Tag Archives: The Watcher

What If Jane Foster Found the Hammer of Thor?

We open on Jane Foster vacationing in Norway with her lame boss, Dr. Donald Blake. I say lame, because Don has a fucked up leg which he mentions constantly. Roughly the first half of this book consists of Don thinking “If only I wasn’t lame, I could be with Jane. But she could never love a man as lame as me.” Over in Jane’s brain, “If only Don knew I didn’t care how lame he is. His lameness is what made me fall in love with him.”

Alas the two young idiots would never realize their love for each other, for at that moment, the hills of Norway are attacked by invading rock men from Saturn. Fucking typical. Jane and Don try to escape but Don is lame and drops his walking stick down a chasm. Jane goes after it and escapes into a cave. She tries to go through the cave so she can get behind the stone men and maybe save Don but she’s blocked by a giant boulder.

Lucky for her, a found stick and the laws of physics may allow her to escape. Unfortunately, it’s a very, very big boulder so she tries beating it to death instead. For once, trying to beat up a giant rock doesn’t solve anyone’s problems but it does release the magic that was hidden in the stick, restoring its original form. With a crash of lightning or possibly thunder, the stupid stick is transformed into Mjolnier, the difficult to spell hammer of Thor! And Jane is transformed into the less difficult to spell person of Thor. Or… Lady Thor, I guess. A big amazon chick in leather and a steel bra. This may be What If’s best selling issue yet.

Jane realizes that she suddenly has all of the powers of Thor and decides that it would be a good idea to call herself Thordis. It isn’t and this is a terrible name but that’s not important right now, there are boulders to be thrown at aliens.

Thordis meets up with Don back on the surface where he a) attempting to not be murdered, b) worrying about the would-be girlfriend he lost down a hole and c) continuing to complain about how lame he is. A true hero. Thordis beats the shit out of the stone men, sending them running back to their ship to leave Earth and Marvel Comics forever.* 

Thordis turns back into Jane and then hooks up with Don and they leave Norway just as the military shows up to battle the Saturn Men. “Something defeated those Rock Guys before we got here.” They say in perfect synchronization. “But what? Surely not that lame doctor or the attractive skirt on his shoulder.”

At this point, we leave scenic Midgard** behind and travel across the rainbow bridge of Asgard where Thor’s gross brother Loki is stuffed in a tree. So, first things first, this is late 70s Marvel so we are not talking about pants-creamingly beautiful  Tom Hiddleston Loki. This is classic Loki, the one who looks like the sad end of a sick Llama. And yes, Odin shoved him into a tree for a billion years because of… well, he probably did something. He’s fucking Loki. Anyway, Loki is stuck in his maple scented jail until someone will cry for him. He frees himself by using all of his godly powers to poke some dude in the eye with a leaf. Boom. Instant tears, he is out of there. Back to the important business of plotting against Thor. Hope he’s not a girl now.

Back on Earth, Don and Jane are out for a stroll when they come across some unfortunate people who have been rendered negative. I’m not sure why this is a bad thing… like, I guess it’s too bad that they’re black and white now but I really don’t understand what the problem is. Jane ducks into an alley to bang her enchanted hairbrush (Oh, yeah. She had the ancient magical stick whittled into an hairbrush because she’s a girl, I guess?) against a wall and turns into Thordis. Thordis uses her amazing power of spinning a hammer to shoot particles at the negative people until the day is saved. Great job!

At this point, Loki reveals himself to Thordis as an ugly dope in a bad suit who has been hiding in the crowd. He turned those people negative as a way to lure Thor out and is now surprised to see that she is a pretty lady. “Okay,” says Loki. “You’re not Thor. But you’re like Thor. And Thor-like people are enemies to Lokis!” Then he uses the sun reflecting off her hammer to hypnotise Thordis. This works for about a minute before Thordis gets bored and angry, beats Loki up, ties him to her hammer and throws him off the Empire State Building. He lands in Asgard for some reason, instead of like… the ground.

Loki goes running to Odin the All-Father because he’s a shitty tattletale to tell everyone that Thor has returned to Earth.Odin summons Jane to Asgard but gets pissed off when she arrives. Odin explains that Thor was a real arrogant, proud shithead so Odin had him banished to Earth in the body of Don Blake. He hid Thor’s hammer as a stick, knowing that, when Don found it, he’d be worthy to be Thor again. Unfortunately, this elaborate plan backfired when Jane found the stupid thing instead. And that’s why you don’t teach lessons. So now, they’re all stuck with Thordis and the real Thor is stuck in the body of Don Blake, unaware of his destiny. Whoops.

So Odin gets pissed (No shock there.) and boots Jane out of Asgard. Which is fine by her because everyone is a dick and the Warriors Three keep sexually harrassing her. Thordis gets back to the serious business of kicking all sorts of ass and also joining the Avengers. It’s pretty awesome for everyone. Everyone except poor stupid lame Don Blake.

Don’s treating himself to a sad limp by the ocean when he spies a girl drowning. Throwing his self-pity to the wind, he dives into the sea and saves her. It’s Sif, ex-girlfriend of Thor, who followed Jane back to Earth to get herself up on some of that lame guy dick. Sif throws herself at Don, but can never tell him exactly why she has fallen for him, due to Odin’s stupid lesson. She also heals Don’s leg so that outta shut him up.

Sif and Don go out on the town only to be attacked by Loki. In his greatest evil plan yet, Loki, god of tricks, master of lies and a villain known for his great cunning… tries to beat Don and Sif with a big stick. Please keep in mind that the stick is actually heavier than Loki is. As are Loki’s shoes. Dude is not phyically impressive. Still, he manages to knock Sif out. Then Don drops a coat on his head.

Thordis shows up to return Loki to Asgard and then she and Don take Sif to surgery to recover from her stick attack. She pulls through just in time for Ragnarok to arrive. Isn’t that always the fucking way? Thordis, Sif and Don all return to Asgard to help stop the end of the world. They find Asgard being attacked by MANGOG, THE GIANT KICK-ASS LOOKING MONSTER WHO TRIES TO UNSHEATH THE MIGHTY ODINSWORD. He fails miserably when Odin shows up and tell him to knock it off.

So ragnarok is prevented, Loki is banished (again.) and the day is once again saved. Odin shows up and gives Don Blake Thordis’ hammer because… I guess he proved himself worthy. So now he gets to be Thor again. Sorry, Jane. You were actually a pretty fucking great super hero but this blonde idiot wants his hammer back so sorry, I guess. He’s also reunited with Sif so good for them.

As for Jane’s reward, Odin turns her into an actual goddess with a big stupid hat. Then, because there are no other characters to hook up with, Odin asks to marry her. (Don’t worry, the Watcher informs us that Odin’s not married in this universe for whatever fucking reason.) Which is fucking gross for a variety of reasons, least of which because they barely know each other and last time they met, he threw her out because she wasn’t a dude. But whatever! Enough super heroics! Get in the kitchen and make me an Odinsandwich! Sigh.

 

* Or until Planet Hulk, True Believers! -Smilin’ Stan, er, Matt.

**Earth, as is Thor comic tradition.

Forbidden to Interfere 2: What If the Hulk had the brain of Bruce Banner?

We enter on the Hulk doing what he does best: smashing army guys and wanting to be left alone. We get the usual “Why men no leave Hulk alone?” from Hulk and the less regular “Why Hulk no let men arrest him for destruction of property?” from the army guys. Sad and shirtless, the Hulk retires to a mountain somewhere to weep about his inability to think about things. Unbeknownest to him, the Hulk is watched by… the Watcher! Because I guess it’s his turn or whatever.

Remembering last issue, the Watcher explains the premise of the book to everyone (BEHOLD, HUMAN! FOR THERE ARE MANY WORLDS AND I, UATU THE WATCHER, MUST BUT WATCH UPON THEM ALL! FOR SUCH IS THE SACRED VOW WHICH whatever.) and then tells us the origin of the Hulk (BEHOLD, HUMAN! DOC BRUCE BANNER! BELTED BY GAMMA RAYS! TURNS INTO THE HULK! AIN’T HE UNGLAMOUROUS!?). Then we get to the meat of the issue: What if the Hulk had the brain of Bruce Banner! Which turns out to mean, what if the Hulk was smart, not what if the Hulk had the actual brain of Bruce Banner. Like, in a jar or something. And it turns out that, in this universe, everything is bat shit crazy. Oh, and the Hulk shakes people’s hands like he is running for office.

Bruce is finishing up work on the extremely phallic looking gamma bomb in between ackward flirtations with the Dr Girlfriend-esque (Or Jackie Onassis, fine, fine.) Betty Ross and being called a milksop for the seven thousandth time by General Thadeus “Thunderbolt” Tiberius Ross. Everything’s going about as well as a devestating planned explosion can go when Banner notices Marvel’s Dumbest Teenager Rick Jones hanging out in the testing zone, playing some swinging tunes on his harmonica. Unfortunately, the bomb cannot be stopped due to the influence of russian spy Igor who sabotages the test by making sure it goes forward as planned, the fiend. Bruce sucessfully saves Rick, the dumb little shit, by pushing him into a radiation proof trench but finds himself bathed in gamma rays, making the gamma bomb the least successful explosion in history. (“How’d that new bomb we developed work?” “Well, nobody died and the country we attacked is now populated by giant green supermen.” “Hmm. Somebody fire Bruce Banner.”)

So, first of all, the reason why Banner never gets stupid is never revealed. He just doesn’t. That’s some real imaginative work there, Uatu. Nice job. Night falls, and the power of the moon or whatever turns Bruce into the Hulk, destroying his first of many, many shirts. Rick shows Bruce himself in the mirror and Bruce takes the time to remark that, while his body may have changed, his brain is just fine, thanks for asking. And to prove it, he smashes through a wall and runs away.

Bruce and Rick head for Bruce’s isolated cabin in the woods where they can make out, smoke pot and search for an antidote when they find Igor rifling through Bruce’s drawers looking for more effective bombs. Bruce realizes that Igor is a dirty commie rat and shakes him a little before he and Rick leave to alert the authorities. Igor is imprisoned in the unlocked cabin, presumedly under the honor system. Down, but not beaten, Igor uses an advance artificial thumbnail to contact his superiors in Moscow.

With Igor arrested or ignored or whatever, Rick and Hulk head home when they run into Betty looking for Bruce. Rick quickly explains that the bomb blast turned Bruce into the Hulk and absolutely no follow-up questions are asked. Then the tip of a rocket crashes next to everyone and a hideous russian  crawls out. It’s Igor’s superior, the Gargoyle! Lured to America by Igor’s promises of a shirtless green dynamo, Gargoyle shoots the Hulk with his Hulk piercing pellet gun. Luckily, the Hulk beats back this new and terrible weapon by believing in himself. In this way, any man can walk away from a gunshot. The Gargoyle starts crying because he is ugly and then the Hulk pats him on the shoulder. “So!” says Gargoyle. “You too know what it is to be branded a freak and an outcast by humanity!”

“No,” says the Hulk. “I’ve only been a monster for… like an afternoon. But I’m sure people will get around to ostracizing me soon enough. This is the Marvel Universe after all!”

Then the Gargoyle resolves to stop being an asshole and work for peace instead and they shake hands and the Gargoyle climbs back into his busted-ass rocket and heads home, promising to do good in Russia. And maybe get some surgery. Because Jesus. Dude is not attractive.

Dawn breaks and Bruce returns to normal because we’re going by classic Hulk rules, I guess so he and Betty go on a date. The Watcher, realizing that we’ve still got a bunch of shit to do, decides to skip Bruce and Betty’s actual relationship and just has them fall in love while on a picnic. Night comes again and Bruce takes Betty home to  meet the parents. Unfortunately, as he drives the car in,  he turns into the Hulk again, just in time for General Ross to see him. Ross calls him a milksop AND an oversized monster and Bruce gets pissed off and wrecks up his car, causing Ross to see the error of his ways. Nice one, General. Didn’t even need a pardon from NASA unlike SOME people. So Ross and the Hulk shake hands and then Hulk snaps Betty in half having hot, premarital sex in his science cabin. Wait, no.

So Bruce and Betty get married and stuff actually seems to be working out when Bruce gets a letter from Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. He invites Bruce to the Baxter Building in New York to see if Bruce can help turn the Thing back into a human. Because clearly, if there’s one thing Bruce knows, it’s de-freaking yourself.

Bruce arrives at the Baxter Building and he and Reed shoot rays at Ben until everything works out. Now Thingless, the FF breaks up because that’s just what happens in alternate realities, and Hulk and Betty move in, forming the Avengers’ science bros decades early! They are soon joined by Professor Charles Xavier, who pulls that Spider-Man shit by inviting himself to a job interview nobody agreed to and then using his powers to wreck up the place. The Fantastic Four: You broke our coffee table! You’re hired!

Once again, everything is totally awesome. The team of scientists do some great science and it’s all coming up Milhouse. And then Galactus shows up because fuck you, Earth. Bruce turns into the Hulk during the day for the first time ever (Once again, no explanation whatsoever is given for this.) and gets his ass whooped. Then Reed tries… stretching at Galactus. This works about as well as any time you try defeating a powerful foe by reaching for him. Finally Professor X attacks using all the power of his incredible psychic mind. Just kidding, he flies around in a little rocket-powered go-cart.

Their individual attacks proving useless, the Science Bros. do the only sensible thing they can. They combine themselves into a giant gold man in orange shorts who calls himself X-Man and then challenge Galactus to a staring contest. Seriously. Although the plan works… somehow, it turns out X-Man is a jerk and, before he turns back into three fully clothed guys, he bitchslaps Ben Grimm which turns him into the Thing again. For some reason. The Science Bros regain conciousness to discover that their various powers are gone. For such is the price that must be paid, when one has turned into a giant gold man. They also see the new Thing. Who is evil now by the way. Or at least a jerk now. So Jerk Thing jumps out the window and goes rampaging. “Hey, Reed.” Bruce asks. “You think we maybe outta do something about that?”

“Nonsense, Bruce.” Reed replies. “What could we, the three smartest people on the planet do without our super powers. Now let’s get back to our researches. Let the army chase down my best friend.”

Reed Richards is kind of a jerk.

So now it is the Thing who runs around, ducking the army and smashing stuff where, in another reality, it was the Hulk. A powerful lesson and one we will come back to in our exploration of What If time and again. No matter what happens in an alternate reality, it’ll more or less be the same as in our reality.