Far, far away, on the Blue Area of the moon, a being stands, and he watches. His name is Uatu, and for the sins of his fathers, he stands watch. This image has always given me a feeling of solace, to know that even if every person on earth passes away, they shall be remembered.
Uatu has been shown to care about the world he watches, but only so far as that it is something to watch. He has told Stephen Strange, in the alternate universe of Earth-311, that the death of his world, or even the death of his universe, would be of no great loss, for there are many universes to watch. The only thing that would be “regrettable indeed” would be for a cascading destruction that consumes all of the multiverse. This would mean that there would be nothing left to watch.
In the universe of Earth-9997, however, Uatu shows both concern for the survival of the planet and complete lack of interest in the actions and lives of the people on it. He shows scorn and outright contempt for the “human” concerns of Aaron Stack, X-51, the Machine Man. “This reality you cling to,” says the Watcher, “and hold so dear to for your very meaning and purpose is but a glimmer of all that is. It is a wink in the cosmic order of being. A fraction of history that hardly ‘counts’ at all.”
Because of these varied responses to humanity and its survival, I remain unsure as to whether there is a single Uatu who watches all possible realities, or if there are as many Uatus as there are realities in the multiverse. Either way, it seems that the Watchers are able to witness at least partial realities, as shown in Marvel’s What If… series.
I was bothered by Uatu’s enigmatic feelings (or lack thereof) toward humanity, until I remembered that he is the narrator for not only the canon Marvel Universe (Earth-616), but for all those Earths of What If… If Uatu truly sees all possible histories, and even if there are many versions of him that do the same, then how can he feel invested in those he watches? He sees the best possible outcome and the worst disasters, and he does so simultaneously. Even when things won’t end well in one version of reality, he knows that they shall play out in myriad ways in other realities.
How can the fate of one flower be concerning, when the entire garden continues to thrive?