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For other uses, see Incident (disambiguation)
For alternate versions of the Battle of New York, see the Battle of New York's Event Hub

"A little while ago, most people went to bed thinking that the craziest thing in the world was a billionaire in a flying metal suit. Then aliens invaded New York and were beaten back by, among others, a giant green monster, a costumed hero from the '40s and a god."
Maria Hill to Grant Ward[src]

The Battle of New York, initially referred to as the Battle of Manhattan by S.H.I.E.L.D.[5] and dubbed the Incident by local citizens,[6] was a major and decisive battle during the Chitauri Invasion in Manhattan, New York City, in which the Avengers were able to defeat Loki and his Chitauri army and thwart his plans of subjugating Earth.

According to Loki's plan, the Battle of New York was to be the first of many attacks in his quest to subjugate Earth, but the actions of the Avengers stemmed the invasion before it could spread. The Incident is considered a monumental event in human history, and it publicly confirmed the existence of extraterrestrials to Earth's citizens.


Destruction of Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.[]

"This doesn't have to get any messier."
"Of course it does. I've come too far for anything else. I am Loki of Asgard, and I am burdened with glorious purpose."
Nick Fury and Loki[src]
Avengers 41

Loki arrives at a S.H.I.E.L.D. Facility

Loki arrived on Earth from a different dimension two days before the battle to take the Tesseract, with help from Thanos and The Other. Loki teleported to the Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. S.H.I.E.L.D. facility and took control of the minds of Clint Barton for his fighting skills and Erik Selvig for his knowledge of the Tesseract. Loki, Barton, and Selvig then escaped as the portal Loki used collapsed and destroyed the facility. Nick Fury told the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. that a war had just begun. Fury also thought that it was finally time to initiate the Avengers Initiative, a plan to recruit Earth's mightiest heroes to a response team. Fury approached Captain America, while he sent Natasha Romanoff to approach Bruce Banner and Phil Coulson to Tony Stark.[3]

Capturing Loki[]


Steve Rogers and Tony Stark discuss Loki's motives

"We got a hit, 62% match. Wait, cross-check 79%."
"Stuttgart, Germany. 28 Koenigstrasse. He's not exactly hiding."
Jasper Sitwell and Phil Coulson[src]

Later that day, Loki entered a gallery to create a distraction. Loki retrieved a scan of an eye for Barton, while Barton stole iridium to stabilize the Tesseract. S.H.I.E.L.D. sent in Steve Rogers to stop Loki, and when the civilians cleared the area, sent in Tony Stark in his Mark VI armor. Loki surrendered and let them take him into custody. On the way back to the Helicarrier, Thor arrived and swiftly took Loki from the Quinjet. Thor told Loki that he traveled from Asgard to get him. While Thor was shouting at Loki, Iron Man attacked Thor for taking Loki from them. Iron Man and Thor fought, but Captain America, who had parachuted in, stopped them. Thor became an ally and a member of the team, determined to stop Loki from using the Tesseract to subjugate Earth.[3]

Attack on the Helicarrier[]


The Avengers begin to argue about the Tesseract

"I wanna know why Loki let us take him. He's not leading an army from here."
Steve Rogers[src]

The next day, the team gathered at the Helicarrier. As Tony Stark and Bruce Banner worked on finding the Tesseract, Loki waited in his glass prison for the team to come into conflict, while Erik Selvig finished the portal machine using the Tesseract and the iridium, and started setting it up on Stark Tower. Stark planted a device on the bridge to hack into all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secure files. Stark told Steve Rogers about his suspicions that they were being deceived, and Rogers, suspicious himself, investigated a storeroom. Natasha Romanoff went to Loki's cell to interrogate him, finding out that Loki intended to create chaos on the ship by triggering Banner to become the Hulk. As Rogers, Banner, and Stark all came to the conclusion that S.H.I.E.L.D. was using the Tesseract to create an arsenal, the team began to argue in the lab.

Avengers 21

Clint Barton and enemy mercenaries attack the Helicarrier

Clint Barton and a group of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s enemies attacked the Helicarrier, destroying one of the rotor blades, and causing a now-transformed Banner to chase Romanoff. As Rogers and Stark tried to fix the broken rotor blade, Thor saved Romanoff from the angry Hulk. When Hulk was fired on by an attacking F-35 Lightning II plane, he flung himself at the plane and ripped it apart, with the pilot ejecting and barely surviving. The plane exploded, and Hulk fell away from the Helicarrier. Stark and Rogers barely succeeded in fixing the rotor blade and restarting the engine. Thor went to see if Loki was still in his custom-made prison, but was tricked into the prison by Loki. Phil Coulson came to save Thor with the gun made from the Destroyer's body. Loki tricked Coulson and stabbed him through the back. Romanoff found Barton, with whom she was close friends with before Loki controlled him. Romanoff fought Barton and knocked him out, which took him out of Loki's control.

Loki released the prison with Thor inside, sending Thor hurtling toward the ground hundreds of feet below. Thor barely made it out of the prison before it shattered on sharp rocks, and Thor ended up in an empty field. Hulk landed in an abandoned warehouse. Banner woke up in the warehouse, where only one worker was present. The worker gave Banner some clothes and a motorcycle. A dying Coulson told Loki that he would lose because he lacks conviction, and fired the gun at him, sending Loki flying. However, Loki escaped while his allies fought the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.

Hawkeye, Captain America & Black Widow

The Avengers board the Quinjet to New York

Coulson died trying to say to Fury that the team would never be able to unite without something to motivate them. Nick Fury took this advice to heart and manipulated Rogers and Stark into working together. As he talked to Rogers, Stark worked out Loki's motivation to goad the Avengers into fighting him in New York City in front of the world, so that Loki and his army could be seen defeating Earth's mightiest heroes. Barton regained consciousness and talked to Romanoff about the possibility of going after Loki. Rogers came in and told them to suit up for the battle, and the four of them set a course for Manhattan.[3]


Stark's Distraction[]


Loki tries unsuccessfully to place Tony Stark under mind control

"Do you remember that time I was so angry with my father and my brother, I went down to Earth and I held the whole of New York City hostage with an alien army? Tried to use the Mind Stone on Tony Stark. It didn't work, so I threw him off the building."
Loki to Mobius M. Mobius[src]

Iron Man arrived at Stark Tower where Loki was planning to open the portal to unleash his army of Chitauri. Stark fired his repulsor beams at the Tesseract Accelerator, but it was protected by an impenetrable energy shield. With his armor damaged, Stark removed it and stalled Loki to give J.A.R.V.I.S. enough time to prepare the Mark VII armor. While Stark threatened Loki, he put on a set of Colantotte Bracelets.

Battle of New York

The Chitauri descend upon New York City

Loki tried to use his Scepter to take control of Stark, but the Arc Reactor in Stark's chest stopped the effect. Frustrated, Loki threw Stark out the window, but Stark's Mark VII armor deployed and formed on Stark via the bracelets just before he hit the ground. Flying back up, Stark blasted Loki while mentioning that he had pissed off Phil Coulson, but the Tesseract, in conjunction with the device Erik Selvig built, opened a portal to bring his army of Chitauri and Leviathans.[3]

First Waves[]

Iron Man Leviathan

The Leviathan chases Iron Man

"How long did you fight these guys?"
"About, uh, two or three hours."
Rocket Raccoon and Natasha Romanoff[src]

Stark flew toward the invading Chitauri and opened fire, destroying several of them. While he flew, he tried to call War Machine to join the battle, but Rhodes said he was busy fighting soldiers working for the Ten Rings at the Battle of Hong Kong.[7] Thor arrived at Stark Tower and threatened Loki to turn off the Tesseract. Loki stated that it could not be turned off, and the two fought on the tower as more Chitauri arrived. Using a Quinjet, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Captain America fired on several Chitauri before being shot down by Loki, who then jabbed Thor with a small dagger before fleeing on a Chitauri Chariot.


The Avengers witness the arrival of the Chitauri

On the streets, the New York City Police Department fired on the invading army to no effect, as Rogers, Barton, and Romanoff fought the army on the streets while protecting as many civilians as they could. Rogers took command of the NYPD and told them to set up a perimeter down to 39th Street. A cop rebuked Rogers, asking him why he should take orders from the superhero, but promptly changed his mind when Captain America single-handedly took out a squad of aliens. The NYPD was later supported by the United States Army.[3] When Thor was flying around in New York, Stark asked him if he had ever seen Game of Thrones, saying that he reminded him of the show. In response, Thor asked how could Stark joke when they were in the middle of a war. Before he could finish his sentence, Thor was eaten by a Leviathan but used Mjølnir to escape the creature.[8]

Meanwhile, the Ancient One was defending the New York Sanctum from Chitauri troops, in order to protect the Time Stone. Using her magic and fighting skills, the Ancient One successfully took down all Chitauri across the Sanctum.[9]

Avengers Assembled[]


The Avengers are assembled as a team

"Dr. Banner, now might be a good time for you to get angry."
"That's my secret, Captain. I'm always angry."
Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner[src]

Eventually, Bruce Banner arrived, and Iron Man lured a Leviathan towards him. Bruce Banner transformed into the Hulk and destroyed it with a single punch. For the first time, the Avengers stood united, ready to defend New York City. Loki ordered the Chitauri to arrive in full force. Rogers assumed command: He ordered Hawkeye to take a high vantage point and call out attack patterns and strays; Stark would maintain air superiority against the Chitauri; Thor could use his lightning to bottleneck the portal; Rogers and Romanoff would keep the fighting on the ground, and Hulk was given a single order: "Smash." With that, Hulk attacked any and all targets of opportunity.[3]

Taking Out Loki[]


Hulk beats Loki into submission

"Enough! You are all of you beneath me! I am a god, you dull creature, and I will not be bullied by–"
"Puny god."
Loki and Hulk[src]

Though they were more than capable of fighting the invasion, Black Widow knew they needed to close the portal in order to win. With Captain America's help, Black Widow jumped onto a Chariot to make her way to the portal, only to be pursued by Loki. Hawkeye targeted Loki with an arrow, which he caught, but unfortunately for the deity, causing him to crash at the top of Stark Tower. Hulk arrived shortly after and, ignoring Loki's taunting, beat the god into submission, calling him puny. Unfortunately, even with Loki subdued, the Chitauri continued to invade and began to wear the Avengers down.

Now free of Loki's control, Erik Selvig told Romanoff that he had had enough control to build a fail-safe into the Tesseract Accelerator which could shut it down using energy just like it, which meant they could use Loki's Scepter to close the portal.[3]

The Nuclear Missile[]

One way trip

Iron Man floating away from the nuclear bomb in the Sanctuary

"I was prepared to nuke New York City to stop an alien invasion."
Pamela Hawley to Thaddeus Ross[src]

Meanwhile, Nick Fury's superiors, the World Security Council, ordered Fury to launch a nuclear missile at New York City to end the invasion before it expanded beyond Manhattan, but Fury refused the order. The Council ordered a jet to launch anyway, so Fury ordered Stark to intercept the missile and guide it through the portal toward the Chitauri fleet. Tony Stark followed Fury's command and tried to call Pepper Potts, realizing that he might not survive.

Potts failed to answer because she was watching the battle on television, wondering if Stark was still alive. Stark then went through the Wormhole to the Sanctuary, where the missile detonated, destroying the Chitauri Command Center and leaving their forces disabled on Earth. Stark's suit ran out of power and he fell back through the portal just before Romanoff closed it. Hulk caught Stark in mid-fall, saving his life.[3]


S.H.I.E.L.D./Avengers Reaction[]

The Avengers Assembled

The Avengers assembled capturing a defeated Loki

"The Battle of New York was the end of the world. This, now, is the new world. People are different. They have access to tech, to formulas, secrets they're not ready for."
Maria Hill[src]

The Avengers went to Stark Tower to capture the injured Loki and had him taken back to Asgard to serve time for his crimes. As Loki was apprehended by the Avengers, a S.H.I.E.L.D. STRIKE team comprised of HYDRA loyalists were given the Scepter by the Avengers, and contacted List who was interested in researching it in Sokovia. Alexander Pierce confronted the Avengers before they could leave the building, demanding them to give Loki and return the Tesseract to S.H.I.E.L.D. custody[9] However, despite Pierce's best efforts, Thor and Tony Stark avoided his orders and left the building with Loki and the Tesseract.[3]

Once the battle was finished, the team later ate at a shawarma restaurant.[10] James Rhodes, who was busy fighting against the Ten Rings on the other side of the world, soon joined them, too late to have any effect in the battle.[7]

Central Park 2

The Avengers send Loki and Thor back to Asgard

Later, the Avengers met in Central Park to send Loki, Thor, and the Tesseract back to Asgard, while the rest of the team went their separate ways. Later, The Other told Thanos that the Chitauri failed, and tried to excuse himself by saying that to challenge the humans is "to court Death", to which Thanos simply smiled.[10]

S.H.I.E.L.D. decided to organize a special tactical team that would deal with other supernatural threats.[11] Phil Coulson, who was killed by Loki before the battle, became the leader of the team after his revival days later.[12]

Sleep Pannic

Tony Stark having a panic attack while he sleeps

On a personal level, Tony Stark was affected adversely by his experience in the Sanctuary and falling back to Earth, suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. When he returned to Malibu, the very mention of New York caused a severe panic attack; in one instance, when a child asked for his autograph on his drawing, Stark wrote "Help me" on the paper instead. The battle caused Stark to decide to create the Iron Legion to help him to protect the world.[13]

World's Reaction[]

TBoNY Monument

A monument built for emergency responders of the Battle of New York

"Now, I was here in 2012 when the sky tore open and the Chitauri rained down on us."
Glenn Talbot[src]

The consequences of the battle were numerous, as the citizens of Earth finally realized that humanity was not alone in the universe. There was a widespread feeling of gratitude not only towards the Avengers[3] but to the emergency responders who perished during the battle but had helped prevent significant loss of human life. As a result, a monument for them was erected above Grand Central Terminal.[14]

Battle of New York Memorial

The Avengers memorial in honor of their service during the Battle of New York

The immense gratitude towards the Avengers led to them being commemorated with a memorial plaque by the Terminal wall under Pershing Square[15] and caused toy manufacturers to create the "Heroes of New York" merchandising line.[11] However, there were people who had less positive perspectives on the Avengers. Senator Boynton publicly called for the regulation of people with superpowers[3] while Senator Ellen Nadeer, whose mother was killed at the beginning of the battle, grew to hate aliens,[16] causing her to publicly state her hate for all non-humans.[17] People who lost loved ones during the battle also harbored hatred, such as Audrey Eastman, who in 2015 attempted to kill Jessica Jones to get revenge on "gifted people" for the death of her mother, who was crushed under rubble during the Chitauri invasion; Eastman additionally claimed that the Avengers were the cause of the attack on the city, not its saviors.[18] Many children had also been orphaned during the battle, including Kevin Michener.[19]

Others, however, found themselves inspired by the Avengers' heroism. Kate Bishop saw the heroism demonstrated by Clint Barton and began idolizing him. She started taking archery lessons and learned several forms of combat. She became incredibly skilled in each form of fighting she learned.[20]

Law enforcers were also discouraged about the relevancy of their involvement when dealing with such threats. Among these were New York City Police Department Detective Rafael Scarfe, who was present fighting on the front lines during the battle. In the aftermath, Scarfe came to believe that police officers did not have the ability to repel extraterrestrial attacks while people like the Avengers and other powered-vigilantes could defend the people during future attacks, which would prevent officers from being harmed.[21]


New York Bulletin's article report on the event

Various news sources reported the Chitauri invasion and the Avengers' victory; one of the reporters who wrote about the battle was Ben Urich for the New York Bulletin.[22]

Big global organizations also responded to the situation. NASA canceled Project Valhalla, an initiative where alien assets would be identified and deemed useful or hostile before they entered Earth's atmosphere. One of the project members, Jane Thompson, would seek work elsewhere in another government organization.[23] Meanwhile, Luther Banks was assigned to an elite anti-alien task force.[24]

Talbot UN

Glenn Talbot gives his speech about the Battle of New York

In a speech to the United Nations, Glenn Talbot told an assembly of representatives, that he was a witness to the Chitauri invasion of New York City. He went further in saying that this was when S.H.I.E.L.D. first revealed itself to the world, began accumulating super-powered individuals, and started to abuse the public's trust.[25]

Footage from the Incident was sold in the streets of Harlem by D.W. Griffith.[26]

Following the battle, HYDRA members within the United States Air Force used the Chitauri technology to contact an alien alliance called the Confederacy, which warned them about an galactic threat which was approaching Earth.[27]

The Battle of New York would be the first in a series of high-profile incidents involving the Avengers, followed by the Battle at the Triskelion in Washington, D.C., the Battle of Sokovia, and the Attack on the IFID Headquarters in Lagos, ultimately culminating with the passing of the Sokovia Accords which would lead to the Avengers Civil War in 2016.[4]

By 2024, the Battle of New York's history was added in the updated Captain America exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution.[28]

Chitauri Weapons[]

Toomes & Schultz (Battle of New York - Homecoming)

Bestman Salvage cleaning up after the Battle of New York in Grand Central Terminal

"Forty-seven known alien objects hit the ground after the portal closed above Manhattan."
Jasper Sitwell[src]

Adrian Toomes and his salvage company gained a contract to clean up the leftovers after the battles. However, the United States Department of Damage Control had secured the contract, leaving Toomes and his workers unemployed. With the Chitauri weapons they had recovered, Toomes and his workers turned to a life of crime as arms dealers, selling various alien weapons on the black market, and to local buyers and clients.[29]

Sitwell Item 47

Jasper Sitwell with a Chitauri Gun retrieved after the battle

Many Chitauri weapons and metals were picked up by ordinary people and found their way to the black market.[3] Among the pieces of Chitauri technology that found its way to the general population after the battle included a Chitauri Gun that was used in several bank robberies,[30] a Chitauri Neural Link that found its way into the hands of T. Vanchat[11] and a Chitauri Helmet that carried an alien virus that caused three deaths in Wrigley, Pennsylvania.[31] Substances retrieved after the battle were used by Hammer Industries to create Judas Bullets.[32]

The controversy surrounding the purchasable Chitauri technology on the black market was still a topic to talk about by 2024. In the wake of an attempted raid on Area 51, J. Jonah Jameson from The Daily Bugle commented that it was the Avengers' fault that all those Chitauri weapons fell in bad hands as they didn't clean up their mess.[33]

Rebuilding New York City[]

Union Allied Promotional

Union Allied Construction makes its fortune rebuilding New York City

"The last two years have transformed the business. There's new owners, new grants, new contracts."
"Yeah, the world watched half of New York get destroyed. That's a lot of sympathy."
Karen Page and Matt Murdock[src]

The extensive repairs cost New York $160 billion.[3] Tony Stark announced to the public that he has committed funds and resources to aid and helping New York City rebuild its infrastructure.[34][35] Six months after the battle, WHiH World News held a 10-kilometer race to help support the reconstruction of other buildings that had been destroyed during the battle. The station successfully raised millions of dollars for the cause.[36] The area of the city known as Hell's Kitchen was reconstructed by Union Allied Construction, a legitimate front for the criminal operations of Wilson Fisk.[6]

Time Heist[]

Ant-Man, Captain America, Hulk & Iron Man

The 2023 Avengers travel back in time

"You know how you got into this mess."
"The Battle of New York, silly. You versus those self-righteous Avengers."
Miss Minutes and Loki[src]

In 2023, eleven years after the Battle of New York, the Avengers discovered a means to travel through time. They then decided to travel to the past to amass the six Infinity Stones and bring them into their present in order to resurrect the victims of Thanos' Snap. As they were discussing which times to travel back to, Natasha Romanoff pointed out that there were three Infinity Stones in New York City during the Battle of New York.[9] While preparing for their trips, they reviewed the footage on the battle, prompting Rocket Raccoon to ask how long they had fought the Chitauri. As Romanoff responded that it had taken them two or three hours, Rocket chastised them for not destroying the Chitauri Command Center sooner.[37]

A group consisting of Iron Man, Captain America, Ant-Man and Hulk then traveled to May 4, 2012, right in the midst of the Battle of New York, entering an alternate 2012 timeline in the process. Arriving just as the 2012 Avengers assembled, Hulk headed over to the New York Sanctum in order to obtain the Time Stone from the Ancient One. Captain America then infiltrated Stark Tower while Iron Man and Ant-Man observed it from the outside, biding their time until the battle ended so that they could initiate their heist for the Space Stone and the Mind Stone. However, in this new timeline, the actions of the time-traveling Avengers caused Loki to acquire the Tesseract after he had been apprehended, who then used it to create a wormhole and flee.[9]


Appearances for Battle of New York

In chronological order:

Out of time:


  1. Phil Coulson's obituary in Hot Potato Soup.
  2. Stuttgart exhibition opens "4.MAI" in The Avengers.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 The Avengers
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Captain America: Civil War
  5. Maria Hill's S.H.I.E.L.D. File
  6. 6.0 6.1 Daredevil: 1.01: Into the Ring
  7. 7.0 7.1 Iron Man 3 Prelude
  8. Thor: The Dark World Prelude
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Avengers: Endgame
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Avengers Post-credits Scene
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.01: Pilot
  12. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.14: T.A.H.I.T.I.
  13. Iron Man 3
  14. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  15. Hawkeye: 1.05: Ronin
  16. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.09: Broken Promises
  17. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.05: Lockup
  18. Jessica Jones: 1.04: AKA 99 Friends
  19. Iron Fist: 1.11: Lead Horse Back to Stable
  20. Hawkeye: 1.01: Never Meet Your Heroes
  21. Luke Cage: 1.03: Who's Gonna Take the Weight?
  22. Daredevil: 1.03: Rabbit in a Snowstorm
  23. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.01: Laws of Nature
  24. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.06: Among Us Hide…
  25. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.06: A Fractured House
  26. Luke Cage: 1.01: Moment of Truth
  27. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.15: Rise and Shine
  28. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier: 1.01: New World Order
  29. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  30. Marvel One-Shot: Item 47
  31. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.06: FZZT
  32. Luke Cage: 1.05: Just to Get a Rep
  33. The Daily Bugle/Promotional Campaign
  34. Daredevil: 2.05: Kinbaku
  35. Lot # 202: Marvel's Daredevil (TV Series) - Framed New York Bulletin 'Stark Tower Ruined' Newspaper
  36. Google+ Profile/WHiH Newsfront
  37. Avengers: Endgame Deleted Scene