Nick Fury and Hawkeye are befuddled by mysterious deaths (Picture: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus)
Warning: spoilers ahead for episode 3 of What If…?
The coming together of the Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2012 was movie magic for superhero fans, as Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor and Hawkeye defended Earth from Loki and the Chitauri under Nick Fury’s surveillance.
However, in episode 3 of Marvel series What If…? on Disney Plus, viewers discover what could have happened if each of the Avengers suffered untimely deaths.
The episode follows Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) at the early stages of the Avengers programme, when the future members of the group were on his radar but not yet a superhero team.
Out of nowhere, Nick, Clint Barton(Jeremy Renner) and Natasha Romanoff have to deal with enhanced individuals being killed in mysterious circumstances, all the while dealing with the arrival of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) on Earth.
Tony Stark meets an early demise
The third episode of What If…? opens with a scene from Iron Man 2, as Nick Fury finds Tony Stark chilling inside a huge doughnut by a diner.
Tony (pictured in a later episode) suffers a cruel fate in episode 3 (Picture: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus)
After Tony discovers that Natasha is actually a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, she goes to inject him with an antidote that will reduce the blood poisoning caused by the arc reactor in his chest.
However, unlike in the original film, the administering of the antidote ends up killing him on the spot.
As Black Widow is taken away by S.H.I.E.L.D., she manages to overcome an entire vehicle of agents to make her escape.
She sets off on a mission to find out how she was framed for the murder of Iron Man and who the real culprit is behind his death.
Avengers are eliminated one by one
Before Nick Fury is able to begin bringing the prospective members of the Avengers together, they are picked off one by one by the unknown assassin.
Black Widow is suspected to have killed Iron Man (Picture: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus)
Within the space of a week, the stories of Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk and Thor unfold, each resulting in the respective heroes being killed.
After Hawkeye is arrested after seemingly killing Thor with his bow and arrow, he is soon also found dead in his cell.
Just as Black Widow seems to have discovered the truth behind the spate of murders, she is apprehended by an unseen individual, but not before telling Nick that the fatalities are all about ‘hope’.
Evil Hank Pym seeks revenge
Hope, of course, refers to Hope van Dyne, the daughter of quantum physicist and original Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas).
Loki arrives on Earth to avenge his brother (Picture: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus)
In this universe, Hope was an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who died while carrying out a mission – something which Hank is unable to forgive.
Using the Pym particle, Hank was able to shrink to such a small size that he was able to kill the future members of the Avengers while remaining undetected, donning the suit of villain Yellowjacket.
Nonetheless, Nick was able to put the clues together, catching the vengeful Hank while visiting Hope’s grave.
Loki overstays his welcome on Earth
Following Thor’s death, Loki arrives on Earth with the Asgardian army, stating their desire for revenge over his breather’s murder.
Nick manages to convince Loki to hold off from conquering the planet until he has found the killer, resulting in the pair working together.
While Loki initially implies that he plans on leaving Earth once the murderer has been found, when Hank is unmasked, the God of Mischief decides to extend his stay, taking control of the planet.
While the Avengers may not be around to stop Loki’s antics, at the very end of the episode, Nick receives a very welcome visit from Captain Marvel, who’s ready to take on any fight that comes her way.
What If…? is available to watch on Disney Plus with new episodes released on Wednesdays.
Credit: Original article published here.