Who better to write a story for the 200 issue of WHAT IF…? than Stan Lee, right? Wait… when did issue #199 come out? Or #198 for that matter? Marvel’s just announced another cumulative anniversary book that counts every volume of a title as if it were a continuous series. So, a little review… the original WHAT IF…? volume debuted in ’77 and ended in ’84 after 47 issues. The second volume started in ’89 and ended in ’98 after 114 issues (a big thanks to Comic Vine’s trusty databases for those handy facts.) So you’ve got 161 issues between them, and I suppose the sporadic specials have filled up the remaining balance.
Hey! That’s task for you more detail-oriented Comic Vine maniacs. Have there really been 38 WHAT IF…? specials since the revival in ’05? Check the numbers. See if they got it right. == TEASER ==
Anyway, Lee’s actually doing the back-up story for this special. Marc Guggenheim and Dave Wilkins are handling the feature, which posits “What if Norman Osborn Won the Siege of Asgard?” The point of divergence lies in the Sentry keeping control of the Void during the climatic battle. That change allows the man also known as the Iron Patriot to keep control, only for Doom and the X-Men (?!) to ally against him. Lee, on the other hand, joins Dale Eaglesham to ask “What if the Watcher Murdered Galactus?” in a short spinning from his original story, THE COMING OF GALACTUS.
Inferiorego’s pointed out that all of these surprise anniversaries are a unique consequence of Marvel going restart crazy in the late 90s and early 2000s. I remember a lot of fans (myself included) were miffed back then by all the new #1s. It kind of felt like getting cheated out of history. Hence, we’ve gotten dual numbering on books to satisfy completists and all these titles suddenly jumping to triple digits for anniversary. You’ve even got #900 or #1000 specials from DEADPOOL and WOLVERINE that seem to be spoofing it all. So how do you Comic Vine maniacs feel? Are these issues unnecessary, or are they like having your cake and getting to eat it too?