What If? was a series of Marvel comics running from 1977 to 1984, featuring stories taking place in alternate realities where significant moments in Marvel history occurred differently. Each comic issue would take a key moment from Marvel's main continuity, Earth-616, and alter it to show how the story would have gone with that aspect changed.
From issue #23 to issue #31, each main What If? story was accompanied by a second, shorter story in a section called the Untold Tales of the Marvel Universe. This mini-series of six stories took place in the main Marvel timeline, Earth-616, and was told from the perspective of the Watcher. The stories detailed the creation of the genetic offshoot race known as the Eternals by the cosmic Celestials, and how the race's early adventures led to them gaining immortality and inspiring the alien race of Kree to create their own genetic offshoot race of humans known as Inhumans. The final two Untold Tales of the Marvel Universe stories described an adventure had by the Inhumans.
The What If? comics inspired a second comic book series of the same name in 1989 that lasted until the end of the 90s, followed by a large number of standalone What If? comic books in every subsquent decade. In 2021, Marvel created a web series inspired by the comics titled What If...?, which took a similar anthology approach to telling stories taking place in alternate universes, except these stories diverged from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Special 200th issue
- What If? #23What If? Vol 1 31