The What If? Classic Omnibus, Vol. 1 is the #60 Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus of 2017 on Tigereyes’s Secret Ballot.
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What Is It? What If (1977) featured a round robin of Marvel creators telling one-shot, alternate reality tales that altered key elements of the company’s biggest heroes.
What If? ran for 47 issues from February 1977 to October 1984.
Past Ranking: Unranked in 2014-2016; #18 in the 2013 survey
Probable Contents: What If? (1977) #1-12 & 14-25 (#13 featured Conan, whose stories Marvel does not have the rights to reproduce.)
What If? (1977) issues had 35-40 story pages per issue for the duration of the title’s run, which means we could fit a max of just over 30 total issues of the series into a single omnibus (the biggest of which is currently 1344 pages).
[Thanks to CBR’s Rincewind for giving me a heads up on the page length!]
That would leave us with a follow-up What If? Classic Omnibus, Vol. 2 containing What If? (1977) #26-38, 40-42, 43 (1st story only), and 44-47. (Issues #39 and 41 featured Conan stories.)
Note that issue #16 was absent in the earlier reprints because it featured Shang-Chi and his father Fu Manchu, but would likely be available again now that Marvel has reached a new licensing agreement with Sax Rohmer’s estate regarding Fu Manchu stories.
Can you read it right now? Yes! This series has been printed in its entirety (save for issues with licensing conflicts) in seven Classic collections: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5, Volume 6, Volume 7. They happen to each be available right now for $5.50 on Kindle! Also, Marvel Unlimited currently has issues #1-38.
While this imaginative series probably wouldn’t last more than a few issues today, anthology style series and stories sold just fine back in the 70s and 80s – especially when they were stacked with a cast of Marvel’s most major heroes. [Read more…] about What If? Classic Omnibus, Vol. 1 – The #60 Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus of 2017