MCU What If? Scenario One: Hawkeye Kills Thor by Joe McNamara , May 25th, 2016 at 9:06am Share on Facebook Share to TwitterHello readers, and welcome to the first article in a series of MCU What if? Scenarios! This series is inspired by Marvel’s What If? comics in which the events in the Marvel Universe occur in different ways than they actually turn out. I’ll be attempting to do the same kind of thing with the Marvel Cinematic Universe! A huge, and I mean huge, shout-out goes to my good friend, college roommate, and fellow creator Spencer Strop for helping me come up with this idea! You rock!At the point in this scenario where we get past Captain America: Civil War in our real MCU timeline, things will start to get even more difficult to theorize. This is partially due to the fact that two of the six Infinity Stones have yet to be introduced, and while there are theories as to their whereabouts, I will refrain from using those theories. However I will be updating this scenario as the Infinity Stones and other details such as new superheroes are revealed!Note: Spoilers for Captain America: Civil War lay within. Read on at your own risk!Please keep in mind while reading this article that most of this is based on assumptions of what I think would happen in this situation. Many of those assumptions may seem rather convenient, but so do many events in the actual movies. You may have a very different idea of what could happen, and that’s okay. You do you, just keep it cool in the comments section!And heeeeerrrrree we go!ThorFor the first installment in the series, we’ll be going back to the fourth movie in Phase One of the MCU, Thor. This What If? scenario begins with the first appearance of Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here’s the scene, in case you need to recall it:If for some reason you didn’t feel like watching the video, or if for some other reason it isn’t playing for you, here’s a quick description: Thor, in his weakened mortal state, is attempting to break into a secured S.H.I.E.L.D. site where his legendary hammer, Mjolnir, landed. Agent Phil Coulson calls Agent Clint Barton to the scene as an emergency means to stop Thor. Thor fights his way through dozens of SHIELD agents to reach Mjolnir, only to discover that he is unworthy of wielding it. Hawkeye stands down as Thor is taken into custody with no further resistance.This What If? scenario begins when Thor finally reaches Mjolnir. Instead of Agent Coulson telling Hawkeye to wait, Coulson gives the order to take him down. Now, there may be a little discrepancy at this point as to whether Hawkeye uses a lethal or non-lethal arrow, or as to whether or not his shot is lethal, but for the sake of this scenario, Hawkeye shoots to kill. And when Hawkeye shoots to kill, his target has no chance of escape. Thor, unworthy and in his mortal form, is killed by Hawkeye.Kinda like this, but… much less epic.The rest of the events from the movie Thor are severely altered. Eric Selvig goes to retrieve Thor from SHIELD custody, only to discover Thor is dead. Eric, Jane, and Darcy’s involvement ends there, as they never get their research back. Loki, as Asgard’s king following Odin going into the Odinsleep, can see that Thor is dead, therefore he has no need to send the Destroyer to Earth to kill Thor. Sif and the Warriors Three are informed by Hiemdall that Thor is dead, therefore they never go to Earth to bring him back to Asgard.Loki then proceeds with his plan. Like in the movie, he travels to Jotunhiem and convinces Laufey, King of the Frost Giants, to travel to Asgard to kill a vulnerable Odin. But this time, with Thor dead, Loki realizes that his only competition for the Throne of Asgard is Odin himself. Loki lets Laufey kill Odin, then kills Laufey in order to make himself look like a hero to Asgard. Then, posed as an act of vengeance for Odin’s death, Loki destroys Jotunhiem, home of the Frost Giants. Hiemdall, the only witness to Loki’s treachery due to his All-Sight, alerts Sif and the Warriors Three (who had their suspicions of Loki already), and the five of them approach Loki and Frigga (Thor’s mother) with the accusations. After a brief fight, Hiemdall, Sif, and the Warriors Three are overwhelmed by Loki and his guards, but manage to escape. They leave Asgard, becoming a rogue Asgardian force. Loki imprisons Frigga, who, after witnessing the fight, believes Loki to be a force of evil.Loki, King of Asgard.At the end of this alternate version of the Thor movie, Loki is King of Asgard, Odin and Thor are dead, Frigga is in Asgardian jail, and a rogue Asgardian force, opposed to Loki’s rule, is growing rapidly.The events of the rest of Marvel’s Phase One (Iron Man 1&2, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger) occur unaltered, with the exception of The Avengers. The events of Marvel’s Agent Carter television show also occur unaltered.The AvengersSo how does The Avengers work without Thor?This movie occurs on schedule on the MCU timeline. Despite the fact that Loki did not fall into a wormhole like he did in the true ending of Thor, Thanos still finds the power-hungry Loki as the perfect tool for his purposes. At this point, the Rogue Asgardian forces are beginning to strike at Loki’s kingdom, and are becoming a major annoyance to him. Thanos offers Loki the help of his Chitauri army and the Scepter containing the Mind Stone, but only if he will use them to bring him the Tesseract first. Loki sees this as a chance to add Midgard, or Earth, to his kingdom, and agrees.Loki assaults Earth with a joint Asgardian-Chitauri army, forcing the formation of The Avengers. This invasion is easily two to three times as large as the invasion in the actual movie. The Avengers roster consists of:The Avengers do all they can, but even with SHIELD and the countries of Earth assisting with their military, Earth is becoming overwhelmed by Loki’s massive army. With Thor deceased, the Avengers are missing a massive power on their team. As Earth nears defeat, the Rogue Asgardian force, lead by Sif, Hiemdall, and the Warriors Three and having acquired various spaceships in their travels, lands a massive surprise attack against Loki’s forces, forcing him to retreat. The brutal attack on Earth leaves Hawkeye, Black Widow, Phil Coulson, and Nick Fury dead, along with most of SHIELD and a sizable portion of Earth’s military and civilian population. The SHIELD Helicarrier is destroyed. Earth, however, retains possession of the Tesseract. Loki does not leave his scepter (containing the Mind Stone) on Earth.Earth builds its armiesOur vulnerable planet.Heroes and Villains unite in defense of EarthMCU Phase TwoForget about these movies.The events of Marvel’s Phase Two are severely altered. Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier never happen (with minor exceptions for both). Most events of Thor: The Dark World do not occur, with the exception of The Convergence (more on that in a bit). Guardians of the Galaxy is altered severely. The events of Avengers: Age of Ultron do not occur, therefore Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver are never created/given powers. The events from Agents of SHIELD, Daredevil seasons one and two, and Jessica Jones do not occur. Most events from Antman do not occur, with the exceptions of Scott Lang becoming Antman, Darren Cross receiving funding for Yellowjacket, and Hope van Dyne becoming Wasp.The ConvergenceThe Nine Realms align in The Convergence.The Convergence now becomes a much more significant event than it was in Thor: The Dark World. For those of you who do not know what The Convergence is, every 5000 years, when it occurs, the Nine Realms can be passed between easily and freely because they are perfectly aligned with each other. Many portals open between the realms. In the movie, the Dark Elves were awakened when Jane Foster accidentally found the Aether, a.k.a. the Reality Stone, in another realm. The Dark Elf leader, Malekith, planned to use the Aether to spread darkness through all nine realms, and he was going to use The Convergence to help him do this.In this What If? Scenario, Jane never finds the Aether, as she lost all her research on anything related to the realms and would not be at the site of the portals. Instead, Thanos takes advantage of the event to search for the Aether. Eventually finding it, Thanos inadvertently awakens Malekith and his Dark Elves. Malekith and his army then wage war against Thanos over control of the Aether.Guardians of the GalaxyUnfortunately not as exciting in this scenario.When the Dark Elves are re-awakened, they launch a surprise attack against Thanos’ forces, similar to the attack on Asgard in Thor: The Dark World. After being caught off guard, Thanos goes blind with rage, seeking to completely obliterate the Dark Elves. To ensure a complete and swift victory Thanos commands his ally, Ronan the Accuser, to attack the Dark Elf army and open a war on two fronts for Malekith’s forces. Despite Ronan’s attention being focused elsewhere, the Guardians of the Galaxy still become a team after realizing the Orb is really the Power Stone. They successfully deliver the Power Stone to the Nova Corps on Xandar. The team now pursues Ronan and Thanos with minimal support from the Nova Corps.Thanos vs. The Dark ElvesFollowing the initial surprise attack, Thanos is enraged. After commanding Ronan to assist in the battle, Thanos unleashes the full might of his Chitauri army against the Dark Elves. The battle is surprisingly even at first, with the Dark Elves’ advanced technology, the use of the Kursed Dark Elf super-soldier, and the element of surprise making up for their relatively small numbers. Shortly after the initial attack, however, the Dark Elves are clearly losing. Ronan’s fleet arrives in time to destroy the few remaining Dark Elf ships. With the Dark Elves overwhelmed and utterly destroyed, Thanos retains possession of the Aether, aka the Reality Stone.The Infinity StonesThe Infinity Stones and their respective forms.At this point in the scenario, Thanos is in possession of the Aether or the Reality Stone. Loki has the Mind Stone inside his Scepter on Asgard. The Nova Corps is protecting the Power Stone within its orb on Xandar, and Earth and her rogue Asgardian allies have the Tesseract, otherwise known as the Space Stone. Unfortunately at the time I write this, the locations and forms of the remaining two Infinity Stones, the Time Stone and the Soul Stone, are unknown. So, at this time, I will assume that Thanos gains possession of those two stones with relative ease. As the locations and forms of those two stones are revealed, I will update this scenario to better match the MCU.The Hunt for the Infinity StonesThanos wields the ultimate power!The Power StoneThe Orb, containing the Power Stone.After defeating the Dark Elves, Thanos and his ally Ronan assault Xandar to gain possession of the Power Stone. At this time, the Guardians of the Galaxy and their small supporting team of Nova Corpsmen are still pursuing Thanos and Ronan, and are not present on Xandar when the attack begins. Thanos’ Chitauri army and Ronan’s Sakaaran army lay waste to the Nova Corps of Xandar, and when they capture the Power Stone, Thanos uses it to destroy Xandar, thus fulfilling his promise to Ronan. The Guardians of the Galaxy arrive in time to witness the destruction of Xandar, the Capital of the Nova Corps Empire. Realizing they are hopelessly outmatched, they flee for the nearest planet in the Nova Corps Empire to regroup.The Mind StoneLoki’s Scepter, containing the Mind Stone.Now turning his attention to Loki, King of Asgard and leader of the failed First Battle of Earth, Thanos prepares to unleash punishment for Loki’s failure. Knowing that Thanos’ arrival was imminent, Loki consults with his imprisoned mother Frigga. Frigga urges Loki to seek forgiveness for his assault on Earth. Loki realizes that Earth and the rogue Asgardians would never accept his apology after the death and destruction he caused, but he also knows that Thanos will stop at nothing to kill him, and that he will need allies in order to stand a chance against Thanos. Loki releases his mother from prison, and commands the majority of his forces to retreat to Earth via the Bifrost under Frigga’s command to seek alliance and refuge. Loki, with his remaining forces, stages a last stand on Asgard against Thanos’ massive army.Asgard’s Last StandAsgard before its fall at the hands of Thanos.When Thanos arrives, he personally leads the assault against Loki, making quick work of the remaining Asgardians. Finally, in a one-on-one match, Loki and Thanos fight each other. Conjuring all the tricks he can, Loki duels the Mad Titan for hours, but it is clear that Thanos is toying with him. Finally, Loki succumbs to injury and exhaustion. As Loki lies dying at Thanos’ feet, Thanos reaches for Loki’s Scepter, containing the Mind Stone, only to have his hand phase through it as the mirage disappears. Loki has pulled off the ultimate trick against Thanos, as he truly sent the Mind Stone with Frigga to Earth. Thanos smites Loki in rage, and Loki, the Asgardian God of Mischief, dies a hero.Word of Asgard’s fall crosses the Nine Realms rapidly, and the galaxy falls into chaos as Thanos nears his goal. Frigga’s Asgardians reach Earth with the Mind Stone, and are accepted as allies upon learning of Loki’s sacrifice. The Guardians of the Galaxy and the Nova Empire hear of Asgard’s fall and Frigga’s retreat to Earth. Knowing that if Earth falls Thanos will gain possession of the remaining two Infinity Stones, they hurry to join in its defense. Peter Quill contacts the Ravagers and pleads for assistance. Yondu initially refuses Quill’s pleas, but has a sudden “change of heart” when Quill promises him all the Units (money) he can muster.Forces In Play During The Second Battle of EarthEarth’s armiesNote: Hydra is within Shield still and has activated the Winter Soldier program, containing a brainwashed Bucky Barnes and five other Winter Soldiers. Abomination is restrained, but at the ready under command of the US Army. The US Air Force now has a flight group of Falcon exo-suits. Several Earth militaries have received Darren Cross’s Yellowjacket super-suit for their own super-soldiers. Both Asgard and Earth militaries have space-faring units for orbital defense. SWORD, the Iron Legion, and the Ravagers will be dedicated to Orbital defense. The Iron Legion will split between Orbital and Sub-Orbital/ground defense if the Orbital Perimeter is breached. The Nova Corps dedicates both Orbital and ground defense to the cause.The AvengersNote: Iron Man and War Machine have re-fitted their suits for orbital battle and will be leading the Iron Legion in space. The more vulnerable Avengers, such as Captain America and Daredevil, have received armored exo-suits for additional protection.Other Super-powered teamsNote: The Inhumans are in hiding still, but are ready to fight. AIM has thrown off its own goals in favor of defending Earth. The Guardians of the Galaxy will serve as Orbital defense. There are also many individual vigilantes and super-powered individuals, such as Punisher, Elektra, possibly Iron Fist and more, who are not aligned with a team but will still fight in Earth’s defense.Powerful Artifacts for Earth’s DefenseNote: These Stones have primarily been used to enhance Earth’s defensive capabilities. Frigga wields Loki’s Scepter. The Tesseract has been prepared to open a portal in case a retreat is necessary.Thanos’ ArmiesNote: I am assuming that the Chitauri have space units besides their Command Centers and Leviathan troop transport creatures. Technically we don’t know for sure if they have other space-faring units (I checked), but I feel its a pretty safe assumption.Thanos’ Enhanced/Gifted IndividualsThanos’ Powerful ArtifactsNote: Thanos wields the full power of these four stones inside the Infinity Gauntlet.The Second Battle for EarthChitarui Leviathans and Warships invade Earth.To be honest, it is quite the daunting task to play out this entire battle. I will do the best I can, though!The Second Battle of Earth begins as Thanos and Ronan’s fleets approach Earth’s combined fleets of Earth, Asgard, Nova, Ravagers, etc. Confident in his fleet’s capabilities, Thanos stays back to view the battle while Ronan leads the charge in his Kree flagship, the Dark Aster, supported by its contingent of hundreds of Necrocraft space-fighters. Thanos’ daughter Nebula is piloting one of the Necrocraft. The Chitauri Command Centers stay far behind, protected by Chitauri warships.Ronan engages Earth’s orbital defenses in a furious battle. All of Earth’s orbital defenses are present, except for the Iron Legion, who are nowhere to be found at the moment. Once Ronan’s fleet is fully engaged, hundreds of Iron Legion drones led by Iron Man and War Machine emerge from hiding behind Earth’s moon to attack from behind. The maneuver is successful, and the forces of Earth gain the upper hand in the battle.Just as it seems like Ronan’s fleet is about to be destroyed, Thanos orders the majority of the Chitauri fleet to engage. The Dark Aster attempts to retreat, but is continuously harassed by the Ravagers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, who disengage from the main battle in hopes of ensuring Ronan does not return.During this initial engagement, Earth loses one of the three Insight Helicarriers, of the remaining two, one is heavily damaged. Numerous small craft from Asgard, Ravagers, Nova Corps, etc are also lost. The Ravagers lose their flagship and base of operations, the Eclector. The Iron Legion surprisingly loses only about 100 drones after their ambush. All of Ronan’s Necrocraft are destroyed, including the one piloted by Nebula.Earth’s remaining forces don’t have enough time to regroup before Thanos’ Chitauri fleet launches the second wave of the attack. This results in two Leviathan deployment ships breaching Earth’s space defense to deploy Chitauri foot-soldiers on Earth’s surface. Both Leviathans deploy their troops in New York City, New York, near the Avengers base of operations. War Machine disengages the space battle with two dozen Iron Legion drones to assist in the ground battle.As the battle begins on Earth’s surface, the Chitauri fleet applies its full force against Earth’s orbital defenses. The Chitauri ships, while weaker than most of our hero’s ships, are far more numerous and slowly begin to overwhelm Earth’s forces. The remaining two helicarriers are destroyed, along with most of the smaller craft in Earth’s fleet. One Chitauri warship is left behind to protect the Chitauri Command Centers.Assault on the Chitauri Command CentersChitauri Command CenterEarth’s orbital defenses are falling fast, and more Chitauri ground forces are reaching Earths surface by the minute. Desperately looking for a solution, Tony Stark looks to the three Chitauri Command Centers in the distance. Analyzing them using his suit, Stark theorizes that destroying them could end the invasion. Stark relays his plan to Starlord. The Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, and the remaining Iron Legion drones attempt to infiltrate and destroy the Chitauri Command Centers. The Iron Legion is used to distract the remaining Chitauri Warship and defense turrets while the Guardians use Rocket’s Hadron Enforcer to destroy the first command center. A third of the Chitauri forces collapse and die.The Guardians of the Galaxy land in the hangar bay of the second center. Rocket distributes bombs to the team, and they split up to place them in strategic areas. The team returns to Starlord’s ship, the Milano, and escapes to a safe distance before destroying it. More Chitauri forces fall.Thanos turns his attention to the remaining Chitauri Command Center, which Iron Man has infiltrated. Iron Man reaches the power core of the Command center and attaches one of his missiles to it, rigging it to blow upon his command. Iron Man flies out of the command center, only to be engaged by Thanos himself. Despite being clearly outmatched, Iron Man holds his own against the Mad Titan, long enough to lead him close to the remaining command center. As he is about to be struck down by Thanos, Stark orders his missile to detonate. The final Chitauri Command Center explodes, and both Iron Man and Thanos are engulfed in the explosion. Only Thanos emerges. Tony Stark has sacrificed himself to finish off the Chitauri army.Thanos vs. EarthUnfortunately all that is left of Earth’s Orbital defense is Starlord’s Milano and various scattered fighter ships. The Dark Aster has been destroyed, and due to the actions of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Tony Stark, so have all Chitauri forces. Earth’s ground forces have taken severe casualties. Fortunately the Avengers only casualty so far was Iron Man.Thanos, now wielding the Infinity Gauntlet containing the Reality, Power, Soul, and Time Stones, personally lands on Earth. In his arrogance, Thanos uses these four stones to summon all of Earth’s super-powered inhabitants to him. This group consists of the surviving Avengers, the Winter Soldiers, Abomination, the remaining Inhumans, AIM’s remaining supersoldiers, any surviving Yellowjacket suit users, Sif, Hiemdal, Frigga, the Warriors Three, The Guardians of the Galaxy, and various other superheroes.Thanos sees that Frigga has Loki’s Scepter, containing the Mind Stone, and pursues her first. The heroes of Earth assault Thanos from all sides, but the Mad Titan is near invulnerable due to his use of four Infinity Stones. Thanos cannot be stopped, and kills Frigga almost effortlessly. Thanos shatters the scepter, claiming the Mind Stone within. Now with five Infinity Stones, Thanos freezes our heroes where they stand. Using the Mind Stone, Thanos looks into the mind of Captain America, searching for the Tesseract’s location. After a few seconds, Thanos smirks. He has found it.The Tesseract is in the Triskellion, SHIELD’s headquarters, and is being used to open an escape portal for Earth’s forces. Thanos uses his Infinity Stones to instantly travel to the Tesseract’s location, leaving Earth’s super-powered defenders behind for the moment. Thanos takes the Tesseract in his hand, and crushes it to reveal the final Infinity Stone. With it, Thanos will away the recently opened portal before anyone can escape. Thanos now wields ultimate power.The end is near…With the Tesseract removed by Thanos, the portal it had created is now closed. There is no escape for the defenders of Earth. Thanos, now completely confident of victory, assembles all of Earth’s non-super forces before him. He teleports the super-powered individuals nearby and keeps them frozen, but forces them to watch as he destroys the rest of Earth’s defenses. Then, having completely destroyed Earth’s armies, Thanos sets the super-powered warriors free for their final fight. But there is a twist to this fight. Thanos has used the Mind Stone to force our heroes to fight each other… to the death.Earth’s heroes fight and tear each other apart in a war, not of their own doing, but of Thanos absolute power. One by one they fall, struck down by their friends and allies. Before long, only a few remain. At this point, Thanos releases the Mind Stone’s control and allows the survivors to behold the slaughter. Only Hulk, Luke Cage, Black Panther, and Captain America remain. Cap, is all but defeated, but cries out, one last time, “Avengers, assemble!” and the last four inhabitatns of Earth bravely charge forward in a final, hopeless attempt to stop Thanos.Thanos focuses on Hulk first, grabbing him by the throat. Hulk struggles, but Thanos has used the Infinity Stones to gain infinite strength. Thanos throws Hulk and blasts him with the Power Stone. Nothing remains of the Green Goliath. Turning his attention to Luke Cage, Thanos creates a cloud of lethal gas that engulfs the hero. Luke holds his breath, knowing that his impenetrable skin cannot stop the gas from killing him. The Hero for Hire, still surrounded by gas, reaches Thanos and unleashes a flurry of punches- to no avail. Unable to hold his breath any longer, Luke Cage passes out and inhales the lethal gas. Black Panther and Captain America attack in unison. Despite their Vibranium weapons and superhuman strength, nothing is harming Thanos. Using the Reality Stone, Thanos weakens the hero’s vibranium items, making them useless. Black Panther’s claws fall apart on his next strike, and his suit fails to protect him from Thanos’ next blow. The King of Wakanda has fallen. Finally only one man remains: Captain America. Wasting no time, Thanos shatters Cap’s shield and ages Cap to his true chronological age using the Time Stone. Steve Rogers, with his frail old body, falls to his knees. Never one to give up, however, he throws his last punch in defiance of Thanos’ victory. Thanos smiles as he kills the first, and last, Avenger.In closingAll of this happened as a result of one moment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe being changed. Had Hawkeye killed Thor at his weakest point in the first Thor movie, Thanos would have won. So let’s all take a moment and be thankful that the Asgardian Avenger is still with us!What do you think of this MCU What If? Scenario? Let me know (respectfully) in the comments section!Thanks for reading!