Marvel’s What If Recaps – What if Ultron won?

What if Ultron won in the end?

By Chinmay Kulkarni

I wrote a previous article on episode 4 of Marvel’s What If series, specifically on Dr. Strange’s timeline to resurrect his dead girlfriend. As one of two episodes that stood out in the entirety of the series, it would only be correct to speak about the other episode, episode 8.

Episode 8 focuses on Ultron, specifically the consequences of Ultron taking both the mind stone and Vision’s body before the Avengers did. With Ultron’s newfound body enhanced by the infinity stone, Ultron focuses to wipe the entire universe of life to start over and promote evolution. In this quest, he destroys the Avengers, worlds that we see in the MCU, and defeats Thanos in a mere second for what has to be the most anticlimactic way to gain all infinity stones. As a result, he becomes the supreme being in this universe, and having the ability to infiltrate several multiverses to threaten The Watcher, the god-like being in charge of managing the multiverse, also playing narrator of the entire season of What If. Ultron flexes his power in perhaps the greatest fight scene in the entire show, as him and the Watcher dual for control of the multiverse while traveling through several worlds in a glass shattering effect. Ultron almost defeats The Watcher but escapes into Supreme Strange’s lonely universe, which we saw in episode 4.

The production and animation team clearly felt to flex to their fullest in this episode, creating vivid visuals and masterful locations that perform two things – 1. Highlight the godlike power of Ultron and The Watcher, and 2. Express the vastness of the multiverse and consequently the pointless nature of secondary characters within the story. Clearly, the creators of the show want to set up for a huge twist in the final episode of the show, but this episode is like an Avenger’s Infinity War-like storytelling experience, where the antagonist prevails forcing the protagonist to perform some crazy action. This point was the highlight of this episode because frankly, I’m tired of seeing the protagonist win. Ultron is a hugely compelling antagonist, one who gains knowledge while transcending his computer program-like initial form, to wield massive power while having brains and brawns to come toe to toe with The Watcher.

This was by far the best episode of the series. Heightened storytelling, vivid visuals, and highlighting a slightly neglected antagonist, illustrate a dangerous dystopia in which a higher, human manufactured intelligence attains a human-like body and challenges the most powerful beings in the Marvel multiverse after the attainment of the Infinity Stones.

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