What The–? #17 (March, 1992)

What’s Inside:

The Pulverizer and Wolverweenie have a run-in in the
rainforest while the Pulverizer is after a bunch of poachers. Or maybe
Wolverweenie was after the poachers. Neither one is quite sure, since this is a
parody of a classic Wolverine and Punisher battle. Wolverweenie rambles on
about how good he is at the things he does, while the Pulverizer’s chest logo
changes to everything from a lightbulb to Casper the Friendly Ghost in each
panel. There is also a tribute to Dr. Suess and other fun stuff in this zany,
Mad Magazine-styled comic.

Why I Kept This
Issue:

This is actually one of the first comics I ever owned. It was
given to me by a kid on the bus who thought it was dumb. Parody magazines like
Mad and Cracked were all the rage back in the early ‘90s, so Marvel decided to
jump into the action with their own self-parody comic (the title itself being a
parody of the speculative comic What If?).
Though I have held onto it for all these years, this is actually the only What The–? comic I ever read. As an
adult, I have to say it doesn’t quite hold up as far as the humor goes. I mean,
but whatever, it was the ‘90s and it was written for kids. Kudos to Marvel for
their willingness to make fun of themselves and their brand, but this comic probably
would have been even better (more scathing and authentic) if it had been a
third party parody.

Writer: Peter Gillis

Artist: Hilary Barta

Colorist: Bill Wray

Publisher: Marvel

Attached Memory:

Remember when I said as a kid I thought this comic was
funny? Well, this comic made me laugh so hard, I pissed my pants. On the school
bus. At ten years old.

See, there was a time during childhood…a brief time, I swear…that
I sort of had some “nervous” issues. Things weren’t going to well for me as a
kid, and I was facing a lot of emotional problems and external stressors.
Things were rough at home, and I was just horribly unhappy. A psycho-sematic
responses to my troubled home life were a series of “nervous” habits, one of
those being wetting myself. I had not been wetting myself my entire childhood, and I think this wave
of pissing my pants only lasted a year or so, but it was horribly embarrassing.
I cannot fully reenter my childhood mind, but all that I remember was that
suddenly, I forgot how to hold it in.

One of the earliest occurrences of this was when I read this
issue on the bus and laughed uncontrollably. As I began to calm down, I noticed
some of the other kids’ faced, their eyes round as saucers and their mouths
agape, staring at me, unblinking. I was mortified to realize I had pissed my
jean shorts. They were soaked, and the stream of piddle was running down my leg
and had left a grand wet spot all over brown lumpy seat.

I eventually got the problem under control with some therapy
(if memory serves), but it was a difficult time. Fortunately, I moved and
changed schools soon after this event.

Condition of My Copy:
I managed to keep it dry all these years.

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