How Powerful Is The Watcher? Why He’s Weaker Than Ultron

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Marvel’s What If…? episode 8.

Marvel’s What If…? has introduced the Watcher to the MCU – a character with supposedly immense power, but who still ends up losing to Ultron. Not much has been revealed about the MCU’s version of the Watcher, other than that he possesses extensive knowledge of the happenings of the multiverse. The original Marvel comics shed a bit more light on the nature and power of the Watcher, helping to explain why he loses to Ultron in What If…? episode 8.

In the comics, the Watcher’s real name is Uatu, and he’s not the only one of his kind. Uatu is one of a whole alien race that observes the happenings of the universe, sworn to never interfere. The Watcher’s powers are extensive and impressive in the comics, including everything from flight and invisibility to time travel, near-omniscience, and incredible physical strength. It’s unclear how many of those abilities the MCU Watcher also possesses, but many of them have already been shown in What If…?

Related: The MCU Reveals Thanos’ Plan Wasted The Infinity Stones

Midway through What If…? episode 8, the Watcher is forced to go head-to-head against a version of Ultron wielding all six Infinity Stones, and despite all his supposed power, he doesn’t do all that well. To be fair, Ultron being in Vision’s body and possess all of the Infinity Stones makes him an incredibly powerful foe, but the Watcher seems scared to even enter the ring against him. Once the element of surprise wears off, the Watcher does reveal some striking armor and starts to put up more of a fight, but it still isn’t enough to defeat Infinity Stone Ultron.

Does that make the Watcher weak? Not by any means. Anyone possessing a full set of Infinity Stones is a forced to be reckoned with, and Ultron’s advanced AI also makes him a brilliant tactician. Plus, he’s bonded with the Mind Stone, likely allowing him to awaken the true peaks of its powers. None of that makes the Watcher weak, but it does reveal that while he may be practically omniscient and apparently immortal, his strength doesn’t lie in fighting. As his name implies, he’s not a warrior, so while he ultimately loses to Ultron, that doesn’t make him weaker overall.

Even in strict combat scenarios, however, the Watcher is still incredibly powerful. He could probably beat any of the Avengers one-on-one, and Ultron himself would have had a lot more trouble if he had even just one less Infinity Stone. Because of his sworn oath of noninterference, MCU viewers haven’t really been able to see the fuller each of the Watcher’s powers. It looks like that will change in What If…? episode 9, however, and it should be exciting to learn more about the Watcher’s backstory.

Next: What If...? Episode 8 Asks 9 Big Questions About Ultron & The Watcher

Marvel’s What If…? releases new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.

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