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Two major What If…? Comic collections sell out ahead of Disney Plus show debut

What If... ?
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Two major volumes of classic What If…? Comics have sold out at the distributor level ahead of the debut of the Disney Plus series of the same name, but don't worry - new printings are on the way.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Both What If…? Classic Complete Collection Volume 1 and What If…? Classic Complete Collection Volume 3 sold out earlier this summer, leading Marvel to rush reprint orders in time to be ready for August 11's cartoon debut.

What If… ? Classic Complete Collection Volume 1 contains the first twelve issues of the original '70s series, while Volume 3 collects issues #24 through #35.

The new printing of What If…? Classic Complete Collection Volume 1 goes on sale July 28, while the third volume is estimated to be available starting August 4.

The second and fourth volumes remain in stock with Marvel's distributors.

You might be thinking to yourself, 'What is What If… ? exactly?" Originally created in 1976 by then-Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas, the What If… ? comic book series were one-off explorations of alt-history versions of major events in Marvel history - all framed with the titular question. It asked (and answered) in story form questions like 'What If Spider-Man had Joined the Fantastic Four?', 'What If Gwen Stacy had lived?', 'What If the Avengers had never been?', and 'What if Wolverine battled Conan the Barbarian?'.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Although What If… ? will be Marvel Studios' first animated series, given the events of Loki and the dissolution of the 'sacred timeline' in favor of a Marvel Multiverse, Disney Plus' What If... ? could now be an integral part of MCU canon. Don't believe us? Loki star Tom Hiddleston said recently (and very specifically, that What... ? "sets up a whole bunch of stuff in the MCU..."

Marvel Comics recently revived the What If…? Concept in comics with Spider-Man: Spider's Shadow, and editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski has said that more What If… ? comics are in the works.

Before the show begins, get to know What If... ?'s host, Uatu the Watcher. 

Chris Arrant

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.