Saturday, February 11, 2012

What If? #19 (February 1980)

Title: What If Spider-Man Had Stopped the Burglar Who Killed His Uncle Ben?
Cover: Pat Broderick, Mike Esposito
Writer: Peter Gillis
Penciler: Pat Broderick
Inker: Mike Esposito
Colors: Roger Slifer
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Editors: Denny O'Neil, Mark Gruenwald
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.75
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: In an alternate reality in which Spider-Man stopped the burglar at the Wrestling Stadium, his Uncle Ben was never killed and the Wall Crawler became an overnight sensation lauded as a hero in the press, but still reviled by J. Jonah Jameson. Not having learned the tragic lesson that with great power comes great responsibility, Spider-Man uses his powers for personal gain and pursues a career in show business, leaving behind Aunt May and Uncle Ben after he reveals his identity to them and they express shame that he won't use his gifts to help people. J. Jonah Jameson's hatred of Spider-Man grows further when his son astronaut John Jameson perishes in a crash and the publisher wonders why the real heroes always have to die. Jameson reveals Spider-Man's identity in a Daily Bugle expose, provoking a confrontation with the Wall Crawler. Spider-Man decides to take his business to the next level, recruiting the Avengers, Daredevil, Fantastic Four and X-Men as clients who he'll manage and promote. Jameson's feud with Spider-Man continues until the Web Slinger reveals that Daily Bugle employee Frederick Foswell is actually the Big Man behind a crime syndicate and Jameson is forced to resign in shame. Months later in Los Angeles, Peter Parker and Daredevil fall into a trap and face the Sinister Six comprised of Dr. Octopus, Electro, Mysterio, Sandman, Vulture and a mysterious hooded figure. Faced with real foes, Parker freezes in fear while Daredevil fights for their lives. Shocked into action by Daredevil's death at the hands of the villains, Parker pulls on his mask and jumps into action as Spider-Man, defeating the Sinister Six and revealing Jameson as the hooded leader of the team. Spider-Man realizes that these tragic events have played out because of his own greed and that he could have followed Uncle Ben's advice and used them for good.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

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