What If… Peter Quill Attacked Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? | Transcript

When Ego and a young Peter Quill attack Earth in 1988, Howard Stark and Peggy Carter form a team
What If... Peter Quill Attacked Earth's Mightiest Heroes?

Episode Title: Peter Quill Attacked Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?
Series: What If…
Season: 2
Episode: 2
Original release date: December 23, 2023

Episode plot summary: In 1988, Peter Quill was abducted by the Ravagers and taken to Ego, who sought his assistance for a universal conquest. Half a year later, having laid waste to numerous planets, Quill finds his way back to Earth. This triggers Peggy Carter and Howard Stark to form a coalition including Bill Foster, Wakanda’s King T’Chaka, Bucky Barnes, Dr. Wendy Lawson, and a hesitant Hank Pym, who is accompanied by his daughter Hope van Dyne. The group clashes on Coney Island and, with Thor’s assistance, captures Quill.
As the team deliberates their strategy, Van Dyne secretly liberates Quill, who heads to Missouri. Meanwhile, T’Chaka, Foster, and Thor bolster Carter’s efforts to fend off Ego. Simultaneously, Pym and Lawson stumble upon Quill at his mother’s resting place. Touched by his sorrow, Pym persuades him to oppose Ego. Barnes, still under his manipulator’s influence, nearly kills Quill before Stark intervenes, invoking the memory of Steve Rogers, Barnes’ dear friend.
At the climax, as Ego nearly overpowers the assembled heroes and seeks his offspring’s power, Pym and Quill intervene. Quill harnesses the seed to annihilate Ego’s embodied form. Following this triumph, the team, except for Barnes, rejoices and prepares to tackle Ego’s planetary manifestation.

* * *

PEGGY: Commander, do you have eyes on the target?

PILOT: Barely. It’s moving fast.

PEGGY: You are free to engage. We cannot allow it to enter U.S. airspace.

PILOT: Copy that. Weapons hot.

Fire at will.


PILOT: Contact! The object’s hit. It’s going down.

PEGGY: Where?


♪ Waiting for a star to fall ♪


♪ And carry your ♪ ♪ heart into my arms ♪

♪ That’s where you belong ♪





OFFICER: What the…

Is that a kid?

Not just any kid, but Peter Quill.

A son of Earth and the stars whose pain and loss now threatens to destroy the very world he once called home.

And the entire universe along with it.




It’s more than a linear path.

It’s a prism of endless possibility, where a single choice can branch out into infinite realities, creating alternate worlds from the ones you know.

I am the Watcher.

I am your guide through these vast new realities.

Follow me and ponder the question… “What if?”

Six months earlier, the Ravagers were dispatched to abduct Peter Quill from his home world.

But young Quill’s captor couldn’t bring himself to turn him over and chose to raise him as his own.

At least, that’s how the story often goes.

But in this universe, Yondu never had his change of heart.

So he turned Peter over to his father, the Celestial being known as Ego.

(CHUCKLES) Well, you won’t be needing these anymore, Peter.

Not when there’s so much more for you to play with.

THE WATCHER: Ego called it the Expansion, a long-held dream to remake the universe in his image.

And with his son now at his side, he had all the power he needed to bring it to fruition.

PEGGY: Orbital Intelligence has retraced his steps across dozens of nearby solar systems, all destroyed, consumed by a wave of cosmic radiation within 24 hours of his arrival.

And I thought my kid was a pain in the ass.

Tony has spunk.

This kid has an entire nuclear arsenal coursing through his veins.

HOWARD: With that kind of firepower, I don’t know that there’s a person on Earth who can stop him.

Not one person working alone, but a team, made up of the best our little planet has to offer.

You forgetting we’re in the middle of a Cold War?

All that We Are the World garbage doesn’t really play outside of MTV.

This boy has already torn through midtown Manhattan in a matter of minutes, Howard.

At the rate he’s going, our planet won’t last a day. We need help.


Okay. Who’s on our roster?

Um, there’s no vegetable.

(SIGHS) The potato chips are the vegetable.



And you’re supposed to be a scientist?

And you’re supposed to like potato chips.



HOWARD: Hank, please don’t hang up.


You know, for a genius, Stark, you’re pretty slow on the take.

Listen, if you don’t wanna talk to me, that’s fine.

Just do one thing. Turn on the TV.


Dad? You should see this.

REPORTER: Grand Central Terminal and parts of Midtown.

The aircraft’s occupant was seen…

Send the plane.

HOWARD: One step ahead of you.


(SCOFFS) Typical.

Hey, honey. You wanna go to work with Dad?

Whoa! This is where you work?

HANK: (CHUCKLING) No, no. Used to work, sweetie. Not anymore.

This is so cool.

Things must be real bad if they had the balls to call us in.

Foster. Great. Now I know it’s a disaster.

Always a pleasure. What’s the matter? Didn’t wanna spring for a sitter?

You know damn well I don’t have anyone to leave her with, thanks to this place.

Let’s save the fighting for the battlefield, shall we?

Wow. Who’s the guy in the armor?

PEGGY: King T’Chaka of the African kingdom of Wakanda.

They don’t typically involve themselves in global affairs, but…

HOPE: Aliens?

Yes, aliens.

Your Highness, it’s a pleasure.

Your father was a great ally to us during the war.

Yes, I understand he even donated some Vibranium to your efforts.

We made a shield out of it and lost it in the Arctic.

But other than that, things turned out pretty well.

Hey, how’d the Commies snag an invite?

Gorbachev wanted the target contained before he reaches Moscow.

So he sent the Winter Soldier, the world’s most deadly assassin.

(GASPS) It looks just like him, Howard. Just like Bucky.

I’d heard the rumors.

But even if they’re true, the man we knew is long gone, Peg.

And we have bigger fish to fry.

Satellites indicate an alarming rate of cosmic radiation emanating from the hostile’s path.

He’s on the move, heading towards Coney Island.

And if we don’t get there and take him out now, the entire Eastern Seaboard won’t be inhabitable for the next half century.

Are we even gonna be able to intercept him in time?

New York’s a long way from the Mojave Desert.

Not in my ride.

Dr. Wendy Lawson, U.S. Air Force.

She’s spearheading our joint research into the Tesseract.

That uniform doesn’t really look like air force.

It’s not. It’s Kree Starforce.


Long story. I’ll explain on the way.


Great. We got a Cat Man.

Space Broad, Giant Man.

Silent But Deadly. Good to see you.

And you’re gonna be the crusty guy.

I was just saying…

Buckle up, Crusty. This bird’s kind of a kick in the pants.



This kid puts on quite a show.


ANIMATRONIC ATTENDANT: Dunk a duck, win a prize!

Dunk a duck, win a prize!

BLACK PANTHER: From my perch, he does not look all that threatening.

LAWSON: Looks can be deceiving, Your Highness.

BILL: You’d think the leader of a technological superpower that masquerades as a Third World country would appreciate that.

BLACK PANTHER: I see your point.

HANK: Lawson, how are we looking?

I’m at the crash site. Moving in to secure the pod ship now.

Everybody in position?

Relax. I got the perimeter.

HANK: You’ve been juicing, Foster?

I seem to remember you maxing out at 21 feet.

BILL: I made some adjustments, Hank. I figured it’s the end of the world.

Go big or go home.

BLACK PANTHER: If you two are finished measuring your statures, I have eyes on the target.

He appears to be enjoying himself on this tilt-a-whirl.

LAWSON: If you can isolate the kid, you should be able to trap him in the photon grid.

HANK: You cover the trap. I’ll handle the boy.

BLACK PANTHER: Are you sure you do not want any backup?

HANK: No. I’m great with kids.


HANK: What’s the matter, kid?


HANK: Something bugging you?



BILL: Okay, show time. Panther, get ready with that tranquilizer.

HANK: Luring him to your position now.

I’ll rendezvous as soon as I can.

This tech’s advanced. It’s gonna take me a minute to crack it.









BLACK PANTHER: Resistance will only make this more difficult, my young friend.



Well, that went poorly.


BILL: I got him.

(GASPS) Oh, no. No!

(GRUNTS) Whoa!


(GRUNTS) Ahhh!

Little help here.


LAWSON: Pull back, Killer.

If the Cube in that jet blows, there won’t be a planet left to save.






Thanks, big guy.



Guys. Problem child, 12 o’clock.


Oh, no!


BLACK PANTHER: Does anyone have a plan?

HANK: I’ve got a plan. Retreat.

BILL: Come on, people.

Okay, let’s go.

Whoa! Aw, come on!


ALL: Whoa!

Who the hell is that guy?

Wow. Is it really you?

If you are referring to your doom, then yes.

Bummer. I thought you were the dude from Van Halen.

I’m… Van what?

THOR: Jotunheim was the first to fall. Asgard soon thereafter.

One by one, the armies of the Nine Realms perished at that boy’s hands.

Until this realm, Earth, was all that remained.

Well, surely, if you’ve come all this way, you must have a plan in mind?

The Celestial seedling.

Ego has used them to implant his essence on planets across the universe.

I recovered Earth’s on my way here from a place called Missouri.

So that’s how he’s doing it. He’s consuming these planets.

The seedlings are the fuse of Ego’s Expansion, a fuse that must be lit.

By the child. That is why he is here.

So, why don’t we just shove this thing down the garbage disposal? Problem solved.

Wrong. The seedling is protected by a veil of cosmic energy.

Only a being of Celestial origin can penetrate it.

Well, lucky for us, we have one in custody.

So if you’re lost and on ♪ ♪ your own


♪ You can never surrender ♪

♪ And when the night ♪ ♪ is cold and dark ♪


You can see… (SCATS) light ♪




To fight and… ♪

You know it.

♪ To never surrender ♪

♪ To never… ♪

Come on. (CHUCKLES)

Nope? Just me?



Kinda awkward.

Cool song, though. It’s always been one of my mom’s favorites.

Or at least it was.

My mom loved it too.

That her Walkman?


It’s just, you’re holding on to it pretty tight.

I know if I still had mine, I’d probably be doing the same.

You know, you don’t seem so bad, given where you’re from.

Hey, what’s wrong with Missouri?

Missouri? My dad said you were an alien.

Dude, feed me a corn dog and call me Springsteen, because I was born in the U.S.A.

Why else do you think I’d fly 10,000 light-years to get here?

In a ship, by the way, with no tape deck. I’m just trying to get home.


Security breach in the detainment facility.

Where are my particles? And where’s Hope? And where’s my key card?




And thank you, Dad.

Whoa! That was crazy.


I noticed a bus stop about a mile out. It should get you to where you need to go.

And here. I want you to have this.

What? No way. This was your mom’s.

Look, it’s a long ride to Missouri, and she’d be glad to know I’m sharing.

Thanks, Hope.

I owe you one.

HANK: Hope! Come on. I think they’re down here.

Oh! Hope. Thank God. You okay, sweetie? Did he hurt you?

Hurt me? Peter? He’s a kid, like me, Dad.

I was just trying to help him get home.

Home? Like his home world?

No, like Missouri.

You guys are making a mistake. Peter’s not behind all this. It’s his dad.

He says he’s, like, a weird alien space god or something.

Yeah. Great. Blame the absentee father. I get that enough from my own son.

HANK: Sweetie, we really need to find your friend.

Did he say anything more specific about where he might be headed?

THOR: This is taking too long.

I will find the boy and destroy him and the seedling myself.

Hey, Lightning Boy, we kind of have a team thing going on here.

And I have a duty thing going on here, Mustache Man.

To see to it that the boy submits to Asgardian justice.

Which entails what, exactly?

Eternal flagellation, impalement, some light maiming.

You know, standard stuff.

We can’t just let you take him. We need to study him.

BUCKY: We need to kill him.


He’s a threat, even without the seedling.

Well, what do you know? He speaks.

And who would’ve thought? He’s advocating murder.

It’s a bit on the nose, if you ask me.

Nevertheless, his logic is sound.

So long as the boy lives, this planet will never be safe.

And is that not what we’re here to ensure?

That’s right.

You’re here to do the right thing.

And Peter deserves our help as much as anyone.

You want me to tell you where he went?

Then you have to promise me you’ll help him.

You know that’s what Mom would’ve done.


EGO: Peter.


Why can’t he hear me?

Why can’t I connect with my son?

COMPUTER: According to his ship’s logs, the vessel was compromised by an enemy combatant before sustaining catastrophic damage.

EGO: Where?


Well, then I guess I’ll have to finish what he started myself.


Uh, Thunder Guy, is it supposed to be doing this?

The seedling is awakening. Its master nears.


We’ve got incoming. Another alien vessel about to make landfall, right outside.

Oh, man.

Well, guess that’s the dad. The girl was right.

(SCOFFS) Wouldn’t I love to have that printed on a T-shirt.

We have our hands full with just one of these Celestials.

How are we gonna take on two?

There is an ancient Wakandan proverb from the days before our tribes united.

“One only wins a two-front war by getting out of your enemy’s way.”


If you can’t fight ’em both, let ’em fight each other.

Lawson, tell me you got eyes on that kid.

LAWSON: Picking up some cosmic radiation that’s definitely not of this world.

HOWARD: You find him, you bring him in ready to suit up.

He may be our only hope of stopping dear old dad.


You really think a child is going to be so willing to fight his own father?



You’re not a parent, are you, Wendy?



You’ve taken something from me. I’d like it back.

Not so long as there is breath in my body. (GRUNTS)

For Asgard!



BILL: (SCOFFS) You got any breath left in there, buddy?

Hand over the seedling and this will all be over.

PEGGY: All this, meaning us? (SCOFFS)

Not gonna happen. So if you’ve come to destroy us, you’re going to be leaving here very disappointed.

Destroy you? No. No, no, no. I’ve come to save you.

By growing and spreading.

Covering all that exists, until every part of you is me.


BLACK PANTHER: You don’t see that every day.

BILL: Great.

EGO: And if you will not give us back what is ours…

We will take it from you!


BILL: Let’s dance.



PEGGY: Incoming!





By Odin’s beard!

BILL: Oh, I gotta go bigger.

Take him out!

We’ll hold them off for as long as we can, but Ego’s forces are coming.

You need to get that seedling out of there.

Sounds like a job for our resident Terminator.

Home Plate to Winter Soldier. Do you copy?


Winter Soldier, do you copy?


LAWSON: Okay, Hank, look.

I can use this gravitational control to hold him down, but I’ll need you to subdue him.

We’re dealing with an 8-year-old here, Lawson.

We want him to help, we have to make him want to.

BUCKY: The Americans have located the target.

(KARPOV ON RADIO IN RUSSIAN) Good.Are you ready to comply?

(IN ENGLISH) Hey there, kid. I’m Hank. Hope’s dad.

She has told me a lot about you.

Everything that’s happening, it’s not me, it’s him.

He has this power to get inside my head.

BILL: What you got? What you…


I can’t… (SCREAMS)

Come on. Let’s go. Yeah!



I thought maybe if I came back here, I wouldn’t feel so alone.

But (SIGHS) without my mom, it doesn’t even feel like home anymore.

(KARPOV ON RADIO IN RUSSIAN) You have the target in range.



HOWARD: (IN ENGLISH) Stand down, soldier.


I intercepted your handler’s transmission.

It’s just you and me, pal.

BUCKY: There is no me.

PEGGY: Fall back! All units, all units, fall back!


I know how you feel, Peter.

Since we lost Hope’s mom, our home hasn’t felt the same either.

And to be honest, neither have I.

The pain, the anger, the loneliness.

I know it can feel like you’re drowning in it, but I haven’t, and you don’t have to either, so long as you let the people around you pull you out.

HOWARD: Bucky, when you see that kid, all you see is a target.

But I see a future. The life he can lead, the good he can do.

And I see it in you too.

BUCKY: You don’t know me.

HOWARD: Steve Rogers did.

And the man he knew, the friend he loved, would never take that shot.


We’ve got a big problem.



Stark, are you seeing this?

Howard, you have hostiles inbound!

Peter, come back with us. Please.


Come join our family.

Bucky, please.

Well, kid, what do you say?




HOWARD: Hank. Lawson. Did you get the kid?

Yeah, we got him.

HOWARD: We need him back here now.

Roger that.

(CHUCKLES SOFTLY) Fifty years later, Captain America is still saving my ass.

PEGGY OVER RADIO: Repeat, the base has been compromised.

Get out of there!



No! The seedling!

If someone doesn’t stop that seedling, we are done for!

BLACK PANTHER: I can’t break free.


BILL: We’re not gonna make it.



Someone must stop it.



BILL: Oh, yeah!

As if on cue, Wendy!

Crusty, jump.

HANK: We got it! I hope you’re right about this, kid.

Peter. (CHUCKLES) You’re alive!

And you… Well, you seem to have fallen in with the wrong crowd.

This is my home, Dad.

This is my mom’s home. And I can’t just let you destroy it.

That’s the mortal in you, Peter.

In time, though, you’ll come to understand everything dies.

Except us.

How could you say that? My mother, you said you loved her.

And that I did.

But I knew if she were to live, the Expansion, the reason for our existence, would never come to pass.

So I did what I had to do, as you must now, Peter.

You killed my mother?

No, no, no, no. I get it. You’re upset.

(CHUCKLES) But you know you don’t have the power to destroy me, Peter.

You’re right. But you do.


And with this, a little bit of you will always live inside of me.

(GRUNTS) Deep down, I guess I’ve always known you’d turn out to be a disappointment.

You are human after all.

Actually, old man, my mom says I’m a Star-Lord.

EGO: Peter!






It’s a recipe, Hank. You’re not splitting the atom.

To be honest, splitting the atom is a lot more intuitive.

This American libation is surprisingly delicious.

What do you call it?

Uh, light beer?

(CHUCKLES) How exotic. Another!


And this little chicky’s name is Goose.


I thought maybe you kids might like to have her.

Thanks, but I’m more a dog guy.


Peter, you don’t say no to a free cat.


Hey, any word on Silent But Deadly?

He’s in the wind.

That mean we should lock our doors?

I don’t think so.

Something broke through that day in Missouri.

The Winter Soldier may be out there, but I’m pretty sure Bucky Barnes is out there with him.

BILL: Oh, that’s funny. HOWARD: Yeah?

HANK: In Asgard. BILL: Yeah, exactly.

T’CHAKA: Do you have similar pajamas?

Or do you go to sleep in your armor?

THOR: And 53 gods is good.

LAWSON: Okay, bucko.

Many, many thanks to all of you for this fine victory banquet.

But I am afraid I must bid thee farewell.

Come on. What about dessert? Hank burnt a pie.

The boy may have destroyed Ego’s corporeal form, but his planet still lives.

And the universe will not know peace until I have avenged the ones we’ve lost.

So, what, Thunder brother? No invite?

Perhaps you forgot, Goldilocks,

we have sort of a team thing going on here.

Then I suggest you suit up, team.



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