In The Avengers they sent a missile carrying a nuclear warhead to destroy New York City. After thinking about this scenario, I came to realize certain things (I'm taking this from the movies).

  • Loki is just a frost giant, and so does not seem like he could survive the nuke.
  • The Chitauri seem like they would die initially and I have no idea what the fallout could do to them.
  • Also I'm not exactly sure where it would have detonated but, I think that in the end the nuke still would have hit some if not all of the Chitauri chilling in space. I say this because in the movie when it actually exploded in space it would have hit the city if not closed when it did.

  • The only Avengers to survive are likely Hulk and Thor but that's me being optimistic

So I'm wondering, would the nuke have actually "worked"? And by worked I mean have stopped the invasion? If not why?

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    Are you asking if the nuke would have worked if it had hit NYC, as the Council had intended, or if it went through the portal and hit the mother ship as it did?
    – phantom42
    Mar 20, 2015 at 20:03
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    Also, important to remember: the council launched the nuke believing it was their only recourse. They honestly had no idea if it would work.
    – phantom42
    Mar 20, 2015 at 20:04
  • Basically yes, im asking if the nuke would have had the desired effect.
    – Swansong
    Mar 20, 2015 at 20:05
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    It all boils down to whether or not the nuke would have destroyed the Tesseract and the portal. Unless the portal is closed, more Chitauri are going to come in - regardless of whether or not Loki or any of the Chitauri already on Earth have survived. This has been asked before (see the third question Keen linked)
    – phantom42
    Mar 20, 2015 at 20:21

2 Answers 2


The shield on the portal device would have protected it, so the portal would have stayed open, and then it would have not been able to be closed at all because the scepter would have most like been destroyed along with anyone with the knowledge of how to close it. The Chitauri would have continued flowing through the whole and would have over ran Earth at some point in the near future. The bomb would have exploded and killed or badly injured all if not most of the Avengers, so that safety net would have been down the drain. Yes, some of the Chitauri would have been killed in the explosion as well, but any who were outside of the rift and not anywhere near NYC would have been safe and been able to continue the invasion, only now it would have been much easier without the Avengers around to save the day. Not to mention that now NYC would have a great big radioactive hole in the middle of it, which would allow for a great amount of Chitauri to enter unhindered by a human defense which would not have been able to go anywhere near ... at least not for a few years until the fallout had died down. I'm sure there was more than enough power in the Tesseract to power the rift for a couple of centuries, so there would have been no problem for the Chitauri there, either.

All-in-all, Loki's plan to invade Earth would have succeeded whether he was there to Lord over everyone or not.

  • You seem to be dramatically over-estimating the damage caused by a mile-high nuke. Statements like "unhindered by a human defense which would not have been able to go anywhere near" simply aren't true.
    – Valorum
    Mar 20, 2015 at 20:11
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    a mile high? the nuke seemed to be aimed at the portal device. the tallest building in nyc right now is about 1/3 of a mile tall.
    – phantom42
    Mar 20, 2015 at 20:15
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    Here you go. youtube.com/watch?v=FZk4U9pxOVo Until Tony intervenes, it looks to be aimed somewhere halfway up the building.
    – phantom42
    Mar 20, 2015 at 20:18
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    @Himarm ... You need to go back and read the questions, which I've answered directly. If you are looking for a different answer, then you should ask a different question, or answer it yourself. The nuke would not have stopped the invasion. For that matter, the Chitauri far outclassed anything a normal Earth military could present to oppose them. If you think that only the few thousand troops the Chitauri presented were all of their force, again, you are sadly mistaken. Mar 20, 2015 at 20:23
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    Earth rocks. Aliens suck. It's been proven again & again by Hollywood.
    – Omegacron
    Apr 23, 2015 at 14:10

It would have been successful at stopping the invasion because, if you recall, Romanov is about to close the portal until Tony tells her not to. Assuming Tony had no plans to interfere with the nuke, I can't imagine anyone telling her to keep the portal open. So the portal would be closed and the remaining aliens would be wiped out by the nuke(Loki, and most of the avengers included).

So yes, it would have worked, but it would have been overkill in my opinion considering the portal would have already been closed and all that would be left to do is kill off the stragglers(no easy task but certainly manageable by combination of the avengers and human defenses)

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