Is “WandaVision” the start of a new era for Marvel?

I had been waiting for Marvel’s “WandaVision” to arrive on Disney+ for months, and the day had finally come. On Friday, January 15th, 2021, the first two episodes became available to stream. I sat down on the couch with snacks in one hand and my remote in the other, ready to watch.

Immediately, I was blown away by the creativity and work that was put into the show from a production standpoint. It was obvious that inspiration was drawn from vintage sitcoms, such as “I Love Lucy” and “Bewitched,” as the first two episodes were fully black and white. Almost every episode thus far has been a different decade, which the audience can see through the clothing and hair changes, as well as the major set changes. It was an out of this world, never-before-seen experience. But the whole time, I kept wondering about what this might mean for Marvel in the future.

Marvel’s move to focus more on television was the perfect step to take, especially during a pandemic. No one is going to the movie theaters right now, so they have been binging shows on streaming services. Because of this, it makes sense why they would hold off on releasing “Black Widow” and pull “WandaVision” out of their hat instead. Why not release a new show and make some bank? 

While Marvel has mostly been known for their blockbuster movies up until this point, DC has mostly stayed off of the silver screen, focusing on their CW shows. This is due largely to the fact that DC films (other than “Wonder Woman,” which has queen energy) have gotten poor reviews.

But what does it mean for DC as Marvel becomes a force to be reckoned with? Disney has a huge monopoly on the entertainment industry and has owned Marvel since 2009. WarnerBros. owns DC, which, in turn, is owned by AT&T, and even they can barely compete with the monster that is Disney. Disney has already absorbed many franchises such as “X-Men”, “Deadpool”, “Indiana Jones” and “Star Wars.” What if DC is next on their hit list? 

In “Is Marvel About to Take over DC Comics? Here’s Why this Could Happen,” from Inside the Magic, Ryan Ogilvie writes, “There are many claims that suggest that AT&T has no interest in being in the publishing business and is considering licensing DC Comics out.” He then concludes, saying, “It would seem that it’s the comic arm of the business that is in need of help and given Marvel’s continued success even in the comic world, they seem like the logical partner.” 

So what does “WandaVision”, among other new shows that will soon be coming to Disney+, mean for the future of Marvel, DC and the rest of the entertainment industry? I think only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: Disney and Marvel Studios are thriving in this climate and will continue to enhance their product, stomping on every other company that gets in their way.  

***Warning: This section contains spoilers for “WandaVision.” Read at your own risk.***

When the new semester started, me and some of my friends decided to have watch parties every Friday to stream “WandaVision.” Freshman comic book lover/superhero fan Avery Rasche was loving the show right from the get go. 

“It’s wacky. It’s very interesting, it’s something you don’t see in the superhero genre, for a sitcom portrayal, and it’s one of those weird things you don’t really see in movies either because it starts off as a sitcom comedy and then you saw in the last episode (E5), it’s genre completely changes. It has more like a drama, action, type feel to it,” Rasche said. 

She then followed up with, “Most superhero TV shows have a villain of the week type thing, but this, you don’t have that, and you’re constantly wondering: is the main character the bad guy?” 

In “WandaVision,” Wanda and her husband, Vision, seem to be living it up in the suburbs of Westview, but the town and the people in it are a lot more nuanced than that: something sketchy — “glitches” — seem to happen in every episode.

In episode two, we are introduced to Geraldine, who we begin to suspect later on to be Monica Rambeau (the little girl from “Captain Marvel”). She is “booted” out of the show after episode three when she asks Wanda about her dead brother, Pietro. The audience begins to wonder: where did she come from? How did she get here? And how did she know about Pietro? 

Back to Rasche’s point, at the end of episode three, everyone starts to suspect that Wanda is running the show. This is further proven in episode four and five, when we get a glimpse into S.W.O.R.D’s work and Monica’s backstory. On top of this, Vision also starts to get suspicious because he is noticing all of these “glitches.” 

But honestly, I don’t think that this is all that’s going on, and neither does Rasche. Sure Wanda has a lot to do with the mayhem that seems to be going on, but most, if not all, of Wanda’s motivation in this is to live out her life with Vision and her two sons, because as we know from “Avengers: Infinity War,” Vision is dead. Avery describes Vision in “WandaVision” as such: “Weirdly enough, Vision isn’t really affected that much anymore because he’s becoming aware of what’s going on and actively fighting against it. But he still doesn’t know that he’s dead: he’s basically an animated corpse.” 

So who else could be causing this mess? Rasche has her bets placed on Mephisto and Agatha Harkness (two comic book villains). 

At the end of episode 5, Pietro (that’s right, her dead brother), rings their doorbell. But, it’s not the actor you’d expect: it’s Evan Peters (X-Men), not Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron). Rasche claims, “That’s either them trying to incorporate X-Men because Disney now has the rights to them, or he’s Mephisto.” 

On top of this, we believe that Agnes, their next-door neighbor, is Agatha Harkness because the names are super similar and she seems to know exactly what is going on. 

We believe that Agatha and Mephisto have trapped Wanda inside of this false reality and are trying to turn her into a villain, while also accomplishing their own motives––maybe to get part of Mephisto’s soul back from Wanda’s kids, per the plot of the comics.

Rasche thinks that if they really wanted to get interesting, Marvel will use what happens in the comics, and Wanda will become an actual villain by the end of the show. Rasche said, “You could then go into the “House of M” storyline where she basically commits weird accidental/purposeful genocide.” 

Will grief get the best of Wanda? Will she finally become the Scarlet Witch? What will happen to Wanda and Vision’s relationship? Are our predictions correct? Only time will tell.  

The last four episodes of WandaVision will be coming to Disney+ for the next four Fridays! If you want to join in on their adventures, you too could start a watch party with your friends! It’s super fun and seems to be a fan favorite!

Abby Doonan ('24) is the Arts Editor for The Anchor and was previously a staff writer. She is a theatre and communication double major from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Abby loves acting, any music that makes her dance or sing, hula hooping, romcom movies, and all things Marvel. She is passionate about arts journalism and strives to publish content that keeps you updated on all the artsy things!

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