WandaVision sounds like it may be the MCU’s first real character study


Could upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision turn out to be the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first real in-depth character piece? Wanda Maximoff certainly has enough issues to work through.

In the wake of San Diego Comic Con and the D-23 Expo this summer, it feels like we’re kind of drowning in news about the upcoming projects for Marvel’s Phase 4. But, there’s one property that we still know comparatively little about, particularly given how long we’ve known it’s happening: the Disney+ streaming series WandaVision.

Sure, we know it’s coming, and that stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will reprise their roles as Scarlet Witch and Vision, respectively. And, thanks to D-23, we now know that a few more familiar faces will be appearing on the show – including, somehow, Kat Dennings and Randall Park as fan favorite Darcy from the Thor movies and government agent Jimmy Woo from Ant-Man and the Wasp. Teyonah Parris has also been cast as an aged up version of Monica Rambeau, the daughter Carol Danvers’ BFF Maria.

Given that none of those characters have ever met  one another before, how exactly they’re all going to end up here is anyone’s guess.

But there are  a few theories out there. And one that makes a whole lot of sense.

A longstanding idea among fans ever since the series was announced is that WandaVision will somehow be Marvel’s adaptation of the famous 2005 X-Men story House of M, which saw Scarlet Witch literally remake reality to her liking as a method of coping with a massive personal tragedy.

Which…isn’t so unlike what’s going on with the character now, right? I mean, we all saw the Infinity War movies, yeah?

And if WandaVision is somehow an MCU-ish take on House of M, well, that explains a lot. And it gives Marvel the chance to do something it hasn’t bothered with too often: Really delve into the psyche of what makes one of its major characters tick.

Because Wanda Maximoff has probably suffered more than anyone in the Marvel universe at the moment. Tony Stark’s bombs killed her parents. His murder robot Ultron killed her brother. The Sokovia accords were basically written in response to a moment in which she lost control and destroyed innocent lives. She spent some time in maximum security sea prison for trying to stand for her beliefs and then lived for two years on the run.

And don’t forget all of that happened before she was forced to kill her boyfriend, watch Thanos resurrect him and then kill him again.

Wanda needs therapy, that is for darn sure, is what I’m saying. And we deserve a chance to really see this character both process everything that’s happened to her and to heal from it. And WandaVision is a perfect vehicle for that story.

Her recovery from a lifetime of trauma is something that no single movie could ever do justice to, particularly since the MCU movies seem to love showing off Wanda’s powers, but not necessarily exploring the girl underneath them. And while she got several showcase moments in both Infinity War and Endgame – both her face-offs with Thanos  is straight up iconic, as images – neither film seemed terrible interested in anything beyond her abilities.

Plus, we barely got to see her relationship with Vision take place – instead, the bulk of their love story happened offscreen. (A problem this franchise often has when it comes to relationships.)

WandaVision sounds like it could give us the Vision and the Scarlet Witch love story we deserved to see while simultaneously exploring Wanda’s feelings about Thanos, the Snap, and everything she’s gone through since becoming an Avenger, including the loss of her boyfriend and her brother.

And if she needs to create an alternate reality or pocket universe or dreamscape to do that – well, I’m all for it. Let it all out, girl.

The thing is, given everything we know so far, it seems almost impossible that WandaVision is going to be any sort of linear story. Instead, it sounds much more like a meditation on grief, as Wanda uses her powers to try to escape – and hopefully confront – the pain she feels. She deserves that, as a character, and we deserve it as fans.

It’s okay to privilege emotional storytelling over big battles sometimes, and it’s honestly something the MCU should do more often, as a whole. Here’s hoping WandaVision can show us all how it’s done.

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WandaVision is slated to arrive on Disney+ at some point in the spring of 2021, so we’ve got a while to speculate.