Quicksilver died in Avengers: Age of Ultron‘s ending, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe would look radically different if Hawkeye died instead. Heading into the 2015 movie, the threat that Ultron posed left audiences wondering if someone would die. Marvel Studios’ official Phase 3 announcements and the general popularity of certain characters ruled out a few unlikely possibilities, such as Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. However, that left several other MCU heroes as candidates to die.
When Avengers: Age of Ultron finally came out, the MCU movie did end with one major casualty. It all came down to a moment on Sokovia when the Avengers were close to defeating the evil AI created by Tony Stark and many of the heroes are helping get the last of the civilians off the flying city. Hawkeye runs off the helicarrier late to go save a boy who is near the place where Ultron is shooting at. Just as he and the boy are about to get hit, Quicksilver rushes in to push them out of the way. It’s a heroic end for Quicksilver that leaves Scarlet Witch heartbroken over the death of her brother, and saved Hawkeye from a death many viewers theorized would happen in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
While the MCU’s events played out in a certain way, there are other universes where it might have gone down differently. Quicksilver’s death ultimately played a big role in shaping Scarlet Witch’s growing MCU role, while Hawkeye’s survival allowed him to become a key player in Phase 3’s conclusion and the start of Phase 4. For those reasons, it is certainly fascinating to consider the possibilities of what would’ve happened in this universe if Hawkeye died instead of Quicksilver. Marvel Studios might not ever explore this What If scenario, but it’s certainly an interesting one, that would change the fact of the MCU in many ways.
Why Age of Ultron Killed Quicksilver, Not Hawkeye
When it came to figuring out who Ultron would kill in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it appears there was not much of a debate within the halls of Marvel Studios. Their plans kept Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor off the table, while Black Widow, Hulk, and Hawkeye were also not in the cards due to their statuses as original Avengers. Director Joss Whedon admitted that he was worried the executives at Disney and Marvel would not even let him kill Quicksilver. However, it was decided that Ultron needed to kill someone to raise the stakes of the MCU and surprise audiences, which is where Quicksilver entered the picture. Jeremy Renner’s character may have been a more realistic candidate to die if it was not for The Avengers‘plot turning Hawkeye into Loki’s mindless follower for most of the film. Instead of cutting his MCU story short, the decision was made that Quicksilver was the right character to die, as his death would impact various characters and surprise Marvel audiences expecting Pietro Maximoff to play an important role in the MCU.
Hawkeye’s Death Would Ruin His MCU Story
Marvel’s decision to not kill Hawkeye in Avengers: Age of Ultron was likely due to their recognition that killing him would ruin his MCU story. The Avengers sequel was only Hawkeye’s third appearance, but his prior two did not give him much to do. He had a short cameo in Thor before joining The Avengers and serving Loki for the majority of the runtime. The latter did not sit well with Jeremy Renner, as he even kept suggesting to Marvel that they should just kill Hawkeye in the 2012 team-up. This was because he felt Hawkeye was getting the short end of the stick in the MCU’s stories. Marvel could’ve granted him this request in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but instead kept him around to grow Clint Barton’s story. This included him playing a pivotal role in Captain America: Civil War spirit Avengers: Endgameas well as leading Hawkeye on Disney +. These movies and shows helped prove why Hawkeye is one of the MCU’s greatest superheroes despite his lack of powers, but that would not be possible if he had died.
Quicksilver Could’ve Joined The New Avengers
If Quicksilver had survived Avengers: Age of Ultron and Hawkeye died, it appears that Pietro would’ve taken a place on the New Avengers roster. He saw the positive aspect of what the Avengers could be during the third act and worked alongside the rest of the heroes to stop Ultron. Since Scarlet Witch and Vision both joined Captain America and Black Widow’s New Avengers team, it would make sense that Quicksilver also joined them. Marvel Studios even shot an alternate ending to Avengers: Age of Ultron that would’ve revived Quicksilver. This indicates that there was at least a chance Quicksilver could’ve been part of the New Avengers even if he died. In a world where that did not happen, though, his place on the team would be cemented, allowing him to play an integral role in Captain America: Civil War and beyond.
Kate Bishop’s MCU Origin Might Have Come Earlier
One of the results of Hawkeye dying in Avengers: Age of Ultron might have been an earlier introduction for Kate Bishop. Hailee Steinfeld brought the sharpshooting Hawkeye fangirl to the MCU in Phase 4, where she was trained by Clint Barton to become the next iteration of the mantle. His complete absence, though, after Avengers: Age of Ultron would mean that Marvel Studios could look to introduce Kate Bishop in Phase 3, making her the first legacy superhero potentially. She’d possibly even be a youthful presence among the veteran Avengers lineup, filling a similar role as Spider-Man, potentially. Assuming the MCU would keep her origin tied to seeing Hawkeye in action during the Battle of New York, Hawkeye’s Avengers: Age of Ultron death could see her pop onto the scene due to the Sokovia Accords.
Would Black Widow Still Die In Endgame?
Hawkeye dying in Avengers: Age of Ultron could also change Black Widow’s fate in Avengers: Endgame. Due to Clint and Natasha’s friendship, they were paired off during the Time Heist and took the mission on Vormir to obtain the Soul Stone. This concluded with Black Widow sacrificing herself so that Hawkeye could live and be reunited with his family after saving the universe. Black Widow’s death could still happen if she was paired with Bruce Banner or Captain America, as there is either a romantic or close friendship level of love between them. However, there is a chance that the Russo Brothers could’ve kept Natasha off of Vormir, allowing her to live and Black Widow to be the start of a new solo franchise for her.
Scarlet Witch’s Tragic MCU Story Shifts
Quicksilver not dying would also change Scarlet Witch’s tragic MCU story, but it might not have been lost entirely. Wanda and Pietro’s sibling bond would’ve been a key relationship for her throughout Phase 3, while her romantic relationship with Vision would also continue to blossom. The truth is that Vision’s death left a bigger mark on Wanda’s MCU story than Quicksilver’s did, but Hawkeye’s death in Avengers: Age of Ultron also could’ve impacted her. This would’ve come before they really became close friends, but Hawkeye’s speech empowering her to become an Avenger would likely resonate even more if he had passed shortly thereafter. In many ways, Scarlet Witch’s heroic career would be in honor of Hawkeye and the sacrifice he made.
How Quicksilver Could’ve Helped Fight Thanos
If Quicksilver survived Avengers: Age of Ultronthere is a strong chance that he would’ve still been around to help fight Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War spirit Avengers: Endgame. Quicksilver would give the Avengers a brand-new skill set in fighting Thanos thanks to his super speed. If there was anyone who potentially may have been able to sneak up on Thanos and take away an Infinity Stone, it would have been Quicksilver. Even if they still failed to stop The Snap from happening, it’s possible that Quicksilver or Scarlet Witch would’ve survived as part of a story where they could fight to bring their sibling back. Regardless of Quicksilver’s potential fate in The Snap, his speed would certainly be beneficial in fighting Thanos’ massive army in Avengers: Endgame.
How Age of Ultron’s Death Switch Would Change Phase 4
The idea of Hawkeye and Quicksilver switching fates in Avengers: Age of Ultron would also radically change what the MCU looks like in Phase 4. Scarlet Witch’s grief in WandaVision would totally change without the death of her brother in the same fashion. Additionally, the Ralph Bohner twist would not have happened in a world where Aaron Taylor-Johnson was still around or would have obviously multiverse connections with Evan Peters’ casting.
As for the fallout from Hawkeye’s death felt in Phase 4, the biggest change would be in the lack of a Hawkeye Disney + series, at least in the form it finally took. Instead of a show that introduces Kate Bishop to the MCU, she could’ve already been part of the universe by that point. The series could then give her a solo adventure after multiple supporting performances, similar to what The Falcon and the Winter Soldier did for Falcon and Bucky. It’s possible Marvel’s Young Avengers plans would be much more clear through this iteration of the series, though, as that journey could be a big part of what Kate Bishop’s MCU Phase 4 story would be if Clint Barton died years ago in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
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