What if Marvel decided to collect the first 22 issues of the original divergent comic stories from the year 1977? Wonder no longer! The unimaginable has occurred!
Aside from the classic Marvel Hyperbole above, issues #1-15 and #17-22 of What If? will be collected in Volume One of an Omnibus edition this August.
Volume One contains 21 stories set outside of Marvel Comics continuity of the day with fantastical questions such as: What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four?, What if Captain America rescued Bucky in World War II?, What if Doctor Doom became a hero?, What if the Fantastic Four had different powers?, and many more.
Ironically enough, many of the What If? stories have “come true” over the years (such as Jane Foster becoming Thor, Hulk becoming intelligent, Bucky Barnes surviving World War II, different characters other than Peter Parker being named “Spider-Man”, and even Conan the Barbarian entering Marvel’s world (since they have the Conan license back). The Marvel Bullpen becoming the Fantastic Four has yet to be made canon…
The collections contains work by writers Roy Thomas, Jim Shooter, Don Glut, Jack Kirby, Gary Friedrich, Marv Wolfman, Steve Grant, Peter B. Gillis, Tom Defalco, and Bill Mantlo, with art by Kirby, Gil Kane, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Gene Colan, Carmine Infantino, George Tuska, and other artists of the era.
For those detail-oriented readers (and completists), you may have noticed that one issue has been left out of this collection, What If? #16 which contains the story “What If Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu, Had Remained Loyal to Fu Manchu?”. It is not clear why this issue was excluded (especially with Shang-Chi getting his cinematic close-up in the near future), but this issue doe appear in the Master of Kung Fu Vol. 3 Omnibus.
The What If? Volume One Omnibus will come with three distinct cover: one featuring George Perez’s issue one Fantastic Four and Spider-Man cover, and two comic shop only variants featuring John Buscema’s Jane Foster as Thor cover and Jack Kirby’s FF/Marvel Bullpen concept (which will most like by the rarest of the bunch).
What If? Volume One Omnibus will be released on August 18 and will retail for an even $100. Check out all the covers below and consider “if” you’ll purchase it this summer.