FULL SPOILERS AHEAD
Previously on Chwineka Watches:
Most likely, next week will be something like “What If Ultron Won?” telling the story of a reality where Ultron achieved his goals from Avengers: Age of Ultron, upgraded himself to the Vison’s body, collected all the Infinity Stones, and then decided conquering one universe wasn’t enough.
I fuckin’ called it! Hell yeah! Sure, we all pretty much knew what this episode would be about, but I got the title exactly right! Granted, the number of titles it could’ve had was limited. But still! “What If Ultron Won?” is the name of this episode, and I got it exactly right last time. Now, if next week’s finale is titled “What If It Took a Multiverse to Save the Multiverse?” then I shall transcend the mortal plane and become a god.
Anyway, let’s talk about “What If Ultron Won?” In this universe, the Avengers didn’t take back the cradle housing what would become the Vision, and instead Ultron (voiced by Ross Marquand, who was Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War) got his new body and was practically unstoppable. But things get worse when Thanos shows up looking for Ultron’s Mind Stone to complete his set. It’s not even a fight as Ultron instantly kills Thanos, taking the Infinity Stones and spreading his twisted reach to the entire universe. Planets and realms like Asgard fall easily, but he finds resistance on Xandar when Captain Marvel (voiced by Alexandra Daniels) almost defeats him. But he blows up the planet, seemingly killing her. How very Frieza of him. His task complete and all life in the universe destroyed–except not, we’ll get to that–the prospect of spending an eternity alone somehow allows him to perceive the Watcher (Jeffrey Wright). Using the Infinity Stones, Ultron transcends his universe, easily beats the shit out of the Watcher, and prepares to conquer the multiverse. In an act of desperation, the Watcher breaks his vow never to interfere and calls on the help of Dark Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) from “What If Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?”
While all that’s happening, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (voiced by Lake Bell) are still alive on Earth. Are they the last living beings in the universe? Don’t think about it too hard, just like you shouldn’t wonder how Thanos got the Soul Stone since we saw Gamora alive (briefly) during Ultron’s conquering montage. Anyway, the two hatch a plan to use the AI consciousness of Arnim Zola (Toby Jones) to override Ultron’s control on his robot army. But they don’t know that Ultron is outside of their universe, so Zola’s ability to take over all the robots is denied. Hawkeye loses his life in a dark reversal of Black Widow’s sacrifice from Avengers: Endgame, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of post-apocalyptic Black Widow.
So no one in the entire multiverse has harnessed the Infinity Stones like this Ultron has? No one has tried to use the Reality Stone to, say, travel to a different reality? I’m a little doubtful about all that, but whatever, it’s happening because the story needs it to happen that way.
In theory, in the Infinity Stones in the comics don’t work like that. Sure, they’re way more powerful than the versions in the movies–kind of suggesting Thanos was shit at using them properly–but they don’t work outside of their native universe. Or at least they didn’t during JLA/Avengers #2 (2003) when Darkseid got the Infinity Gauntlet, but found the gems had no effect in the DC Universe. But that canonicity is… questionable. They definitely didn’t work in Infinity Wars #5 (2018) when Loki traveled to the First Cosmos where the Celestials live. But that was also home to thousands of Infinity Stones, which the Celestials were apparently tossing into various alternate universes, and Infinity Wars was not well received, and technically the First Cosmos should’ve been destroyed when the Celestials created the multiverse, so who actually knows. Sure, whatever, the Infinity Stones can do whatever you want.
So this is the penultimate episode! One more and we’re done with the first season, with season 2 announced but (as of time of writing) having no official release date. Everything is coming together in a very literal way as we’re about to see the Watcher collect a bunch of heroes to make one last attempt to stop Ultron from endangering the multiverse. I’ll wrap up this series next week, assuming ascending to godhood doesn’t make things like running a blog seem trivial to a being of unlimited power.
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