Elseworlds, What Ifs, and Other Things I Crave

November 9th, 2008 by |

There is a book in which Superman helps win the Civil War, saves Lincoln from assassination and then makes his spaceship into a horse and rides it out west to the frontier.

There is a book in which Superman skips the cumbersome spaceship-steed concept altogether, and becomes a centaur. All right, he’s evil, but sacrifices have to be made for convenience.

Then there’s The Justice Riders, in which Sheriff Diana Prince and her gang of deputies go after evil railroad tycoon Maxwell Lord. No, I’m not going to spoil whether or not she uses her signature move on him. The art is by JH Williams.

And the book in which Batman is a Pirate. Calm down, people. Batman did it before it was cool. Johnny Depp *wishes* he were as original as the BatPirate.

I’m fond of post-Kirby era comics nuttiness, and I’ve chased it through several modern books. Legends of the DCU was pretty cool, with books about Diana whoring herself out for either world peace or to teach a gigolo a lesson, I forget which, and also a semi-sexual hook-up between Raven and Wally, although Wally was on the rebound at the time. Legends of the Dark Knight had the occasion gem, such as when Batman was a Viking or the Joker turned into a film director. When LotDK went, replaced by Batman Confidential which has been much less nutty, I found refuge in Simone’s run on The Atom, and everyone knows my love for Superman/Batman

But I want more. Yes, okay, occasionally Batman and Superman fight Vampires and Werewolves, but shouldn’t there be a book that lets us see what would happen if Alfred were a cyborg? Or Wonder Woman actually came from a culture that revered Egyptian gods? Or if Pa and Ma Kent were bootleggers during the prohibition era? Hal and Ollie during the Revolutionary War? What if everyone had wings, just for the hell of it? Or they were all monkeys? Everyone loves monkeys. Except me. I want them all to be kittens. My point is, couldn’t we have a series that consisted of Elseworlds and What Ifs ? Think how much fun it would be from month to month to read DC characters in the most demented stories any maniac could babble into existence.


Like you wouldn’t want to see Alan Scott parting the Red Sea.

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11 comments to “Elseworlds, What Ifs, and Other Things I Crave”

  1. Superman as centaur sounds like the worst idea ever, but I can’t put my finger on any one particular reason why.

    I’d kill for the return of What If? monthly, though. That book was always one of my favorites, and I know Gavok is a fan.

  2. I think it’s because as a centaur, I can’t see Superman doing any of his trademark poses. Try to imagine a centaur flying like Superman. It doesn’t jibe.

    With What If, I think that if they’re making 5-6 new issues a year, they might as well just make it bi-monthly.

  3. I’d imagine it has more marketability as a series of specials though. C’mon, a bimonthly release that not only doesn’t tie into the main line but doesn’t have it’s own internal continuity? On one hand, DC could definitely get away with an over-sized Elseworlds/Multiverse Quarterly, but the way Marvel is handling their What Ifs allow you to get just the stories you want.

  4. Isn’t Superman/Batman a monthly Elseworlds book?


  5. @david brothers: That’s the great thing about What If books though. Even the worst ideas ever are incredibly entertaining. And the Centaur one was by Chris Claremont and ended with Lois, Lana and Clark in a weird threesome relationship on the moon.

    @Gavok: Yeah. He didn’t fly as a centaur. Also he had that icky long eighties hair.

    @HitTheTargets: Yes. Build up popularity.

    @greyhoundbus: See, that’s the thing, it pretty much *is* and that’s why I love it.

  6. I dug Elseworlds and What If, as well.

  7. Yeah, my favourites among my own ideas would probably be the six-arc maxi-series What If Doom Won? (So epic it doesn’t even need an ellipsis!), and Elseworlds: First Son, where the last human on Earth is sent back in time by a dying Rip Hunter, to colonise a planet and start his own civilisation in the past…and, of course, you can guess where. This would explain why Kryptonians look so uncannily like humans.

  8. I don’t like how all imaginary stories have to be big fancypants Red Son/What if the other guys won Civil War? deals now. Sometimes you just wanna read “What if Katie Power became the Punisher?” y’know?

  9. In the spirit of Fallout 3 bringing back the joy’s of the post-apocalypse, I’d like to see DC present Age of Apokolips. As I would say circa 1996, totally awesome.

  10. Hey, I’d say that Booster Gold (DC) and Exiles (Marvel) are at least nods to that… although not the full blown wackiness they could be.

  11. I love the concept of Elseworlds and What ifs. This project needs to be done. 😛