WHAT IF SPOILERS AHEAD
The first episode of Marvel’s What If…? dropped this morning, and it’s left one question – just who is the mysterious Watcher narrating the show?
Luckily for you, I have the answers right here!
Who Is The Watcher?
The Watcher is part of an alien species who watch over multiverses, never to interfere. Uatu, our Watcher in question, watches over the Earth and its Solar System in the Marvel Universe. He is never supposed to interfere with the events that unfold, but, when the situation is dire, he has been known to step in and help.
Why Is He Here?
The purpose of The Watcher’s is to passively watch the universe and record events as they happen, so they can pass the information to those who come along when the universe ends.
How Does He Affect The Universe?
As a general rule, the Watchers do not affect the universe, they simply watch. But, Uatu does step in on occasion. Mostly, he has stepped in to help the Fantastic Four, and once tried to stop the Silver Surfer from bringing Galactus to Earth. He has also interacted with Squirrel Girl, Odin and Red Hulk, to name a few.
His biggest storyline is Original Sin, where he is murdered and his eyes are gouged out by an unknown killer. The Avengers all team up together in search of his murderer. He is then revived during the Empyre event.
What Comics Does The Watcher Appear In?
Uatu appears in a lot of Marvel Comics, and generally he is only a minor character – if you want to read something where he is the main character, or at least plays a major part in the story, I’d recommend reading either Original Sin by Jason Aaron, or Tales Of Suspense (1959).
Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman is also a good place to start, as the mini series does not rely on knowing a tonne of comic continuity. Fantastic Four issue 13 (1963) by Stan Lee is his first ever appearance, if you want to go way back to the beginning. He also appears several times in Gerry Duggan’s Nova run.
Or, of course, you can also read Marvel’s What If…? comic series, as he appears as the narrator in all the original comics.
What Does This Mean For The MCU?
At the moment Uatu is just the vessel to tell the What If…? series’ stories, but we don’t know if this will transfer into the MCU as a whole. But, in saying that, it is likely that we’ll see Uatu, or at least the Watchers, in the live action MCU, seeing as they’ve already made an appearance!
Remember the aliens Stan Lee is talking to in Guardians Of The Galaxy volume 2? They were Watchers! So, now with a broken multiverse, and Uatu’s appearance narrating What If…? adventures, it is likely that we’ll see him in movies and TV shows going forward.
As to whether he’ll interfere, or simply watch, is another matter entirely.