Marvel Asks the Hard Questions
In the long history of Marvel's What If... there has never, ever been a question as awesomely ridiculous as the one posed by Gary Friedrich, Don Glut, and Herb Trimpe in 1979.
Sgt. Fury may pale in comparison with Sgt. Rock, but anybody who can blast aliens with a laser rifle during The War To End All Wars In Outer Spaaaaace while quoting himself is a force to be reckoned with. Plus, if you look at that corner-box, not even having his spacesuit ripped as he ran through the cold vacuum of space could stop him from delivering the hot, lasery justice of the United States of America.
Sadly, the interiors aren't nearly as exciting as that cover. But then again, what could be?
The problem, of course, is the almost complete lack of Space Nazis, which--along with a plot that revolves largely around Fury risking his life to save a computer-robot that communicates solely in ticker-tape--dooms this one to relative obscurity. But it does have its high points.
Yes, that man is smoking a pipe inside his crazy space helmet. For some reason, Fury's cigar on the cover didn't phase me at all (he is, after all, Nick Fury, and that cigar's pretty much part of his costume), but when Sam Sawyer shows up with a pipe, that makes it a pattern. And really: That's got to be inconvenient.
But even with that, the whole thing just goes on and on with the Watcher popping up every few pages to explain that the attack on Station Pearl by the Red Lizard-Men of Beta Space (!) is a lot like something else that happened on December 7, 1941, until finally, on page 38, we get what we've all been waiting for.
Incidentally, I wonder if, in a world where Leonardo Da Vinci's inventions allowed for space travel by the 19th century and the existence of Earth as a unified political body allied with other space-faring civilizations, the word "kraut" actually existed, or if Fury just made it up on the spot to deal with Baron Strucker.
More importantly, however, is another question that's raised in this issue, and that is this: If there are Space Nazis in this alternate What If dimension, then it would follow logically that there would also be an Interdimensional Space-Hitler.
And trust me: That guy would make a dandy villain for Civil War.
More Purely Theoretical Fun From the Pages of What If...?:
| The Hypothetical Adventures of Conan, Part One |
| The Hypothetical Adventures of Conan, Part Two |