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What If? the blog

  • The conclusion of Machine Gun Jetpack.
  • This bit from footnote 5 of Falling with Helium:
    Additionally, while researching impact speeds for this article, I came across a discussion on the Straight Dope Message Boards about survivable fall heights. One poster compared a fall from height to being hit by a bus. Another user, a medical examiner, replied that this was a bad comparison:

    "When hit by a car, the vast majority of people are not run over; they are run under. The lower legs break, sending them into the air. They usually strike the hood of the car, often with the back of the head impacting the windshield, "starring" the windshield, possibly leaving a few hairs in the glass. They then go over the top of the car. They are still alive, although with broken legs, and maybe with head pain from the nonfatal windshield impact. They die when they hit the ground. They die from head injury."

    The lesson: Don't mess with medical examiners. They're apparently pretty hardcore.

What If? the comic book

  • That time Wolverine, Iron Man, Spider-Man and The Hulk defeated Thanos while the latter had the fucking Infinity Gauntlet!
  • What If? #44, "What If Captain America Were Revived Today?". Cap is not revived out of suspended animation until the mid-80s, and discovers that the country has been willingly turned into a police state, led by a paranoid, substitute Captain America who's being manipulated by an organization out to stifle dissent, curtail civil rights, and protect the privileged. Identity cards are issued, martial law is declared, minorities are placed in walled ghettos, and anyone siding with them (including other superheroes) are either imprisoned or hunted traitors. Upon learning of all this, the real Cap leads an assault during a nationally-televised rally, whereupon he defeats the impostor and then chews out the entire country for betraying its ideals... then rallies the country back to those ideals. AND HE MAKES IT WORK.
    Well, I say America is nothing! Without its ideals — its commitment to the freedom of all men, America is a piece of trash!
    A nation is nothing! A flag is a piece of cloth!
    I fought Adolf Hitler not because America was great, but because it was fragile! I knew that liberty could be snuffed out here as in Nazi Germany! As a people, we were no different than them!
    When I returned, I saw that you nearly did turn American into nothing!
    And the only reason you're not less than nothing —
    — is that it's still possible for you too bring freedom back to America!
    • And after that speech, when the crowd is cheering Cap on as their new leader, he turns them down — because blind acceptance of leadership was what got them into the mess in the first place.
    • And then, Cap and Spidey team up with an army of rebels to kick racist ass.
  • The denouement for "What if Captain America Had Fought in the Civil War?" relates how Rogers helped the Civil War end a year earlier, stopped Sherman's March from reaching Atlanta, enabled Abraham Lincoln to survive through his second term, kicked Ku Klux Klan ass, and prevented the Indian Wars.

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