What If? #6
Published and © by Marvel, December 1977
Title: “What If the Fantastic Four Had Different Super Powers?”
Synopsis: Cosmic rays give birth to a team of heroes known as the Fantastic Four: Big Brain, Dragonfly, Mandroid and Ultra-Woman!
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciler: Jim Craig and Rick Hoberg
Inker: Sam Grainger
Review: Alternate takes on classic stories and characters are like crack to comic-book fans. And, for many years, Roy Thomas was the form’s preeminent dealer. His deep knowledge of continuity provided a firm foundation, while his love of such tales imbued his efforts with energy. A prime example is What If? #6, featuring Thomas’ remix of Marvel’s first family. This foursome is fantastic in their own right, with well-thought-out powers and a strong team dynamic. The art is solid, too, though a mid-issue switch of pencilers is jarring. While most What If? worlds were clearly throwaways, this one deserved another visit.
Cool factor: Big Brain’s Baxter Building full of pneumatic tubes is soooo Reed Richards
Character quotable: “It is counter to Latverian protocol to mock one’s betters!” – Doctor Doom, a jerk on this Earth, too
Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on February 2, 2009.