NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by DissedHerb
EPISODE ONE: What If… Captain Carter was the first Avenger?
In an animated introduction, we see several characters set against a narration by The Watcher explaining alternate worlds and realities. He is essentially the host.
On Earth, in Europe, June 1943, Red Skull leads Hydra’s forces for the Nazi regime. In Brooklyn, Steve Rogers volunteers to become Captain America, and the events of The First Avenger take place.
But in another universe, Peggy Carter chooses to stay in the lab rather than watch from the room as Steve has the serum administered. As such, she is present during the attempted infiltration, and the Hydra agent operates differently with more people in the lab. In the attack, Rogers is shot and Howard Stark orders a subject be placed in the module or the project will be lost. Carter volunteers herself for the serum and gets in. Against General Flynn’s orders, Stark administers the serum to Carter while Rogers watches on. Carter emerges from the capsule much taller and stronger than before.
Though Stark declares the experiment a perfect success, Flynn admonishes the project as a complete failure, since only one person was enhanced, and it wasn’t even a U.S. military soldier. Carter tells him that he has a super soldier, but Flynn tells her that women don’t fight on the front lines. In the next scene, Carter is hitting a heavy bag with Rogers in rehab watching. Though Carter wishes she could fight, Rogers reminds her that she could get stuck on USO tours. They exchange remarks about dancing before the scene ends.
In Norway, a group of soldiers marches outside the building, and Steve tells her about Bucky. Carter apologizes for taking his place, but Rogers tells her that now she can be the one to end the war. In a town in Europe, a Hydra battalion descends on an unwilling man, while Stark, Flynn, and Carter contemplate the act. They are there to get the tesseract. The leader extracts the tesseract and his army kills the man. Stark and Carter volunteer to help. Flynn objects, figuring the war will be over before HYDRA learns how to activate that tesseract.
In a bar afterward, Stark and Carter discuss the situation, where he provides her with a costume and the shield.
HYDRA is intercepted by Captain Carter. She is able to easily take them out and is surprised as her own abilities. Carter recovers the tesseract and presents it to Flynn. Stark is given the tesseract and uses it to build a weapon for Rogers to use.
Carter breaks into a prison to break out Bucky Barnes. Her efforts are helped by ogers, who arrives in a prototype Iron suit powered by the tesseract.
With the success of the mission, Captain Carter and Rogers team up as an alternate Captain and Iron Man for more efforts to end the war.
When Red Skull is confronted by a general of the Third Reich, he kills him in protest to advance the power of HYDRA.
Carter and Rogers have dinner together and discuss the implications of heroism on one’s reputation. They are interrupted by Stark as he informs them of their next mission.
Carter plans the train infiltration with Bucky and the 107th tour. Iron Rogers lands on the train and the team follows. Bucky almost falls, but Carter catches him by the left arm. Rogers checks the front of the train, but it is loaded with dynamite and blows up. Steve falls into the crevice along with the train. Flynn is concerned about the loss of the suit, but Carter goes to interrogate the doctor. She learns Red Skull’s plans and helps Flynn to launch a counterattack.
Carter leads the assault on HYDRA castle with Bucky, Stark, and a team of fighters. Inside, Red Skull uses the tesseract to open a portal beyond space. The team discovers Rogers imprisoned in the HYDRA stomper Iron suit, missing the tesseract. Red Skull is immediately killed by the monster. Bucky gets Rogers back into the suit and powers it up using the generator. Rogers gets into the suit and flies to help Peggy. Stark is able to reset the suction of the portal, reversing the monster’s entry into our world. Peggy and Rogers attempt to physically push the monster back to its world. Peggy must return with it in order to close the portal. The portal closes and Rogers is left with the tesseract. At a later time, Nick Fury and Clint Barton open the portal which brings back Carter.
The Watcher closes the show narrating how Carter’s decision to stay in the room gave the universe, but his role requires that he not interfere.
EPISODE 2: What if T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?
Open on Morag as Star-Lord enters the chamber holding the Power Stone. After retrieving it, he is intercepted by Korath, on orders from Ronan. Korath is a big fan or Star-Lord (who is T’Challa) in this universe, but still fights him in an attempt to recover the Power Stone for Ronan. Although he loses, T’challa still takes Korath with him. Yondu arrives to help T’Challa and the “new recruit.” The Ravagers leave the planet as The Watcher narrates the story.
In 1988, a child T’Challa complains to his father, King T’Chaka, about the seclusion of Wakanda. Though he understands his child’s desire to explore, T’Chaka urges him to stay in Wakanda where he would be safe. As T’Challa wanders outside the barrier wall, he is abducted by the Ravagers, on their last assignment to recover the offspring of Ego. Yondu scolds them for abducting the wrong one, but is surprised by T’Challa’s interest in exploration. He happily joins the group and they continue their adventures for the next 20 years. In a bar, the Ravagers share a drink and discuss T’Challa’s greatest jobs. At one point, Thanos appears and admits that T’Challa merely had to speak to him in order to end the Infinity Quest before it even began.
T’Challa encounters Drax as a bartender, who praises him for stopping Ronan’s Kree invasion that would have killed his family. He also sees Nebula, with shoulder-length blonde hair. Nebula talks to T’Challa about the Power Stone, asking if Thanos, her father, knows he has it. She also remarks about his necklace. T’Challa tells her that Yondu tried to bring him back to Wakanda once, but found that it had been destroyed by another war. Nebula tells him of a job to recover the Embers of Genesis, which can terraform a planet in minutes. T’Challa sees it as an opportunity. The Collector is the mark, but has become much more powerful in this universe as Thanos is not seeking domination. Yondu disagrees with the job, but T’Challa manages to convince him.
The Ravagers go over the plan to pose as sellers on Knowhere to get past the Black Order by causing a distraction. Nebula and Yondu meet the Collector while T’Challa looks for the Embers. He sees several prisoners including Cosmo the Space Dog. He frees Howard the Duck in an effort to find the Embers.
Outside, Proxima Midnight confronts the Ravagers and realizes that it’s a diversion. She sounds the alarm as Howard is enjoying a drink during happy hour at the bar. T’challa runs when he hears the alarm and comes to a room housing a Wakandan spacecraft. It has a video of his father pleading for the return of his son. Before he can think about it, he is taken by Nebula and imprisoned with Yondu and the rest. T’Challa confronts Yondu on lying to him about Wakanda being destroyed. Yondu tells him that the Ravagers are his family, but T’Challa tells them they are not. Corvus Glaive arrives to take T’Challa to The Collector.
In a glass cell, Tivan and T’Challa chat before Tivan gives the order to Ebony Maw to dissect T’Challa. Nebula shoots Corvus to reveal that their distraction plan worked, and she recovered the Embers. T’Challa breaks free of the cage, and is saved by Tivan’s servant before Ebony Maw can kill him. T’Challa and Tivan fight, but T’Challa is no match for his collection, which includes a Dark matter dagger and Hela’s crown.
The Ravagers run from the Black Order as Thanos decides to engage them. He fights Cull Obsidian, but Cull gets an assist from Proxima. Yondu arrives to help T’Challa fight Tivan, who swiftly breaks his arrow. Cull and Proxima beat Thanos, but Nebula saves them by throwing some Ember seeds into Cull’s mouth, starting the terraforming of Knowhere. She brings Thanos onto the Ravager ship and orders to take off. Inside, Yondu and TChalla are able to beat Tivan by knocking him into his own cell. They give control to Carina, who frees all of his prisoners before opening his cell.
T’Challa and Yondu leave with Cosmo the Space Dog on the Wakandan ship as Knowhere terraforms. T’Challa and Yondu discuss his desire to explore, and T’Challa decides to return them to Wakanda, where he reunites with his parents. He introduces the Ravagers as his family made along the way. Elsewhere, Ego encounters Peter Quill on earth, which the Watcher says could mean the end of the world, but that’s another story.
The episode is dedicated to Chadwick Boseman, who voices T’Challa once again in this role.
EPISODE #3: What If the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?
Nick Fury talks about the Avengers Initiative with Natasha Romanoff as they approach Tony Stark in the storyline of Iron Man 2. Fury and Stark discuss his actions as Romanoff injects the lithium dioxide into Stark. Rather than subside his symptoms, the injection kills him. The Watcher describes how one universe has Stark becoming part of the Avengers, but in this one…
Coulson calls Fury to tell him about finding Mjolnir. Fury takes Romanoff prisoner for the murder of Stark and hands her a capsule. She is transported with Crossbones and the team. She escapes.
In Puenta Antiguo, New Mexico, Hawkeye shows Fury Mjolnir. They discuss it as a figure approaches, taking out S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives all along the base. Thor infiltrates the base to pick up Mjolnir, but Barton unintentionally loses the arrow, killing Thor before he can lift the hammer. Coulson and Fury discuss the kills. Barton is found to have died in his cell.
Culver University in Virginia. Betty Ross is approached by Romanoff. She gives Ross the needle she stuck Stark with. Under a microscope, the needle appears frayed, indicating it may have shot a projectile. Romanoff receives the news that Barton is dead. Fury connects Barton and Stark as candidates for the Avengers Initiative as Romanoff realizes Bruce Banner is in the building. She tells him they need to leave.
Coulson approaches SHIELD as the Bifrost bridge transports Loki and the army of Asgard. Fury takes a call from Romanoff as she engages General Ross and the U.S. Army. Bruce takes a shot and begins to transform into the Hulk. Hulk suddenly begins to inflate and eventually bursts, much to Betty’s dismay. Nick Fury agrees to bring Loki the killer of Thor.
Romanoff logs into S.H.I.E.L.D. records using Coulson’s information. While researching operative agents, she realizes she is in the room with the assassin. She calls and tells Fury “It’s all about Hope.” Coulson reveals that Fury is the last name on the Avengers initiative. Fury approaches the Destroyer to speak to Loki.
Thursday – San Francisco. Hope Van Dyne lays dead as Hank Pym approaches Fury at his daughter’s grave. Hank Pym is the Yellow Jacket in this universe and the assassin who killed Stark, Thor, Barton, Banner, and Romanoff. Fury engages Pym using Asgardian technology to reveal to Loki the true assassin responsible for the death of Thor. Loki takes Pym prisoner but decides to stay on Midgard.
Loki approaches the United Nations and addresses the world as his loyal subjects. Fury clears the frost off Rogers’ casket as Captain Marvel arrives.
EPISODE 4: What If Instead of losing his hands, Doctor Strange lost his heart?
The Watcher narrates a story in which Stephen Strange, rather than driving alone in the car accident that breaks his hands, is driving with his girlfriend Dr. Christine Palmer. She is killed when he flies off the freeway, which prompts Strange to seek out the mystic arts. After the events of the first movie transpire, with Strange confronting Dormammu in a time loop, Doctor Strange contemplates using the Time Stone to go back to the day of Christine’s death in order to stop it.
Despite several trips back in time, Strange cannot stop Christine from dying, and he begins to go mad. He uses the Time Stone to seek out the ancient library of Cagliostro, where he meets O’Bengh, the librarian. Strange studies the dark arts for years, eventually laying O’Bengh to rest, despite Strange’s plea to use the Time Stone to reverse his aging. Strange starts to become consumed by the dark arts and is eventually confronted by The Ancient One. She explains to him that she used her powers to split the timeline so that Strange could see the mistake he made.
In spite of her warning, the evil Strange goes after himself in the timeline where Strange did not use the Time Stone to save Christine. After a fight, evil Strange consumes good Strange and goes back to finally save Christine.
Even though he stopped her from dying in the timeline, his action causes the collapse of reality. Christine withers away as Strange confronts The Watcher, demanding to know why he didn’t warn him. The Watcher responds that his role is not to interfere, and besides, would Strange have listened?
EPISODE 5: What If…Zombies???
The Watcher begins this alternate tale as Bruce Banner is traveling the Biifrost to Earth to warn of Thanos’ invasion. He arrives to a barren New York City and is approached by Cull Obsidian and Ebony Maw. They are stopped by zombie avengers.
When Hank Pym went into the quantum realm to find Janet van Dyne, he discovered her infected with a zombie virus. The virus spread and infected billions around the planet.
Banner is saved by uninfected heroes Bucky Barnes, Okoye, Peter Parker, Hope van Dyne, Sharon Carter, and Happy Hogan. They briefly describe the circumstances of surviving a zombie apocalypse before they notice a message suggesting a cure to the virus.
When they arrive at the complex, Hope sacrifices herself so that the others can get inside. Vision is there to show them how the power of the Mind Stone can reverse the zombie virus, as it did to Scott Lang (though he could only save his head). They also find that Vision has been keeping T’Challa prisoner to feed to his zombie bride Wanda Maximoff, who is immune to the Mind Stone.
Realizing his faults in a sort of reversed Wandavision moment, Vision removes the Mind Stone from his head, committing suicide, so that the survivors may broadcast its frequency from a base in Wakanda. Zombies attack and Okoye, Barnes, Happy, and Sharon become infected.
Banner transforms to fight the zombies as Parker leaves with T’Challa and the mind stone. They head for Wakanda, where zombie Chitauri forces await, led by zombie Thanos with a nearly complete gauntlet.
EPISODE 6: What if Killmonger rescued Tony Stark?
The scene opens on the attack in the opening of Iron Man (2008). The Stark Industries missile that would have incapacitated Tony Stark is thrown away by Erik Killmonger Stevens. As the two get to know each other on the way back, The Watcher explains that the age of Iron Man never takes place in a universe where Tony doesn’t get kidnapped and escape.
Upon returning to Stark Industries, Killmonger immediately exposes Obediah Stane as the organizer of the hit via the Ten Rings organization. Stark promotes Killmonger over Happy to Chief Security Officer, and later to COO. Killmonger shows Stark a design of his to build a drone using vibranium as a power source instead of a miniaturized arc reactor. Stark organizes a deal with Ulysses Klaue against the wishes and better judgment of Pepper Potts. Killmonger tips off Wakanda to the arrangement. James Rhodes is sent to handle the transaction, but they are intercepted by Prince T’Challa, chasing the stolen vibranium. Killmonger attacks T’Challa and kills him using Stark tech. He then removes the Black Panther claw and uses it to kill Rhodes, finally placing the weapon that killed T’Challa in Rhodes’ dead hands, framing the United States for the murder of the Wakandan Prince.
Once in private, Stark exposes Killmonger’s betrayal and sics one of his drones on him. But Killmonger uses a vibranium spear to destroy the drone and kill Stark. He wipes J.A.R.V.I.S. to cover it up as well. Using the spear to tie the hit to the Dora Milaje, Killmonger is able to persuade General Ross to mobilize the production of his drone to attack Wakanda. Klaue drives Killmonger to the border of Wakanda before being killed by him. Killmonger brings the body to the royal family of Wakanda and offers his help to fight the Americans.
Killmonger takes control of the drones so that he can help fight and gain the trust of the Wakandans. As a reward, King T’Chaka offers Killmonger the Heart-Shaped Herb so that he may become the next Black Panther. On the Ancestral Plane, T’Challa warns Killmonger of the dangers of unearned power. As we see the new Black Panther emerge, the scene turns to Ross preparing an assault to wipe out Wakanda. Shuri visits Pepper to discuss what really went on, and how to stop it.
EPISODE 7: What If Thor were an only child?
As Darcy and Jane Porter sit in the desert, they notice an extraterrestrial signal which could be an invasion she believes her father had warned her about. The signal turns out to be the Biifrost bridge, transporting Thor and many Asgardians to Earth/Midgard. He announces his visit in the interest of partying with the mortals. Being that they landed in Las Vegas, the planetwide party commences.
In flashback, the Watcher shows how, in this universe, Odin chooses to return Loki to the Frost Giants rather than raise him as his own. Without a brother to check him, Thor grows up much more selfish, acting in his own personal interests rather than in the best interests of Asgard, the kingdom he is to rule upon Odin’s death. When Odin dies, Frigga leaves for the solstice, and warns Thor that Heimdall will be watching. Thor laughs it off and plans the trip to Midgard.
In the present, Jane and Darcy investigate the party, where Darcy is immediately approached by Howard the Duck. She goes off with him as Jane approaches Thor. The two naturally strike up an attraction toward each other, and she asks him if he knows anything about an interstellar anomaly that occurred just prior to arrival. It destroyed an entire star system, and has the exact same energy signature as the Biifrost. Thor laughs it off as he had held a party on that planet before its destruction. Jane believes Thor, but has doubts about his story.
Maria Hill calls in Captain Marvel to get Thor off earth, but she is unsuccessful in defeating him in battle. Darcy and Jane manage to create the frequency to call Heimdall, who transports Jane to meet with Frigga. While Captain Marvel and Thor get ready to face off once again, a projection of Frigga appears, demanding what Thor has been up to. Thor makes up a story about an educational mission to Midgard. She tells him she is on her way to see. Thor, in an act of courageous leadership, manages to rally the partyers into cleaning up the mess they made on the planet.
Frigga arrives to a lesson being taught by Thor on Midgardian ways, with a digital tablet delivered by Captain Marvel to maintain the ruse, although a decorated Mjolnir exposes the lie. Frigga is satisfied with the lessons Thor has learned. However, we learn the true source of the original space anomaly when a legion of Ultron arrive, led by an enhanced Alpha Ultron, emblazoned with five Infinity Stones, a suited Vision inside, holding the sixth.
EPISODE 8: What if Ultron Won?
The Watcher opens on a universe at its end. Natasha Romanoff is riding a motorcycle to meet Clint Barton. She is being chased by several Ultron drones, which Hawkeye is able to help her to take out. When they realize they are safe, they go into the Kremlin.
In this universe, Clint and Natasha are the only survivors of Ultron’s elimination of all life. Ultron managed to gain control of the organic cradle that would have become the Vision. Instead, the power of the Mind Stone gave Ultron the resources he needed to nuke the entire planet. With peace on earth, Thanos appears to claim the mind stone but is immediately killed by Ultron, who assembles the six Infinity Stones from the fallen gauntlet, and becomes all-powerful with the power of Infinity. He creates a legion and invades worlds of the MCU such as Asgard, the Sovereign, Sakaar, and Ego. On Xandar, he is interrupted by Captain Marvel, but he kills her as he destroys all planets in the galaxy. As the Watcher narrates, Ultron notices him through the prism. The Watcher attempts to shield the multiverse from Ultron, he recalls the one last hope that exists on earth.
Natasha and Clint find a file for a program of Armin Zola, and she convinces him to help them to corrupt the Ultron program. He is downloaded to a special arrow of Clint’s. in the multiverse, Ultron confronts the Watcher. a legion of drones attack, and Clint hits one with the Zola arrow. the program downloads to the drone and attempts to connect to the hive mind. Since that Ultron is in another universe, it cannot be reached. The remaining drones attack, and Clint sacrifices himself so that Natasha and Zola can get out.
Ultron fights the Watcher, scolding him for only ever observing the suffering of multiple universes. The Watcher responds that it was and is his oath not to intervene. As the two continue to fight, they land on an earth where Steve Rogers is being sworn in as president. Ultron beats the Watcher, who ultimately flees, leaving Ultron to watch the multiverse.
In the final scene, the Watcher finds himself confronting Strange Supreme in his own self-made prison from episode 5. The Watcher renounces his oath and asks Strange for help.
FINALE: What If the Watcher Broke his Oath?
Peggy and black widow lead the attack on the ship taken over by Batroc. During a fight, the Watcher appears and tells Peggy she has been chosen. In another multiverse, Peter Quill is saved from ego by Starlord T’Challa, who the Watcher also chooses. In an as-yet unseen universe, Gamora and Stark meet with Eitri the dwarf, who has developed a machine to destroy every Infinity Stone in the known universe. The Watcher appears and tells Gamora she has been chosen. In Wakanda, as Shuri and Pepper lead the assault on the kingdom, the Watcher tells Killmonger that he has been chosen. Finally, as Thor is taking on the Infinity Ultron legion singlehanded, the Watcher appears and chooses him.
The five meet in a pub with Strange Supreme. It’s really an illusion created in a separate universe on the brink of collapse. The Watcher appears and tells them they have been chosen for a mission that is both dangerous and essential. He tells them that they are the guardians of the multiverse and must defeat Ultron. While strategizing, Gamora takes out the Infinity Crusher, which will destroy the Infinity Stones inside it. The plan is to steal the Soul Stone and get it to Gamora in order to activate the machine. While celebrating their plan, Thor gets Watcher Ultron’s attention. He appears with a legion as the Watcher, Killmonger, and Gamora leave through a portal. Ultron engages Captain Carter, Starlord T’Challa, Thor, and Strange, who uses his supreme magic to protect the team. T’challa and Gamroa are able to work together to steal the Soul Stone from Ultron’s body. To buy them some time, Strange opens a portal to another universe that summons the zombies, including Scarlet Witch.
As they are about to place the stone, Black Widow appears and steals it. Carter manages to sway her back to their side and she gives back the stone. Ultron appears and a game of keep-away ensues. Ultron is held down and the Infinity Crusher is used, but it cannot destroy the stones in this universe. During the next fight, Black Widow reveals the virus arrow the Clint had developed in the last episode. During the final fight, Black Widow and Captain Carter manage to upload the Zola virus to Ultron, corrupting him forever in every universe. After Ultron’s shell falls to the ground, Killmonger takes the Infinity Stones. The Zola Ultron emerges and attempts to take the stones from Killmonger. The struggle is encased within a prism by Strange and the Watcher.
With the safety of the multiverse restored, the Watcher sends back the guardians of the multiverse. Gamora, Thor, and T’Challa go back without a second thought, though Carter hesitates before returning. Black Widow is placed in a universe that had lost theirs, but Nick Fury welcomes her. Killmonger and Ultron remain in the prism of an infant universe supervised by Strange as a favor to the Watcher for releasing him from his own prison.
The Watcher closes the show with a promise to protect the universe.