What If...?

While superhero comics had extensively published hypothetical, dream, and imaginary stories that took place out of continuity and explored the lives of its famous stars under different circumstances almost from the start, in 1977, Marvel Comics took things to another level with ‘What If…?’ an entire series dedicated to these hypothetical tales.  Unlike some past “imaginary stories,” these were usually built around a twist in a famous event from the comics, like the first issue, which asked, “What If Spider-Man Had Joined the ‘Fantastic Four’?” which took a divergent look at ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ #1, in which the wall-crawler attempted to do just that, or issue #5, which presented “What if Captain America had not vanished during World War II?” which presented a different take on ‘Avengers’ #4.

Now Disney+ is about to explore these alternate realities with a ‘What If…?’ animated series, overseen by Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige.  Like the comics, this is an anthology, with each episode presenting a stand-alone story.  It’s unclear if every installment will be an adaptation, but one episode is known to based on issue #47, “What If Loki Had Found the Hammer of Thor?”

However, while this episode will draw from a comic book story, the ‘What If…?’ series will actually be based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although it will not be canon.  It is hoped that some of the film actors will lend their voices to their characters on this series, which may happen, because voice recording is far less demanding than live-action.  The fact that Feige is in charge certainly helps, as shown by the fact that Disney+ will also be producing live-action shows based on the movie characters, with the same actors crossing over.

Last month, it was announced that Hulu was set to produce a quartet of Marvel-based animated series for adults– ‘Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.’, ‘Marvel’s Hit-Monkey’, ‘Marvel’s Tigra & Dazzler Show’, ‘Marvel’s Howard the Duck’–  and a crossover special ‘Marvel’s The Offenders’.  But with ‘What If…?’ going to Disney+, expect this to be safe for all ages.

What do you think?  Are you intrigued about exploring the infinite possibilities this show could present?

Just for the heck of it, here is a selection of some of the wacky scenarios that have been chronicled in the ‘What If…?’ comics, courtesy of /Film:

  • What if Captain America hadn’t vanished during World War II?
  • What if Spider-Man didn’t become a crimefighter?
  • What if Thanos joined the Avengers?
  • What if Captain America was found in 1983?
  • What if Professor X had become Juggernaut?
  • What if Wolverine had killed the Hulk?
  • What if The Hulk always has Bruce Banner’s brain?
  • What if the Avengers defeated everybody?
  • What if Flash Thompson, Betty Brant, and John Jameson had been bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Spider-Man?
  • What if Phoenix had not died?
  • What if the Fantastic Four hadn’t gotten their powers?
  • What if Captain America was elected President?
  • What if J. Jonah Jameson adopted Spider-Man?
  • What if Cable had destroyed The X-Men?
  • What if the world knew Daredevil is blind?
  • What if Namor grew up on land with his human father?
  • What if Daredevil became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
  • What if Elektra had lived?
  • What if Spider-Man Had Rescued Gwen Stacey?
  • What if Aunt May had been killed instead of Uncle Ben?
  • What if Jessica Jones had joined The Avengers?
  • What if the Avengers had become pawns of Korvac?