Everyone deserves a break on holidays, but not superheroes (which even include medical personnel, social workers, and law enforcers, because they are our real superheroes). For the villains, holidays are the perfect time to wreak havoc on people. They strike when everyone has let their guard down. It is what happens in the third episode of What If? Season 2, where a former arch-nemesis of Tony Stark, Justin Hammer, infiltrates his precious tower in order to steal a vial that would give Hammer immense physical powers. So, without further ado, let’s find out what lesson Hammer learns this time around.
Why did Hammer attack the Avengers Tower?
Hammer had always been envious of Tony Stark’s popularity and wealth, which was the reason why the competitive tech genius never left a stone unturned to defame his worst competitor. As it is already known to us, Hammer had stolen Tony’s Arc Reactor technology and experimented with it in order to compete with the Stark Industries. However, his grand plan backfired, and his human experiment, Ivan Vanko, ended up creating a ruckus, which led to Hammer’s arrest in Iron Man 2. The jealous genius was sent to Seagate Penitentiary to serve his sentence. However, in the universe of What If?, episode 2, Hammer somehow managed to escape the prison facility and arrived at Avengers Tower with his Slovakian goons in order to steal something precious from the armory.
Hammer was looking for a vial of Hulk’s blood, which had been a subject of experimentation in the Marvel Universe for a long time. One entire subplot of She-Hulk revolved around the conflict. Earlier this year, even the extremist Skrulls were looking for the Avenger’s DNA in order to harvest it and transform into Super Skrulls. In the Marvel Universe, we also know of a man named Thaddeus Ross who created Abomination using the same gamma-radiated blood that he had extracted from Bruce Banner. In the same universe, Ross and Hammer knew each other as the two individuals shared similar motives, which hints at the possibility that Hammer found out about the vial’s abilities through Ross. Hammer wanted to inject himself with the gamma-radiated antigen serum so that he could face his nemesis and take revenge for years of humiliation. However, before he could do so, Hammer had to deal with Tony’s most trusted man, Happy Hogan.
How Did Happy End Up Becoming Mr. Purple?
Happy, Stark’s head of security, didn’t expect any serious threat during the Christmas break, which is why he shut down JARVIS for maintenance. However, Hammer used the opportunity to breach into the system and took over the control of all Stark Robots, securing the perimeter. Being a cliche villain, Hammer loudly declared his intentions to everyone present in the building, which helped Happy devise a plan to secure the vial. Happy used the building’s vent to enter the armory; however, while trying to run away with Banner’s blood, he accidentally injected the same on his foot, which turned it into monstrous purple in a matter of seconds. Yes, this whole episode is a glaring homage to Die Hard but we all know that the franchise can’t produce anything original anymore and hence, they’ve to rely on classic movies to be “entertaining.”
At this juncture, Happy knew that the damage had already been done, and he had to contact the Avengers to stop Hammer without Tony’s help. He tried contacting them, but each one of the superheroes was busy doing their Christmas chorus that night. Black Widow was out hunting for a former Hydra agent, while Tony and Steve Rogers were attending a Stark charity event. Bruce and Clint, too, were out shopping for toys while there was no contact with the mighty Thor, as the god, for some reason, doesn’t carry mobile phones.
How Did Happy Save Christmas?
Happy, Darcy, and Director Maria Hill were certain that help wasn’t coming for them, which was why they decided to take matters into their own hands and reboot JARVIS as quickly as possible. To do so, they needed to upload a backup copy of JARVIS into the system; however, Hammer’s hacked robots were already after them. The fully transformed Happy tried to buy them some time and stop Hammer and his army of robots while Darcy and Maria uploaded the JARVIS backup into the system so that the AI would restore the tower’s defense system. It turns out they picked up the wrong backup copy, named WERNER, who refused to take orders from humans. In the meantime, Hammer initiated the Hulkbuster protocol, and a Santa-like drone brought some big guns for the naughty guy to fight against the purple monster. A fierce battle between Hammer and Happy ensued, leading to the partial destruction of the Avengers Tower, which even the insurance wouldn’t cover. Fortunately, Happy was able to stop Hammer, even when he had the advantage of Stark’s most lethal suit.
At the end of What If? episode 3, the Avengers, hearing all the gunshots and blasts, finally arrived at the tower, where they saw a monster creating a ruckus. They didn’t think twice before attacking the monster, only to find out later that it was their friend Happy. Before the Avengers would harm their own friend, Darcy stopped them and helped Happy explain his side. Finally, Tony saw Hammer wearing his suit and initiated the disengage sequence, which took away all of Hammer’s might in a matter of seconds. Hammer was helpless, and his entire plan went down the drain. At this moment, Happy roared loudly, which pushed Hammer off the building, much like how Hans Gruber fell from the Nakatomi Tower in Die Hard. However, as Hammer was dropping to his death, Happy saved the evil man’s life, as no one deserves to die on Christmas, even if they are a villain.
What Will Happen to Happy?
Before What If? episode 3 ended, Happy asked Tony if he had a cure for this monstrous transformation. Well, Tony had been experimenting with Banner’s blood for a long time, and that was the reason why the vial was present in his armory in the first place. While there is no clear answer to Happy’s question, we can surmise that Tony will be able to create some antidotes for the guy. He may not recover completely from the gamma-radiated blood, but he may be able to trigger the transformation at will, giving Tony one more Avenger on his team. So, in this universe, Happy is going to be a superhero who will help the Avengers both on and off the battlefield.