I am Uatu, the Watcher for your world and race. Earth has been visited countless times by beings you would describe as aliens, some of them effectively gods. Recently the Asgardian Loki led an attempted invasion that came close to success. Your Avengers were able to stop him, but what if things had gone a little differently? Could Loki succeed, or would things have been worse for him? What if there were new players on the scene, or Loki made a mistake? There are many worlds, many possible routes to success or failure. I will show you some of them...
1: What If... Loki Misjudged His Audience?
"In the end you will always kneel," said Loki.
An old man rose, saying "Not to men like you!"
"There are no men like me."
"There are always men like you!"
"Look to your elder, people. Let him be an example."
"Look to yourself, fool." He glared at Loki; the sceptre twisted in Loki's hand, and the horns of his helmet writhed then curved down towards his eyes.
"I guess the Loki problem is over," said Tony Stark. "Now we have to figure out why Magneto's in Stuttgart..."
2: What If... Loki Forgot About One Of His Toys?
"You're gonna lose," said Phil Coulson.
"Am I?" asked Loki.
"It's in your nature."
"Your heroes are scattered, your floating fortress falls from the sky... where is my disadvantage?"
"Show time." He put a hand into his jacket, lifted a green mask to his face.
Coulson sprung to his feet, his injuries closing, and spun round, reappearing in a bright yellow suit, green hands bristling with guns. "You made this thing," he said, firing a fusillade of shots at Loki, "bet you never thought you'd be on the receiving end."
When help arrived Loki was cowering in a corner, whimpering.
3: What If... Loki Picked The Wrong Hero To Taunt?
"Whatever happened to Loki?" asked Pepper.
"I don't want to talk about it," said Thor.
"It was stupid," said Steve.
"Hilariously stupid," said Tony.
"Asshole was having so much fun he decided to taunt every hero in New York," said Clint. "Got Spiderman so confused he webbed himself, extinguished the Torch, tied Richards in a knot."
"Eventually he got to Rorschach," said Natasha.
"Rorschach threw him down an elevator shaft."
"That killed Loki?" asked Pepper.
"Deadpool was at the bottom."
Clint mimed swinging a sword. "There can be only one."
"Works for me," said Pepper.
4: What If... Loki Sought Power Over The Dead?
"Do you like my mask, master?" asked Xander, his eye glowing blue. "Isn't it pretty? It raises the dead!" He held up a crude wooden mask.
"Where did you get it?" asked Loki.
"Killed the demon that makes them," said Xander. "I was going to destroy it, it's very dangerous."
"Give it to me." Loki took the mask and put it on, as Xander's eye briefly glowed hyaena yellow.
Loki staggered, and Xander said "Did I mention it kills the wearer?"
He pulled the mask from Loki, smashed it, and watched Loki's body fall. "Save the hypnosis crap for the tourists."
5: What if... Loki Got Some Competent Help?
"The world is mine!" Loki said exultantly. "All of its heroes are slain or under my control, there is no-one to stand in our way!"
"No-one?" asked Lex Luthor, raising an eyebrow.
"What about the Avengers?" asked the Joker.
"Kryptonite spear through the heart," Luthor said triumphantly.
"Is dealt with." Loki gestured, and minions brought forward a caped corpse.
"You killed Batman?" said the Joker. "My Batman?"
"Marvellous! Here, take my hand." Loki took it disdainfully... and jerked under 20,000 volts. Joker kept hold until the body began to burn. "Nobody kills Batman but me!"
6: What if... Loki Recruited Some Minions?
"Now then, Minions, what to do with you..?" Loki peered at the blue-overalled yellow bean-shaped creatures. They seemed to watch attentively through goggled eyes, apart from a growing crowd at the back of the hall that were fighting over a banana.
"I have it! The perfect place!" He used his staff to open a portal.
"Go through, I want everything in perfect repair."
The Minions charged through enthusiastically and started fixing everything in sight. Ten minutes later systems aboard the Hellicarrier started to fail. By then, of course, it was much too late... SHIELD surrendered twenty minutes later.