Everything to Know About The Watcher From Marvels What If… ?<\/em>

After Loki and Sylvie broke with the Time Variance Authority and destroyed a very happy-to-be-killed Kang, the Marvel multiverse was officially unleashed—allowing infinite timelines to branch from our MCU mainline, and, more cynically, open the gold-plated door for Disney to rake in billions in barely-canon content.

What If… ?—Marvel Studios’s first animated property—becomes also the studio’s first exploration of the multiverse concept: if anything that can happen has/will happen(ed), then why not go wild? Enter our multiverse DJ: The Watcher, Uatu (voiced by the always-perfect Jeffrey Wright).

The Watcher is our guide to the different branches of the timeline, and listening to the opening monologue in episode one, it’s hard not to hear a 1980 Carl Sagan, speaking at the top of the series Cosmos: “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.”

Here is The Watcher:

In Marvel, in comics, the cosmos is more than what it is. Here’s everything to know about our guide through the comic cosmos.

Who is The Watcher?

The first Marvel watcher debuted in 1963, appearing as “Uatu” in Fantastic Four #13. Uatu is one member of a race of Watchers, beings who, um, watch over the stories told through the comics. The beings are omnipotent and possess wide-ranging abilities such as space and time manipulation. They can basically do whatever they want.

But if they are gods, the Watchers are uninvolved gods—noting happenings, refusing to intervene, compiling knowledge. That said, some, like Uatu, who watches over Earth, have intervened. Uatu helped the Fantastic Four battle global threats. In the comics, Watchers have been present for all significant events, including the formation of the First Avenger (Steve Rogers) and, in a franchise not yet brought into the MCU, the acts of Magneto.

In the MCU, we have only met the Watchers once, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when the group debriefed an informant (Stan Lee) on an asteroid.

In What If… ?, the Watcher Uatu so far acts only as narrator. While it’s possible that he is causing the events of the series, Uatu more likely is simply our guide, showing us some of the infinite storylines now possible.

Why? Who is he actually talking to? Will he influence future events in the MCU? It’s in Disney’s omnipotent hands now.

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