What if Peter Parker never learned that important life lesson about great power and responsibility? What if Peter took his uncle’s death a little harder than what we’re familiar with and decided to punish those around him so that no one would ever have to experience what he had on that fateful night? That’s the take What If? The Punisher #1 is playing with to give an interesting spin on heroes, villains, and everything in between and what we think we know about them.
The synopsis for What If? The Punisher #1 reads:
“WITH GREAT POWER…When Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben is ruthlessly killed by a burglar Peter let escape, he vows to never let the same fate befall another innocent bystander. From then on, he stands as a figure of cold retribution. Criminals beware – the guilty caught in this spider’s web will be PUNISHED. But will Parker stand triumphant…or shattered by this twist of fate? The friendly neighborhood takes a different turn in this WHAT IF? adventure, positing a very different sense of responsibility for the man who will be known as THE PUNISHER, as his battles against villains like the GREEN GOBLIN take a new path!”
Editor Mark Basso noted, per Marvel, that there might be more in common with Frank Castle and Peter Parker than what meets the eye:
“Punisher and Spider-Man are two very, very different characters, but could they be two sides of the same coin? They’re fueled by different philosophies and use different methods, but how many kicks to the other side does it take to turn a Peter Parker into THE PUNISHER!? Everything you think you think you know (not a typo!) about your favorite heroes and anti-heroes will change after you read this book!”
Another interesting What If? scenario comes again in the form of Spider-Man but, of course, re-imagined a bit and slated for this fall. Instead of Peter Parker, what if Flash Thompson was the wall-crawler?
The description for What If? Spider-Man reads:
“Written by Gerry Conway with art by Diego Olortegui and a cover by Patch Zircher, the questions are asked…what if Peter Parker wasn’t the one bitten by the radioactive spider? What if the person who got bit was someone who didn’t live by the mantra of “with great power comes great responsibility”? What if that person was an egotistical bully who was only interested in taking care of himself? What if…Flash Thompson became Spider-Man? Find out on October 3.”