Updated: Jan 14, 2021
MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE SPOILERS AHEAD
On Friday January 15th, after a dry spell that seems like it’s lasted for years on end, Disney+ will finally be blessing us with some new Marvel content in the form of their first MCU limited series: WandaVision. In a very general sense, this new show will follow Wanda Maximoff aka “The Scarlet Witch” as she tries to cope with a post Avengers: Endgame world without her beloved Vision, who died at the hands of The Mad Titan: Thanos. Normally that would be enough of a premise to give audiences the general gist of what to expect. However, casual moviegoers, or even hardcore Marvel fans who might not necessarily be fans of the comics, might understandably be a little thrown off by the various trippy trailers and advertisements that seem to depict a black and white sitcom meeting a colorful sorcerer thriller. So before the Marvel Cinematic Universe returns with this one of a kind superhero adventure, let’s refresh your memory on Wanda and Vision’s past and offer some insight as to what exactly might be in store for us throughout WandaVision’s nine episode run.
Wanda & Vision’s History in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
During the post credit scene in The Winter Soldier, Wanda is introduced to us as a “volunteer” who, along with her twin-brother Pietro (aka “Quicksilver”), willingly participated in a Hydra experiment. The experiment involved “Loki’s Scepter”, which secretly housed an Infinity Stone: The Mind Stone. This resulted in Wanda receiving telekinetic and mind controlling/bending powers, and Pietro receiving super-speed.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
In the early parts of the second installment of The Avengers, Wanda and her brother Pietro worked with Ultron (an AI Robot created by Tony Stark gone rogue), in order to fight against the Avengers, motivated by the loss of their parents to Stark weapons. Ultron eventually attempted to create a body for himself using Vibranium infused tissue and inserting The Mind Stone into the body’s head. Wanda began to see Ultron’s true intentions to wipe out humanity, and assisted the Avengers in acquiring the created body. When combined with Stark Industry’s AI “JARVIS”, the body came to life as “Vision”, joining the Avengers, Wanda, and Pietro in a final battle against Ultron. Though the Avengers defeated Ultron, and Vision shared a moment with Wanda whilst saving her from falling debris, Pietro sacrificed his own life, leaving Wanda heartbroken.
Captain America: Civil War
When Iron Man and Captain America found themselves at odds over government involvement in the Avengers, Iron Man tasked Vision with making sure Wanda remained at the Avengers headquarters and out of the fight. Wanda was motivated by Hawkeye to join Cap’s cause and used her telekinetic powers to subdue Vision and escape. Wanda and Vision found themselves on opposite sides of a showdown between the forces of Iron Man and Cap. Wanda is eventually locked away for her involvement on Captain America’s side, but is broken out by Cap.
Avengers: Infinity War
During the early events of Infinity War, Vision and Wanda are shown to have begun a romantic relationship, briefly and intermittently meeting across the world in order for Wanda to avoid authorities. The two were eventually pursued by Thanos’ henchmen seeking the Infinity Stone lodged in Visions head, but were saved by Cap, Black Widow, and Falcon, who brought Vision to safety in Wakanda. The Avengers were able to subdue Thanos’ incoming forces until Thanos himself arrived with all of the five of the other Infinity Stones. As he approached, Wanda reluctantly destroyed the Mind Stone, killing Vision. However, Thanos used the Time Stone to restore Vision and subsequently remove the Stone from his head, killing him once again. He then used all the Infinity Stones to dismiss half of all life from the universe, including Wanda.
After Thanos destroyed the Infinity Stones and was killed by Thor, 5 years passed before the remaining Avengers were able to travel through time and re-acquire the Stones. They used The Stones to restore everyone who ceased to exist due to Thanos' purge. However, a past-Thanos followed the team through time and attacked the remaining Avengers, before all those who were lost in the purge, including Wanda, were able to join the battle. Wanda and Thanos had a brief show-down where she nearly killed him before he commanded his minions to fire on the entire battlefield. After the defeat of Thanos, Wanda spoke to Hawkeye, claiming that all those they lost, including Vision, knew about their victory.
Comics That Inspired the Show
Wanda Maximoff first appeared alongside her speedster brother Quicksilver in Marvel’s X-Men comics in 1964 as a reluctant villain. Although they were the offspring of the villainous Magneto, both eventually joined The Avengers. As time passed, Wanda rose more to prominence as an apprentice of witchcraft, the lover of Vision (an android created by Ultron) and a dangerously powerful hero. At one point she even used her reality warping powers to create twin sons for her and Vision (who would eventually join the young Avengers). According to Marvel Studios, we haven’t even scratched the surface of Scarlet Witch’s potential in the MCU until now...
Tom King’s: The Vision
This famously unique comics run sees Vision move to the suburbs and create a typical suburban family for himself to live a life of normalcy. Of course everything starts peachy but slowly begins to deteriorate.
Brian Michael Bendis'': House of M
One of the most popular Marvel Comics stories, House of M sees The Avengers plot to kill Wanda because of the dangers her powers and mental stability present. When she learns of their plans, she inadvertently uses her powers to create a new reality where mutants are dominant and her family lives a perfect life. As this reality begins to fail her, she utters her famous lines “No more mutants…” which subsequently returns reality to normal while stripping 99% of mutants of their powers.
Steve Engleheart’s: The Vision and The Scarlet Witch
This series is where Marvel first revealed Magneto to be Wanda’s biological father. It is also where we are first introduced to Wanda and Vision’s twin sons Billy and Tommy (Wiccan and Speed).
Monica Rambeau → Monica Rambeau is the daughter of Captain Marvel’s best friend and fellow Air Force pilot Maria Rambeau. She was last seen as a little girl in the Captain Marvel film and is supposed to be an agent of S.W.O.R.D (the new government organization to succeed S.H.I.E.L.D started by Nick Fury to study unearthly threats) during WandaVision.
Darcy Lewis → Darcy Lewis is the quirky sidekick scientist to Thor’s old love interest: Jane Foster. She was last seen in Thor: The Dark World and will likely be a scientist working with S.W.O.R.D.
Jimmy Woo → FBI agent Jimmy Woo was first introduced in Ant-Man and the Wasp as the point person for Scott Lang’s house arrest after Civil War. Not much is known about his role but we do hear his voice calling out to Wanda in the trailer asking if she is alright.
Agatha Harkness → Actress Kathryn Hahn will be introduced in this series as Wanda’s so called “nosy neighbor” Agnes. Many believe that she is likely playing a villain sorceress from the comics called Agatha Harkness. She frequently appeared in stories with The Fantastic Four and Doctor Strange, and mentored Wanda in magic.
Extra Media to Familiarize Yourself With
It’s been said that WandaVision will feature it’s own version of The Brady Bunch intro as well as some vibes from The Office. Check out these videos to familiarize yourself:
According to some of the talent who worked on WandaVision, the series starts as a meta love letter to sitcoms and takes a hard twist into a high-stakes Marvel action/adventure. Taking this into account with Wanda and Vision’s history in the comics, it looks like different episodes will progress through the styles of sitcoms in different decades. Here are some of the rumored and confirmed influences:
I Love Lucy (1950s)
The Dick Van Dyke Show (1960s)
The Brady Bunch (1970s)
Family Ties (1980s)
The Office (2000’s)
Modern Family (2010’s)
Future Movie Connections
With Wanda’s powers to reach new heights throughout the course of this series, it is heavily speculated that her reality warping abilities will crack open the multiverse. With the gateway to various alternate realities pouring through, this could lead to some big implications and stakes for two upcoming MCU films.
“Spider-Man 3” (December 2021)
Sure, it may not be officially “official” that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are teaming up with Tom Holland for a version of Spiderverse in the untitled Spider-Man 3. However, head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige has confirmed that Spider-Man’s next adventure will spin off from events that happen in WandaVision.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness (February 2022)
At Disney’s D23 event in 2019, Marvel Studios announced that Elizabeth Olsen would be appearing alongside Doctor Strange as Wanda Maximoff in this sequel now scheduled for 2022. It has been called: a direct follow up to WandaVision, Marvel’s first horror film, and the movie where we will finally understand why Wanda is called “The Scarlet Witch”.
Written by Jake Zall and Nick Mandala
Edited by Jake Zall and Nick Mandala