Review: What If? #21

What If? #21 cover
Cover by Gene Colan

What If? #21
Published and © by Marvel, June 1980

Title: “What If … Sub-Mariner Had Married the Invisible Girl?”
Synopsis: Still bitter over losing his beloved Susan Storm to the Sub-Mariner, Mr. Fantastic brings the fight to Atlantis.

Writer: Bill Mantlo
Penciler: Gene Colan
Inker: Bob Wiacek

Review: It’s hard to imagine a world where Sue Storm would leave Reed Richards. Really, why would anyone leave a neglectful, self-involved super nerd for a doting, sexy king of the seas (not that Namor isn’t a little self-involved, too, of course)? And how does the Reed of this alternative universe handle rejection? By becoming an even bigger ass, of course. Bill Mantlo’s characterization for both Mr. Fantastic and the Human Torch is a little extreme, but it works. Gene Colan’s not the best fit for the FF, but he draws Sub-Mariner well (despite less-than-sympathetic inks by Bill Wiacek).

Grade: B

Cool factor: This is one of those “I always wondered about this one” stories.
Not-so-cool factor: Reed Richards is an ass.

Notable: A sequel to What If? #1 (see review).

Character quotable: “You mocking, sea-spawned scum! Coming from your misbegotten lips, even Sue’s name sounds obscene!” – Mr. Fantastic, always the charmer, even more so on the Earth-772

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on April 16, 2010.

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