Uatu, often simply known as The Watcher, is a fictional character, created by writer Stan Lee and designed by artist Jack Kirby, who first appeared in Fantastic Four Volume 1 #13 (April 1963). He is a member of the Watchers, an extraterrestrial species who in the distant past stationed themselves across space to monitor the activities of other species. Uatu is the Watcher assigned to observe Earth and its solar system.
The race of Watchers was an advanced civilization which sought (at the suggestion of Uatu's father, Ikor) to spread its knowledge to other races. Their first attempt, on the planet Prosilicus, ended when the recipient race, the Prosilicans, used the nuclear technology gained to create weapons and destroy itself. When the Watchers returned to Prosilicus, the survivors blamed them for the catastrophe by giving the Prosilicans nuclear technology before they were ready for it. The Watchers then took a vow never to interfere with other civilizations.
Like other Watchers, Uatu is an observer sworn to an oath of non-interference; however, as an altruist he has bent or outright violated his oath on numerous occasions in order to aid humanity. Uatu left the Watchers' home world to dwell on the Blue Area of the Moon, an abandoned city built by the alien Cotati centuries ago. In his first appearance, in which he was introduced simply as The Watcher, he encountered the Fantastic Four and their enemy, the Red Ghost. When the latter entered his home, he repelled the invader with a thought and, breaking his oath for the first time, revealed himself to the Fantastic Four. The Watcher, being youthful and rebellious in comparison to his brethren, would break his oath many more times in the future. He warned the Fantastic Four about the original Molecule Man, and took him into custody. He also enabled Mister Fantastic to find a device to defeat a horde of enemies. His most notable transgression was in Fantastic Four volume 1 #48, in which he tried, and failed, to prevent the Silver Surfer from bringing the world-devourer Galactus to the Earth. He then witnessed the Avengers' battle against the Scarlet Centurion, and witnessed the Avengers and Defenders battle against Dormammu and Loki. He was once placed on trial by the Watchers for violating his oath; he was found guilty by the Watchers' High Tribunal of intervention in the affairs of humanity, but released under his own cognizance. His true name, Uatu, was revealed in this appearance.
During The Trial of Galactus storyline, Uatu also served as Mister Fantastic's lawyer when he stood trial before the Shi'ar.
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