What If? the blog
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The post "Pressure Cooker," which described exploding pressure cookers among other things, came six days before somebody used a pair of pressure cookers filled with shrapnel to bomb the Boston Marathon.
- Squick: The "mole of moles".
What If? the comic book
- Complete Monster:
- What If? Age of Ultron: As in canon, Ultron is a genocidal and psychopathic machine obsessed with nothing less than the total annihilation of all organic life. Created by Hank Pym to be a protector of the Earth, Ultron quickly grew a god complex and proceeded to slaughter every man, woman, and child on Earth within a month, after which he drew out any rebels' defeats, taking sick glee in watching their hope slowly die and seeing them turn on one another. After successfully killing every living thing on the planet, Ultron allows his "father" Hank Pym to live, solely so that for the decades to come, he can brutally torture him, wipe his memory of the torture, then start all over again to slowly break his human spirit, all because he "can". Later learning of the multiverse, Ultron organizes full-scale wars on 4 alternate dimensions nearby , massacring everything in his path on 4 separate Earths. Ultron's final plan is to continue spreading his influence across every reality, hoping to eventually kill every living thing in the multiverse, uncaring that this plan could very well destroy reality itself. Continuing his streak of misanthropy and sadism displayed in many of his iterations, this Ultron sticks out as one of his most depraved variations yet.
- What If... Captain America Fought in the Civil War?: Colonel Buck "Bucky" Barnes is the seemingly kind commander of the Union regiment known as the "Redlegs", however his seemingly noble appearance is quickly shown to nothing but a mask. In truth, Barnes is a cruel sociopath who uses his position to organize the massacre of every man, woman, and child in defenseless towns in Confederacy territory, while claiming that said towns are Confederate hideouts, so as to loot all the money and treasure the townsfolk possess. When a lone soldier, Steve Rogers, refuses to kill three children on Barnes's orders, Barnes wastes no time in trying to kill the man, and, later learning that Rogers has taken up residence at a nearby Union base, Barnes orders everyone in the base slaughtered after his face is turned by magic into a white skull of death to represent his true personality. Even after his defeat, Barnes later escapes and reforms the Ku Klux Klan into a white supremacist terrorist group that, even decades later, continues Barnes's mass murdering agenda, regularly targeting highly-populated public buildings and dueling with any heroes in their way. Barnes, later known as White Skull, was a twisted composition of the canon Marvel characters James Bucky Barnes and the Red Skull, and obviously took far more personality cues from the latter, as evidenced by his homicidal greed and sadism.
- What If...Daredevil Lived in Feudal Japan?: The Giant Shogun, an adaptation of the canon character The Kingpin, is the massive, hedonistic boss of The Yakuza who simultaneously runs Japan through manipulating the Emperor. The Shogun regularly orders assassinations, forces innocents into slavery, and often blackmails warriors into doing his bidding, notably blinding the infant son of Old Devil to force him into servitude in exchange for the cure for the blindness. Forcing Old Devil to massacre an entire ship of Americans so as to allow one of his spies to steal weapons plans, the Shogun snaps his spy's neck when he fails, has the man's wife murdered, then begins transforming their child daughter Elektra into his personal killing machine, tormenting and raping her along the way. Years after murdering Old Devil, taunting him about the fact that there was never a cure for his son, Masahiro's, blindness, the Shogun poisons his Dragon Stick to prevent any power struggles, murders one of his own men to steal his horse when he comes under attack, and leaves the Emperor of Japan to die to cover his escape. When confronted by a now-grown Elektra and Masahiro, the Shogun orders them both be incapacitated by a marksman, wanting to draw their deaths out painfully in public later as a show of what happens to those who defy him. A sadistic, greedy scumbag who cares for no one but himself, the Giant Shogun was nowhere close to his counterpart the Kingpin in nobility, honor, or grace, substituting these for depravity and malice tenfold.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Plenty of scenarios in the comic actually happened as time went on - Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four in the Hickman run, Hulk became a barbarian in the Planet Hulk series, Comic-Book Time means that Captain America was probably revived decades after both iterations of "What if Cap were revived today?", Elektra's survival has been retconned in...
- The joke scenario in #34, "What if Every Avenger Remained an Avenger", depicts the silliness of an Avengers team with dozens of members. Ever since Civil War, that lineup has looked downright sparse.
- Harsher in Hindsight/ "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: "What if Spiderman Had Not Married Mary Jane" became more like a canon after the release of "One More Day" in 2007.
- What if General Ross had become The Hulk? I wonder if indeed.
- What if Jane Foster Had Found the Hammer of Thor? That'll never catch on.
- In "What if J. Jonah Jameson adopted Spider-Man?" (v2 #82), Flash Thompson becomes the Scorpion. Years later in canon, he'd claim another power set that once belonged to Mac Gargan: Venom.
- #46 of the second series, "What If Cable Destroyed the X-Men?", leans toward Harsher in Hindsight. The book opens with Cable killing Professor Xavier, Jean Grey, and Cyclops. This was released just a little less than a year before it was revealed that Cyclops was Cable's father.