What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four?
Type: Divergent Earth
Environment: Essentially Earth-like
Usual means of access: Presumably vibrational attunement
Dominant Life Form: Same as Earth-616
Significant Inhabitants: Annihilus and his minions,
Atlanteans, Chameleon, Dr. Doom, Dorma, Fantastic Five,
Human Torch, Hypno-Fish, Invisible Woman, John & J. Jonah Jameson, "Leonard
McKenzie," Krang, Alicia Masters, Mephisto, Mister Fantastic, Namor, Puppet
Master, Red Ghost, Franklin Richards, Scavengers, Sonic Sponge, Spider-Man,
Super-Apes, Super-Skrull, Thing, Thor (red-haired), Cynthia von Doom, Vulture
formerly the Fantastic Four;
theoretically, as this is supposed to be a divergent Earth, anyone who would have existed prior to Amazing Spider-Man#1 would exist on this world as well. However, after that, it's all speculation.
First Appearance: What If? I#1 (February, 1977)
(What If? I#1) - Spider-Man attempted to join the Fantastic Four, hoping to earn money for his work. He nearly left them in a fit of anger, but the Invisible Girl called out to him to stop, and they agreed that all of the members could receive some spending money for their service. His joining was contingent on his revealing his secret identity, which he agreed to do. When the Fantastic Four announced that they would be turning into the Fantastic Five, J. Jonah Jameson initially decried the hero, but when Richards spoke up for him, Jameson backed down.
Reed's support also caused the Chameleon to abandon his plans of framing the hero, and the Chameleon never embarked on any other big missions.
The Vulture swiftly fell before the Fantastic Five, when the Human Torch destroyed his wings.
When the Fantastic Five prepared to first investigate the Blue Area of the Moon, Reed had not yet had time to modify their rocket to seat five, so he had Sue stay behind on monitor duty. On the moon, the other four encountered Uatu the Watcher and the newly empowered Red Ghost and his Super-Apes. However, while they were away, the Puppet Master took control of Namor and had him use a Hypno-Fish to capture Sue and take her to Atlantis. The Fantastic Four followed Namor's instructions and traveled to Atlantis, where they battled him. Ultimately, Namor fought the Puppet Master's control, revealing his involvement, and the Thing hurled a giant octopus to attack and drive off the Puppet Master (see Comments).
However, as she had fallen into the background since Spider-Man's joining, Sue decided to stay with Namor. He placed her into a shell-device which transformed her into a water-breather. Reed, Ben, Johnny, and Spider-Man left her behind, with a heart-broken Reed hoping that she could act as Namor's conscience, preventing him from attacking the surface world.
(What If? I#21 (fb) - BTS) - Sue and Namor were married, and eventually Sue became pregnant with his child.
(What If? I#21 (fb) - BTS) - Dorma chose to marry Krang.
(What If? I#21 (fb) - BTS) - Reed became more and more bitter over the loss of Sue.
(What If? I#21) <Nearly a year after What If I#1>- Now the Fantastic Four, Reed, Ben, Johnny, and Spider-Man battled and defeated the Super-Skrull, who had mimicked the original FF's powers and was unprepared for Spider-Man. However, when Reed chastised his grandstanding, Spider-Man quit the group, and arguments soon drove off Ben and Johnny, too. Meanwhile, Sue had Namor invited her former teammates to be present as she gave birth to their child. However, Reed and Johnny attacked Namor as soon as he arrived, and he left them in anger. Reed, obsessed at this point, spoke before the United Nations, using a falsified tape to make it appear that Namor was declaring war on the surface world, but Ben spoke out, revealing Reed's deception. Unable to accept defeat, Reed, along with Johnny (who resented the loss of his sister), decided to head to Atlantis, defeat Namor, and reclaim Sue. Via Reed's Oxytablets, the two approached and attacked Atlantis, with Johnny providing a distraction while Reed placed and activated his Ultra-Weapon, which would convert all Atlanteans into air-breathers.
Namor eventually overpowered Johnny, but Reed had been able to approach Sue, who was by this point in labor. Devastated to learn that she was pregnant, Reed was then confronted by the victorious Namor. Reed revealed the effects of his Ultra-Weapon, but he was crushed when Sue used her powers against him. While Krang led a group of guards to disable the Ultra-Weapon, Reed realized how wrong his actions had been and stunned Namor to prevent him from approaching the Weapon as well. Reed was too late to save Krang, but he risked his own life deactivating the Weapon as his own Oxytablet ran out. Realizing Reed had repented, Namor brought him back to the oxygenated chamber and saved him. While the Human Torch left swearing vengeance on the Atlanteans, Reed finally accepted his loss. He departed just after seeing Namor and Sue's newborn son, and he swore to do everything in his power to see to it that there was peace between the surface world and Atlantis.
(What If II#35 (fb) - BTS) - Under unknown circumstances, Namor agreed to allow Sue to return to the surface world and to Reed and the Fantastic Five. He undid the process that had turned her into an amphibienne, restoring her ability to breathe air. Sue went on to marry Reed and become pregnant with his child.
(What If II#35) - The Time-Twisters (posing as the Time-Keepers) plotted to destroy the nexus beings of a number of realities which threatened their existence.
(What If II#35) - As Sue's pregnancy neared full-term, it became apparent that the radiation in her cells threatened both her life and that of her unborn son. Reed determined that only anti-matter could save them both, so Reed, Ben, Johnny, and Spider-Man journeyed into the Negative Zone to obtain some anti-matter. Once there they were ambushed and captured by agents of Annihilus, but they soon escaped, and Spider-Man stole Annihilus' Cosmic Control Rod in the process.
As the Nexus being of Earth-772 was Franklin Richards, the Time-Twisters could not abide by his existence, so they contacted Dr. Doom, convincing him that the Control Rod could free Cynthia von Doom from the thrall of Mephisto. With the secret aid of the Twisters, Doom arrived in the Zone and ambushed the four, claiming the Rod himself. As he prepared to leave, he was attacked by Annihilus, armed with his Annihilator weapon. However, as the two fought, Doom's astral self was removed from his body during a moment between seconds by the mysterious Whisperer (actually Immortus, who wished to destroy the Twisters to increase his own power), who told Doom that the Rod would not function in Mephisto's realm. The Whisperer further told Doom that without the Rod, both Sue and her unborn child would die, and a maddened Reed Richards would plunge the world into a genocidal nuclear war.
Doom trusted the words of the Whisperer and, after his astral self returned to his body, he hurled the Rod to Reed Richards, and the heroes returned to their Earth, where they used it for its intended purpose: Sue gave birth to a healthy son, Franklin Richards.
Doom's struggles with Annihilus carried them into the Annihilation Zone where positive and anti-matter collided and were destroyed, but the Whisperer secretly pulled Doom away from that moment in time, taking him for his own purposes.
(What If II#38 - BTS) - While the Time-Twisters conspired to bring about the death of Odin, the nexus being of Earth-9260, the Whisperer sent his agents -- Dr. Doom of Earth-772, the Irondroid successor of Earth-90110, Wolverine: Lord of Vampires of Earth-9250 -- to Earth-9260's Asgard to rescue Odin. They joined forces with the Thor of Earth-9260 and rescued Odin, defeating the Protectroid which the Time-Twisters sent against them. As the last of the Time-Twisters faded out of existence, the Whisperer revealed himself to be Immortus and then took off into space, preparing to become the one true master of time. The Whisperer's former pawns chafed at the revelation, but were powerless to stop him.
(What If II#39 - BTS) - Uatu the Watcher of Earth-616 met with the Time Variance Authority, debating methods to prevent Immortus from taking over all time.
(What If II#39) - The Assistant Deputy Secretary#2 of the TVA, being unable to think of anyone else, dispatched the Whisperer's former agents -- Dr. Doom of Earth-772, the Irondroid of Earth-90110, Thor of Earth-9260, and Wolverine: Lord of Vampires of Earth-9250 -- to Limbo to try to alter the origins of Immortus to prevent his becoming a threat. The four were opposed by Tempus, a multitude of robot servants of Rama-Tut, the Space Phantoms, and the Dire Wraiths. Though initially the four were quite successful (Doom recognized the similarities in design by his and Rama-Tut's robots and easily disabled a number of them), Immortus' power was such that he was able to reset time to the very moment before the four agents' arrival in Limbo. While Uatu and the TVA continued to attempt other methods, Dr. Doom was slain by a Dire Wraith which shot its tongue through his eye, and the Irondroid was destroyed by a powerful cannon fired by the Space Phantoms. When time was reset again, Immortus' agents were refreshed, but the TVA were left with only Thor and Wolverine.
Ultimately, Uatu's recommendation succeeded in neutralizing the young Nathaniel Richards (future Kang)'s ability to accumulate large amounts of chronal energy, and Immortus was reduced to his normal form. Dr. Doom was restored to existence and returned to his native Latveria on Earth-772.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Jim Craig, and Pablo Marcos
Just to clarify, each alternate Earth has its own collection of dimensions. The Negative Zone seen in What If II#35 is the one associated with Earth-772. Negative Zone-772? Hmm...
This reality was also glimpsed in Fantastic Four III#47.
This story diverged from Earth-616 during Amazing Spider-Man I#1.
Timequake: Best idea to ever come through What If? Thanks J. M. Lofficier! Earth-772 is a reality which supports the Time-Keepers over the Time-Twisters. In What If? II#38, Doctor Doom stated, "And I am indeed the Doctor Doom of yet another Earth. One serviced by its own 'Thor'-- though, truth to tell, ours has red hair...!" Since ANY difference, no matter how small, is theoretically enough to trigger a divergence, this COULD mean that Earth-772 actually diverged from Earth-616 about 2,000 years ago when the genes of Gaea and Odin combined to create a son (later to be named Thor) who was born with red hair. All in all, it's an odd sort of "fact" for Roy Thomas to include. Of course, it could be that Thor-772 was born with blond hair but that something happened (after the events of WI? I#1) which caused his hair color to change to red but that seems odd, too.
This appears to be the Earth which, in some ways, is most closely paralled by the Dinosaurian Earth (Earth-99476) with its Fantastic Five. Profile by Snood. Clarifications: "Leonard McKenzie" of Earth-772 should be distinguished from:
McKenzie" The son of Namor and Sue, he had wings on his ankles, pointed ears, and could breathe underwater. It is unknown what, if any, of his parents' other powers he might have shared. His fate after Sue returned to the surface world is unknown, but I'd imagine he stayed in Atlantis to be raised alongside his father.
The Chameleon framed Spider-Man on Earth-616 in Amazing Spider-Man#1.
The Vulture first fought Spider-Man on Earth-616 in Amazing Spider-Man#2.
The Fantastic Four encountered Uatu, Red Ghost, etc. on Earth-616 in Fantastic Four I#13.
The Puppet Master used Namor against the Fantastic Four on Earth-616 in Fantastic Four I#14.
On Earth-616, Alicia convinced Ben to allow her to accompany them to Atlantis, but on Earth-772, Ben left her behind.
The only real difference I see in this is that on Earth-616, Alicia was able to detect her father's presence manipulating Namor, but the Fantastic Five figured this out on their own just minutes after Alicia would have revealed it anyway.
Franklin's birth and the struggle against Annihilus occurred on Earth-616 in Fantastic Four Annual#6.
No known connection to other alternate Earths, including:
-div Fantastic Four I#4
EARTH-917*--What If II#27
This story diverged from Earth-616 during Amazing Spider-Man I#1.
Timequake: Best idea to ever come through What If? Thanks J. M. Lofficier!
Earth-772 is a reality which supports the Time-Keepers over the Time-Twisters.
In What If? II#38, Doctor Doom stated, "And I am indeed the Doctor Doom of yet another Earth. One serviced by its own 'Thor'-- though, truth to tell, ours has red hair...!" Since ANY difference, no matter how small, is theoretically enough to trigger a divergence, this COULD mean that Earth-772 actually diverged from Earth-616 about 2,000 years ago when the genes of Gaea and Odin combined to create a son (later to be named Thor) who was born with red hair. All in all, it's an odd sort of "fact" for Roy Thomas to include. Of course, it could be that Thor-772 was born with blond hair but that something happened (after the events of WI? I#1) which caused his hair color to change to red but that seems odd, too.
This appears to be the Earth which, in some ways, is most closely paralled by the Dinosaurian Earth (Earth-99476) with its Fantastic Five.
Profile by Snood.
"Leonard McKenzie" of Earth-772 should be distinguished from:
The son of Namor and Sue, he had wings on his ankles, pointed ears, and could breathe underwater. It is unknown what, if any, of his parents' other powers he might have shared. His fate after Sue returned to the surface world is unknown, but I'd imagine he stayed in Atlantis to be raised alongside his father.
--What If? I#21
What If? I#1 cover
I#21, p45 (page numbers), panel 1 (Namor's son, "Leonard McKenzie")
What If II#35, p19 (numbered), panel 1 (Dr. Doom)
II#38, p6 (no ads), panel 2 (TVA agents)
What If? I#21 (June, 1980) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Denny O'Neil & Mark Gruenwald (editor)
What If? II#35 (March, 1992) - Roy Thomas & Jean-Marc Lofficier (writer), Joe Phillips (pencils), Sam DeLaRosa (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
What If? II#38 (June, 1992) - by Roy Thomas and Jean-Marc Lofficier (writers), Marshall Rogers & W.C. Wyman (penciler), Sam Delarosa w/ Rod Ramos (inker), Craig Anderson (editor)
What If? II#39 (July, 1992) - by Roy Thomas and Jean-Marc Lofficier (writers), Gavin Curtis (penciler), Ian Akin w. Don Hudson (inker), Craig Anderson (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 09/01/05
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