The following story contains spoilers for Episode 7 of Marvel’s What If…?, titled “What If… Thor Were an Only Child?”
Episode 7 of Marvel’s What If…? was…kind of a blast? The premise of the episode—that Odin returned a young Loki to be raised as a Frost Giant, leaving Thor to be raised as an only child—puts Earth in jeopardy. But that jeopardy is because Thor (voiced by Chris Hemsworth) brings all of our cosmic Marvel Cinematic Universe pals, including the Skrulls, the Grandmaster (voiced by Jeff Goldblum), Nebula (voiced by Karen Gillan), and even a big blue Loki (voiced by Tom Hiddleston) along for a massive rager. It puts the planet in danger but it’s quite the fun way of doing so, right? It captures the fun vibe that worked so well in Thor: Ragnarok, but in the sort-of shrunken down way that we’ve come accustomed to in What If…?
By the end of the episode, Jane Foster (voiced by Natalie Portman), Captain Marvel (not voiced by Brie Larson), and Thor’s mother, Frigga (also not voiced by Rene Russo) reel our God of Thunder in. And when he learns his lesson in the end, and lands a date with Jane, it seems like all might just be well.
But when Uatu the Watcher (voiced as always by Jeffrey Wright) said “As children both human and Asgardian say: together they lived happily ever after,” you had to know that the characters in What If…? don’t get off that easy. Never.
Within a moment, we saw our newly-reformed Party Thor with a look of terror in his face. Walking toward him in the desert, he saw a cavalry of unfamiliar but certainly sinister-looking androids walking toward him. And when the camera zoomed in, a face familiar to any MCU fan became clear: that of Vision, but with a pair of red eyes. “Oh dear,” The Watcher said. “Perhaps I spoke too soon.”
This may have looked like our pal The Vision—but it takes a bit of thinking to realize that this is another familiar (and quite evil) character entirely.
Who was that at the end of What If…? episode 7?
While the red face and yellow Mind Stone at the top of the head certainly make you think the leader of this android brigade is some demented version of our pal The Vision (Paul Bettany) it will help you understand to think back to Vision’s “birth” in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. He was first created, essentially, as super-vessel for Ultron’s artificial and constantly-increasing consciousness; Tony Stark and Bruce Banner managed to thwart this plan by merging this carbon-based synthezoid body with J.A.R.V.I.S.’s A.I., and, thus, Vision was born.
It will also help to remember that we’re watching What If…?, a show where things play out differently. It would appear, based on what we’re seeing, that this is a world where Ultron succeeded in his plan, and The Vision was never born. It would certainly help if we heard what voice came out when this character opened his mouth; if it was the smooth tones of James Spader, then we’d know for sure that’s Ultron. If it was the familiar British accent of Bettany, we’d know it’s Vision.
But, uh, folks—this is Ultron. Just look at the armor. And you’ve never seen any good guy with eyes that color, have you? Perhaps most concerning is the fact that this version of Ultron has all of the Infinity Stones. As Ant-Man star Michael Peña said in the underrated Seth Rogen comedy Observe and Report, “I’m not going to lie to you. There’s nothing good about this at all.”
Will we see what happens next with Ultron/Vision?
I think we will. There are only two episodes of What If…? remaining, but considering the fact that the Vision version of Ultron figured into the What If…? marketing (it was featured on the series poster), we have to imagine that the next episode will be following this thread. Perhaps from there, maybe at the back end of that episode or into the final episode, we get the sort of What If…? team-up crossover that things have seemed to be building towards (or maybe we’ll have to wait until Season 2 for more on that). All we can do is sit and wait patiently on our couches for the answers. Oh well.
Evan RomanoEvan is an associate editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE.
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