What if…? This isn’t the first time Ultron has won and threatened the multiverse
The MCU’s Ultron What if …? The series is not the first variant of the murderous robot to attempt to take over the multiverse.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for What if …? Season 1, Episode 8, “What if … Ultron Wins?”, Streaming now on Disney +.
Although this is largely an anthology series focusing on different worlds, What if…? Slowly revealed to have an overall plot on a variant of Ultron waging war across the multiverse and colliding with the Watcher – who is forced to break his oath and recruit allies in various realities.
The Perfect Ultron of And if eighth episode, “What if … Ultron wins?” spreads across the multiverse, setting up the formation of a multiversal team of heroes. But notably, something very similar has happened in the comics – albeit under very different circumstances.
In Age of Ultron by Brian Michael Bendis and Bryan Hitch, Ultron’s ultimate victory is only prevented by Wolverine and the Invisible Woman – the last surviving heroes of their time – using a time machine to venture into the past and kill Hank Pym before he can ever build the robotic threat. This drastically altered the timeline and negatively affected the flow of time throughout the multiverse. Although Earth-616 was salvaged and restored in a decimated non-Ultron landscape, other realities also felt the negative effects of such a shift – an earthquake that accidentally killed variants of several large Avengers in it. their respective realities – each of them was the subject of a different issue of the five parts What if: Age of Ultron mini-series.
In the first issue of the miniseries (by Joe Keatinge and Raffaele Ienco), it is Earth Wasp-14622 who dies from the event, during the early days of the Avengers. This prompts Pym to design Ultron with more ability from the start, hoping he could protect the world better than the Avengers ever could. This made it easy for the villain to destroy the Avengers in their first conflict and led to the eradication of humanity within a month. Even in the aftermath and over a thousand new forms, Ultron never quite got over his issues with his creator – which led him to transform Pym into the Ultron model who truly believed himself to be Giant-Man, so that he can continue to torture him forever. .
But in another reality, Earth-45162 of What if: Age of Ultron # 5 by Keatinge and a team of artists, it’s Pym who is touched by the Time-Quake. Surviving the assault, Pym loses the core of an idea that would eventually become Ultron. Earth’s Ultron-14622 locates the effects on the multiverse and notes how it is destroying their own reality due to the earthquake. However, they could survive this anomaly if they moved to a world unaffected by change. Locating Earth-45162 and believing it to be an easy win, Ultron led his armada through multiversal barriers, hoping to expand to all other dimensions – very similar to how the MCU’s Ultron What if…? made his way through the multiverse and destroyed the various realities he encountered.
In the chaos of his multiversal journey, he ended up attracting three heroes from all universes equally affected by timequakes – an older Wolverine from a reality where Stark technology became used globally following his death, a black widow who had acquired Thor’s powers after his untimely demise while fighting the Midgard Serpent, and the new Captain America from a timeline where Frank Castle ended up starting a new legacy of Captain Americas. The makeshift multiversal Avengers fought against the Ultron horde – only “Hank” Ultron aware of the damage they had actually done to this universe – spreading the damage in this world, but leaving their own reality decimated. relatively safe.
Finding the Wasp of this reality, “Hank” managed to convince the Wasp of this peaceful world to bring the assembled heroes back to another reality, now free from Ultron. This leaves the assembled heroes – Captain America, Wolverine, Black Widow, Giant-Man, and Wasp – as the only survivors of their realities, living in the ruins of a decimated Ultron. But they choose to find a way to help restore their reality – and could potentially do so in the larger multiverse. He’s an interesting precursor for potential Guardians of the Multiverse who have been teased to appear in What if…?, and ended up facing a similar threat with a very different team.
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