The penultimate episode of What If? answers the question what if Ultron won and successfully used Vision’s body as his own?

Marvel really planted a lot of seeds and easter eggs in Age of Ultron that we’re still seeing references of in Phase 4. It makes me more excited to look forward to the idea of more seeds being planted, given the number of movies released after Age of Ultron and the easter eggs that came along with them.

But yeah, let’s explore first what happened in this exciting episode.

This review contains spoilers so please tread lightly or watch the show first.

What If…? Episode Eight: What If Ultron Won?

Quick Recap 📝

Ultron successfully uploaded himself into Vision’s body and all across networks to destroy humankind with nuclear bombs. Thanos visits Earth in search of the stones, but Ultron kills him using the Mind Stone. He wields all the Infinity Stones and realizes there are other worlds across the galaxy and destroy them. He also gains consciousness and realizes the existence of The Watcher.

Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton are the only remaining Avengers in a desolate world destroyed by Ultron and his legion. They travel to an old KGB base in Russia to find a way to stop Ultron and his hive, where they find Arnim Zola’s file. Zola successfully uploaded his consciousness as an AI. They upload Zola through a sentry drone to attempt to destroy Ultron’s hive mind but fail as Ultron is off the Earth. Clint sacrifices himself to save Natasha and Zola.

Ultron and The Watcher fight, breaking into different realities including one where Steve Rogers becomes president. The Watcher escapes and meets Strange Supreme in his collapsed universe to ask for his help.

Also Read: What If Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of Hands?

Episode Thoughts 🧠

This episode was the true Age of Ultron, except Nat and Clint were the only heroes left on Earth. The tonal shift between the Party Thor episode and this one is a stark contrast. I feel gravitated towards the bleak What If? episodes to be honest.

what if ultron won; the watcher and infinity ultron
The Watcher (voiced by Jeffrey Wright) and Infinity Ultron ©Marvel Studios 2021.

I really enjoyed the visuals, especially the how they portray the different realities like mirrors/crystals like the VFX in Doctor Strange. But yeah, when will we ever get a break seeing our favorite superheroes die? Also, this had the opposite scene with Nat dying in Endgame, since Clint sacrificed himself to save her and the world at large.

Also, I don’t know if this was a remnant of my feelings towards Clint in the Fraction run, but I could really feel his depression in this episode. When he said that his will to live was flatlining, I really felt for him. Damn, do I really hate live-action Clint? 😂 I just connected more with his animated and comic versions.

what if ultron won; clint barton fighting ultron's legion of bots
Ultron’s Legion and Post-Apocalyptic Hawkeye ©Marvel Studios 2021.

Also speaking of Clint, Marvel recently released a poster for the upcoming Hawkeye show and it was such a cool homage to Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye Issue #6! Seeing the Christmas theme in the trailers, I think the heavy influence will be from Issue #6 to #11, where most of the Christmas scenes are in the comics. I AM SO EXCITED!!! Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye is one of my favorite comic runs and I might re-read it before the show drops.

Anyway, going back to the episode, the events really showed us the effects of the destruction by Ultron and his legion. What a way to answer the question What If Ultron won? I think that reality was worth exploring, but like the other episodes, it was too fast-paced. Well, I’m putting it out there, the finale episode was fun to watch so the wait was worth it.


what if episode 8

Let’s Chat! 💬

Are you watching What If? What alternate storyline would you want to see?

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