Archive for February, 2011

Three Hells, two Bastards, three Damns and a Crap!

February 27, 2011

Hasbro / Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1
April 2010

Note: The indicia indicates an April 2010 date but this wasn’t released until June 2010. Other comics with an April 2010 publication date were actually released in February 2010, so take your pick about what date to assign this collectible. The cover is marked, “Not for Resale” as seen in this larger version.

Released as part of a Marvel Universe Comic Pack by Hasbro in the summer of 2010, this comic comes with two figures, Dark Spider-Man (Venom) and Dark Wolverine (Daken) from the Dark Avengers. The series started out as a Secret Wars line with two figures and a reprinted Secret Wars comic per pack, but has since changed themes to a Marvel’s Greatest Battles line. Depending on how you reckon the series, it’s either the first release from Wave 5, or it’s the first release from Wave 1 of Series 2 if you prefer to group four waves from the Secret Wars line into Series 1 and the Greatest Battles line into Series 2.

The package clearly indicates that the comic sealed up inside the plastic is Dark Avengers #1 in the upper right, and from what can be seen from the outside of the package, it appears to contain a copy of Dark Avengers #1 with the very familiar regular Mike Deodato, Jr. cover. However, in what might be the finest example of Batesian mimicry in the Comicus Bookus taxonomic classification, the actual comic is NOT Dark Avengers #1!!!

"INCLUDES DARK AVENGERS #1" - Inset from the upper right portion of the card

Instead, the book is a partially reprinted and sanitized version of Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1. In the original version, Northstar appeared as a regular member of the X-Men and Madison Jeffries appeared as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team during a battle with Dark Beast at the conclusion of the Utopia storyline.

Panel taken from the original, featuring Northstar. Jeffries can be seen running in the lower right.

Seven pages of story and a few choice words have been removed. Since it’s targeted for kids aged 4 and up, the kid-inappropriate two page opening bedroom scene by the Dodsons with Scott and Emma has been removed. A four page sequence, also by the Dodsons, featuring Emma’s psychic take-down of The Sentry has also been removed, not because it contains any racy material, but just to save space. In the original, that sequence was an abrupt change in art style bookended by Deodato’s pages, and in the reprint, it actually flows just fine (better?) while being a logical choice for omission. Another page in the final battle sequence is removed so as to correct facing pages, also without much impact on the flow of the story. The two pages where Northstar and Jeffries appear are reprinted whole.

Another panel taken from the original, showing the infamous "coiled tentacles" scene with Jeffries in the foreground and Northstar's legs in the lower right

Note: an additional 17 non-story pages were removed, including several advertisement pages, the introductory page, the concluding page with the credits, and a seven page preview of X-Necrosha #1. The last page, inside back cover and back cover were replaced with new advertisement pages.

The sanitized text is not surprising, removing three Hells, two Bastards, three Damns and a Crap. Here is a detailed list of the changes:

Marvel: –th’ Hell?
Hasbro: –th’ %&!#

Marvel: Where the hell did–
Hasbro: Where the %#!@ did–

Marvel: I’m right here, you murderous bastard.
Hasbro: I’m right here, you monster.

LEFT: original filth. RIGHT: what Hasbro thinks 4 year olds should read instead

Marvel: You might not have wanted a war but you damn well got one–
Hasbro: You might not have wanted a war but you got one–

Marvel: I borrowed power from Mistress Hela herself to make sure you stay the hell down.
Hasbro: I borrowed power from Mistress Hela herself to make sure you stay down.

Marvel: Stop smiling, damn you!
Hasbro: Stop smiling!

Marvel: Damn you Summers–
Hasbro: You lose, Summers–

LEFT: unacceptable text. RIGHT: appropriate for ages 4-7

Marvel: So kill the bastards, I don’t care.
Hasbro: So kill them all, I don’t care.

Marvel: You actually believe the crap you’re shoveling?
Hasbro: You actually believe the stuff you’re saying?

Some of the sanitized versions aren’t so well thought out, notably the one illustrated above where “Hell” is replaced by a string of symbols, which could imply even more badder curse words in its place. Also, it’s not exactly clear how “So kill them all, I don’t care” is appropriate in any way for a four year old. In any case, after the notoriety this site gained from posting very unsanitized text, it feels good for Alpha Flight Collector to wash its mouth out for a change.


Second printing added to Incredible Hulk #606

February 24, 2011

In addition to the variant cover, a second printing variant of Incredible Hulk #606 with interior art by penciler Paul Pelletier was released a bit later. Though this came out about a year ago, it went unmentioned until tonight. Click on the link to see it!

Northstar and Dazzler butt trifecta complete!

February 21, 2011

Uncanny X-Men #532
Mar 2011

Matt Fraction’s Uncanny run nears its end in the middle of the five-issue Quarantine story arc. The X-Men continue to sweat like pigs on Utopia, which is locked down due to the mutant-only HX-N1 virus. Fortunately, a small de facto team of X-Men unaffected by the virus has been in operation in San Francisco. Northstar appears as a member of this team, having joined up in issue #530 after joining the full X-Men roster in issue #508.

This de facto team swoops down in an unnecessarily dramatic manner, lightning bolts and all, to confront the Collective Man after discovering him last issue in a Chinatown street fight. Iteratively splitting into his five parts and collecting himself back into his quintuple-powered self, he displays an impressive set of acrobatic skills which include dodging the aforementioned lightning bolts and synchronized gymnastics. During one of the moments when he’s split into his five parts, Angel, the team leader, orders Northstar to take him out. This would seem to be a great strategy, as Northstar ought easily be able to Fwip! around at super-speed and get all five of the Collective Men in a flash. However, after exactly one awesome super-speed face smash, the Collective Man collects himself and take out Northstar in one punch.

Awesome super-speed face smash

This is a particularly unrealistic outcome to the battle, even in a five-on-one scenario. Northstar, with his super speed, ought to be able to dodge this kind of brute-force attack. It’s reminiscent of what Matt Fraction did in Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1 when he sent in Northstar on point to attack Dark Beast, who swatted down Northstar in one shot before the remainder of the team defeated the enemy.

Later, after the rest of the team defeats The Collective Man, the chatty de facto team regroups on the street. A very hunched over Northstar can be seen from behind, in a familiar place – right next to Dazzler’s butt!

So ends Matt Fraction’s run on Uncanny X-Men with the conclusion of this arc at issue #534, due out in March 2011. We had some good times with him, notably the addition of Jeffries and Northstar to the team, with Alpha Flight members appearing in 27 of 28 issues, the powerful Utopia arc in which Alpha Flight members appeared in all six chapters and a new member of the Alpha Flight family – Northstar’s boyfriend Kyle. Along the way his characterization of Jeffries wandered into a more distracted and silly version than we would have preferred, and twice he had Northstar toss outright insults at Alpha Flight in a misguided attempt to portray him as a disgruntled member of his former team. Those weren’t such good times but Alpha Flight fans should keep in mind one particular scene – when Wolverine gutted Weapon Omega in a direct vengeful response to the unfortunate events of New Avengers #16. I’ll always consider that Matt Fraction’s high point. May he rest in peace and Hodiak have mercy on his soul.

Depowered Alphans appear in Blockbusters of the Marvel Universe #1

February 15, 2011

Blockbusters of the Marvel Universe #1
Mar 2011

While nearly all entries in the modern style OHOTMU books have been based around a single character, a few entries have been based around something more abstract instead, for example: teams, locations, races, equipment, pantheons and alternate universes, to name a few. Similar to the concept of the two-issue Marvel Atlas series that consisted entirely of location-based entries, this Blockbusters issue consists entirely of “Events” in the Marvel Universe. I put this in quotes because there is no hard and fast definition of what an “Event” is – sometimes it’s a crossover, sometimes a limited series and other times, just an involved story arc. Murmur, Radius, Wild Child and Windshear appear in the 2pg entry for the House of M/M-Day event.

Although Alpha Flight members have participated in many of the Marvel “Events” since 1982, fans are reminded in this book how limited their inclusion has been as a team. The most extensive involvement of Alpha Flight as a team in an “Event” was in the Infinity War/Infinity Crusade crossovers in the early 1990s, when volume 1 was still an actively published ongoing. Other “Events” to note would be the Contest of Champions (1982), Secret Wars II (1985), the Crossing Line arc with the Avengers (1990), Collective (2006) and of course Chaos War (2010). Despite all these issues and all the cameos, Alpha Flight made it into only one entry out of thirty-nine in this book, and only as very tiny cameos of minor characters, a disappointing but not surprising outcome.

The entries in this issue have a standard format that includes four sections: History, which is the main narrative of the event; Key Participants; Key Chronicle, which lists the major issues of the event; and a fascinating section called Legacy, where the impact of the event is explained in context within the larger Marvel Universe. The Legacy section of the House of M/M-Day event entry is largely concerned with the mass depowering of mutants and naturally spills a bit into the Collective event, which doesn’t have an entry of its own. An illustration taken from a splash page in New Avengers #18 (2006) shows an array of depowered mutants whose energy signature showed up in the Collective.

This image was, at the time, extremely important to determine the status of dozens of minor characters that hadn’t been explicitly shown as powered or depowered on M-Day, and it even included a partial listing of characters on the screens as a quasi-checklist. The four Alpha Flight members shown (along with their row,column coordinates from the top left) were:

  • Murmur (4th row, 6th column) – who hadn’t been heard from since Wolverine #142 (1999)
  • Radius (5,8) – who we all thought had been killed by Avalanche in Uncanny X-Men #405 (2002), revealed in this issue to be alive!
  • Wild Child (7,6) – whose appearance at the time was his “gray gargoyle” look and was still a member of Weapon X
  • Windshear (7,9) – who we knew had quit the superhero business when last seen in Thunderbolts #43 (2000)

For those of you unable to figure out the coordinate system I tried to use, here is a much enlarged version of the original panel with the Alphans highlighted:

The actual illustration shown in this issue is cropped just across Wild Child’s face (poor Kyle!), and slightly rotated. For the truly insane: in the original, the top edge of the top row is aligned horizontally, while in the reprinted illustration (above), an attempt is made to align one of the middle rows along the horizontal, resulting in a better fit into a rectangular inset.

Even after the original panel appeared in 2006, the status of many other Alpha Flight mutants stood unknown. Many were revealed subsequently as powered or depowered, and some remain unknown to this day. Since you’re all wondering, here is a reckoning of the status of Alpha Flight’s mutants since the House of M/M-Day event:

Retained powers after M-Day: Northstar
Madison Jeffries
Diamond Lil (subsequently killed)
Puck (Zuzha – subsequently killed)
Depowered on M-Day: Flex
Wild Child (subsequently killed)
Unknown status after M-Day: Centennial (subsequently deceased)
Ghost Girl

Captain Underpants joins Alpha Flight in Chaos War #5

February 14, 2011

Chaos War #5
Mar 2011

The Chaos War story line comes to its conclusion in this final issue of the five-issue mini-series. The plot lines leading up to this issue ought to be familiar to Alpha Flight fans who saw four dead members resurrected in the Chaos War: Alpha Flight one-shot, and reunited with four living members. After a brief cameo in issue #4 of this series, Alpha Flight appears more extensively, and with an important and serious outcome for the team. Guardian (Mac), Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird, Marrina, Northstar and Aurora appear in this book, having teamed up in the one-shot. Although Heather was also resurrected in that issue, she doesn’t appear in this one.

The opening page of issue #4, which showed various images of events spun out of the various mini-series, one-shots and other books of Chaos War, is mirrored with the opening page of this issue to show how they all converge together, literally and figuratively. The various characters (Thor, Hulks, Dead Avengers and Alpha Flight) are neatly brought together through some complicated space/time thingy, as explained by Sasquatch, who correctly places Alpha Flight’s former whereabouts, as mentioned in the one-shot, as Alberta. It was a nice touch for writers Greg Pak and Fred van Lente to have Walter explain this in character as a brilliant scientist instead of having Amadeus Cho give us the technobabble again.

During the battle sequence with the Chaos King baddies, only Sasquatch and Guardian are shown, and only in three panels, which is a bit disappointing since Alpha Flight at the time of this battle consisted of eight members. Perhaps it was just too much to fit into the limited space of the panels with all the busy action of the battle and overwhelming number of characters in this issue, on top of having to actually wrap up the entire story line.

For those of you who keep score, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the series penciler Koi Pham draw Sasquatch, but he does so in a markedly improved style over two previous versions in Mighty Avengers #21 and #23.

After the Chaos King is defeated, there’s an expository scene of “What just happened?”. Mac does the asking in two panels, but claims to be an actual “Rocket Scientist”, which frames him in an agreeably complimentary light as a genius, but isn’t technically right, as his background is more in petrochemicals and cybernetics than aerospace. However, since he has been in outer space at least once (OK, I won’t mention the Plodex thing from v3!), and it was an attempt to make the guy look good, I’ll give the writers a pass on this one.

It should be noted that up until this issue was published, it wasn’t known for sure whether or not the resurrections in the one-shot would be permanent or if the dead Alphans would wink out. This was explicitly stated as a known risk by the characters in the one-shot, and in a few interviews, neither Jim McCann nor any other writer confirmed there would be any more Alpha Flight beyond this issue. But, after Hercules re-sets the entire world back to how it was before, the resurrected members of Alpha Flight remain!

click here to show very big version of above panel

The resurrected members are confirmed as permanently resurrected in a quiet scene of post-hubbub solemnity on a beach at the base of the new Mount Olympus. There hasn’t been such an important turn of events in Alpha Flight history in a long time, and to add serious emphasis to the magnitude of the moment, none other than the very, very top Marvel A-List characters help out: Spider-Man, Iron Man and Captain America each take part. I get the sense that this formality was extended particularly as a nod to Alpha Flight fans to make up for the paltry and unceremonious way the unfortunate events of New Avengers #16 played out. The respectful gravitas of the scene isn’t lost on us, especially since other permanently resurrected characters from other parts of the Chaos War story line go unmentioned.

Unfortunately, this moment is imperfect – besides for not being a splash page featuring Alpha Flight in full, the panel has some outright mistakes. The issue still stands in the official category of “understated awesome”, but it’s fun to pick nits out of comics. First, there is a minor error in the speech bubbles. The dialogue from the previous panel reads:

Spidey: Hey, the big guy comes through. I always knew he would.
Iron Man: In more ways than one.
Captain America: How’s that?

The next line is uttered as Alpha Flight is shown on the beach: “Look who’s not dead anymore.” This ought to be uttered by Iron Man (or Spidey), but instead, the speech bubble comes from Cap, which makes no sense, as he wouldn’t be answering his own question.

Second, where’s Heather? Likely nearby, safe and sound, as Mac’s demeanor isn’t consistent with a fellow who has just lost his wife to a snarly chaos demon, but why the team would be shown this way with a pretty damn important member missing is not clear.

Third, the strange coloring in that panel, possibly caused by an odd spectrum from the sun at the horizon. Snowbird, a brunette now, is shown wearing a green cape, Marrina is wearing a red swimsuit, Iron Man (shown between Spidey and who I believe is Luke Cage) is completely miscolored, and Shaman… Shaman is shown wearing… I don’t know what… someone’s underwear? …outside of his costume? He should be drawn with just a belt!

The beach panel is the only appearance of Captain Underpants, Snowbird, Marrina and Northstar in the book. Aurora appears also, and again on the last page, seen from behind standing next to Mac as they face Mount Olympus.

Note: the cover to this issue was originally intended as the cover to the first issue of the series. Thanks to member -K-M- who points out an alternate, unpublished version of the cover:

click to enlarge

Rogue’s boobs in X-Men: Legacy #244, oh and Jeffries too, whatever

February 10, 2011

X-Men: Legacy #244
Mar 2011

I was going to write a typical post about this issue, being sure to mention that it’s a standalone issue taking place just before the Age of X storyline begins, and probably something or other about how Emma Frost incorrectly calls Madison, “Dr. Jeffries” grrr… but…


They are huge! Spilling out of her unzipped front, often gleaming with what, what is that… the heated sweat of sensual desire? Or is it the natural glow of pure awesome radiating forth from their globulousness? Hard to tell. Oh, and blah blah Mister Jeffries appears, whatever.

A really good view of how low her shirt is unzipped can be seen here.

Note that if her shirt were zipped, there would be a circumscribed X across her chest where her gigantic, beautiful boobs are instead. Jeffries is staring right at them as he explains that some mutants are missing.

In another view of her boobs, you can clearly see the glistening highlights with a great shot right down the front, maximum cleavage here. Haha Jeffries is still staring right at them!

This is one of the better views of Rogue’s boobs. You can really appreciate how huge they are once she’s in the foreground. How Jeffries is able to avert his gaze away from her beautiful, gigantic boobs is not clear to me. Note also that Harvey Tolibao gave Jeffries a serious haircut since the last time he drew him, but enough about Jeffries. You can even see part of her belly below her boobs because her shirt is unzipped so far down.

please move your hand please move your hand

In this image, Rogue’s entire hot sexy body can be seen. Unfortunately, part of Jeffries gloved hand is obscuring one of her boobs from completely being seen, which is a shame. It would have been better if he were off panel describing how one of Emplate’s liminal doorways from the “Devil at the Crossroads” story arc is still open, because then you could see Rogue’s boobs better. Oh well, as nice as it was for writer Mike Carey to have re-used an element of that storyline from last year, it really wasn’t worth it to draw Jeffries blocking any part of Rogue’s hot sexy body, especially her beautiful huge boobs.

Another interesting element of this image is the symbol worn on Jeffries jacket, which is Harvey Tolibao’s self-styled insignia, a mashup of his initials (HMT).

You can see it again in this next panel which is one of the most amazing images in the book. Taken from a full page splash, you can see Rogue’s body twisted into an impossible configuration: both butt cheeks can be seen as well as cleavage from both boobs. You really get a good impression of just how far they are spilling out of her unzipped shirt here with this side view. It’s good that we get to see them from all angles. The HMT symbol can also be seen on her shoe as Jeffries and Rogue’s boobs confront the nearly invisible Spider Squid that has ensnared the missing mutants.

During the battle, a great shot of Rogue’s boobs shows maximum cleavage. Jeffries might be visible far off to the right side in one panel, I think, but I’m oddly compelled toward the left side of the panel for some reason.

In another panel in the battle, the front of Rogue’s shirt is pulled open even farther, probably the widest in the entire issue. Something something… Jeffries feet are somewhere, can’t… concentrate…


Sacks of Crap Bow to Puck in Wolverine #5

February 6, 2011

Wolverine #5
Mar 2011

The “Wolverine Goes to Hell” storyline, which has been rambling through recent issues of this title, X-23, Daken: Dark Wolverine and some one-shots, comes to its conclusion in this issue. Wolverine unsurprisingly returns from Hell, with a number of unresolved events from the past few issues that have yet to play out, notably the deaths of a few characters. Puck appears extensively in this issue, resulting in an interesting outcome.

In the previous issue, Puck took charge of an army of murdering badasses to fight a mass of demons scrambling for the Devil’s sword. This weapon, in conflict with literally thousands of years worth of ideas and beliefs regarding the conceptual nature of the Devil and his role in leading the Underworld, has been elevated by writer Jason Aaron to an extreme level: it confers leadership of Hell through its possession. For a brief time, a demon held it in issue #4, only to lose it after a rock hit him, which leads one to believe that it doesn’t actually imbue the wielder with the level of immense power you’d expect a Hell-Lord to maintain.

As Wolverine blabbers on and on with the mysterious stranger who revealed himself last issue as Thomas Logan, Wolverine’s biological father (although even Puck knew he wasn’t who he claimed to be), Puck calls out to Wolverine to join the battle. During the fray, Sabretooth gets his hands on the sword, only have it wrangled away by Wolverine, who uses it to chop him into chunks and eventually tosses it into the scrum.

Wolverine then rallies to Puck in the fight, but they quickly decide to escape Hell by literally climbing up the walls. As they climb, a green hand reaches out from a recess within the walls and grabs Puck, tossing him down into the pit.

Oh, but don’t worry. Shortly after this plunge, Puck obtains the sword, which is absurdly too big for him – at least twice his size as shown in a panel of complete awesome:

Does this mean that Eugene Judd is the new Devil? Over the course of this and the previous issue, there are a few scenes when the sword changes hands and the new owner openly claims leadership. When Wolverine acquires it, everything sort of stops as the demon hordes cry out:

We bow before you, holder of the sword… We bow before the new Lord of Hell…

So, it’s a pretty good bet that the demons acknowledge this scheme even to the point of declaring fealty en masse.

The only question is whether or not this is the true Devil. Earlier in issue #2 when Wolverine’s girlfriend Meilta Garner asks Mystique where Wolverine is, she asks:

So wait a minute. You’re telling me Logan’s in Hell? You mean like Hell Hell? Like a Devil with a pitchfork Hell?

To which Mystique answers with annoyance:

Is there some other kind of Hell I’m not aware of?

The problem is that in the Marvel Universe, there isn’t a true Devil that has ever been portrayed clearly as the commonly recognized single ruler of Hell. There have been a number of Hell-Lords in the Marvel Universe over the years that might be the true Devil, including Mephisto, Lucifer and Satan, but even those characters are generally acknowledged to be one of several. If Jason Aaron really wanted to indicate that this was the true Devil, he ought to have used one of these more established characters. The big purple horned guy introduced in this series who is referred to as “The Devil” is either an overly simplistic representation of the true Devil or just yet another Hell-Lord used for the confined purposes of this story.

So the answer is: Yes, Puck is the new Devil of the Hell as portrayed in this issue.

Besides, we all know who the one true Devil is:

Know the sweet, sublime feeling of complete obediance to your Evil Master! Come serve me, the Prince of Darkness, I command it! Hear me!

It would have been infinitely better for Puck to have escaped Hell with Wolverine and rejoin his Alpha Flight teammates, who were resurrected recently in the Chaos War: Alpha Flight one shot, but as Puck mentions to Wolverine as they climb the walls, “You still got a body to go back to at least. Mine probably ain’t looking so good right about now.” With no clear mechanism to have Puck escape Hell, Jason Aaron did a great job with this second-best alternative, writing him as a tough, scrappy character, loyal to his friend and ultimately left as a victor.

Alpha Flight Collector has been Cracked!

February 4, 2011

I’ve been a fan of the website for years, so this is a particular treat. A previous post about the Easter Egg I found in New Mutants #17 has been linked in an article, “6 Comic Book Easter Eggs That Stuck It to The Man” which was originally titled, “6 Most Amazing Screw Yous in Comics.” Basically the author took my post, re-wrote it in a funnier way than I could ever write it, stole my images, gave me no credit except for a tiny watermark she was too lazy to photoshop out of one of the images she stole and called me a nerd. What a jerk!

Puck: Puck goes to Hell again!

February 3, 2011

Wolverine: Wolverine Goes to Hell #1
Mar 2011

In an attempt to get readers into the new Wolverine series, this 72 page comic reprints the first three issues of the fourth Wolverine series that started up in late 2010. Puck appeared in the second and third issues.

Fans who waited were able to save a bit of money, as the $4.99 cover price offered a deep discount, working out to $1.66 an issue – a pretty good deal for fans who may have shied away from picking up yet another Wolverine ongoing series at the full price of $3.99 each. That’s a $7 savings for those of you who were reading Alpha Flight comics instead of paying attention in math class.

The Marvel logo on the cover is followed by “Must Have” in fairly small text, which loosely affiliates this issue with an unorganized set of other “Marvel Must Have” issues mostly from 2001-2003. Those were similar three-issue reprints published for the same reason: to snag new readers into a new series or story arc.

The cover uses the same artwork as the regular #1 cover, and inside, also includes cover art without title blocks for issues #1, 2 and 3, as well as one of the 7 variant covers for #1, but otherwise is a straight up re-printing of the issues, with the backup stories also included.

What If… Alpha Flight were imperceptibly tiny?

February 2, 2011

What If? #200
Feb 2011

Note: this issue has a wraparound cover. The back is shown below and the cover in its entirety can be seen here.

I’ll speculate that somewhere last year, one of the guys over at Marvel figured out that they had published about 199 or so issues of the “What If…” series over the years and that it deserved a celebratory #200 issue.

Great idea!

After a run starting in 1977 which lasting through 1988, the series relaunched in 1989. That series ran through 1998, and lay dormant until it was relaunched in 2005 with a series of irregularly published one-shots at the rate of five or six per year that neither picked up the previous numbering nor had their own sequence, so the notion of a 200th issue really took some careful indexing and collecting. I’m obviously impressed by the effort of my speculative fellow indexer and collector. Alpha Flight appears on the covers of two What If…? issues, both of which are reprinted.

This giant issue includes a main story, “What if… Norman Osborn won the Siege of Asgard?”, a backup Watcher/Galactus story by none other than Stan “The Man” Lee, an interview with former Marvel EIC Roy Thomas, and a two-page spread featuring the question, “What was your favorite What If?” as answered by various Marvel writers, artists, editors and executives. In the response given by Tom DeFalco, who picked the one I would have picked, a thumbnail of the cover of issue #34 is reproduced, with a very very tiny image of Mac on the cover. In truth, one can barely even see it but Alpha Flight Collector knows it’s there.

A larger version of the cover:

Mac holding a beer and wearing a ski cap:

Following a full reprint of What If… #35, a Daredevil story, two double page spreads index all 200 What If… issues, including a numbering scheme for the 2005 series, the titular question for each issue, along with two giant 10×10 arrays of cover thumbnails. In the array, Alpha Flight appears on the cover of #34, as mentioned above, as well as on the cover of #59 from the second series. That issue is officially titled, “What if… Wolverine had remained a captive of Alpha Flight?”, though the tagline on the cover asks, “What if… Wolverine led Alpha Flight?” On that cover, the original six Alphans appear on the left and right side of Wolverine. Again, the cover shown is very tiny but one can make out the characters. Unfortunately a white border obscures part of Shaman.

A larger version of the cover:

Both left and right sides show the full team:


The back cover of issue #200: