Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Marvel's What If? hasn't been a regular series for some time, but still returns every so often, usually as a one-shot related to an event. Like today's book! From 2010, What If? World War Hulk #1, with "What If the Heroes lost World War Hulk?" Written by Mike Raicht and painted by Lucio Parrillo; and "What If Thor Entered World War Hulk?" Written by Michael Gallagher and art by Patrick "Spaz!" Spaziante.

Sometimes, What If? seems to be written in defense of how a story actually went down: if you thought that went badly, get a load of this. And it's also an excuse to showcase your heroes getting killed right and left. The first story takes that tack, as the end of World War Hulk runs smack into Secret Invasion: when the Skrulls' queen is killed (I think it was Spider-Woman, but I don't recall) their bishop takes over and declares the Hulk a prophet. Especially since Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man, the two the Skrulls most feared, were killed; their invasion is now wide open, and they begin exterminating humanity.

The Vision manages to convince the Hulk to join the heroes and villains still resisting, but the Skrulls are a step ahead: with Wasp replaced by a Skrull, Yellowjacket is turned into a "genetic time bomb," who blows up everyone except the Hulk. Beyond furious, the Hulk uses a beacon Reed Richards made to summon the Silver Surfer, and the Hulk convinces him to bring Galactus to destroy the Skrulls' new homeworld, just as he did their last one. The Skrull bishop dies wondering if "he" loved them, after all. Against his will, the Hulk survives, to become the new herald of Galactus, the World Breaker.

The second story is more optimistic, which actually makes it more irritating: Thor and the Warriors Three move their return to America up, and happen to arrive in time to change the end of World War Hulk. While punching it out, Thor and the Hulk pause to help a subway car full of people stranded in the blackout, and call a truce. Everything is worked out far more peaceably, and the Hulk returns to Sakaar to rule. (Which wouldn't really work for future stories, even if it would make sense.)

Fun fact: the Sentry is completely useless here, as usual.


SallyP said...

Oh Silly, the Sentry was ALWAYS useless!

Dale Bagwell said...

Yep. Always.

So sad to see him fall from such great seemingly promised heights with the original Jenkins/Lae mini-series. Then Bendis happened.

Good art on the Hulk story, but that man does that bishop sound like a naive freak or what?

That Thor story though sounds horrible, and not really like a logical ending at all.
Hulk just calls a truce and heads home? Really? Naaaw, not buying it.

CalvinPitt said...

Hmm, I had almost forgotten the Sentry even existed. What impresses me is they killed him off, what, 4 years ago in Siege, and he's actually stayed dead? Sometimes dreams do come true.

Dale Bagwell said...

I know right Calvin?
That's only because Bendis made Sentry so universally hated, he became too toxic to keep around. Everythin his funeral was poorly attended. Very meta there.