This time around, we're talking about number four in our countdown, What If?#36 by John Byrne:
What If the Fantastic Four Had Not Gained Their Super-Powers? was the rare issue that saw a story by the lead characters' regular creative team. His misanthropic ways more than any notable drop in the quality of his artwork have diminished John Byrne's profile, but he was red hot at the time, writing and drawing the regular FF title. Byrne's alternate take on the team's origin had cooler heads prevail before the fateful unauthorized launch that created Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Girl the Human Torch, and the brutish Thing. In this tale, Reed waits a few weeks, enlists some actual astronauts to accompany Ben and he, and successfully completes the interstellar flight.
Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben are called in by the authorities to investigate mysterious tunneling incidents worldwide. The story then follows the familiar path of FF#1, as the team confronts and defeats the Mole Man, albeit without the benefits of super powers. Interestingly, these "Challengers of the Unknown" have an easier time of it than their powered counterparts in many ways. All in all, its a nice, straightforward tale that illustrates that powers or not, the Fantastic Four are heroes.
Next: Number Three! Be there or be somewhere else!