What If… is a comic book anthology series published by Marvel starting in 1977. The series ran on and off for over 40 years. What If… explored stories in the Marvel universe if key events turned out differently. What If…Daredevil had Killed the Kingpin? (Vol 2 #2) or What If… The Punisher’s Family Had Not Been Killed in Central Park? (Vol 2 #10) or What If Wolverine Had Killed the Hulk? (Vol 1 #31) followed later by What If…The Hulk Killed Wolverine? (Vol 2 #50).
One of my personal favorites is What If…Wolverine Had Lived During the Age of Conan the Barbarian? (Vol 2 #16). You get the idea, pivotal moments explored if they happened differently. Today’s comic is What If… #24. Now I wish it was Volume 1, issue 24, What If…Gwen Stacy Had Lived?; that issue is worth over $1,000! We are looking at Volume 2, issue 24, What If…Wolverine Had Become The Lord of the Vampires? A more intriguing question if you ask me. It’s only valued around $100 so tearing out the ads won’t hurt so much.
What If…Wolverine Had Become The Lord of the Vampires
In this version of alternative history Wolverine, Colossus and Nightcrawler battle Dracula for the soul of Storm. Dracula gets the best of them all and bites their necks, turning them into his vampire minions. While Wolverine is turned into a vampire, he is too powerful to succumb to the call of Dracula. Instead he challenges Dracula to the title of ‘Lord of the Vampires.’
Wolverine beats Dracula and inherits all his powers and all his evil. With his new found power and lust for blood Wolverine starts turning his friends and foes into vampires. Spider-Man, Moon Knight, Hulk (can you imagine a Vampire Hulk??), Green Goblin. Others he killed outright, not allowing them to live on as vampires, The Fantastic Four, Hawkeye, Daredevil and Dr. Doom are just a few that he killed.
The one man with perhaps the best chance to defeat a vampire Wolverine, Dr. Strange was also killed and dismembered. Who will save the human race? The man with nothing to lose, The Punisher, with the help of Dr. Strange. Dr. Strange’s body is gone but his spirit lives on in the astral plane and he enters The Punisher’s mind. Together they defeat Wolverine and in the process all the vampires he created.
In the end the world is rid of vampires, but also all superheroes. Who needs superheroes when you have old ads? Of course, without the superheroes, we wouldn’t have the ads…we’ll deal with that later.
Let’s see what the ads looked like from What If… #24
Double Dragon III
We saw this ad last month in Darkhawk #1. I still think it’s a good ad for a so-so game. While the game was considered a failure it didn’t sink the franchise. In 1992 Super Double Dragon was released exclusively for the Super Nintendo(SNES) and in 1994 Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls released for the SNES and Genesis.
At the same time there was a Double Dragon animated series, which if you can find it is worth watching and a Double Dragon movie starring Mark Dacascos and Scott Wolf. You can watch it free on Tubi and PlutoTV, even for free you’ll be asking for your money back…it’s not good.
Megaman is still one of my favorites, this ad is not. You can’t see the screen shots, the logo is too big and the box art is too small. It’s like the marketing team couldn’t agree on anything and jammed a bunch of images on the page. None of them work, even the description is boring.
What’s the point of the giant red box for the Capcom logo? The whole thing is a mess. Great game, bad ad. The marketing team should be fired. I wonder what the rejected ads look like?
Science Fiction Book Club
Now this one is right up my alley. I was and am a huge fan of Science Fiction. The town I grew up in had one bookstore, a small B. Dalton’s in the mall, which didn’t open until 1985! Until B. Dalton’s opened it was either Target or the library for books. Can you imagine the only bookstore in your life is a Target and not even a Super Target…The horror! The horror!!
With the Science Fiction Book Club I could pick five books for $1! Books that I couldn’t find at the book store. It’s like Columbia House Music Club for books and I was sold. In this ad alone there are more than five books worth buying. Robert Heinlein is always a good read, Tolkien, although I didn’t like The Book of Lost Tales, The Dragonriders of Pern series, Nighfall by Asimov is great.
I joined the Science Fiction Book Club and was a member until the early 2000’s. You can still join the Science Fiction Book Club, although the pricing isn’t as nice. Currently you can get two books for $9.99 each. With the rise of the internet and the Amazon juggernaut it isn’t an enticing deal anymore. But in the early 1990’s it helped me find some fantastic books to read.
What’s coming?!? A new Dungeons & Dragons set? I’m a sucker for all things D&D and for this ad. I’ve said before all things D&D were forbidden in my house, even the cartoon! This evil red dragon reaching out to devour someone wouldn’t help change that. But the artwork is great!
This turned out to be an ad for the newly released (and rebranded) D&D Basic Starter Set, called The New Easy-to-Master Dungeons & Dragons Game, that’s a mouth full, Basic Set sure is easier to say. The New Easy-To-Master set included a rule book, a deck of cards with supplementary material, a Dragon Master screen, dice and map sheet.
Since D&D was forbidden I never bought this. I used my friend’s rule books and monster guides or I’d read them at the library, never checking them out.
3 Musketeers Adventure!
Another 3 Musketeers Adventure ad! I need to hunt all these down and put them in one post. I still don’t know how many are in the series. We saw Adventure #1 in Superman #475 and #5 in Ghost Rider #15. The Adventure in this issue is #3 and 3 Musketeers is in space!
Cargo Shuttle Eagle V is delivering 3,000 tons of chocolate to the space station. Upon arrival they discover a giant 3 Musketeers bar in space.
I love these ads, good artwork, mini stories and great product placement for 3 Musketeers. I hope to find all of the ads in the series.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle II: The Arcade Game
The highly popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle arcade game was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and given the name Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle II: The Arcade Game. It was called “II” because there was already a TMNT game for the NES.
TMNT II included everything from the arcade game and it added two new levels and two new bosses, Tora and Shogun. If you missed it head over to Arcade Spot and play it now.
I like this ad, the top portion gets the point across, they mutated the arcade game for the NES. The screen shots are good, the box art stands out and unlike the Megaman ad, the company logo isn’t obnoxiously oversized.
The best part is the game comes with a coupon for a free personal pan pizza! In the first movie the turtles order Domino’s pizza but Pizza Hut won the rights for TMNT advertising. I’m not sure how Domino’s missed this one.
I worked at Pizza Hut and they pushed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hard in the early 1990’s. Different pizza specials, the Coming Out of Their Shells cassette and the popular Coming Out of Their Shells Tour. I wish I still had the cassette but I can’t find it anywhere. This game is also full of Pizza Hut signs and posters.
I enjoyed all the ads in this issue, well maybe not Megaman 3. The rest were good though. The Dungeons & Dragons might be the winner for me. The 3 Musketeers Adventure series is always good. Let us know in the comments which one is your favorite.
Until then, keep your comics bagged and boarded…unless you want to thumb through them to check out the great ads!
Check out the previous installments of
Check Out Those Ads!