Monday, January 8, 2007

The Invincible Wolverine

Marvel came up with an interesting idea back in 1996, with What If... #81: What if the age of Apocalypse had not ended? "Can a world shattered by Apocalypse survive the coming of Galactus?". Sounds like a pretty cool idea, no? They managed to screw it up though (surprise!).

So, Tony Stark stumbles upon the Watcher's lair on the moon, and using the deep space image stuff that magically lets him see the universe like it's on tv, sees Galactus heading towards us, and studies him. Contact with Magneto and the X-Men ensues, and 3/4 of the comic is taken up with pointless talking ("character development" yawn). Then Galactus arrives, and things heat up. The hero's board Galactus's world ship, and lay nukes, when the Silver Surfer (having been zapped by a laser a few pages ago) decides to intervene. What follows is quite possibly the stupidest (and most disappointing) scene I've seen, ever. Behold:

Ok, so where to start with what's wrong with this? First of all, keep in mind that this is the still-loyal, never-been-stripped-of-powers-and-exiled, Surfer. While not a ruthless killer by any means, he's still going to be smart enough to just blast the people trying to damage his master's ship, right? No, he decides to sneak up on them and engage in hand-to-hand.

While not too smart, given his power, it's still not a terrible move, right? The Surfer can withstand flying through black holes, the heart of a sun; he's taken blasts from the likes of Thanos that could raise cities. What could possibly go wrong?

Adamantium, that's what.

Seems that Marvel takes the "my claws can cut through anything" idea a little more seriously than you thought, eh? I challenge even the most fanatical Wolverine fan to not have a problem with that last panel. I mean, really.

Then the hero's kill Galactus, using the combined psychic energy of Earth's population (interestingly, almost the exact same thing happens in Ultimate Extinction, 10 years later. Hmmm...). In proper continuity, such a move should signal the end of of the universe, since Galactus is one of the 3 essential celestial bodies required for it's existence. But then, What If has always been the playground of the second-rate, and Marvel seems to've long forgotten that rule anyway, since Galactus has died in proper continuity atleast once.

This crap was brought to you by Mariano Nicieza and Kevin Hopgood, though I'll cut Kevin some slack and assume he was just drawing what he was told.

No comments: