This week we see the origins of the surprise villain at the end of last week’s episode, the Vision-Ultron Hybrid carrying the infinity stones. Episode 8 shows us that this is in fact just Ultron using Vision’s body for its originally intended purpose, leading him to annihilate the entire planet and eventually the universe.
What If…? has seemingly been very much an anthology series. Now it’s revealed that it’s actually all been leading up to next weeks finale where we will supposedly see a team up of the Guardians Of The Multiverse. From what we got this week, we should be in for a bit of a treat.
Ultron is quite an underrated villain in the MCU. This is mainly due to the fact that he’s the antagonist of the Avengers film that wasn’t the first one or one of the two universal event films. It’s good to see him being used and in fact being shown as even more powerful than Thanos – though the scene that illustrates this does feel very rushed and once again, the show makes Thanos into a bit of a joke. It’s sad that James Spader wasn’t able to return to the role for whatever reason, but Ross Marquand does do a good job at recreating the tone of that character. Ultron did seem a bit less like an evil reflection of Tony Stark and more like an evil robot. He has one quip but the whole attitude from Avengers: Age Of Ultron isn’t present. This does make the villain more sinister in a way, but also makes him seem even more separate from the version in the regular canon.
Still, this Ultron makes for a compelling threat that would have made for a great villain in something live action. However, as this episode proves, maybe this character is just simply too powerful to put into a mainstream film as there would be no way anyone could defeat him.
Episode 8, while lacking very much in terms of actors returning to their original roles, has some of the best action of the series so far. The battle in Moscow at the start was pretty exhilarating, while the fight between Ultron and (spoilers) was really entertaining and over the top. It’s very much an homage to anime like Dragonball Z where the fight is ridiculously bombastic and literally world bending. It feels like this was the kind of thing that What If…? was commissioned for; multiverses of madness (wink, wink). Too many of the episodes have relied on treading a lot of familiar ground, not just in terms of Marvel but in terms of the super hero genre as a whole. This episode is completely mental and is all the better for it.
Episode 8 delivers a penultimate episode that’s sure to stir up a lot of excitement for next week’s finale. Its dark and manic plot is a great divergence from what happens in the regular MCU and is an example for all other future episodes of this show to follow.
What If…? is streaming weekly on Disney +