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"It's Christmas, Hammer. Goodwill towards men. Even the bad ones."
―Freak[src]

Harold "Happy" Hogan is the close friend and head of security of Tony Stark. After accidentally injecting himself with a sample of Hulk blood that Tony had been experimenting with, Happy mutated into the creature known as the Freak.

Biography[]

What If...?[]

"What If... Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?"[]

Enjoying Christmastime, the Watcher decided to tell one of his favorite Yuletide stories to the theme of Twas the Night Before Christmas. Tony Stark, Natasha Romanoff and Steve Rogers battled a purple monster while Tony wondered where Thor was. However, realizing that his audience was wondering who the monster was, the Watcher decided to start his story a bit further back.

Two hours earlier, Happy directed the placing of a giant hat on the Avengers Tower sign by the Iron Legion. Darcy Lewis contacted Happy with a Code Red, leaving him annoyed, as Happy had told Darcy that while J.A.R.V.I.S. was being defragged, this line was for emergency use only. Darcy told Happy to use her code name of Sparrow-1 and revealed that her emergency was the caterers only having brought cheese cubes and carrot sticks. Having given Darcy a job so that she could get college credit, Happy reassured her that this wasn't his first holiday gala and the two argued about their code names. In order to get rid of Darcy, Happy directed her to get maraschino cherries for Tony despite the fact that they already had a jar full of them, but got hit by the Iron Legion moving a Christmas tree.

Director Maria Hill joined Happy who attempted to discuss upgrading J.A.R.V.I.S.'s threat matrix, but Hill told Happy to leave that to the security professionals. Hill instead wanted Happy to focus solely on the holiday party, telling him that after the year that they'd had, people needed a reason to celebrate, and Hill was counting on Happy to pull it off.

Going over the holiday playlist, Darcy walked out of the Tower past Justin Hammer, Sergei and Rusty as they entered the Tower hiding behind large flower boxes. Hammer and his henchmen began ascending the Tower as the Watcher suggested that this was instead the story of how Justin Hammer stole Christmas. After Hammer nearly blew up the Stark Expo, he was imprisoned with time to think, reflect and ponder his future. While in his cell, Hammer found a copy of Mechanical Science Quarterly on the floor and read an article about Tony Stark and Bruce Banner titled "Science Bros." The Watcher suggested that in this particular universe, Justin Hammer might've had a little too much time.

Storming the party, Hammer uploaded a program using a tablet that Rusty took from one of the employees. Hammer promised the guests that if they all stayed calm and quiet, they'd be home in time for the holidays. Hammer began telling a story about wanting a Red Ryder BB gun when he was 7 years old - which the guests and his henchmen recognized as the plot of A Christmas Story - and he didn't get it because this is America and if you want something, you've gotta take it. Hammer's program finished uploading and alarms started going off throughout the building and the Iron Legion flew off to confront Hammer. However, having successfully hacked into the Tower's systems while J.A.R.V.I.S. was offline, Hammer reprogrammed the Iron Legion to target all on site staff, turning the Iron Legion's lights to red as they turned on the Tower's staff.

Happy emerged from an elevator outside of Tony's lab to find Hammer, Sergei and Rusty in front of the safe - a large room containing various materials and projects that Tony had been working on - intending to get the Hulk blood inside. Quickly hiding out of sight in the elevator, Happy listened as Hammer discussed his plan to use the Hulk blood to turn himself into the next superhero, claiming to be smarter than 10 Tony Stark's and, once he had the serum, stronger than 12 Captain America's. As Rusty began breaking into the safe with a sledgehammer, causing Hammer to complain that he should've gone with the Sokovian team, Happy radioed Hill about the three hostiles in Tony's lab, explaining that Tony had been experimenting with Bruce Banner's blood in an attempt to allow Bruce to become the Hulk without the anger management issues, but it was still a work in process.

Hammer began heading for Tony's bathroom, forcing Happy to hide on top of the elevator. Happy confirmed that he thought that he could secure the sample of Hulk blood while Hill would take care of Hammer. With some difficulty, Happy leaped into a ventilation shaft, losing his shoe in the process. Crawling through the vent, Happy complained about how no one listened to him, having warned that the air vent would be a security issue. In Tony's penthouse, Hammer danced around enjoying the luxury before Hill shot a bottle of alcohol and ordered him to surrender, unamused by Hammer's claims of being Tony's greatest adversary. As Sergei and Rusty continued to try to break into the safe, Happy got in through the vent, although he ended up dangling from the vent and nearly dropped his radio on which Hammer was broadcasting while talking to Hill. Declaring that he'd learned that cheating was for winners while in prison, Hammer had one of the Iron Legion attack Hill from behind while the vent broke, dropping Happy into the safe, activating the lights and revealing Happy to Sergei and Rusty in the process.

Hammer realized that Hill had been distracting him for Happy who frantically searched the safe for the Hulk blood, finding amongst other things a confetti arrow. Finally, Happy found a syringe loaded with Hulk blood, but fumbled it as Sergei and Rusty opened fire on the door, resulting in Happy accidentally injecting himself in the leg with the Hulk blood. As Hammer arrived and had the Iron Legion blast the safe open, Happy began to transform, his right leg mutating, and used one of the beakers of liquid to create a smoke cloud, giving himself the chance to escape through a door that Happy was able to kick down with his mutated leg. Finding the empty syringe, Hammer ordered his men and the Iron Legion to get Happy while Hill contacted Happy, telling him that her leg was broken, and it was now up to Happy to stop Hammer and save the Tower before smashing her radio as Hammer returned to the penthouse. Furious about Hill's interruptions of his plans, Hammer had her tied up.

Hiding in a locker from one of the Iron Legion, Happy attempted to call Natasha for help as his right arm mutated as well. However, Natasha was being held at gunpoint at the Nutcracker by a former HYDRA agent with 17 kills and couldn't help him out. The agent corrected her that it was actually 18 kills and Natasha promised Happy that she had this handled and would see him at the party before hanging up as gunshots sounded. Happy next tried to call Tony who was working as a Santa at a Stark Charity Event with Steve working as an elf. With soccer moms cornering Steve, Tony was forced to hang up and go to his aid. As his left arm mutated, Happy tried calling Bruce for help who was with Clint Barton at a toy store who was surrounded by screaming children who wanted the last Iron Man toy that Clint had taken from the shelf. Growing increasingly angry, Bruce ordered Clint to give the toy to a little girl, but Clint refused as his wife had told him not to come home at all if he didn't come with the toy. In his frustration over the argument, Happy accidentally crushed his phone, drawing the Iron Legion's attention, but Happy instinctively punched through the locker with his mutated right arm hard enough to take down the armor.

Darcy suddenly contacted Happy over the comms, having gotten the cherries that he'd sent her for. Happy told her that they had a Code Red and the Tower had been taken over by terrorists. Interrupting Darcy's attempts to figure out what movie this reminded her of, Happy warned her that every weapon and every suit was currently under Hammer's control. Darcy suggested having J.A.R.V.I.S. call up the army, the Avengers, "or that scary dude with the eye patch," giving Happy an idea: while J.A.R.V.I.S. was offline for defragging - which had allowed Hammer to take control of the Tower in the first place - the AI had a mainframe in the sub-basement. If they could bring J.A.R.V.I.S. back online, they could retake control of the building and everything inside of it.

However, Sergei and Rusty found Happy in the Avengers' costume room and opened fire on him. Seeing that the only way out was through the window, Happy grabbed a roll of spandex cloth attached to the wall, charged through the window using the table as a shield and swung into a room on a lower level. Crashing through several walls and into a gym, Happy underwent his full mutation into Freak, a large purple monster. Intoxicated by his new power, Happy tested it out by smashing a punching bag to dust with just one hit. Happy worked to control his temper so as not to lose control while Darcy hacked into what she believed to be the mainframe, opening up a secret room with the actual mainframe. Happy directed Darcy to find the backup J.A.R.V.I.S. AI while Rusty, watching him from outside, reported that Happy had someone else on the inside in the sub-basement. Hammer directed Sergei and Rusty to return to the penthouse so that Happy would be forced to come to them. Darcy found a tray containing various AIs, including F.R.I.D.A.Y., W.A.D.S.W.O.R.T.H. and E.D.I.T.H. 1.0, with Darcy ultimately choosing W.E.R.N.E.R. before an Iron Legion armor blasted through the ceiling and captured Darcy.

Hammer contacted Happy, telling him that the only difference between a hero and a villain was good PR and that redemption in this country wasn't about penance but rather rebranding and the Hulk blood was going to be Hammer's chance. However, Hammer promised that he would reverse-engineer it after dissecting Happy's twitching corpse. Sergei and Rusty brought Darcy to Hammer who demanded that Happy meet him in the penthouse in five minutes or Hammer would kill Darcy. Happy furiously ordered Hammer to turn the elevator on so that he could come up.

In the penthouse, Hammer went through Tony's gifts, mocking the socks that Tony got for Steve. The elevator arrived and, against Hill and Darcy's protests, Hammer had the Iron Legion open fire. However, a mannequin fell out instead with the confetti arrow that Happy had found earlier and a sign reading "let it snow." As the arrow detonated, Happy burst through the floor and engaged the Iron Legion, gleefully smashing them. Terrified, Sergei and Rusty abandoned Hammer and fled down the elevator. Hammer located the Avengers armory on his tablet and fled from the penthouse as well as Happy used his new abilities to destroy the Iron Legion. Happy released Hill and Darcy and ordered them to work on rebooting J.A.R.V.I.S. while he handled Hammer. In the hall, Happy found dozens of Iron Legion suits waiting for him, but Happy effortlessly destroyed them all.

In the armory, Hammer activated the Veronica Protocol and the Hulkbuster armor to fight Happy with. The two battled as Darcy and Hill worked to bring W.E.R.N.E.R. online to deactivate the Hulkbuster, but the AI proved to be useless, instead giving nihilistic philosophy to the two. However, Happy managed to gain the upper hand and he began tearing the Hulkbuster apart before Tony, Natasha, Bruce, Clint and Steve finally arrived. Unaware that the monster was actually Happy, all of the Avengers except for Bruce attacked him with Natasha eventually managing to get Happy with her Widow's Bite before Darcy stepped in to clarify things. Upon learning that a bad guy was in his armor, Tony was able to deactivate the Hulkbuster with just the press of a button on his armor and Happy blasted Hammer out of the broken window with his roar.

Before Hammer could fall to his death, Happy jumped out of the window and caught him, telling Hammer that he had saved him because it was Christmas and good will towards men, even the bad ones. Happy carried Hammer to the helipad where Happy apologized to Tony about the party, guessing that insurance would cover most of the damage. Tony told Happy that he was the only insurance policy that Tony would ever need and he proudly introduced Happy as his head of security to everyone. Happy asked Tony about a cure for his mutation and the Avengers, Darcy and Hill went into the damaged Tower with the captive Hammer to enjoy a Christmas meal together. Thor finally arrived on the helipad, announcing "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a..." before dejectedly realizing that he'd missed the party. With a laugh, the Watcher finished "to all a good night."

"What If... Strange Supreme Intervened?"[]

Happy was one of the people abducted by Doctor Strange Supreme, either as a universe destroyer or a righteous hero to be sacrificed to Strange's Forge to resurrect his universe.

He was later released by Peggy Carter and took part in the battle at the Sanctum Infinitum. Along with everyone else, Happy was returned to his own universe by Kahhori.

Character traits[]

To be added

Powers and Abilities[]

  • Hulk Physiology: After being injected with gamma-radiated Hulk blood, Happy mutated into the Freak and gained superhuman abilities. Unlike the Hulk, Happy did not appear to require rage to transform, possibly because of Tony Stark's experiments on the blood to that end.
    • Super Strength: The Freak is immensely strong and can smash through solid brick and metal with ease. He was also able to outmatch the Hulkbuster armor that was designed to take down the Hulk.
    • Invulnerability: The Freak is superhumanly durable and can withstand all kinds of physical attacks and harm that would easily kill an ordinary human.

Relationships[]

Appearances/Voice Actors[]

Behind the scenes[]

To be added

Trivia[]

  • Although this particular version of Happy wasn't seen transforming back, another Happy with the same abilities was seen transforming, suggesting that like with the Hulk, it was a transformation that Happy could control to an extent.

Gallery[]

What If...?[]

"What If... Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?"[]

See Also[]

MDB
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