There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, until those remarkable people began being murdered one by one. In just one week, Tony Stark, Thor Odinson, and Dr. Bruce Banner are found dead, presumably at the hands of SHIELD’s best agents, Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton. However, SHIELD Director Nick Fury isn’t so sure these cases are as cut and dry as they seem, especially when the Black Widow and Hawkeye die under even stranger circumstances. Trying to solve these murders goes from difficult to nearly impossible when an Asgardian army led by Loki Laufeyson invade Earth seeking vengeance for his brother’s murder.
Striking a deal with Loki, Fury has one day to find the would-be Avengers’ killer. With help from Agent Coulson, Fury thinks he’s discovered the killer’s identity, but to be sure, he needs the help of the God of Mischief. Traveling to a graveyard in San Francisco, Fury finds the tombstone of Hope Van Dyne, daughter of Dr. Hank Pym, and an agent of SHIELD. Pym confronts Fury while wearing his own modified version of the Yellow Jacket suit and blames him for his daughter’s death, revealing his motive and methods of murdering each of the Avengers in an attempt to leave Fury and SHIELD crippled. However, after some clever tricks, Fury reveals himself to be Loki, who captures his brother’s killer. Instead of returning to Asgard, Loki decides he’d like to stay on Earth a bit longer, and in only a day, conquers all of Misgard’s disparate nations, forcing them under his rule. Things seem bleak for Earth, but Fury has two more cards to play; two captains, one frozen in ice, and one returning from space.
Taking place over the timelines of Iron Man 2, Thor, and The Incredible Hulk, What If…?’s third episode attempts to be a classic whodunnit as Nick Fury tries to solve the murders of the Avengers. Much of the conflicts surround memorable scenes from the three films, much like its Captain Carter episode, though ending very differently as each of the Avengers end up dead. The twist of a vengeful Hank Pym and how he commits these murders is interesting, but the episode focuses more on Hulk’s fight scene, Tony’s donut scene, and Thor’s luxurious hair, rather than letting it play out like an actual mystery, lacking any real clues until the very end. Instead of an interesting whodunnit where the audience tries to solve the case along with Fury, it’s simply an instant replay of the MCU’s phase one with the end delivered on a silver platter.