What If Spider-Man Joined the Fantastic Four? (Comics Title) (Marvel Comics)

Spidey joins the Fantastic Four but the result is that Sue leaves the group to go with Namor as a concubine. Spidey gets to face FF villains and vice versa.
In this issue we see Peter Parker in need of money. Just as he did in the first issue of Amazing Spiderman, he goes to the Fantastic Four to join, and hopes to earn a paycheck. We are then given an introduction to the Marvel Multiverse by the watcher, and told many Universes mirror ours and differ greatly, all because of one small difference. In this case instead of turning him down, the Fantastic Four agree to have him in the group. This actually becomes a problem, since Reed does not want to have Sue in danger he constantly tells Sue to stay behind. Feeling unwanted and useless she finds solace in the arms of the Sub-Mariner.

Issue Information

Main Issue Title: What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four?
Series NameWhat If?, Volume 1
Publication Date: February 1, 1977
Cover Artists: Jim Craig, Joe Sinnott, John Romita, Gaspar Saladino
Editor-in-Chief: Archie Goodwin
Next Issue: What If the Hulk Had the Brain of Bruce Banner?
Publisher: Marvel Comics

What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four?

Writers: Roy Thomas
Pencilers: Jim Craig
Inkers: Pablo Marcos
Colourists: Janice Cohen
Letterers: John Costanza
Editors: Roy Thomas
Universe: Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four

Appearing in "What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four?"

Featured Characters

  • Fantastic Four / Fantastic Five (First appearance)
    • Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) (First appearance)
    • Thing (Ben Grimm) (First appearance)
    • Human Torch (Johnny Storm) (First appearance)
    • Invisible Girl (Susan Storm) (First appearance)
    • Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (First appearance) (Main story and recap) 

Supporting Characters

  • Uatu the Watcher (Main Universe)
  • May Parker (First appearance)
  • J. Jonah Jameson (First appearance) 


  • The Chameleon (Dmitri Smerdyakov) (First appearance)
  • The Vulture (Adrian Toomes) (First appearance)
  • Red Ghost (Ivan Kragoff) (First appearance)
  • Super-Apes (First appearance)
    • Peotor (First appearance)
    • Mikhlo (First appearance)
    • Igor (First appearance) 
  • Namor the Sub-Mariner (First appearance) 
    • Hypno-Fish (First appearance)
    • Giant Octopus (First appearance) 
  • The Puppet Master (Phillip Masters) (First appearance) 

Other Characters

  • Fantastic Four (Main Universe)(Recap)
    • Thing (Ben Grimm) (Main Universe)(Recap)
    • Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) (Main Universe)(Recap)
    • Invisible Woman (Susan Richards) (Main Universe)(Recap)
    • Human Torch (Johnny Storm) (Main Universe)(Recap) 
  • Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (Main Universe)(Recap)
  • Thing (Reed Richards) (Earth-A)(Recap)
  • Killraven (Jonathan Raven) (Guardians of the Galaxy 31st Century )(Recap)
  • Martian Masters (Guardians of the Galaxy 31st Century )(Recap)
  • Invaders (Fantastic Four travel back in time to stop the Nazis from using Vibranium to win World War II)(Recap)
    • Captain America (Steve Rogers) (Fantastic Four travel back in time to stop the Nazis from using Vibranium to win World War II)(Recap)
    • Bucky (James Barnes) (Fantastic Four travel back in time to stop the Nazis from using Vibranium to win World War II)(Recap)
    • Namor the Sub-Mariner (Fantastic Four travel back in time to stop the Nazis from using Vibranium to win World War II)(Recap)
    • Human Torch (Jim Hammond) (Fantastic Four travel back in time to stop the Nazis from using Vibranium to win World War II)(Recap)
    • Toro (Thomas Raymond) (Fantastic Four travel back in time to stop the Nazis from using Vibranium to win World War II)(Recap) 
  • Avengers  (Main Universe)(Recap)
    • Iron Man (Tony Stark)  (Main Universe)(Recap)
    • Captain America (Steve Rogers)  (Main Universe)(Recap)
    • Vision  (Main Universe)(Recap)
    • Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff)  (Main Universe)(Recap)
    • Beast (Hank McCoy)  (Main Universe)(Recap) 
  • Squadron Supreme (Earth-S)(Recap)
    • Hyperion (Mark Milton)  (Earth-S)(Recap)
    • Whizzer (Stanley Stewart)  (Earth-S)(Recap)
    • Dr. Spectrum (Joseph Ledger)  (Earth-S)(Recap)
    • Lady Lark (Linda Lewis)  (Earth-S)(Recap)
    • Golden Arrow (Wyatt McDonald)  (Earth-S)(Recap) 
  • Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (Earth-Crossover)(Recap)
  • Superman (Earth-Crossover) (Behind the scenes in recap)
  • Deathlok (Luther Manning) (Earth-7484)(Recap)
  • Radioactive Spider (Recap)
  • Daily Bugle (Referenced)
  • General Motors (Mentioned) (Topical Reference)
  • Al Capone (Mentioned) (Topical Reference)
  • Dr. Doom (Victor von Doom) (Mentioned)
  • Ben Parker (Recap)
  • Ed (reporter) (First appearance)
  • Hulk (Bruce Banner) (Mentioned)
  • NASA (Mentioned)
    • John Jameson (Mentioned) 
  • NYPD (First appearance) 

Races and Species

  • Watchers
  • Humans (Main story and recap)
  • Martian Masters (Guardians of the Galaxy 31st Century)(Recap)
  • Atlantean-Human Hybrids (Main story and recap)
  • Synthezoids (Recap)
  • Mutants (Recap)
  • Eternals (Recap)
  • Kryptonians (Behind the scenes in recap)
  • Robots (Recap)
  • Radioactive Spiders (Recap)
  • Apes (First appearance)
  • Hypno-Fish (First appearance)
  • Giant Octopus (First appearance) 


  • Earth-616
    • Moon
      • The Blue Area of the Moon 
    • Earth (Main story and recap)
      • United States of America (Recap)
        • New York (Recap)
          • New York City (Recap)
            • Manhattan (Recap)
              • Queens (Recap)
                • Flushing Meadows–Corona Park (Recap) }
                  • New York Hall of Science (Recap) 
  • Earth-721 (Recap)
    • Earth (Recap) 
  • Earth-691 (Recap)
    • Earth (Recap)
      • United States of America (Recap)
        • New York (Recap)
          • New York City (Recap) 
  • Earth-TRN558 (Recap)
    • Earth (Recap) 
  • Earth-7642 (Recap)
    • Earth (Recap)
      • United States of America (Recap)
        • New York (Recap)
          • New York City (Recap)
            • Manhattan (Recap)
              • Columbus Circle (Recap) 
  • Earth-7484 (Recap)
    • Earth (Recap)
      • United States of America (Recap) 
        • New York (Recap)
          • New York City (Recap) 
  • Earth-772 (First appearance)
    • Earth (First appearance)
      • United States of America (First appearance)
        • New York (First appearance)
          • New York City (First appearance)
            • Queens (First appearance)
              • Forest Hills (First appearance)
                • Aunt May's House (First appearance)
                • Midtown High School (Mentioned) 
            • Manhattan (First appearance)
              • Baxter Building (First appearance)
              • Rockefeller Center (First appearance) 
        • Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, California (Mentioned) 
      • Sub-Mariner's Domed Undersea Villa (First appearance) 


  • Fantastic Four Uniforms (Main story and recap)
  • (Spider-Men's Suits) and Web-Shooters (Main story and recap)
  • Captain Americas' Uniforms and Shields (Recap)
  • Iron Man Armor Model 4 (Recap)
  • Psychic Clay
  • Vulture's Wings (Recap) 


    •  Reed Richards' Rocketship (Recap)
    •  The Fantasti-Car
    •  The Puppet Master's Submarine
    •  The Fantasti-Sub 


    • World War II (Recap)

    Synopsis for "What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four?"

    In this landmark first issue we are greeted by Uatu the Watcher, who explains to the readers that there exists a number of alternate realities. In each alternate reality, there is a divergence from what what has happened and what could have happened.
    The Watcher focuses on an alternate reality in which Spider-Man attempts to join the Fantastic Four as a solution to his money problems. Originally, Spider-Man is turned down by the group, but in this alternate reality they allow Spider-Man to join causing the birth of the Fantastic Five.
    With Spider-Man on the team, his association with the Fantastic Four grants him acceptance from the population unlike his mainstream counter part who is labeled a menace by the Daily Bugle.
    The Fantastic Five begin taking on a number of villains, including the Vulture and the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes. While Mr. Fantastic, Thing, Human Torch and Spider-Man go on these adventures, the Invisible Girl often stays behind to monitor things from base.
    Sue is eventually seduced into meeting Namor the Sub-Mariner who is under the control of the Puppet Master to get revenge on the Fantastic Five. 
    After freeing Sue and Namor from the Puppet Master's control, Sue decides that she loves Namor and wants to stay in his kingdom with him, after months of neglect from the Four thanks to Spider-Man's inclusion in the group. Accepting her request, Namor conditions her body so that she can breath underwater (a process that is apparently permanent) and the remainder of her former comrades leave in defeat, Spider-Man regretting to have joined the group. 


    • Cover art: Modifications by Romita. Earth-721
    • From the Watcher's introduction on parallel worlds we see: The world where Reed Richards became the Thing instead of Ben Grimm was first seen in the story "What Mad World?" in Fantastic Four #118, the Fantastic Four fighting along side the Invaders is from Fantastic Four Annual #11/Marvel Two-In-One #20, the Avengers battles with the Squadron Supreme first happened in Avengers #85-86 but this appears to be their most recent combat with them at that time in Avengers #141-144, Spider-Man's battle with "a certain colorfully-clad alien" is a nod to the first Marvel/DC Comics cross-over in Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man #1, Killraven's world first seen in Amazing Adventures Vol 2 #18; and Deathlok's world which appeared in Astonishing Tales #25.
    • The Watcher's narratives of the origins of the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man occurred in Fantastic Four #118, and Amazing Fantasy #15 respectively.
    • The beginning of the story shows Peter Parker getting the idea of joining the Fantastic Four in order to earn a living. This is parallel to the events of Amazing Spider-Man #1. In the original story, the Fantastic Four turn Spider-Man down, causing him to flee. Later he gets framed for a crime that the Chameleon would commit and be branded a menace by J. Jonah Jameson following a failed space flight by his son and astronaut, John Jameson.
    • The final battle of the Fantastic Four before Spider-Man joining the group was when the team traveled to the south-west to battle the Hulk. This is a reference to the first battle between the Thing and the Hulk in Fantastic Four #12.
    • The Chameleon's plot in this issue is foiled by Spider-Man joining the Fantastic Four. Originally in Amazing Spider-Man #1, the Chameleon disguised himself as Spider-Man in order to frame the wall-crawler for the theft of some plans that the spy would sell to the communists.
    • An additional divergence in this reality is the battle against the Fantastic Five and the Vulture. The Vulture originally appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #2 and battled Spider-Man alone. After many repeat attempts to defeat the Vulture, Spider-Man eventually created a device that counter-acted the magnet-powered flying harness the Vulture used.
    • The Fantastic Four originally battled the Red Ghost on the moon in Fantastic Four #13, the difference being that in the original story, the Invisible Girl traveled to the moon with the rest of her teammates and battled against Red Ghost and his Super-Apes.
    • The Fantastic Four did end up battling a Puppet Master-controlled Namor in Fantastic Four #14. However in the original story, Sue wasn't tricked into meeting Namor and taken captive until after the Red Ghost mission (since Sue went to the moon with the team in the mainstream reality). The battle with Namor is almost entirely the same, save for the fact that in this version of the battle Sue decides to stay with Namor at the end of the story.
    • This reality and it's version of the Fantastic Five are seen again in What If? #21.