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There’s magic in the air. During Sunday night’s Emmy Awards, Disney+ unveiled the first trailer for the highly-anticipated series, WandaVision. Picking up after the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), WandaVision finds the reality manipulating Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), and the android with a soul, Vision (Paul Bettany), living together happily in marital bliss. But all is not as it seems, and Wanda and Vision look to have more than their share of problems infringing on their domestic life. Chief of all, isn’t Vision dead
Hailing from writer Jac Schaeffer (Captain Marvel, Black Widow), WandaVision is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe series slated to be released by Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige, and will directly tie into the films, rather than be loosely connected to them as seen previously with the Marvel TV series on Netflix and ABC. Originally, the Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan-led The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was set to kick-off Disney+’s Marvel programming, but a production shutdown due to COVID-19 caused it to be delayed.
Luckily, WandaVision completed its six-episode run just in time. The series boasts a $150 million budget, comparable to the MCU films, which speaks to the importance Marvel Studios sees in their Disney+ slate, projects of equal weight to the films rather than ancillary material. Speculation is that the series will ultimately see Wanda embrace her Scarlet Witch namesake, and will serve as a prelude to her involvement in Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
WandaVision takes inspiration from sitcoms of ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, with Wanda and the Vision cycling through TV-inspired realities, undoubtedly created by Wanda in an effort to create the life she and Vision were denied as a result of Thanos’ siege on Earth. Wanda’s history with mental illness is long-storied in Marvel Comics, ultimately culminating in the famous House of M storyline by Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel that saw Wanda suffer a nervous breakdown and alter the reality, oh, and wipe out most of the world’s mutants.
The WandaVision teaser suggests that Wanda has created a pocket reality in middle-America, drawing in neighbors to this strange saga. But there may also be darker forces at work. While Kathryn Hahn’s character has yet to be revealed, her witchy Halloween costume could be a clue. There’s a chance Hahn is portraying the MCU’s version of Agatha Harkness, a witch who survived the Salem Witch trials to live in the present-day and eventually tutored Wanda in magic, and helped her use those powers to become pregnant. While this all seems beneficent enough, Agatha also wiped Wanda’s memory of her children when they were claimed by Mephisto, leading Wanda to eventually kill her mentor.
The suburban setting of WandaVision seems to be inspired by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s 12-issue Vision maxiseries, while their supernatural threatened romance stems from two separate miniseries titled The Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1982) by Bill Mantlo and Rick Leonardi and The Vision of the Scarlet Witch (1985) by Steve Englehart and Richard Howell. Englehart’s series explored Wanda’s pregnancy by those aforementioned magical means and she and Vision’s role as parents to twin sons. Those sons, later returned through the magic of comic book retcons, eventually grew up to be Wiccan and Speed, members of the Young Avengers. In the teaser trailer, there’s a brief shot of Wanda and Vision holding twin boys, further suggesting Harkness’ involvement and, if Wanda’s reality warping also effects the aging of her sons, possibly teeing up the rumored Young Avengers project.
WandaVision also features a few familiar faces, Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) from Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) from Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), though neither are seen in the teaser trailer. As for a kinda familiar face we do see, Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel (2019) shows up near the end of the teaser, but she’s all grown up with Teyonah Parris replacing the younger version played by Akira Akbar. In the comics, Rambeau is a hero of her own, the first woman to take the name Captain Marvel, back when Carol Danvers was still Ms. Marvel. But what does Monica Rambeau have to do with Wanda and Vision’s story? Well, in another interesting tie to House of M, Wanda’s reality warping was what led Carol Danvers to lose the Ms. Marvel name and become Captain Marvel after entering a reality where she was the world’s biggest hero, inspiring her to become just that when the world returned to normal. It could be that Monica Rambeau takes the place of Carol in this adaptation and sees her own dreams of becoming a superhero fulfilled by Wanda’s ever-growing powerset.
For a teaser running under a minute-and-a-half, the first look at WandaVision is jam-packed with information, and gives fans quite a lot to look forward to, as well as some mysteries to ponder over leading up to the premiere. Set to Disney+ later this year, WandaVision could be the only MCU project that actually makes it out of the gates in 2020, and that’s certainly something that would make this reality a little more exciting.
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