Why Ultron Didn’t Just Snap To Destroy The Multiverse

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

In What If…? episode 8, “What If…Ultron Won?,” Ultron acquired all of the Infinity Stones and it seems to create a plot hole in that he didn’t simply use the power of the Stones in a snap to destroy the multiverse. Thanos, Hulk, and Tony Stark all used the Infinity Stones to snap their will into existence. Is there a reason that Ultron did not do this himself, or is it the simple plot hole it appears?

Having defeated the Avengers and nuked the Earth, What If…? episode 8 sees Ultron pondering what to do next. When Thanos appears holding the other five Infinity Stones in the Infinity Gauntlet, Ultron quickly kills him and takes the stones for himself. The Infinity Stones grant him the knowledge of other worlds and he travels the cosmos destroying them to fulfill his remit of “peace in our time.” When the dust settles and Ultron becomes aware of the multiverse and The Watcher he begins to punch his way out of reality, using the power of the Infinity Stones to great effect, but never simply snapping things out of existence.

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As What If…? appears to show Ultron gaining the knowledge of the universe when he first gets the Infinity Stones, it seems unlikely that he would not have realized they could have been used to more immediately enact his will as with Thanos’ snap. If he had not realized it at first then at the point that he learns of the multiverse he should surely be able to figure out the Infinity Stones’ true power at that point. The fact that he doesn’t execute an existence-destroying wish suggests that he likes the more personal touch. He is fundamentally flawed: He took a directive for “peace in our time” to be most easily accomplished by wiping out all life everywhere. He was designed by Tony Stark and carries several of that character’s less positive traits from his arrogance to a malicious streak. While Thanos wanted a solution that would cause, as he saw it, minimal pain, Ultron on some level wanted to enjoy the destruction that he was causing.

While one possible explanation might be that in What If…? Ultron does not use the Infinity Gauntlet and that would be necessary to use the Infinity Stones in the way that Thanos, Hulk, and Iron Man do, the idea does not hold up to scrutiny. Ultron’s abilities after using the Stones appear to be nearly unlimited and allow him to grow large enough to take a bite out of an entire solar system. If he was able to understand the power of the Infinity Stones he would be able to create a gauntlet of his own if it was necessary, just as Tony Stark did in Avengers: Endgame.

While Loki showed that the Infinity Stones do not work in the TVA, that is the only location that they seem not to function as it is located outside of time. The stones themselves are shown to work in other timelines as that is effectively the whole premise for Avengers: Endgame and the Ancient One explains how taking the stone would create a new reality there. Therefore, in What If…? Ultron’s Infinity Stones should work in any part of the multiverse and he should be able to snap the multiverse out of existence. It is also possible that it would take a toll on his body as it did for those who snapped in the main MCU timeline; however, it is impossible to say what that damage would look like on his robotic and synthetic body.

Next: Marvel Just Secretly Retconned Phase 2 & 3's Timeline Again

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

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