Where this book falters is in the fact that there's no real conflict that presents itself in this first issue. Sure, we see some action, but Straczynski focuses only on the setup and the presentation of lives that have been altered by a single event. This isn't a straightforward What If? type story, as the writer mucks about with more than a single turn of events in the history of the Marvel Universe. Iron Man is no longer associated with Tony Stark, and Peter Parker no longer seems to be a child of the 1960s (his scenes feel more like the 1950s). Ultimately, I was left wondering what the point of the story was, but I have to admit that I'm intrigued enough to check out a second issue with the hope of discovering what that point might be. Read Full Review
If the book's premise had been respected more strictly, this might have been an interesting rumination on how a Marvel Universe without the catalyst of Captain America might have turned out. If the modified Marvel characters had been changed in a way which was truly inspired or original, this might have been enough to excuse the leaps in story logic which undercut the book's po-faced, serious tone. However, readers have become increasingly sophisticated when it comes to stories like this, and - as some of the recent What If? issues have discovered - simply presenting an alternative version of events just isn't enough to entertain us any more. Whereas most stories like this are confined to one-shots, this just feels like a What If? idea which has been stretched out to five issues instead of playing out before the readers had the chance to get bored. I can't say I'm that eager to see how this story continues. Read Full Review
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