What If ? #17 (Vol 1) – Marvel Comics

What If? #17
What If 17 Marvel

What If…Ghost Rider, Spider-Woman And Captain Marvel Had Remained Villains? released by Marvel on October 1979

Spider-Woman, Ghost Rider, and Captain Mar-Vell…were hard bitten villains! As Arachne, Jessica Drew lives her life on the lam from S.H.I.E.L.D.! Captain Mar-Vell declares war against Earthlings, while Johnny Blaze’s powers lead him to murder!

When Johnny Blaze sells his soul to the devil so that Crash Simpson beats cancer to make his big stunt, Satan decides to let Crash survive the stunt only to turn Johnny into the Ghost Rider afterwards and drive him to kill Crash with his own newfound powers. Fleeing into the night, Johnny quickly gives into despair and allows the Ghost Rider persona to take over. When Roxanne eventually catches up to him to try to stop his murderous rampage and bring him back, he’s only able to briefly hold back before consuming her soul as well. Finally, he comes into conflict with the Son of Satan, who makes one last attempt to speak to the soul of Johnny Blaze. Finding only the unrepentant spirit of Vengeance, Hellstrom draws the hellfire from Ghost Rider’s body, leaving him as an inert skeleton laying in the desert.

After accidentally killing Jared during her first mission for Hydra, Arachne falters on her decision to kill Nick Fury in retaliation, but accidentally blasts him anyway when startled by the arrival of Val. Arachne flees back to Hydra HQ hoping to at least learn the secrets of her past, but SHIELD follows her and she’s ultimately captured in the raid, along with Count Vermis, whom Arachne is quickly learning is not to be trusted. During Arachne’s trial, Vermis is brought up as a witness and claims that she is not actually human, but a mutated spider. Refusing to believe this or submit any more to captivity, Arachne escapes the courtroom and begins life as a fugitive, seeking answers to her identity that remain out of reach.

When Colonel Yon-Rogg activates Sentry #459 to sabotage Captain Mar-Vell’s mission on Earth, the violation does not go ignored by the Kree command. Ronan relieves Yon-Rogg of command, but Yon-Rogg refuses to give up without a fight and hijacks a ship to go down to Earth and try to kill Mar-Vell himself. In his haste, he forgets to take a breathing serum and starts to suffocate in the atmosphere before he can deliver the killing blow, just before Ronan arrives to carry out Yon-Rogg’s sentence. In commendation for how he handled the situation, Mar-Vell is promoted to Colonel and commander of the Earth mission, replacing Yon-Rogg. Affirming his loyalty to the Empire, Mar-Vell declares that if the Earthlings shoud prove to be a threat, then let them beware.

What If? tells alternate reality stories outside the mainstream Marvel Universe continuity, which the company sets on what it calls Earth-616. A number of these stories have been set on alternate Earths in the Marvel Comics Multiverse (i.e., multiple universes) for which Marvel has given official numerical designations.