What If…? Just Proved That Thanos Wasted The Infinity Stones


This week’s penultimate episode of Marvel’s What If…? was the most mind-blowing yet as it explored a reality where Ultron wasn’t defeated in Avengers: Age of Ultron and ended up conquering the planet. What’s more, after besting Thanos in combat (hilariously easily, as it happens), he then acquired the Infinity Stones and set about wiping out all life in the universe… before then setting his sights on the entire multiverse.

Unlike the mainstream Ultron who was destroyed in his first appearance, this Ultron variant is arguably the most dangerous villain the MCU has ever seen. In a shocking twist, he even achieves a higher level of consciousness that allows him to detect the Watcher and, through sheer force of will, is able to break through into his realm. His subsequent battle with Uatu proves that, armed with the six Stones, he has essentially become a god.

So when you compare what Ultron does with the gems to how Thanos used them in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, the Mad Titan suddenly doesn’t seem so impressive anymore. As ScreenRant pointed out, episode 8 makes clear that Thanos massively wasted the potential of the Infinity Stones. If he wasn’t determined to wipe out half the universe with one snap, he could have used their reality-warping capabilities for untold ends. Both creative and destructive.

It’s often been said that Thanos could’ve used the Stones to create more resources instead of halving the population, but What If…? reveals that he also could have utilized the gems’ godlike powers to wipe out 50% of the universe without the use of the Snap, thereby avoiding the serious injury that caused him. Episode 8 reveals that, though Thanos was the big bad for the Infinity Saga, there are other villains out there who would have been far more dangerous – and unstoppable – if armed with his Infinity Gauntlet.

Marvel’s What If…? concludes its first season with its ninth episode next Wednesday on Disney Plus.