What If #30: "Moving Day!"

What If #30
 "Moving Day!"
 December, 1981

 Peter Gillis: Writer
 Ron Wilson and Joe Sinnott: Artists
 Tom Orzechowski: Letterer
 Glynis Wein: Colorist

 Uatu the Watcher has sometimes related events from alternate realities that diverge from our own. His primary task is to observe our world and our own universe. He has monitored the Earth from its very beginning and he has seen its history unfold... In the early 1950's, the Inhumans who dwell in Attilan await the return of their monarch, Black Bolt, to return from his quest to find a home where his subjects would remain undiscovered from the outside world. Each morning, the Royal Family has looked up to the sky for their liege, and today, he has returned to them... His return means that his mission must have been successful!

 As Black Bolt descends, he recalls the wonders of Olympia and its builders, the Eternals. Black Bolt wonders how the Royal Family would react if they knew of an existence of a race whose abilities rival their own. Black Bolt's silence and sense of honor will keep the Eternals' secret. The others gather around him, embracing him, and conferring with him. For the monarch, it is good to be home. In Attilan's Chamber of Technology, Black Bolt and his council of engineers plan for the transference of their entire civilization! As Black Bolt shows the council the site at the Himalyan Mountains, the scientists smile. This is their greatest challenge they have ever faced and they relish this opportunity. All throughout the evening, the council maps out strategies until the morning, they have agreed upon a master plan. In the following days, the collected technology, art, wisdom, and memories of the Inhumans are being placed into sky-arks! Nearly every member of the Inhumans lend themselves to the task at hand. Unnoticed in the activity, a young girl sits crying on her doorstep...

 Her liege has seen her tears and would like to know why. This is her home! And her mothers and her father's home! She knows where they are going is just as good -- but it will never be home! Within the monarch, a child stirs. The following day finds Andvari and the others engineers wanting to know why their monarch has suddenly ordered all preparations for the move to be stopped! They see Black Bolt's new -- and far more ambitious -- plan! Andvari had thought their old master plan was a challenge. This one is even more so. But... he thinks -- he thinks they can do it! The sky-arks have been cannibalized into newer machines whose humming engines may be heard all over Attilan!

 As the reconstruction begins, a group of concerned citizens greet their liege. Tethys knows there is no love lost between them -- but he loves their people as much as Black Bolt does! In attempting to move them to safety in this manner, they will all be in danger! Such a great risk should not be taken so lightly -- and there must be another way--! Black Bolt remains resolute and the others wish him luck -- for all their sakes! Weeks later, it is moving day, and the giant gravimetric machinery hover around the island of Attilan. Beneath the water, excavation machines have completed their work. On Black Bolt's command, emerald beams lance downward, locking onto their pre-determined targets.

 The island of Attilan is slowly nudged from the sea... pulled upward into the sky -- and still cradled in earth. Andvari and his crew pilot the largest aircraft the world has ever known from a balcony! Several unidentified flying objects are approaching the island! Far too slow for missiles, but --! Black Bolt wonders if his own worst fears have been confirmed and if Tethys' warnings have come true? Whatever the reason - he shall meet it -- as a monarch should!

 This is the Inhumans' most vulnerable moment! Black Bolt may be called upon to yield his own life for their safety! If so, he will not hesitate to do so! He recognizes the others joining him in his flight path! They are the Eternals, who have decided to accompany him on his journey! It is during the evening that Attilan passes over the European continent... where it is picked up on radar, and civil air defense take to the skies! Red Leader reports a fleet of flying saucers following a city out of Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon through the night sky! The base figures there must be some little green gremlins sitting on his wings, too! As the pilot sheepishly admits this to ground control, the mischevious Eternal named Sprite waves back at him.

 The pilots return to base, their memories erased by sheer mental power of the hovering Eternals! One day later, the isle of Attilan reaches the Himalayan Mountains! The gravitmetric machinery gently lowers Attilan into the pit excavated earlier by the Eternals for the Inhumans -- and sets it into place with nary a jolt! The Inhumans have arrived at their new home! All who dwell in Attilan rejoices and the feast lasts for days! One sentiment is intoned endlessly by the grateful subjects -- "Hail Black Bolt! Wise ruler of the Inhumans!"

 What If featured stunning sagas of alternate realities and Untold Tales Of The Marvel Universe.

 Peter Gillis has written seven stories for What If.

 I've enjoyed Ron Wilson's art in Luke Cage, Power Man and Marvel Two-In-One.

 Joe Sinnott inked Jack Kirby on the Fantastic Four.

 Tom Orzechowski has lettered Captain Mar-Vell, Adam Warlock, and the X-Men.

 The Inhumans must age at a different rate than humans because they are more or less the same age when they meet the Fantastic Four in 1965.

 The Kree experimented on primitive homo-sapiens, creating the Inhumans.

 The Inhumans had their own back-up feature in the pages of The Mighty Thor and at least two of these back-ups were reprinted in the pages of Marvel Tales.

 Peter Gillis and artist Richard Howell revealed the history of the Inhumans' island in the sky in Thor Annual #12 (1984.)

 The Eternals were created by Jack Kirby.

 The Inhumans were created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee.

 Steve Chung
 "Moving Review!"