Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Even A Watcher Can Cry

It takes only a glance at the cover of the thirty-fourth issue of What If to realize that the entire issue is likely an exercise in farce, paying homage to the late '60s satirical mag Not Brand Echh (and its early '70s reprint title, Crazy):

With two differences: Instead of the "story" being anchored by the character of "Forbush Man"--the comic book alter ego of Irving Forbush, a dead-on-arrival fictional Marvel employee that perhaps only Marvel felt was interesting and hilarious to readers--it's the Watcher who's making appearances through the various skits and joke panels that poke fun at the What If concept. The issue may also not have had the best timing, being just the fourth issue to reflect the title's 25¢ price increase and offering little but throw-away gags for its cover price.

Or, put another way: What If the comic book you'd plunked down good money for--40¢ more than regular-sized comic books on the rack--devoted two full pages to parodies of production staff?

So if you're seeking out What If #34 from late 1982 for whatever reason (if only out of curiosity), bear in mind that it might be a mag that you'll flip through quickly and turn the final page with a shrug. Here are a few of the panels I thought stood out from the pack--your mileage may vary.

Almost 10 years later, though bearing the same issue number--a second What If parody mag.

More expensive, yet less than half the page count. (Is this where we're supposed to chuckle?)


Anonymous said...

Stan Lee must have been rolling in his grave!

Anonymous said...

I was also amused by the panel showing Thor and Loki speaking with Norwegian accents.

But, your right, this was an issue you read once and then hardly ever looked at again.


HLF said...

Oh, I loved this as a kid.