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What If? #5: Review

Nov 1989
Jim Valentino, Jim Valentino

Story Name:

What if Wonder Man Had Not Died?

Review & Comments

3 stars

What If? #5 Review by (October 2, 2019)

Review: The most common ending to a What if? is that everything comes out much worse for the good guys. But a distant second are those in which there is a more complicated path to everything coming out the same. This issue is one of the latter: the stories of Wonder Man and Vision are rejiggered but since it all comes out the same, there was no point to any of it. The only significant changes take place outside the parameters of this story e.g. Magneto dies young and there is no Celestial Madonna story. Actually, “What If Magneto Died Young” sounds like a more interesting plot because of how it would change the X-Men's history than anything we have here. Anyway, the current tale was okay but by no means particularly compelling or even very interesting.

Comments: The divergence of timelines occurs at AVENGERS #9; the second part is based on AVENGERS #57-58.  


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

What If? #5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Watcher reveals a reality in which Wonder Man (tool of Baron Zemo to destroy the Avengers from within) did not succumb to the poison he was given by Zemo but saved by an antidote created by Reed Richards. He goes on to join the Avengers which leads to Giant-Man and Wasp taking leave sooner, and when Iron Man and Thor choose to leave Wonder Man is part of the new line-up with Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Hawkeye. Simon and Wanda are attracted to each other but Pietro strongly disapproves. When Cap goes, Wondy is the obvious choice for leader, which leads to Doctor Doom dropping his plans to set the Avengers against the Fantastic Four (AVENGERS #25) and Swordsman being killed by the Mandarin for balking at a mission against the heroes. The mission to save the Wasp (A #26) leads to Wasp rejoining the team and Hank Pym being their scientific adviser, so that Hank and Janet marry earlier and never have any of the problems they had in “our” world. Quicksilver rejoins Magneto's gang and, as the Grim Reaper, he battles the Avengers, leading to a confrontation in which Pietro dies saving Wanda's life and she retaliates by destroying Magneto. Not long after Pietro's funeral, Simon and Wanda are married....

“What if the Vision Had Destroyed the Avengers?” Part Two.

Ultron-5 creates an android called the Vision to defeat the Avengers; he transplants his own brain patterns into it and heads out on his mission of destruction—which ends with his defeating the Avengers in battle at their mansion. But then the originals, Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America arrive and join a revived Wonder Man in bashing Vision around. But Vision get the upper hand and rips Simon's heart out. Hank becomes Ant-Man and enters Vision through the mouth and tears out the wiring to his brain. To save Simon's life, Hank programs Simon's brain pattern into the Vision's body; Wanda doesn't like it but eventually gets used to it. And the cosmic balance is set aright, thus sayeth the Watcher.

Hercules (who declines to join the team) and Black Panther also appear but couldn't fit in the synopsis.

Also includes: “What if the Incredible Hulk—Instead of Becoming a Legbreaker in Las Vegas—Had Become a High School Monitor?”

Writer: John Rozum. Pencils: Vince Mielcarek. Inks: Chris Ivy. Colors: Tom Vincent.

He terrorizes a kid without a hall pass.

Jim Valentino
Sam Delarosa
Tom Vincent
Jim Valentino (Cover Penciler)
Sam Delarosa (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)

(Hank Pym)

(Clint Barton)

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


(Janet Van Dyne)


Plus: Swordsman (Philip Javert).

> What If?: Book info and issue index

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