Marvel has announced a return of one of it's classic titles but with a new spin in What If? Infinity. Set for release in October, the new weekly five-issue limited series will have one-shot standalone stories showing five "What if?" takes on the 2013 Infinity event series. Each issue is being written by Joshua Williamson, with art duties handled by Mike Henderson, Riley Rossmo, Mike Norton, Jason Copland and Goran Sudzuka.
"They’re fun!," said Williamson. "It’s a game all comic fans play as they read the books, so it’s great to see it visualized in the comics. It’s as simple as the title. It’s an opportunity to see what “What If?” and run with a crazy idea that might not normally work."
Stories for the issues include "What if Avengers lost against Thanos in Infinity?", "What if Norman Osborn wielded the Infinity Gauntlet?", and "What if Thanos joined the Avengers?", which kicks off the series with his and Mike Henderson's What If? Infinity - Thanos #1.
"[Thanos joining the Avengers is] really a matter of survival," Williamson said. "He joins the team during the attack and the Avengers feel like it’s their last resort to win. For Thanos, he just wants to win and is angry that anyone else would try to destroy the universe other than him. But, even as a member of the team, Thanos…is he ever really a hero? Or is he just using them?"
In What If? Infinity - Inhumans #1 with artist Riley Rossmo, Williamson imagines a world where the Inhumans and Black Bolt conquered Earth.
"In our story, Black Bolt has taken over after the Avengers lost the war during the Infinity event, so the world is in ruins. He’s trying to rebuild civilization, but it doesn’t feel like Earth anymore," said the writer. "Black Bolt has always been a king, but a whole planet is a lot more to deal with than he expected. Being king comes with a great cost, and Black Bolt is having troubles dealing with it all. No one really knows what happened to the Avengers, so the remaining Inhumans and citizens of Earth are holding out hope that the Avengers will return."
What If? Infinity - Avengers #1 also deals where a world where the Avengers failed in protecting Earth, but is centered on a straggling group of mutants who are on the run in space after Earth falls.
"Earth is gone. As far as they know, they are not just the last mutants alive: They’re the last remnants of Earth," said Williamson, who is joined on this by Mike Norton. "They have been flying around space trying to survive and find anyone who might have made it out of the war alive, and they’ve been doing it a long time."
Williamson describes his one-shot with Jason Copeland, What If? Infinity - Guardians of the Galaxy #1 as "Guardians of the Galaxy versus the Avengers," as Star-Lord and his team find the Mad Titan under the protection of the Illuminati.
The fifth one-shot, What If? Infinity - Dark Reign #1 by Williamson and Sudzuka features just what the cover describes -- Norman Osborn with the Infinity Gauntlet.
"When Osborn was the head of HAMMER during 'Dark Reign,' he had a lot of power and tools at his disposal. In this issue, he managed to get his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet—and won," revealed Williamson. "This is after he’s killed or tortured all his enemies, and had one last person he wants to get revenge on."