What If... the Avengers Had Become Pawns of Korvac?

People sometime joke that What If stories too often turn into "Everyone dies". What If? #32 is the prototypical and most extreme version of that idea. Writer: Mark Gruenwald. Artist: Greg LaRocque. How would THEY have collapsed the entire Marvel line if they had been asked to?

What If Vol.1 #32 (April 1982)
Based on: Avengers #167-177
The true history: Korvac, a power siphon from the future, lands in 20th century Earth and wants to bring order to the universe with his ever-growing power. The Collector sends his daughter Carina to spy on him, but she falls in love with him. He kills/absorbs the Collector and then many of the Avengers, until the mightiest of them bring on the beat down. At his weakest moment, he looks to Carina for support, but sees hesitation in her eyes and falters. His last act before expiring is to resurrect the Avengers he killed.
Turning point: What if Carina stood by her man absolutely?
Story type: Everyone Dies
Watcher's mood: Michael Ironside
Altered history: In this universe, Carina's love gives Korvac an extra boost he uses to destroy all the Avengers. The man is needy, but if he gets what he needs, there ain't no stopping him.
His first move towards a more orderly universe is to seal it off from the so-called Gods. A good idea since Odin and Zeus both want payback for Thor and Hercules' deaths. He also banishes the most powerful non-Avengers, like Dr. Strange, Phoenix and the Silver Surfer. Second move: Recreate some of the Avengers as subservient puppets and make them do his dirty work, like killing the Watcher. Well, not the Watcher telling the story. The Watcher of that universe. So the Watcher who's maybe watching the regular universe and going "What if Spider-Man sold his soul to the devil for no reason?" Anyway, THAT Watcher sees what's coming and escapes. But he can't convince the other Watchers to break the Prime Directive.
So instead he assembles the Cosmic Avengers (for want of a better name), composed of the universe's most powerful entities.
That's a lot of firepower for one foam party. Unfortunately, they take a page from the old Justice Society of America and only tackle Korvac in pairs. What's he been up to? Oh, just eating the High Evolutionary. The Grandmaster and the Shaper of Worlds visit him, and the GM wants to set the rules of the game. And Korvac?
Korvac does not play games. The Shaper makes a good move and flips over to his side. Meanwhile, Galactus and the Gardener (yes, the Gardener) are attacked by the Puppet Avengers, which doesn't go well for the latter.
Captain America grabs the Ultimate Nullifier and destroys both himself and Galactus with it, while the Gardener is harvested by Korvac. At the same time, Korvac's been reordering the universe in some way because Lord Chaos keeps dwindling and Lord Order keeps growing. Time to send the next Divine Duo: The Stranger and the In-Betweener. IB is going to kidnap Carina while the Stranger distracts Korvac by slinging the moon at his head.
Both get killed (with some thanks to the Shaper) and the Earth gets a nice asteroid ring around it. The Living Tribunal makes the sun go nova, but Korvac protects Earth. LivTrib leaves the universe to go judge American Idol instead. Not a huge improvement, but there it is. Next, all the space-faring races in the universe warp to Earth to stop Korvac. He has to siphon the power of the Shaper, the Celestials, the Avengers, all of humanity and the entire biosphere (as well as the willing Carina) to meet them head on.
That's the Ultimate Nullifier in his hand, and the Watcher can't dissuade him from using it. Well guess what.
Death wins and Eternity is destroyed. The Watcher gets one less universe to watch, so it's not all bad. Silver linings.
Books canceled as a result: All of them. Even its What If? is canceled.
These things happen: Though he returned a couple times, he never really made that kind of dent in continuity ever again. He ultimately gets fragged by a Cosmic Cube.

Next week: What if Dazzler Had Become the Herald of Galactus?
My guess: Galactus - the disco opera!


Anonymous said...

I only read the last issue of Korvac saga, but was pretty awesome. He kills almost all the Avengers (literaly). So I suppose a What If was deserved.


Prime Director said...

Not too smart on the Badoon's part, turning Korvac into a power siphon capable of taking over the universe.

Reminds me of that episode of ATHF, Total ReCarl where Frylock, after mutilating Carl, is about to give him a mega-powerful cyborg body to replace his old one, but suddenly comes to his senses and decides against it.


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