Unlimited Highlights

Unlimited Highlights: What If?

Some of the most momentous moments in Marvel's history get twisted in this week's What If? Unlimited Highlights.



By Ben Chabala

Every week we'll pick a handful of awesome comics from the thousands available through Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. From creator spotlights to editor's picks and more, this'll be your spot to find something new and cool.

This week, to get you in the mood for a whole slew of new What If? books, including WHAT IF? WORLD WAR HULK #1 and WHAT IF? DAREDEVIL VS. ELEKTRA #1, we're shining the Highlights spotlight on some some absolutely twisted What If? alternate universe adventures for your enjoyment


WHAT IF? #1 (1977)
In an extraordinary tale only Uatu the Watcher, could tell, everyone's favorite Wallcrawler joins forces with Marvel's First Family to form the all-new Fantastic Five! No longer the lone arachnid avenger, Spider-Man fights foes both alien and familiar alongside the Thing, Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, and the Human Torch. But will this new alliance go the distance? More importantly, will the devious machinations of the Puppet Master and Namor tear the fledgling team apart before they even have a chance to prove their mettle?

WHAT IF? #9 (1977)
What if the Avengers fought crime during the 1950's? That's the question Iron Man poses to his compatriots Captain America, Beast, Vision, and Thor, but what they see in Tony Stark's new invention belies even their imaginations. In the wake of World War II during the chaos, rebuilding, and tenuous peace that followed, the infamous Yellow Claw seeks to take over America by blackmailing the United States government in exchange for the life of the President. Luckily F.B.I. agent Jimmy Woo forms his own team of super heroes to combat such evil: 3D Man, Venus, Gorilla-Man, and Marvel Boy must take down the Yellow Claw's super-powered minons and save the President before it's too late! Check out the story that spurred the Agents of Atlas into creation!

WHAT IF? #24 (1977)
Here it is folks, the What If? you've all been waiting for: What if Gwen Stacy had lived? What if Spider-Man, instead of attempting to slow the falling damsel's deadly descent from the George Washington Bridge with a webline and instead jumped down to save her? What if the two of them miraculously survived? What if Gwen Stacy, the love of Peter Parker's life, finally learned his deepest secret? Well what are you waiting for? Get reading!

After everything that happened between Jessica Jones and the Purple Man, the lady definitely deserved a break. And when said break comes directly from Nick Fury in the form of a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity, in this reality, she takes it. Jessica Jones becomes one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes and joins the Avengers. But does she ever even meet Luke Cage or instead find love in someone else's embrace? Could she somehow have averted the Avenger's devastation and the horror of M Day? If you've learned anything thus far you should know that anything's possible in the wonderful world of What If?

In our world Emperor Vulcan, while defending his sovereign Shi'Ar dictatorship, found himself drawn into battle around the ancient and mysterious M'Krann crystal. In a last ditch attempt at revenge, he attempted to hurl Professor Xavier into the space gem's reality-warped confines. But in this divergent reality, Vulcan takes the plunge. Once inside, he finds himself a prisoner within the White Hot Room, the birthplace of the Phoenix Force, and then all heck breaks loose. Somehow Vulcan manages to harness the limitless power of the Phoenix and only the combined might of his family, Scott, Alex, and Rachel Summers with the aid of Cable, stand any chance of checking his galaxy-consuming fury.


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Now that Marvel's back in the "What if?" business does this mean we'll get to see "What if Conan were an Avenger?"(See "What if 1st Series #'s 13 and 35 I think off the top of my head) It would be a realm treat for this old fan to see the "Conan in the 20th century" trilogy finally completed. Fuzzy