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Top 10 Craziest Marvel What If? Stories


Written by George Pacheco Ah, what could've been. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Craziest Marvel "What If" Stories. For this list, we'll be ranking the wackiest, strangest, most outlandish, or extreme scenarios brought forth on the Marvel "What if?" series of comics. This fan favorite series has been going strong since the late seventies, and there's a ton of material to go through here, but we're going to single out the stories which still make us scratch our heads and go...."huh?" Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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Ah, what could've been. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Craziest Marvel "What If" Stories.

For this list, we'll be ranking the wackiest, strangest, most outlandish, or extreme scenarios brought forth on the Marvel "What if?" series of comics. This fan favorite series has been going strong since the late seventies, and there's a ton of material to go through here, but we're going to single out the stories which still make us scratch our heads and go...."huh?"

#10: "What If Iron Man Sold Out?" (1994)


In "What If Iron Man Sold Out?" we see an alternate universe where Tony Stark doesn't keep his technology from falling into the wrong hands, instead of selling his patent for big bucks, to both villains and heroes alike. This results in some pretty heavy repercussions, with baddies like Doctor Doom utilizing the tech to destroy his arch-rivals The Fantastic Four, while ultra-powered Sentinels annihilate mutants all across the globe. A final battle between earth's surviving heroes and Magneto does result in Stark turning a corner, however, threatening to use an overload from his armor to usher in a new dark age in a desperate gamble to restore the balance set into upheaval by his greed.

#9: "What If The Punisher Became Captain America?" (1993)


It may be difficult for many comic fans to image a Marvel Universe without Captain America, but what if it became necessary for another to take up the mantle? This question is posed in "What If? issue 51, when Steve Rogers is seriously wounded while battling his nemesis the Red Skull. Rogers is forced to choose someone new to continue his work, with the new Captain America turning out to be none other than Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher. After nearly killing Hammerhead, Frank goes back to his old digs, but a fight and subsequent heart-to-heart with Rogers eventually turns Castle around to approach his new position with pride.

#8: "What If No One Was Watching The Watcher?" (1992)


And now for something completely different. The next entry on our list departs a bit from the heavy duty storylines of our first two picks with a short and corny bit of humor. The 34th issue of "What If?" was actually chock full of brief comedy strips, with titles like "What If Doctor Doom was a Pediatrician? "What if Ant-Man Had a Picnic?" and "What If Ghost Rider Fell Asleep?" Perhaps the most bizarre of them all the issue’s cover: "What If No One Was Watching the Watcher?" where the punchline is simply that Uatu decides to play dress up like Marilyn Monroe in an homage to the actress' iconic role in "The Seven Year Itch." Ummm....ok?

#7: "What If Wolverine Was Lord of the Vampires?" (1991)


Alright, it's time for something truly badass to cleanse our palette from that last bit of foolishness. "What if Wolverine Was Lord of the Vampires?" is an intriguing and violent story which begins with Storm as a victim of Dracula's bite, infiltrating the X-Men and turning them, one by one, into the undead. Wolverine's healing factor enables him to resist the curse, however, leading to a scenario where he tracks down Dracula and kills him, thus becoming the new Lord of Vampires. This...doesn't end well for anyone in Wolvie's path, including Doctor Strange, who is killed, but manages to possess the body of Frank Castle in one final attempt to stop Wolverine's reign of terror.

#6: "The Incredible Hulk: The Man, The Monster" (1996)


"What If” issue #91 explores the subject of domestic abuse by changing The Incredible Hulk's origin story to represent a split personality which is both physical and emotional. Here, the Gamma explosion creates The Hulk as a kindly energy force, while Bruce Banner is left to exemplify the spirit of rage within his marriage to Betty Ross. Bruce is cruel and abusive to Betty, showcasing an ugliness so out of character for the usually mild-mannered Banner, and earns a spot on our list for being too outlandish and different to ignore.

#5: “What If Danger Became Ultron's Bride?” (2010)


The Danger Room has served as the X-Men's training ground for years, the place where new recruits learn the ropes, and old pros polish and hone their skills. Joss Whedon's run on "The Astonishing X-Men" saw Danger become sentient, however, with this "What If? story presenting a truly chilling alternate reality where machine marries machine. Here, Danger and Ultron decide to interface together, even spawning a misshapen Sentinel baby before setting their sights on Charles Xavier and the X-Men. If the idea of surrendering to our Robot Overlords keeps you up at night, then maybe you'd better read this one with the lights on.

#4: “What If Aunt May Had Been Bitten by that Radioactive Spider?” (1980)


If death and taxes are two certainties in real life, then Uncle Ben's death has to be one of Marvel Comics' carved-in-stone truths...right? Well, anything goes in the pages of "What If?" "What If Aunt May Had Been Bitten by a Radioactive Spider?" sees Ben sleeping away, safe and sound because Peter Parker never becomes Spider-Man. Instead, it's May who performs the superhero duties here, with Parker remaining a nebbish teen, with nary a trace of the confidence he would display as New York's friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man. If you like this, then check out "What If Someone Else Besides Peter Parker Had Been Bitten by the Radioactive Spider" for more alt-world Spider hero fun.

#3: “What If: Spider-Man Versus Wolverine” (2008)


This one-off issue of "What If?" presents an alternate universe version of Spider-Man, one where he's trained by the KGB as a Black Ops assassin. The issue follows a story where Spidey followed Wolverine to Russia, and ends up accidentally killing one of Logan's friends, after which he went home an emotional wreck. Here, however, Spidey stays put, studying under an assassin called Nebo and honing his already impressive abilities to lethal sharpness. What follows is a mercenary life, but one where Spidey and Logan also do a lot of good for mutant kind along the way. The trade off, however, is a Spider-Man now trained to kill, with web-shooters and pistols alike.

#2: “What If the Original Marvel Bullpen Had Become The Fantastic Four?” (1978)


In what can only be described as a true exercise in the surreal, "What If the Original Marvel Bullpen Had Become the Fantastic Four?" presents the folks behind the scenes at Marvel as the company's flagship superheroes. Yup, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky and Flo Steinberg take on the powers of Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, Human Torch and Invisible Girl, respectively, and team up with Namor the Sub-Mariner to stop a Skrull invasion. If all of this sounds more than a bit silly, that's because it is, but the issue is definitely bonkers enough to work on a humorous level. Just keep your expectations low, and a have a good time with it.

#1: “What If Iron Man Was Trapped in the Time of King Arthur?” (1982)


This double-sized issue of "What If?" not only presented an alternate timeline version of Dazzler as Galactus' herald but also showcased a weird Iron Man story, titled "What If Iron Man Was Trapped in King Arthur's Time?" Now, tales of time travel are nothing new within the superhero realm, but this story takes a plot line which was explored in "Iron Man" #150 and strands Tony Stark in the land of Camelot. Here, Iron Man becomes one of King Arthur's loyal Knights of the Round Table, and even takes over for Arthur when the King is slain, leaving all of his future deeds undone within the greater Marvel Universe.
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