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This Article Contains Spoilers - WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.

Time. Space. Reality. It's more than a linear path. It's a prism of endless possibility, where a single choice can branch out into infinite realities, creating alternate worlds from the ones you know. I am The Watcher. I am your guide through these vast new realities. Follow me and dare to face the unknown, and ponder the question... What if?
~ Uatu during the opening credits of What If...?
I observe all that transpires here, but I do not, cannot, will not interfere. For I am the Watcher.
~ Uatu's most famous quote.
I have seen everything that has ever happened. Ever will happen. Ever could happen. And yet, what the hell is this?!
~ Another one of Uatu’s most famous quotes, after Infinity Ultron sensed him.

Uatu, also known as The Watcher, is the main protagonist of the 2021 Marvel animated anthology series What If...?.

He is the overarching protagonist of the first seven episodes and later ninth episode of Season 1, as well as one of the protagonists of the eight episode "What If... Ultron Won?". He is an omniscient being and the most prominent member of the Watchers who observes the Marvel multiverse and the alternate branched timelines that protrude from it, but is unable to directly interfere with them. However, he breaks his oath once one universe bears an Ultron that obtained the Infinity Stones and sensed the Watcher's presence, tasking a group of alternates to stop the artificial intelligence.

He is voiced by Jeffery Wright, who also played Felix Leiter in Casino Royale and James Gordon in the The Batman, and also voiced Poppa Henry in The Good Dinosaur and McWinkle in Green Eggs and Ham.

Biography

Background

Not much is known about Uatu's past, but he is one of the Watchers who watches over the multiverse, where he watches different realities that are separated from the sacred timeline. As a Watcher, Uatu took an oath to never interfere with any reality he observes, as it's believed that doing would cause more harm for the universe. Following the fracture of the multiverse when He Who Remains was killed by Sylvie, the Watcher would observe all universes from the Nexus of All Realities.

What If... Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?

Visiting a different universe, the Watcher observed a universe where Peggy Carter became a super soldier instead of Steve Rogers, who would don an armored suit as HYDRA Stomper. Uatu would witness Peggy lead the Howling Commandos against the Red Skull, who managed to bring a creature that was stopped by Carter, who was then transported to the twenty-first century.

What If... T'Challa Became a Star-Lord?

After seeing Captain Carter's reality, the Watcher turned to another universe where Prince T'Challa was kidnapped by the Ravagers, and become a legendary thief known as Star-Lord. Uatu observed T'Challa working with Nebula and the Ravagers to steal the Embers of Genesis from the Collector, whom had become the galaxy's kingpin after Star-Lord managed to change Thanos. After seeing T'Challa return to Wakanda with his friends, the Watcher noted that the reunion could be cut short due to Ego coming to Earth and finding his son Peter Quill.

What If... the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?

Traveling to a third reality, the Watcher observed a universe where the Avengers' candidates were assassinated by Hank Pym, who wanted to avenge his daughter's death as he blamed Nick Fury for inspiring her to become an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Pym would at first incriminate both Black Widow and Hawkeye by having them appear as Tony Stark's and Thor's killers, and later killed the two to complete his mission. Due to his actions, Loki would arrive to Earth to take over the planet, as Pym was later arrested by Fury with Loki's assistance. Despite Loki trying to take control, the Watcher noted that there was always hope, as Fury recruited Captain Marvel and Captain America to the Avengers' initiative.

What If... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?

Going to a different reality, the Watcher would witness a what if scenario of Stephen Strange losing his heart instead of his hands, as Christine Palmer died in a car accident while going on a date. Uatu would then see Strange join the Masters of the Mystic Arts and defeat Dormmamu, but also see him use the Eye of Agamotto to travel back in time and prevent Christine's death. Once Strange learned from the Ancient One that Christine's death was an absolute point, he decided to go back to the distant past and absorb other beings to become powerful enough break the point. The Watcher would narrate these events, which also caused Strange to sense Uatu's presence, but the latter wouldn't respond. Uatu later witnessed the destruction of Strange Supreme's reality, and refused the latter's request to interfere.

What If... Zombies?!

Going to an alternate universe, the Watcher narrated of how in this reality, a zombie outbreak started when Hank Pym rescued his wife from the quantum realm. Due to Janet being afflicted with the quantum virus, she infected Hank and the two started to spread the virus across the world. He then saw the last emanates of the superheroes traveling to Camp Leigh to find a cure, but learned that Vision was tricking anyone to come there to feed a zombified Scarlet Witch. The android would see his wrongdoings, revealing that he managed to create a cure for Scott Lang, and allowed the others to escape as Wanda attacked them. Towards the end, the Watcher laments that humans are heroes hold onto hope, but knew that Wakanda was ransacked by zombies and the arrival of a zombified Thanos.

What If... Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?

In the next universe, The Watcher told the tale of how Tony Stark never became a superhero, instead of being saved by Erik Killmonger. Despite Erik's appearance of being a heroic figure, it was a lie as he used his "allies" to gain the trust of the Wakandans and start a war between the country and the United States. Despite seeing a grim universe, the Watcher lamented that heroes were never gone, as Shuri and Pepper Potts joined forces to expose Killmonger.

What If... Thor Were an Only Child?

In alternate Thor's universe, the Watcher lamented how Odin adopting Loki would humble the god of thunder, but in this reality, Odin returned Loki to Laufey. Uatu observed this version of Thor landing to Earth and throwing a worldwide party in Las Vegas, where he befriended Jane Foster and briefly battled Captain Marvel. The Watcher then watched as Thor prepared to return home, but saw Ultron and his sentries arrive to Party Thor's universe.

What If... Ultron Won?

As Uatu watches the events of Ultron winning in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron is bent on destroying everything and as he does that, he is able to see Uatu watching everything happen and realizes there are more universes and is bent on destroying those universes so Ultron fights Uatu, wins and escapes to the other universes. Uatu's only hope is to free Strange Supreme from "What If... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?" to stop Infinity Ultron. Reaching to Strange Supreme, the sorcerer asks Uatu if he is ready to break his oath to save the multiverse.

What If... The Watcher Broke His Oath?

Though he initially wanted to battle Ultron with Strange Supreme, he decided to bring a group of others to be able to stand against the artificial intelligence. Uatu chose Captain Carter, T'Challa, Prince Killmonger, Party Thor, and Gamora and tasked them with stopping Infinity Ultron and giving them the title of Guardians of the Multiverse. After forming the group, Uatu proceeded to watch them defeating Infinity Ultron by having Zola transfer his conscious into his body. Once Strange Supreme created a pocket dimension to trap Killmonger and Zola, the Watcher asked Strange to watch over the dimension to prevent the two from ever escaping and using the Infinity Stones. He then returned the others to their universe, but decided to send Black Widow from Ultron's universe to a universe where Romanoff was killed by Hank Pym.

Personality

Uatu shows little to no emotion as he speaks. He is especially dedicated to his job, stating that he will not intervene in the events of the Marvel multiverse. After his encounter with Ultron he is terrified because of what Ultron might do with the Multiverse, he becomes so desperate that he is ready to break his oath and ask Strange Supreme for help. He decides to break oath for the sake of the multiverse, and later states that he will protect it since every story is his home.

Powers and Abilities

You cannot compute the power of my will.
~ Uatu the Watcher to Infinity Ultron.

Powers

  • Watcher Physiology: Uatu belongs to a species called the Watchers, who are powerful omniscient beings with god-like powers that are immeasurable.
    • Immortality: Being immortal, Uatu is able to live forever and not die from aging.
    • Flight: The Watcher can fly, glide and levitate in the air.
    • Self-Sustenance: Uatu doesn't need food, water or oxygen to survive, as he is able to breath within the vacuum of space.
    • Superhuman attributes: The watcher is a being of immeasurable physical attributes, with physical characteristics surpassing any known species besides his own.
      • Superhuman Strength: Uatu has immeasurable strength, being stronger than many species within the multiverse excluding his own.
      • Superhuman Durability: Uatu's body is greatly durable, capable of withstanding attacks from Infinity Ultron.
      • Superhuman Speed: He can move at immeasurable speed, able to keep up with Ultron during their battle across realities.
      • Superhuman Agility: The Watcher has perfect agility, balance and coordination, allowing him to dodge Ultron's attacks.
      • Superhuman Stamina: Having immeasurable stamina, Uatu cannot suffer from exhaustion and can fight without feeling fatigue.
      • Superhuman Reflexes: Assisted by his superhuman agility, Uatu can react to attacks quickly.
    • Regenerative Healing Factor: Uatu can heal from his injuries faster than any species within the multiverse.
    • Nigh-Omniscience: Alongside his species, the Watcher is aware of the multiverse, able to oversee each reality and knows the outcome of each universe. However, his omniscience cannot foresee every event, as he was unable to see the outcome of Ultron gaining self-awareness.
    • Nigh-Omnipotence: The Watcher is incredibly powerful, having almost unfathomable and omnipotent abilities.
      • Interdimensional Travel: Due to his position and being a Watcher, Uatu can travel across dimensions and realities.
        • Teleportation: Uatu can teleport across the multiverse to continue to observe every reality.
          • Portal Creation: He can generate portals at will, as he formed one to escape from Infinity Ultron.
      • Time Travel: Uatu can travel across any timeline within the multiverse, which allows himself to oversee and observe all realities.
      • Invisibility: Uatu can be make himself invisible, allowing him to remain a observer when foreseeing each reality.
      • Size Manipulation: He can manipulate size of objects and himself, which allowed him to shrink the pocket dimension that holds Killmonger and Zola.
      • Cosmic Energy Manipulation: The Watcher can create or manipulate cosmic energy at will.
        • Telekinesis: Uatu can move objects with his mind.
        • Energy Blasts: Uatu can use cosmic energy to shoot it from his fingertips.
        • Energy Channeling: He is able to channel energy within his environment, as he able to cause the lights in the bar that Strange Supreme made to flicker.
        • Force-Field Generation: Able to manipulate cosmic energy, Uatu can generate force fields to protect himself from oncoming attacks.
        • Matter Manipulation: He can manipulate matter at a molecular level, as he created a set of armor to fight against Ultron.
        • Holographic Projection: Uatu has shown that he can project holographics from cosmic energy, as he showed the Guardians of the Multiverse the universe that Ultron attacked

Abilities

  • Genius-Level Intellect: Being omniscient and his knowledge of the multiverse, Uatu is highly intelligent, being smart enough to outsmart Infinity Ultron.
  • Master Tactician: He is a tactical genius, forming a plan to have the Guardians of the Multiverse stop Infinity Ultron, but also knew that Strange Supreme had to sacrifice his life by keeping an eye on the pocket dimension where Killmonger and Zola battle for the Infinity Stones.
  • Master Combatant: Uatu is a capable combatant, being able to hold his own against Ultron during their battle.
  • Omnilingualism: Due to his omniscience and exploring across realities, Uatu can understand all languages that exist within the multiverse.

Quotes

At humanity's darkest hour, a skinny kid from Brooklyn became Captain America. After turning the tide of World War II, he made the ultimate sacrifice, restoring peace and saving this universe. But in another universe, a single choice created a whole new hero.
~ Uatu the Watcher observing Captain Carter's universe.
I observe all that transpires here, but I do not, cannot, will not interfere. For I am the Watcher.
~ Uatu the Watcher in episode one.
The galaxy, to your eyes, a hundred billion points of light. But where you see light, I see worlds and the countless stories that fill them.
~ Uatu the Watcher in the second episode.
As fate would have it, at that very moment, a Ravager spacecraft was arriving on Earth to abduct the spawn of the Celestial, Ego. But in this universe, Yondu outsourced the assignment to his subordinates.
~ Uatu the Watcher observing T'Challa's universe.
I am the Watcher. And where humans see chaos, I see the crucible that would transform this collection of individuals into a team of heroes. At least, that's how things played out in one universe. But in this one...
~ Uatu the Watcher in the Avengers sssassinated universe.
Honestly, if I could fix this, if I could punish you instead, I would. But I can't interfere. You, more than anyone else, should understand that meddling with time and events only leads to more destruction.
~ Uatu the Watcher to Strange Supreme.
Two weeks ago, Dr. Hank Pym journeyed into the Quantum Realm, searching for his long-lost wife. But in this universe, Janet van Dyne contracted a quantum virus that corrupted her brain. So when she finally reunited with her husband after thirty long years... Oof, that happened.
~ Uatu the Watcher observing the zombie outbreak universe.
Without Tony Stark's fateful capture in Afghanistan, the Age of Iron Man would never come to pass. Though the man was saved, a hero was lost, and a villain was given a new chance.
~ Uatu the Watcher observing Prince Killmonger's universe.
A world restored, love blossoming. As children, both human and Asgardian, say, together, they lived happily ever after. Wait, what? Oh, dear. Perhaps I spoke too soon.
~ Uatu the Watcher upon Infinity Ultron's arrival in Party Thor's universe.
We've seen this before, a universe in the final days of destruction. But this particular story... this, this one breaks my heart.
~ Uatu the Watcher observing Infinity Ultron's universe.
Okay... I can't believe I'm about to say this... I see now. I need your help.
~ Uatu the Watcher to Strange Supreme, breaking his oath.
You are my last hope to save all of them. You are the Guardians of the Multiverse.
~ Uatu the Watcher forming the group.
I am the Watcher. The Multiverse, every single world, every story is my home, and I will protect it to the end.
~ Uatu the Watcher in the season finale.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Uatu isn't the first instance of a Watcher appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as three Watchers were seen listening to Stan Lee's tales in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
    • There were initial theories that Uatu was the Watcher that appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but this has been debunked by Kevin Feige.
  • Uatu is the first MCU character to debut in an animated medium.

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