I had a hunch going into WandaVision that this would be the show that would convert me into being a true believer and fan of both the MCU and its extended presence on Disney+ and other media outlets.
Call it nerd intuition, or perhaps even, Stockholm syndrome induced by being bombarded by everything and anything related to Marvel (coupled with too much time indoors), but WandaVison is worth watching, regardless of how closely you follow the MCU, the comics, or any of the other numerous media ventures that have coalesced into Disney’s titanic media empire.
The last couple of episodes that have trickled out have set the stage for a few interesting revelations. Ultimately, however, WandaVision is a show about grief and how people overcome it, which (witch?) of course, includes the genesis and rebirth of several iconic superheroes from Marvel’s storied and dogeared roster of characters.
For many, I suspect Evan Peter’s version of Pietro Maximoff, or rather the revelation of his true identity, may be disappointing in regards to his ties with the X-Men. Even still, fan’s should consider the fact that his very portrayal of that version of Quicksilver highlights the potential of more concrete crossovers in the future, perhaps in a more dedicated and focused lens.
After all, WandaVision is a story about Wanda’s transition into the Scarlett Witch, proper. Along with Vision and Monica Rambeau’s awakening as the comic-accurate version of the Vision and Captain Marvel/Spectrum, respectively. Thematically, WandaVision explores the ramifications of the events of Avengers: Endgame, particularly the devastation and grief caused by Thanos and his stubby evil fingers.
Grief seems to be a central theme in many superhero origin stories, but WandaVison does an excellent job making it feel fresh and poignant in the way it shows how the residents of Westview and those outside the Hex cope.
Starting with S.W.O.R.D’s former Director Tyler Hayward, who, like Agatha, acts as a foil to Wanda and how she deals with her pain of losing Vision. In contrast to Wanda facing her sins and taking responsibility, Hayward lashes out towards Wanda’s dominion over Westview in the most destructive way possible, resulting in Vision’s perfected form being unleashed as a deterrent against the Hex and its occupants.
Similarly, Agatha Harkness, who is revealed to be a long-dormant Witch, who, although in the comics, is often ambiguous in her worldview’s, is distinctly portrayed as being evil within the context of the show. Ultimately, her greed in wanting to manipulate Wanda’s grief, ends in Harkness herself becoming a prisoner trapped within the very construct she tried to seize, in an attempt to steal the power of the Scarlett Witch.
Additionally, the above character arc parallels her origin story in which Agatha’s greed manifested in her seeking out forbidden magic from her coven, eventually leading to her character becoming a power-hungry witch as seen within the micro-warped-world that is Westview.
Interestingly enough, Wanda’s imprisonment of Agatha may lead to her eventual reformation, as it likely that her subconscious is fully aware of her imprisonment, which could easily lead her character in wanting to side with the Scarlett Witch rather than remain a subservient brain-washed zombie.
Monica Rambeau, probably the most interesting character introduced in WandaVision and the most authentic take on the Hero archetype, unlike the rest of the characters within the show, overcomes her grief in admittingly a self-destructive but still selfless way. In the end, WandaVision sets up Rambeau’s manifestation of her powers and her future role within Captain Marvel in a brilliant way that, thanks to the extended run time of a television (or internet streaming in this case), eclipses even the original Captain Marvel’s character, at least within the context of the MCU.
WandaVision may not have set up the multiverse in a way that fans were hoping for, but in the end, the mini-series instead, gives audiences what may be the most well-realized superhero origin story thus far in the MCU, which in turn can lead to greater, and crazier stories that have yet to be explored. Perhaps, the only fault of WandaVision is its inherent connection with the extended MCU, which in its nature feels incomplete, or at the very least, leaves audiences wanting to see more in a broader context of the whole of the MCU.