Sunday, December 19, 2010

Best of "What If...?": #25

Volume 1 #36 (1982)
What if the Fantastic Four had not gained their powers?

CoverWritten and Drawn by John Byrne

“Nobody calls me a coward! Get the ship! I’ll fly her no matter what happens!”

Ben Grimm spoke these words years ago, and the rest is history. Ben and three others – Reed, his best friend; Sue, Reed’s fiancée; and Johnny, Sue’s brother – tore off into space, exposing themselves to cosmic radiation. Amazingly, these four adventurers not only survived a crash landing back to Earth but moreover gained fantastic powers.

Ever since, Reed’s cool intellect has prevailed… as it could have years ago. Given time to adequately shield their ship, the foursome’s flight could have gone off without a hitch. That success – combined with further fruits of Reed’s genius – could have ushered mankind into an era of unprecedented prosperity.

Now, that age is nearly at hand. Mere months after Ben’s celebrated landing, a sprawling scientific complex bearing Reed’s name has just opened. Thus, seismic scanners are in perfect working order when they report that an inexplicable earthquake is about to occur directly beneath the facility…

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