What If?’s Watcher Was DISGUSTED by Marvel’s Smartest Heroes


The Watcher has actually broken his code of non-interference before just to call out major Marvel heroes.

The Watcher carries an awesome responsibility in the Marvel Universe. Sworn to non-intervention, Uatu is meant to be an impartial judge on the events of the world. But he’s broken his code multiple times over the years — including to call out some of Marvel’s greatest geniuses.

Now, we’re taking a closer look at what happened when Uatu the Watcher stepped out from the pages of What If? to confront various heroes of the Marvel Universe and revealed his disgust for their actions.

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New Avengers: The Illuminati by Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Reed, and Jim Cheung delved into the history of six major leaders from across the superhero community — Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, Professor Xavier, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, and Namor — as they worked behind the scenes of the Marvel Universe. Before the events of Civil War and Planet Hulk tore the group apart, the six were spurred on by Reed Richards — who’d already recovered an Infinity Gauntlet and three of the Gems — to collect all six and remove them from the grasp of others like Thanos. Reluctantly, the rest of the group agreed — on the grounds that they not use the completed Gauntlet.

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Collecting all six, Reed attempted to use the full might of the Infinity Gauntlet to erase itself and the Gems from existence. But with Reed in possession of the Gauntlet, Uatu appears before the group. He reveals his disgust with Reed, citing all the times he’s gone against his Watcher’s code to assist humanity because he believes in them. And yet, Reed claiming this power makes the ancient power makes Uatu fear that he was wrong to do so. Reed eventually splits up the Gems between the various members of the Illuminati, so thay can be hidden away. While Uatu is pleased that Reed was strong enough to withstand the temptation to use the Gauntlet for his own ends, he departs with a sad look upon his face — noting that this decision wasn’t humanity’s to make.

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Following the events of Civil War, Captain America was arrested. But Steve Rogers was assassinated not long after, prompting Tony Stark to visit his grave in Arlington in What If?: Civil War by Ed Brubaker, Marko Djurdjevic, Kevin Grevioux, Gustavo Duarte, Christos Gage, and Harvey Tolibao. While alone in front of the statue of his fallen friend, Iron Man finds himself confronted with a mysterious man with glowing eyes — who’s distinct way of speaking reveals him to be Uatu. Tony defends himself to the stranger, arguing he save the hero community from a far worse fate. But while Uatu did concede that the absence of Iron Man in one reality led to a version of Civil War where Henry Peter Gyrich led an expanded Project: Wide Awake that wiped out the heroes, he also showed a far more optimistic timeline.

In this world, Iron Man opened up to Captain America during the conflict, giving Steve Rogers pause. Working together, both were united in fighting against the demented clone of Thor, allowing Iron Man to save Goliath’s life and help prevent the conflict from escalating. Together, the Iron Man and Captain America of this world settled their differences and led to an idyllic future. The Tony Stark of the core-Marvel Universe is unbelievably shaken by this revelation of the future he could have had if he’d trusted his friend and opened up to him. Uatu reveals that he only came to pay tribute to Captain America, but leaves Iron Man struggling to deal with the decisions he made that resulted in the death of his fellow Avenger.

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Following the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, Beast attempted to get through to his former friend Cyclops about his recent actions by bringing their past selves to the present day. But in doing so, Beast radically endangered the timeline — with the five having no real way to return to their correct place in time. The weight of his actions gnawed at Beast, with All-New X-Men #25 by Brian Michael Bendis and a large roster of artists centering on a confrontation he has with a mysterious figure over what he’s done. Using his powers, the Watcher reveals to Beast a number of different possible realities — including a number of overwhelmingly positive ones where the X-Men proved themselves to the world and achieved peace between humanity and mutant-kind.

The figure reveals that each of these possible futures no longer exists as a result of Beast’s actions. Desperate, Beast begs the mysterious figure to help him restore any of these possible futures that could result in genuine peace around the world. But the figure reveals himself to be the Watcher, and reveals he cannot do this thing — and is disgusted with the Beast for his actions. It’s a brutal moment, giving an even harsher element to this conversation than the other heroes recieved.

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