What If…? # 88
Writer: Ben Raab
Penciller: Ariel Olivetti
Inker: Agostin Comotto
Letterers: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Marie Javins
Cover Date: August 1996
This week, I was set to take a look at an issue of “What if…?” from the first volume (Next week, for sure) but I couldn’t resist taking a look at this particular issue from the second volume. So here’s the rundown- Someone who was working at Marvel at the time made the decision that “What If..?” needed a makeover so the title turned into a modern-day version of those EC Comics titles but still exploring numerous alternate realities.
So this inaugural issue of the “new” What If…? gives us a twisted take on Spider-Man. After he gets bitten by that radioactive spider, Peter Parker begins to mutate into an actual spider, but what’s truly frightening is that his own son, Ben, begins experiencing the same effects that Peter does and most of the story focuses on how Ben deals with this new and scary predicament so, at its heart, it feels like a coming of age story but with some horror movie factors submitted in to help elevate the story, even though the focus switches to Ben or Peter; Every page will leave you in shock, and might I add that this issue feels like a weird Spider-Man story that could have been made into a movie back in the 1980s (Check out the original movie treatment by “Outer Limits” creator Leslie Stevens); This bizarre take on Spider-Man may feel out of place but it does an amazing job of bringing the horror elements into play as well as giving us something completely different, not to mention exploring the psychological beats to full effect.
This issue of “What If….?” is a pleaser for any horror fan and while this new direction for this volume didn’t last long, it was great that Marvel tried to give this series a makeover. Just don’t expect to see this story get adapted for The MCU.
Well, that’s it for me this week. I’ll be back next week with another review, and don’t worry, I’ll review an issue from the original volume (Promise) so thanks for sticking around and I will see you all next time.