Reviews of Old Comics: What If? #34
WHAT IF #34
This issue of Marvel’s What If? is a special science fiction anthology issue with five stories.
Sometimes you need a little absurdity to use as a palate cleanser. Some of the jokes are better than the others, with the high points being depicted here. The less successful ones are so bad that it gives the impression that the editor may have been rushed when assembling the issue. Marvel had attempted to do humor with its characters before, with more successful results. I’ll probably be looking up Not Brand Ecch soon, but not revisiting Damage Control.
It could be argued that the best people to do a parody of their comic isn’t the people that actually do the comic. The best comic parodies are usually done by someone without a vested interest in not upsetting someone higher up. Coincidentally, these are also the ones that don’t try to do such blatant representation of the satire.
This also isn’t an all-star collection of creators contributing to the book. Notably missing are Chris Claremont and John Byrne. If you’re going to be parodying Marvel Comics, you better have a couple pages devoted to the X-Men. Instead we get treated to multiple gags about Black Bolt and Dazzler.
If you’re looking for funny super-hero comics, check out Deadpool, John Byrne’s runs on Sensational She-Hulk, Nextwave, Agents of HATE, Ambush Bug, and so many more, I can’t list them all.
Parts of this issue have been collected in Best of What If? (ISBN: 0871358573) If you go out to buy a copy, don’t pay more than a few bucks for a Near Mint copy. It wouldn’t be unfathomable to find it in a dollar box, but less than that for a copy in collectible condition would be surprising.
FINAL RATING: 5.0 (out of a possible 10)
Ennh. There’s good and there’s bad. It all equals out to make an absolutely average comic book.