iF-Worlds: Tales of What Might Have Been!

How great were What if comics from Marvel? How awesome was Elsewords? While both of those books were fun, Marvel and DC have unfortunately shied away from doing them. That leaves it up to us to hypothesize on paths not taken.

What if the Waynes didn’t watch The Mark of Zorro?

“Zorro is sold out! I knew we should have reserved our tickets using MovieFone,” that’s what Thomas Wayne said to his wife and son as they stood outside the movie house.
“What else is playing?” Martha asked.
“Pinocchio, The Road to Singapore, The Great Dictator, and His Girl Friday,” said the man in the box office.
“We will take three for Pinocchio.”

We know what happens after that. Thomas and Martha are murdered and young Bruce is left without his parents. He still grows up to be a good man who fights crime in Gotham but without having seen Zorro that night does he do it the same way? No. Gone are the cape and the cowl and the whole bat theme. He is now…..The Marionette!

I am the night.

He ends up pairing up with a young acrobat from the circus whom he refers to as Cricket.

“Cricket, you are my conscience. You will be my guide!”

What if Peter Parker was introduced as THE HUMAN SPIDER at that wrestling match? 

I do think that most of the stories would stay the same but let’s hear that name through some classic lines of dialogue.

“I’ll get you next time, Human Spider!” – The Green Goblin

“I will be The Human Spider no more.” – Peter Parker

“That Human Spider is a menace!” – J. Jonah Jameson

“Why did they call it The Human Spider: Turn off the Dark? What does that mean” – Everyone in New York

The titles of the book would also be bizarre. The Amazing Human Spider doesn’t really roll of the tongue and Peter Parker: Spectacular Human Spider is worse, Web of the Human Spider sounds like an awesome comic though.

Thanks wrestling promoter. You did a good job that day.

What if Ma and Pa Kent really pushed Clark into being an athlete?

Pa Kent thought about this every time his favorite sports team lost. Clark has talents. If he wanted to he could be the Jim Thorpe/Deon Sanders of the DC Universe.

He would sign with his favorite baseball team, Metropolis Monarchs, and during the off season he would go play football for the Metropolis Metro’s. Sports reporter Lois Lane would be credited as being the first to give him the nickname of Clark “Superman” Kent. In an exclusive interview with her he would admit to enjoying baseball the most of all the sports and how he has his agent, Jimmy Olsen, to thank for keeping all his schedules straight. Lex Luthor, owner of the other Metropolis baseball team, The Meteors, would begin to plant rumors that Clark was taking steroids. Luthor does this to spite Clark who refused to sign with The Meteors. The Meteors have the most money and are the biggest franchise in sports, getting players like Rudy “The Parasite” Jones, John Corben and of course Albert “Doomsday” Poohols. Clark has no intentions of leaving the Monarchs, he’s loyal to Perry White, their owner, and it’s Pa and Ma Kent’s favorite team.

Now the clock winds down to the world series between The Meteors and The Monarchs. Can Clark lead his team to victory? Will Luthor win? So many questions!

What if instead of a school, Charles Xavier opened a bar for mutants?

Charles Xavier and Erik Lenhsherr went to a bar for a quick drink only to be greeted with a sign that said “NO MUTANTS”. Unhappy with the treatment of their kind at bars and restaurants, Charles goes to bartending school and graduates as a very talented MiXologist. He then heads to Boston and opens his own bar.

He almost names the bar AlchoholX but changes it simply to “Charles”. He hires two Bartenders, a young man named Scott and a Canadian named Logan, and two waitresses, a cute redhead and feisty girl from Mississippi. Regulars become a part of the family at Charles. Some of which are a blue furry Beast with a degree in Psychology, a know it all accountant who can turn into ice, and Charle Xavier’s unemployed, half brother.

Charles becomes one of the most popular bars in Boston a welcoming place where everyone knows your Mutant Codename.

Mutant Abilities from left to right: Teleportation, Super Strength, Energy Blasts, Telekinesis, Knows all the words to "Sweet Caroline"

As for Erik, well he burned down that bar from the beginning.


  1. This is appropriately very funny and deeply disturbing.

    I keep looking at Pinocchio and the caption and laughing. I just did it again to check.

  2. Xavier opening and running his own bar / nightclub for mutants needs to be a real comicbook. Now that he’s off on his own in the X-Universe, it’d be a perfect time to return Xavier to his partying, ladies-man roots by way of mid-life crisis.

  3. If Bruce Wayne became The Marionette and stalked the streets with that painted-on Pinocchio smile, he would’ve been far more terrifying than Batman could ever be.

  4. I do like the idea of Clark Kent: Sports Superstar. They’d try to test him for steroids but with his invincible skin, they wouldn’t be able to confirm or deny their presence in his body. Scandal!

  5. I have to imagine one of the X-Men has set up a bar on Utopia by now, and I want to read a comic about it.

  6. Yes yes YES.

  7. Now I must see an Elseworlds story where Batman is the Marionette! One of his enemies will be the Termite!

  8. If xavier opened up a discotheque nightclub would it be called “the groovy mutation”?

  9. This was excellent. Thank you. I would read the heck out of all of those elseworld stories.

  10. Man was that fun, Thanks so much Tim.

    It made me wounder how different would movie theaters be now if they had had multiple screens back in the 20’s and 30’s. Would we still have had blockbusters and the “Big Studio” system? Or would smaller companies have developed, and more regional movie production?

  11. That Superman one was very well thought out. I’m impressed and I laughed out loud. You’re the man.

  12. I so badly wanna write that Superman Baseball story.

  13. “You know, Martha, after a long week at the hospital, I like to relax with a little comedy. How about His Girl Friday? We both enjoy abit of Cary Grant . . .”

    Thus, Bruce Wayne becomes the Newspaper Editor, striking fear into the hearts of his foes through in-depth reporting, sensational headlines and biting, rapid fire dialogue. Oh and if all else fails, blind ’em with one of those olde fashioned flash bulbs. Supported by his female side-kick Hildy, they patrol the backstreets of Gotham ever on the look out for the criminal element sulking and hiding among the good, common folk . . . Hey, all of a sudden Vicky Vale is seeming a more intriguing character . . .

    Great article — would be curious to see more.

  14. ok I’m going to be honest the first two and forth are funny. But I would so read the superman story come on were is it?

  15. This is incredible. Well done, Mr. Wood.

  16. All amazing ideas. Kudos, Mr. Wood!

  17. I would read that Superman as a baseball player comic in a hot second.

  18. I would go see The Marionette movie in a second!

    “The Dark Puppet” directed by Christopher Nolan!