Growing up in the 80’s I always loved What If comics. It was a fun way for no holds barred storytelling to take place. Kill off Spider-Man? Why not! In fact, there were whole issues that seemed to be created simply to kill some characters and give us a chance to see the impossible. I enjoyed the first issue of this miniseries, but how does the final issue wrap things up? More importantly, is it good?
What If? AVX #4 (of 4) (Marvel Comics)
Check out our thoughts on What If? AVX #1 here.
Writer Jimmy Palmiotti knows what the masses want with an event like this, and that’s piles and piles of bodies. Last issue saw Hope blow Emma to diamond bits, with Magneto fully whispering evils into her ear. This issue opens with the world seemingly coming to an end and Magneto loves it.
White House down!
If you’re looking for multiple murder methods you’ve come to the right place. I won’t spoil too many, but let’s just say Phoenix-Hope takes people out in a variety of ways and they aren’t pretty. In a lot of ways this What If should have been called What If? A+X because the two sides join forces. In fact, the panel below actually shows Cyclops and Cap in a side by side shot to show they are on the same page.
With our powers combined…!
I know for a fact there will be pissed off fans when it comes to this issue. There are certainly some chump deaths for some of these heroes. Obviously if your favorite hero dies from a high fall…well, deal with it. That’s how it is, and there’s only so many pages Palmiotti has to kill these guys off. I was a bit disappointed with some of the more unimaginative ways heroes die, especially considering how powerful the Phoenix is, but for the most part it’s enjoyable across the board.
Smashed head for Nova. No bueno.
Artists Gerardo Sandoval and Jorge Molina continue to do a good job with what they got. The layouts are clear and the pacing is strong. I’m not a huge fan of the Magneto Pheonix design, but you can’t win them all,
I do take umbrage with the way Magneto is portrayed, particularly because he’s been of a less evil bend the last few years. He’s full evil in this series, blindly so, which reads a tad lazy in some sense. You don’t get a rhyme or reason to why he’s completely hellbent on killing the Earth. I guess he’s just sick of it all or something? Or maybe the Phoenix Force is driving his madness. Either way, the series feels like it dropped the ball with Magneto.
The ending, which focuses on Wolverine for the most part, does do the series a bit of justice. There’s an interesting twist and an upturn in happy feels by issues end that’ll make fans of Wolvie happy. It does feel a tad tacked on, especially considering Wolverine hasn’t been at the forefront of this series, but it’s a nice conclusion.
Not so pretty now, are you Psylocke!
- Lots and lots of deaths
- Satisfying conclusion
- Magneto is a blindly evil villain
What If is all about the kills, but also an alternate way of seeing things. We get both in this issue. If Magneto was written a bit stronger I could see this going down as one of the best What If’s, but as it stands it’s a nice elseworlds miniseries worth a look.
Is It Good?
Yes. Happy good fun times indeed, but flip through before purchasing.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!