It is known that SHIELD. hid a lot of secrets from the world. But Black Widow dumped millions of HYDRA & S.H.I.E.L.D. files on the internet. Those files were encrypted, and yet, Baron Zemo was able to decipher them and reach out to Colonel Karpov in Captain America: Civil War. But before the world had access to encrypted S.H.I.E.L.D. files, someone else almost did. Remember that Tony Stark placed a bug on the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier when he stepped onto it back in The Avengers? Well based on that, I’ve got a “What if?” scenario today. Just to be clear, this isn’t going to be an episode of the upcoming What if…? series. This is just a situation I’m proposing.
Tony said that JARVIS had been running a decryption program that would have broken into all of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secure files. But later on, we saw that his decryption program failed as the S.H.I.E.L.D servers detected his malware. Imagine a scenario where it wouldn’t have failed. What if Tony would have successfully hacked into S.H.I.E.L.D’s servers? He would have suddenly gained access to a whole lot of information. And, that could have changed the MCU drastically. Here are 6 major secrets that Stark would have figured out back in 2012:
If Tony got his hands on every dirty little secret that S.H.I.E.L.D hid, he might have sensed the presence of HYDRA within S.H.I.E.L.D. And, the events of both Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier would have changed if HYDRA would have been discovered much earlier.
We take it that Tony Stark probably knew a bit about Project Insight since he helped in upgrading the Helicarrier rotos. But if Tony would have looked through the patterns of all the Hydra covered operations that Jarvis had decrypted, then he would have found out about Zola’s Algorithm. That’s when he would have known about the real purpose of project insight, and prevented the launch of those three Helicarriers.
Mission Report: December 16, 1991
Once Tony would have got to know about Hydra’s presence and Zola’s Algorithm, he might have dug even deeper and found out about the Winter Soldiers. And, that’s when he’d have found out about the real perpetrator behind his parent’s death. The confrontation between Bucky and Tony could have happened much sooner. But sadly, Tony didn’t even look into these things even after Natasha dumped all of Hydra’s encrypted files on the internet.
By the time Tony Stark came on the bridge in The Avengers, he must have known only about Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, the Hulk and the Abomination. But, after getting his hands on all of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s files, Tony would have found out about other enhanced individuals. Ant-Man and the Wasp for instance were involved with S.H.I.E.L.D. activities back in the 70s & 80s. Ghost was kept hidden from the world but she’d have been mentioned in those secured S.H.I.E.L.D. files. And most importantly, there must have been a separate file on Captain Marvel.
Way before Thor, Loki and the Chitauri arrived on Earth, S.H.I.E.L.D. had come across other aliens. Mar-Vell for instance was a Kree individual working within the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury must have updated files upon other Kree people. More than the Kree, S.H.I.E.L.D. should have had files upon the Skrulls. And, there should have been a separate file upon the Goose the Flerken cat too. So Tony would have known about all of them, and acted accordingly.
Hank Pym resigned from S.H.I.E.L.D. because they were trying to replicate his formula. So, upon getting his hands on S.H.I.E.L.D’s files, Tony must have known about Ant-Man’s revolutionary Pym Particles. He finally got the Pym Particles in 2023, and designed the nano-tech Avengers suits based on the Ant-Man suit. But just imagine if Tony would have had the Pym tech much earlier. It’s interesting to think about the other weapons & technologies that he would have come up with using the Pym Particles.
But sadly, he didn’t get all this information due to S.H.I.E.L.D’s strong firewalls. So, he was just busy with the House Party Protocol after taking down Loki & the Chitauri.