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Comics: Marvel “What Ifs” that actually happened

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The What If? Comic series (and Disney+ series) are stories where things turned out very differently for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Some of those stories actually became Marvel continuity (in one form or another). Here’s a list of some What Ifs that happened (Minor Spoilers!).

What If Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four? Original Story – The FF take in Spidey and become the Fantastic Five! Real Story – When the FF tragically loses a member, Spidey comes in as an official replacement.

What if the Hulk always had the brain of Bruce Banner? OS – Instead of turning into a rage monster after the gamma bomb explosion, Hulk retains Banner’s mind. RS – There are actually several stories where Hulk maintains Banner’s personality.

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What if **** had found the hammer of Thor? OS – **** becomes the God of Thunder. RS – Due to a crisis of faith, Thor becomes unworthy so **** secretly assumes the Thor name. (The name is concealed because it plays a key plot point for the upcoming Thor: Love & Thunder movie. Wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise!)

What if Hulk had become a barbarian? OS – In another dimension filled with monsters and sorcerers, Hulk becomes a sword-wielding warrior king and falls in love. RS – In another planet filled with monsters and sorcerers, Hulk becomes a sword-wielding warrior king and falls in love.

What if Phoenix had not died? OS – Jean Grey aka Phoenix does not commit suicide in this alternate reality. RS – It’s retconned that the Phoenix assumed Jean Grey’s form. The real Jean Grey returns to become a member of X-Factor.

What if Spider-Man’s clone lived? OS – The Spider-Clone becomes partners with the real Spidey in the fight against crime. RS – Ben Reilly aka Spider-Clone is revealed (based on fake test results) to be the real Spider-Man so Peter Parker retires.

What if Elektra had lived? OS – Bullseye (Elektra’s killer in Marvel continuity) is killed before he gets to kill Elektra. RS – After her death, she’s mystically resurrected with Daredevil’s help.

What if Conan got stranded in the 20th century? OS – The barbarian accidentally falls into a portal that leads to our era. RS – The barbarian accidentally falls into a portal that leads to our era and becomes an unofficial Avenger (really!).

What if the Hulk went berserk? OS – Hulk becomes murderous and starts killing the Avengers. RS – An insane Hulk fights the Avengers but is exiled to another dimension before he kills anyone.


About the author

JV Tanjuatco is a comic book writer/editor/publisher who founded Comic Book Lab, a business that creates comics for clients. Projects have included the comic book titles Mythopolis and War of Whispers (co-created and co-written by him), and Stay: 21 Comic Stories authored by Palanca Award winner Angelo R. Lacuesta and illustrated by a stellar line-up of artists including Trese’s Kajo Baldisimo. Other notable clients include WHO, USAID Philippines, Sun Life, and Manulife. He has also written articles/reviews for Spot.ph and Ain’t It Cool.

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