WandaVision has debuted on Disney Plus with not just one, but two episodes! This keeps being touted as the first Marvel Studios series and it has made a grand debut.
Before going further, I’m going to keep the first half as spoiler-free as I can with just trying to say whether or not it is worth watching. The second half is going to be connecting it to the comics in hopes of making some sense as to what is happening in the show.
Ok, here’s the review
Without giving much away, the episodes take place in sitcom-like tv tropes. Right off the bat, we see Wanda and Vision married and entering into this sitcom life. The way the show plays out becomes a great homage to classic tv shows. It’s easy to see that I Love Lucy, Bewitched, and even the Dick Van Dyke show all were inspirations for the sitcom plots. What surprised me is how well this was done. For it still to be an MCU show I thought the classic TV would take a backseat. It was quite the opposite. There’s a mystery to unravel, but it’s interwoven into these great scenes of classic jokery.
Something else that can easily be seen…or listened to…from the get-go is the music. There are specific themes to both episodes that, again, pay homage to classic television. The sequences are done in these styles as well. The music is done by great composer Christophe Beck who also has done both Ant-Man movies. The specific theme songs were also written by the Lopez married duo that has done the music for both Frozen films. The second episode’s theme keeps getting stuck in my head. It is such a well-done ditty.
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany did an outstanding job in their roles! It is something to expect that these two more dramatic actors would be a little too cheesy with a sitcom situation. Instead, they give off a wonderful performance that does old television justice. The cheesiness just comes with the territory of the type of television it is evoking.
In interviews, Kevin Feige kept saying this is unlike anything done in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before. He was right. It’s so mysterious, yet so pleasing it makes it very different from anything seen before. It is actually hard to explain. There is a tension of not knowing what exactly is happening, yet it’s so enjoyable to watch a nice classic sitcom plot. I thought I would hate how they would portray shows I’ve known from reruns, yet this really honors so much history of television. It also hits that Marvel feel of superheroes in a situation they need to get out of.
In all, it’s a stunning show and worth the watch. If you aren’t familiar with the characters, Disney Plus has given a crash course in the Marvel Legends show that debuted before this one. Those are short episodes to catch up with before WandaVision. It is well worth the viewing of both and to dive into the Marvel Studios show effort. And if you have seen it, let us know what you think in the comments below!
Now…up ahead are some spoilers.
So, you’ve been warned.
If you keep going I hope you have seen the show.
Ok…here we go.
As a big Marvel Comics fan I was delighted to know that there would be a full show pairing the Scarlet Witch and Vision together. When they debuted in the movies my thought was “Oh my gosh they’re going to get married!” That wasn’t fan shipping, it was from the comics. The reason for my excitement is that Scarlet Witch has been a dangerous hero/villain in the comics and some of it has been centered around her relationship with Vision.
Wanda’s powers are a little confusing. There’s elements of magic, but elements of natural talent. She was believed to be a mutant and the daughter of Magneto. Now, in the comics, it has been revealed that she could manipulate reality and she actually made her own X-Gene which indicates mutant abilities. It was also revealed that she has no relation to Magneto of X-Men fame. Her brother remains Quicksilver, however, who was raised with Wanda by a humanoid cow named Bova as part of an experiment by High Evolutionary, a villain.
In the comics she has rewritten reality to have mutants on top, ruling the world. Then to decimate all but 198 of them. She has killed Avengers, including Hawkeye. Then, brought them back to life again by sheer willpower. She’s had twin boys with Vision. Yes. Pregnant by a robot thanks to her powers. And she’s trained under Dr. Strange to almost be another Sorcerer Supreme. She’s also trained under Agatha Harkness, a powerful sorceress. She’s been villain, hero, and anti-hero. It has been a chaotic history.
Then, there’s Vision. He was born of Ultron in the comics, but also of another – Wonder Man. This Marvel Superman had some of his mind engrained with Vision’s to be a sentient being. Yet, connected to this hero who was destroyed…then brought back by Wanda…to bring back Vision. Vision was very human-like, then more robotic with no emotion. Then, with emotion again. He also created his own android family and moved into a neighborhood trying out the sitcom-like lifestyle in recent times. The Grim Reaper, a villain related to Wonder Man, came-a-knocking during that time to get Wonder Man’s mind back again.
All of this I bring up because there are so many interesting easter eggs in these episodes. One, though, is in a featurette here:
If you look behind Executive Producer Jac Schaeffer, in the left corner, there is a blurred drawing that looks like Wonder Man. Since he has such a connection to the couple in the comics, I don’t feel like it’s a stretch to think there’s something going on with him in the show. Then, in the second episode theme montage, there is an area in between floors that zooms through quickly. But, there is an odd shape that looks like The Grim Reaper’s helmet. This would connect to Wonder Man even more.
Another interesting easter egg is in that same sequence. In the market background, there’s an advertisement for Bova Milk. As I said, she helped raise the twins of Pietro and Wanda. The other, more subtle, connection to a character is Agnes. It is an interesting play of a name considering that a mentor for Wanda is AGatha HarkNESS. Whether Agnes is representative of Harkness is yet to be seen.
There are various representations of symbols relating to both the comics and the MCU. Fake commercials show off some of the past of Wanda which are manipulating Tony Stark and being given powers by von Strucker of Hydra. The whole sitcom situation and some of the clothes pay tribute to the more recent Vision series where he created his own family on his own.
One thing I didn’t mention within the descriptions of the characters and how it ties into the show is that there is the symbology of an organization in the comics called SWORD. This is the equivalent of SHIELD in space. We haven’t seen much indication of this new group except for speculation that at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Nick Fury is establishing this organization. The symbol of the group appears on a colored helicopter that flies into the front yard of Wanda and Vision. It appears, to me, to be on the bee suit of a man that comes from a sewer towards the end of episode 2. There have been indications at the end of the episodes to point to SWORD as well.
There are some speculations I have which are regarding the use of red and one line that is easy to pass over. The line is “the devil is in the details.” It is interesting considering Marvel Studios knows how much we like to examine details (like I’ve been doing) and the number of easter eggs abound. Then, there’s the connection to Mephisto, the devil-like entity in Marvel Comics. Wanda used some of his power to create her twins with Vision. He is a red-colored villain. Yes, red is representative of the Scarlet Witch, but it does make me wonder if it also is eluding to Mephisto. Yet, it could still represent Simon Williams/Wonder Man (I bring up his real name just in case they reference it in a later episode). Wonder Man’s symbol is a red W.
All that to say, I don’t really know where they’re going with the series. Is Vision alive? Did Wanda make this reality? Did SWORD? Did Mephisto? With that many questions, it’s so hard to tell right now. One thing is clear: this is such a fun show! I cannot wait for the next episodes.