What If? Secret Wars #1
This ought to be issue #2 since there already was a “What If? Secret Wars” issue in the second series (#114) but far be it from THIS blog to pick nits, eh? “What If… Doctor Doom kept the Beyonder’s Power” brings us back to the classic 1984 mini-series in which Doctor Doom temporarily had the power of the Beyonder. Puck and Sasquatch appear in single panel cameos.
The story is presented in a non-linear sequence that brings us to various points in this alternate time line that show Doctor Doom doing his Doomy thing – conquering entire races, defeating the good guys, putting the mack on Susan Storm, you know, the usual. The order of presentation of the story is so jumbled up that it would be impossible to piece all of it together without numerous tag lines from Karl Boller to frame nearly every panel. It gets out of hand on one page, which is a direct panel-by-panel homage to The Watchmen (see Chapter IV page 1 of that series), but Doom eventually sacrifices all of his power to save the entire Earth and he reverses Global Warming.
During the portion of the story where Doom is defeating all the good guys, a super insurgency group of heroes assemble at the Baxter Building to oppose his conquering ways, led by a very pregnant Invisible Woman. In the foreground, just behind Luke Cage and in front of Hercules, you can see Puck, but since he’s facing the podium, away from the reader, you can only see the back of his head. A blue-ish figure in the lower left might be Sasquatch, but is more likely The Beast.
A sequence of panels showing the insurgency follows and in one of the battle panels, as the heroes engage simultaneous incarnations of Doom, Sasquatch can be seen charging ahead in a desert environment. The particular assemblage of heroes in the charge is a random assortment: Scarlet Witch, Black Knight, Havok, Doc Samson and the Black Widow, so it appears as if the Invisible Woman teamed Sasquatch with some fairly heavy hitters.
Karl Bollers does an excellent job writing a story that successfully matches in scale the one thing in the Marvel Universe that is as conceptually immense as the Beyonder’s power: Doom’s ambition! Much thanks to him as well for including Alpha Flight members among the insurgency. They likely are completely wiped out by Doom, but at least it’s done in a heroic and meaningful way.