Once again I find myself bringing up What If the Marvel Heroes Lost Atlantis Attacks. We see them die there, too. Can we see that possibly?You're in luck, Jack, 'cause I've dug my tear-stained copy of What If? volume 2 #25 out of the Bully longbox comic vault (aisle 14, section W) just to watch the Fantastic Four...and pretty much most of the Marvel heroes...die at the hands of giant snakes! Well, not hands, to be accurate. They die at the...slithering of snakes. (Not to be confused with Slytherin.)
Welcome to Earth-9151, a world where (as the cover above tells ya) the Marvel Super Heroes lost Atlantis Attacks! Not to be confused with Atlanta Attacks, the crossover that pitted the Confederate Avengers (Cannonball, Husk, Rogue, Gambit, and Man-Thing!) against Jimmy Carter. Please do not read that annual if you have a peanut allergy.
As far as I remember, that's pretty much the plot of Atlantis Attacks, too, except that the machinations of Set the Serpent God led to the kidnapping of seven superheroinesMarvel Girl, Invisible Woman, Andromeda, She-Hulk, Storm, Scarlet Witch, and Daggerby Ghaur, the Deviant. (Not to be confused with Gwar, the metal rock band.) Apparently, Ghaur is plotting to have all seven of them marry Set in one big mass-marriage ceremony of the sort not seen since Matt Murdock and Frank Castle walloped the heck out of Reverend Moon in Daredevil/Punisher Team-Up Super-Special #2. Still, as Set was heard to cackle: "Well, that's big 'o me."
Somewhere along the line, as the Watcher is apt to point out, somebody did something different and the Fantastic Four wind up dying. And this time, they've got company! Here goes Benjamin J. Grimm, the ever-dyin' blue-eyed Thing, swallowed whole like a raw oyster into the gaping maw of one of the seven, count 'em, seven heads of Set. Now I've got nothin' against Jim Valentino, scribe of What If? #25, even for killin' off Ben Grimm toot-sweet. What I do hold against Valentino? He can't spell Kukla.
Panels from What If? v.2 #25 (May 1991), script by Jim Valentino, pencils by Rik Levins, inks by Ralph Cabrera, colors by Tom Vincent, letters by Brad K. Joyce
Well, one down, three to go. And just to prove that he's not jokin' around, Set has a giant avalanche crash down on a whole buncha superheroes, including (#2) Johnny Storm, the Human Torch. Another casualty here Sharon Ventura, the temporary FF member known imaginatively as She-Thing. Not to be confused with She-Hulk, She-Surfer,
What's that burning smell that's a cross between scorched metal, smouldering rubber, and barbecue? Why that would be Iron Man and the third member of the Fantastic Four, Mr. Fantastic, biting the dust. And hey, look, Captain Marvel is trying to give Set a bad case of heartburn by flying straight down his throat! I'm guessing that will all end well, huh? Oh, and look, there's Wonder Man. Don't go to pieces, Simon!
But, you know, I bet Ben Grimm is still alive. He always finds a way to survive. After all, if you don't see the body, there's a good chance that...
Oh, that ain't good.
Well, every member of the FF is dead except for Sue, and almost all the heroes are dead. Most of those still alive have been transformed into walking snake-guys, like Cobralossus!
Here's the New Mutants as snakes! Even as a reptile, Tabitha "Boom Boom" Smith manages to maintain her Flashdance look. Now that's dedication to style for ya.
Spider-Snake, Spider-Snake / Deadly neighborhood Spider-Snake / Is he tough? / Listen pal / Cut him in two / He grows another tail / Hey, hey! He is the Spider-Snake!
Rogue-Snake! Actually, this will probably work out the better for her, since while original Rogue couldn't touch anyone with her power-stealing skin, Snake Rogue can just shed it.
Punishersnake! Daresnake! This is kind of frightening, sure, but they would have made the coolest action figures ever.
But hey, if you can count or if you, like Homer Simpson, have three fingers and thumb, by now you're saying "Hey, What If?! You only killed off three members of the Fantastic Four!" Well, apparently but luckily off-camera, the seven heads of Set mated with the seven brides, including Sue Richardsand then all the brides got eaten by their snake-sons. Whoa, ultra-downer, Watcher. Ick. Why can't you ever tell us about a universe where everyone got candy and went to the movies?
So, there ya go. The FF are all pushing up snake-daisies. Everybody else is dead or turned into a snake on legs. Then the serpents started invading other dimensions. AIEEEE they're coming right at us!
Well...pleasant dreams, kids! Play us off, Whitesnake!
*I do apologize, but I can never resist that joke.
This post written with apologies to Siskoid, who will have to read this turkey for his definitive and comprehensive What If? feature in about nine weeks, and will probably treat it with more care than I did.