he says is so obvious he can’t […]

  6. whaat if tahor joined the fantastic 4(twist avengers 1) what if gwen stacy or maary jane had been bitten by the spider. 5 of my frends won a snowman contest

  7. whaat if thor joined the fantastic 4(twist avengers 1) what if gwen stacy or maary jane or eddie brock had been bitten by the spider. 5 of my frends won a snowman contest