The penultimate episode of Marvel’s What If…? premiered this Wednesday, raising the stakes higher than ever before. This first half of a two-part storyline, titled “What If… Ultron Won?”, explored a true Age of Ultron, where the AI villain gained mastery of the Infinity Stones and wiped out the entire universe, before setting his sights on the multiverse as a whole. But to get the gems in the first place, he had to overcome Thanos – which turned out to be a piece of cake.
While Ultron is surveying the conquered Earth, a portal opens up behind him and Thanos emerges, with his gauntlet armed with five out of six of the Stones. But before he can do anything, Ultron lasers the Mad Titan in half with his Mind Stone and collects the gems for himself.
Yes, though it took about five and a half hours of film and cost multiple Avengers their lives in the main timeline, Ultron is able to best Thanos in one second flat in What If…?. And fans are losing their minds over this on social media. Partly because of the sudden shock of the moment, but also because of the questions this raises about the wider MCU.
Doctor Strange, how did you not see the cheese timeline?
A fair point. If Ultron’s Mind Stone zap split Thanos in two, why didn’t Wanda’s Chaos Magic – powered by the Mind Stone, remember – have the same effectiveness in Avengers: Endgame?
The Infinity Saga would’ve been a whole lot shorter if Vision had just shown some initiative.
On the positive side, it just goes to show how unstoppable Ultron would be if he hadn’t been defeated in his first appearance. Bring on episode 9!
Next episode, the Watcher will have to bring together the Guardians of the Multiverse in the hopes of ending Ultron’s reign of terror. Don’t miss the What If…? season finale next Wednesday on Disney Plus.