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What If #71: Review

Mar 1995
Ian Edginton, Larry Stroman

Story Name:

What If The Gamma Bomb Spawned A Thousand Hulks?

Review & Comments

3 stars


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

What If #71 Synopsis by Greg Borja
During the war torn year of 1944, Nazi forces infiltrate Americas Manhattan Project. Captain America rushes in to save the day. Cornered and defeated the Nazis destroy all research and equipment related to the Atomic Weapons. However, fragments of notes on new, untested Gamma Isotopes were recovered and work began anew In desperation to end the world war, the United States decides to drop a Gamma Bomb on the Japanese city Hiroshima. Three days later another was dropped on Nagasaki. Unforeseen by the Americans, the results of the Gamma Bombs caused the survivors of the Bombs to mutate into hulking creatures of primal rage. Other survivors also mutated by the bomb retained their intelligence, while others were left unmarred by their ordeals but their mental capacities were increased. These last survivors rallied all the others to form an army, the Emperors Oni or demons. The Oni quickly spread through the West, destroying all superheroes of the era, who got in their path. Even Prince Namor was forced to retreat to his underwater kingdom. In the US, on Capital Hill, Major Thunderbolt Ross stood alongside Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos to defend the Nations Capitol against the Onithey were annihilatedand so began forty years of occupation. Americans became second-class citizens in their own country, subjugated by the master of the Emperors Oni, the LEADER. The Leaders Oni had pledged allegiance to him over that of the Emperor, causing strain in the government. Nick Furys Revolutionary Army, Shield, began a guerrilla war in the streets of America. The leader however, began noticing that he and the other Oni were slowing dieing of Gamma exposure. Enlisted to find a way to prevent this, Dr. Bruce Banner, who had theorized that an additional booster dose of gamma might prevent harm to the Oni. At this time, Professor Charles Xavier discovered mutant traits in humans that granted them extraordinary powershe and his students vanished without a trace. Reed Richards and his team were researching Cosmic Rays, when a malfunction caused them to mutatethe leader ordered them confined for study, like lab rats. It was now that Bruce Banner had finally developed a prototype for curing the Oni, that Nick Fury approached him to sabotage the device. Banner refused. Guards stopped and searched that evening Banners wife, Betty. One recognized her as the daughter of Thunderbolt Ross in the battle of Capital Hill, and immediately killed her. Overcome with grief of the loss of his wife, Banner decided to do as Fury suggested and sabotage the experiment, in hopes of destroying the Leader and his kind. At the test site, Nick Fury took matters into his own hands and snuck into the test site to destroy the Gamma device. Fearing the loss of Americas greatest revolutionary, Banner enters the test site and shoves Fury into a protective trench just as the Gamma device explodesbathing him in Gamma rays and transforming him into the likeness of his enemies, a Hulk. Using his newfound strength to lash out at the Oni, Banner joined with the superhero army, and Professor Xaviers X-Men to free Reed Richards team and strike back against their suppressors. Prince Namor also came to join the fight alongside Fury, the leader of the revolution. But will they be enough to stop the power of the Oni? Only time will tell.

Larry Stroman
Robert Stull


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Thunderbolt Ross
Thunderbolt Ross

(Thaddeus Ross)

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