NYWC Weekly Writing Prompt: What if?

By Juan G. Rodriguez

As a kid one of my favorite Marvel comic books was the What If series. The comic features an alternative situation to the one in the ongoing mainstream continuity of Marvel comics, which is known as Earth-616. The series is narrated by the technologically-advanced extraterrestrial, Uatu the Watcher, a member of an immortal race who observes the universe. In the What If comic books anything can happen, including the death of major characters or a super hero becoming a super villain.

The series also introduced horror and supernatural elements into the Marvel Universe. In “What if Wolverine Was Lord of the Vampires,” Dracula turns Wolverine and the X-Men into vampires and manipulates them to do his bidding. Wolverine eventually overcomes Dracula to become the new lord of the vampires. Marvel’s antihero, the Punisher, acts as a vampire slayer and battles against the hordes of undead X-Men.

American author Seth Grahame-Smith created two mash-up novels with supernatural elements that became New York Times best-sellers: “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.” Grahame-Smith was able to surgically intertwine a zombie epidemic into Jane Austen’s classic novel and mesh a hostile vampire take-over into the American Civil War.

We also see great alternative timelines in video games such as Resistance: Fall of Man, a 2006 science-fiction horror/ first-person shooter video game for the PlayStation 3. Insomniac Games’ Resistance featured an alternate history where an alien race known as the Chimera invade earth a few years after the events of World War II. It follows the Allied forces making a last-ditch effort to save the world from invasion.

For today’s writing prompt, create a mash-up or a what if scenario. You could write about the image of the jaguar-lion hybrid below. You can write a piece about being trapped in modern times with pre-historic beast lurking and hunting. Let your imagination guide you.

lion leopard jaguar cat head face animal fantasy, (User, Pixabay).

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