What If, sometimes rendered as What If...?, is a comic book from Marvel Comics which was published in nine series (volumes). The narrative thread of each series is based on an alternative situation to the one established in the mainstream continuity. The characters and events in each series are treated as being independent from the mainstream continuity of the Marvel Universe.
This is the second series which Marvel published from July 1989 to November 1998, for a total of 114 monthly What If issues. This second series revisited and revised ideas from Volume 1. In Volume 2, stories can span multiple issues (the Volume 1 stories were contained within a single issue). Also, sometimes, the Volume 2 stories offer multiple plots and endings. The reader can decide which to adopt. For example, in What If the War Machine Had Not Destroyed the Living Laser?, three endings are offered. The humorous aspect of Volume 1 was retained through Volume 2 culminating in issue #34, What If No One Was Watching the Watcher? which was humorous throughout. It contained mostly single page gags, with a few longer stories. Volume 2 contains a subtle crossover with the "Acts of Vengeance" storyline. In the pages of the mainstream Quasar, the hero pursues "The Living Laser" into the Watcher's lair on the moon. He then flees through Uatu's portal into other universes. In the corresponding month's What if issue, "The Living Laser" had a cameo appearance as a streak of light. Later, Uatu directs "Quasar" to track down "The Living Laser" through several What If universes. Eventually, "Quasar" arrives in the New Universe, where he receives the Star Brand. The What if format became well known. By issue #87, direct reference to the plot divergence was not required. Instead, the issue cover art closely, but not exactly, resembled the corresponding mainstream story. The What if logo was enough to denote its "alternate universe" status. In issue #105, What If introduced Spider-Girl. The new character was popular enough for a spin off series. From this, the MC2 line of publications were developed.