Marvel’s “What If…?” is a gift to people who have stuck through the Marvel Cinematic Universe all these years. The premise of the series takes significant moments from the MCU and envisions a reality where something drastically different occurs.
Instead of Steve Rogers receiving the super-soldier serum, Peggy Carter gets it. In lieu of Thor having Loki helping him develop to be the future king of Asgard, he’s an only child and loves throwing global parties as a result.
It all looks oddly familiar but with a unique twist, and that leads us to Season 1, Episode 8, “What If… Ultron Won?” The episode shows us a universe where the Avengers failed to turn Vision into an ally.
He instead retains his original purpose of being a puppet of Ultron, and after acquiring all of the Infinity Stones, becomes capable of traversing different realities. Black Widow and Hawkeye remain and are on a mission to take Ultron down once and for all, resulting in Hawkeye sacrificing himself so that Natasha can get away with the cybernetic mind of Arnim Zola.
While it happens under vastly different circumstances, Hawkeye’s death mirrors another iconic Marvel moment you may not have realized the first time around.
Hawkeye’s death mirrors Black Widow’s in Avengers: Endgame
“Avengers: Endgame” had plenty of emotional beats, but few hit as hard as Black Widow and Hawkeye traveling to Vormir to obtain the Soul Stone. It required a sacrifice, and both Natasha and Clint fought for the chance to sacrifice themselves so that the other may live. It was a hard-fought battle, but ultimately, Natasha fell to her death, leaving Clint as the one to return to Earth with the Infinity Stone.
It was a heartbreaking moment, and in this alternate reality of “What If…?” where Ultron won, Hawkeye has the chance to return the favor.
Read this: What Is The Story Behind Hawkeye?
As Natasha and Clint try to escape from an army of Ultrons, Hawkeye slips, and Black Widow grabs his hand. It’s just like the moment from “Endgame” but reversed. He has no intention of making it out of the compound alive, and he lets go of his old friend’s hand as he descends to the robots below him.
No Soul Stone is waiting for him at the bottom, but he plans to take out as many robots as possible, letting one more arrow fly to blow them sky-high.
The parallels are evident, even in the emotions of the scene. It’s obvious how much Black Widow and Hawkeye love each other, not in a romantic way but merely as friends. They would sacrifice themselves at a moment’s notice if it meant the other could walk away.
It’s one of the most profound friendships in the MCU, and it’s exciting to think of how that friendship will materialize in the upcoming “Hawkeye” series on Disney+.