Ultron is the best MCU villain and I am willing to fight you and die on that hill. He was charismatic, offered a unique threat, and was a literal slave to a mission he never truly understood. Ultron was both a bombastic bully and a naïve child who needed approval from the man he called father and needed family from the twins he got to know. Thanos was great. Hela was great. Loki was great. To me, though… Ultron will always be the best.
And, while I am infinitely bummed that James Spader didn’t return to voice his character, the return of not only Ultron but a victorious Ultron to the the animated anthology of What If…? has been a series high point for me because not only did they recreate this villain pitch perfect, but they improved on him, making him more of an exponential threat. A singularity event that becomes more and more powerful with each passing second. Something that is, in every sense of the word, unstoppable and a concrete threat to not only the universe, but the multiverse as a whole and an event that finally gets The Watcher involved.
Without giving too much away, I loved this episode not only in the way that it brought an entire universe to its knees, but also how it turns the very premise of What If…? into something unexpected, turning an anthology into a connected arch with one fell swoop.
The writing was clever, the twists were unexpected and swift (and, if you’ve seen it, you know which side-splitting scene I’m talking about) and the ramifications on the series are huge.
Again, I’m really sad that James Spader didn’t return for whatever reason and, although the voice actor they did use managed to create a passable imitation of Spader’s performance, it was just off enough to call attention to itself which is more of a testament to how much Spader put into Ultron and not at all a condemnation of the actor who stood in for him.
Still, I think I’m looking forward to next week’s finale more than I’ve looked foreword to any other episode of the series thus far.