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What If? #28: Review

Aug 1991
George Caragonne, Ron Wilson

Story Name:

What If Captain America Were Not the Only Super Soldier in World War II?

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

What If? #28 Review by (July 9, 2019)

Review: Hmmmm. This seems familiar: America a fascist dictatorship run by Captain America? Well, it's just the latest instance of mining the old WHAT IF? series for real in-continuity plots. Remember the Spidey clone saga and the resurrection of Elektra started out that way as did the Jane Foster as Thor storyline. And now it's SECRET EMPIRE but kept shorter and for only $1.25. Snark aside, the story is pretty cool with a lot of the implication teased out though the art is a bit mediocre. Still cool.

Comments: Part one of two parts. The divergence of timelines occurs at Cap's origin in CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1. Cover is a homage to the famous photo of the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima.  





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

What If? #28 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Watcher presents a world in which Captain America—Steve Rogers—was eventually elected President of a fascist United States: this world diverged from our own when Rogers, turned into a super-soldier by Dr. Erskine's formula, saved Erskine from the Nazi assassin sent to kill him. As a result the formula is available for creating more Super-Soldiers. Steve is trained and sent out as the hero Captain America but one day he gets the order to abandon his sidekick Bucky (who now goes on to survive the war) and report to a base in New Mexico. There he learns that he is to command a team of 500 Super-Soldiers, including Nick Fury, Dum Dum Dugan, and Gabe Jones. They are dispatched on Operation: Invaders where they will be parachuted into Berlin to stop the Nazi aggression at its source. It takes only a few hours to overthrow the regime with the Red Skull gunned down and Cap stopping Fury from killing Hitler so he can stand trial for his crimes....

The news spread all over the world with Human Torch and Toro realizing that they missed out on the action by waiting too long and Japan surrendering so they don';t have to face the Super-Soldiers, as Sub-Mariner tells Betty Dean.

The Super-Soldiers liberate the concentration camps and are shocked by what they see. Cap pauses to talk to a little boy named Magnus and fills him with hope for the future so that he does not grow up to become Magneto. On their way home, the Queen Mary is torpedoed by a renegade Nazi sub and Cap is the only survivor. He is given a hero's welcome in America and named head of the newly-created SHIELD by President Rossevelt; the new agency is staffed with Super-Soldiers personally selected by Steve Rogers. Rogers announces to the nation that because of the need of a booster shot, the super-soldier serum cannot be manufactured for the use of the general population. After this, the Super-Soldiers invade Russia and overthrow Stalin, leaving the USA as the only superpower. Rogers is then elected President in 1956 and again promises the Serum will be distributed to all citizens. He explains on TV that the Serum will not work on African-Americans, which is a lie just like the lie about the booster shot; President Rogers personally shoots an aide who worries about consequences. African Americans peacefully protest the serum segregation and are brutally quashed, the state-run media painting their protests as a riot; Rogers uses this as the pretext for shutting up the “colored people” in relocation camps....

America becomes a paradise for the privileged few. After this, a group of four try to sneak into a spaceport and hijack a rocket; they are killed by super-soldier guards so there is no Fantastic Four. Dr Bruce Banner is found to be conducting illegal experiments with Gamma radiation and is killed. TV star Spider-Man is likewise executed as a freak, along with his family. The government hit squad is headed up by Captain Frank Castle who has trouble with one of his men who enjoys the killing too much, Clint Barton....

Decades pass: the sixties, the seventies, the eighties as Steve Rogers keeps being reelected President. Then the derelict and Amnesiac Namor is discovered in the Bowery and the hit team pursues him; a leap into the river restores his memories and he returns to Atlantis to find it destroyed by American bombs. He vows revenge on the human race and takes on the hit squad in the Arctic and defeats them...then Namor discovers Inuit people worshiping a man frozen in ice...Captain America....


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Ron Wilson
Ralph Cabrera
Tom Vincent
Ron Wilson (Cover Penciler)
Ralph Cabrera (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Watcher
Watcher

(Uatu)