Marvel is reviving its ‘What If?’ books with Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow and writer Chip Zdarsky says it’s only the start of a new era for the series.
Marvel: What If…? will be arriving on Disney+ later this year to give viewers glimpses of hypothetical, alternate reality versions of their favorite heroes and villains. Teasers have shown Captain America as a zombie, Black Panther as Star-Lord, Peggy Carter as Captain Britain and more. But fans won’t need to wait for the show for fresh Marvel What If? explorations of its legacy heroes’ potential different fates. The publisher just dropped the news that it will be producing more What If? comics as well, which have been an on-again, off-again staple since 1977.
Over the decades, the books have answered questions like What if Spider-Man Had Joined the Fantastic Four?, What if the Vision Had Destroyed the Avengers?, What if J. Jonah Jameson Had Adopted Spider-Man? and more than a hundred other speculative hypotheticals. The series has had sporadic runs since its debut, with the most recent coming in a series of one-shots in 2018. Those books saw Peter Parker become the Punisher, Thor being raised by Frost Giants and Flash Thompson becoming Spider-Man. Now, it seems, a new batch of the always quirky What If? stories are coming soon.Continue scrolling to keep reading
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Marvel already announced the first entry in this new series of What If? books with Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow, a miniseries that will explore what would have happened if Peter Parker had never rid himself of his black symbiote suit and instead embraced his darker impulses, becoming the villainous Venom. While no specific release date has been given, the first issue is set to release in April. The series is coming from writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Pasqual Ferry, and in Marvel’s announcement of Spider’s Shadow, Zdarsky was quoted as saying, “I’m thrilled to be kicking off a new era of What If stories with this tale of a Spider-Man gone bad!” So while Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow will be the first in this new What If? line, according to Zdarsky, it apparently won’t be the last.
No other titles have been announced in the series, but if the past is any indication, the creatives at Marvel have no shortage of crazy (well, crazier than usual) storylines they can cook up for both their heroes and villains alike. In terms of synergy, it’s not shocking that the company would want to dip it’s toe back into the speculative meta-fiction pool considering the buzz surrounding the upcoming animated series, though no release date has been revealed for the show yet beyond mid-2021.
It’s fun to hypothesize and try to guess guess what other storylines may be coming down the pipeline, but, frankly, that would probably be an exercise in futility considering how outlandish past issues have been. When previous stories have included titles like What If The Gamma Bomb Spawned a Thousand Hulks? or What If Wolverine Battled Conan The Barbarian?, it’s a safe bet that literally nothing is off the table as far as what fans can expect. Now the only question that really remains is what if readers can’t wait for Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow’s April release date?
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About The Author
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Kevin Phelan has been obsessed with comic books, films, and movies his whole life and can’t believe people pay him for it now. He spent years covering entertainment news for The USA Today Network. His work has been featured in outlets including USA TODAY, The Huffington Post and Cracked.com. Outside of work, you can find him continuing his quest to pet every dog in the state of New York.
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