WandaVision wows Marvel fans


In this promotional photo for “WandaVision,” fans see the major characters of the show. Now that the show is fully released, fans know the context of many aspects of the promotional image such as the unique costumes, ominous drone and more. Photo courtesy of Disney Plus

Caitlin Maughan, Entertainment Editor

Warning: spoilers ahead


With homages to timeless sitcoms, dark tonal shifts and surprising guest stars, “WandaVision” has swept Marvel fans off their feet. 


On Jan. 15, 2021, the first episode of the Marvel television series, “WandaVision” premiered on Disney Plus. It was an instant success; according to The Observer, 1.6 million households watched the debut in the three days following the premiere date.


In past Marvel movies, fans watched Wanda Maximoff become an Avenger. Throughout the films, she also fell in love with Vision, an android created by Tony Stark. Unfortunately, the Avengers had to stop Thanos, a superhuman being who wished to wipe out all life in the universe with the powerful infinity stones; one of which, the mind stone, resided in Vision’s head. Afraid that Thanos would be too powerful if he obtained it, Vision asked Wanda to destroy the mind stone, and simultaneously, him. This was extremely painful for Wanda but she knew that it was the right thing to do. 


However, after Wanda succeeded in killing Vision and the mind stone, Thanos turned back time and took the mind stone from Vision’s head himself. After killing Vision, Thanos blipped away half of all life in the universe, including Wanda. When she eventually returned and helped the Avengers ultimately defeat Thanos, Vision was still dead and Wanda was alone. 


All of this leads to “WandaVision.” “WandaVision” begins as a sitcom starring Wanda and Vision set in Westview, New Jersey. Each episode is inspired by a new sitcom from a new decade. As the show progresses, more secrets about Wanda, the sitcom and the other residents of Westview are revealed.


“I’m always so excited on Thursdays knowing that there is a new episode coming out tomorrow,” Ray Moskal, the Video Production teacher, AV Club advisor and video technician for the school said.  


“WandaVision” is immensely important to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for many reasons. Primarily, it is the first series in phase four of the MCU. 


Additionally, it is one of the few Marvel productions that features a female superhero lead, though some may argue that Wanda is no superhero in this program. With the exception of “Captain Marvel,” there are no movies in the MCU with female superhero leads. However, on May 7, 2021, “Black Widow” starring Scarlette Johanson will be released.  


For the past couple of years, Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Wanda, has been very vocal about her character’s costume. Her issue with the ensemble is that, unlike any of the other superhero costumes in the MCU, it reveals a lot of cleavage which makes Olsen uncomfortable and, realistically, is not optimal for fighting a battle. Her complaints are all valid and addressed in her new costume, which is revealed in the finale of “WandaVision.” It is both beautiful and powerful and a drastic upgrade from her previous corset and leather jacket.   


Moreover, many believe that Wanda’s antics will provide a segway for Marvel into the world of X-Men and mutants. It is theorized that Wanda’s alternate reality alters peoples’ x-gene, transforming them into mutants and, as she expands her makeshift reality, she will create more and more of them. We saw an example of this in episode seven of “WandaVision” when Monica Rambeau passes through Wanda’s hex for the third time and obtains powers. 


An entertaining component of this show was fans constantly conducting radical conspiracy theories. While some seemed far-fetched, others seem entirely plausible. For example, a wide array of people expected Maphesto, a villain from the Marvel comics, to appear. It was even speculated that he was possessing the body of a dog that was in “WandaVision.” This was not the case. Other people noticed the colors of Agnus’ outfit and guessed that she was Agatha, a powerful witch from the Marvel comics, and they were right. 


The star of “WandaVision” is, of course, Elizabeth Olsen. Olsen is an amazing actress and her marvelous performance in the show is both mesmerizing and chilling. In “Wanda Vision,” Wanda is clearly having a crisis and slowly going insane; Olsen does an incredible job demonstrating Wanda’s internal conflict and making fans simultaneously sympathize with her and fear her.  


“If I have the option to watch a great tv show or a great movie, I’m going to pick a great tv show nine times out of ten,” Moskal said. “Especially when it comes to superheroes and expanding universes, in the big movies, what have you really gotten out of Wanda and Vision? You have a couple of scenes here and there, but you really don’t get into their relationship that much. But in [‘WandaVision’] your spending all of this time with these two characters and getting to know them.” 


“My favorite aspect of the show is that it really acted as a character study for Wanda,” Senior JJ Dionisio said.


Paul Bettany has done a wondrous job of allowing fans to get to know the goofy and fun sides of Vision. His death in “Avengers: Infinity War,” many complain, was not as sad as it could have been because fans rarely got to see his personality. In contrast, Vision’s death in “WandaVision” was incredibly sad for fans as they said goodbye to the Vision that they had gotten to know and love over the past two months.         


Another character who quickly became a fan favorite is Jimmy Woo due to his awkward but friendly personality and fast friendship with Monica Rambeau and Darcy Lewis. Jimmy Woo is an FBI agent and was a minor character in “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”


“I really hope Jimmy Woo gets his own show,” Dionisio said, “Kind of X-Files style… him dealing with different, weird, cosmic things happening as just a regular guy.” 


One of the most shocking moments of the show was the arrival of Pietro, Wanda’s dead twin brother. However, that is not the weird part. In WandaVision, the reincarnated version of Pietro is performed by none other than Evan Peters who plays Quicksilver in the X-Men Cinematic Universe. This led fans to question if the new character was Pietro, Quicksilver from X-Men or just a figment of Wanda’s imagination.  


“I did not like what they did with Evan Peters,” Senior Benjamin Freedman said. “… Everyone sees Evan Peters as Quicksilver from the old Fox ‘X-Men’ movies and you cast him for this? That just feels like a kick in the face.” 


“I was expecting Dr. Strange to show up,” Dionisio said. “It kinda doesn’t make sense that Dr. Strange wasn’t there because he has always been, ‘if there is ever anything weird cosmically, I’m there to fix it.” [Wanda] took hostage an entire town and he was probably just doing nothing.” 


As Dionisio said, it was surprising that none of the other Avengers, including Dr. Strange, showed up to assist Wanda, their friend. Not to mention that they allowed Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Division, or SWORD, to dismantle Visions body without so much as a funeral. While this is a common oversight in many of the individual Marvel movies, it still leaves fans wondering. 


“I’ve been recommending [‘WandaVision’] to others for the past 5 or 6 weeks now,” Ray Moskal, the Video Production teacher, AV Club advisor, and video technician for the school said. “Going into it, I really didn’t know what to expect… when the plot started to unravel a little bit it got more and more interesting and it’s so creative in the story-telling choices that they made. I love it; it might be my favorite thing that the MCU has ever done!”   


Everything about “WandaVision” is iconic. The way the narrative slowly reveals itself over time, the concept, the incredible acting, the cliffhangers, the costumes, the subtle easter eggs and everything in between.


Of course, there were still some complaints about the show. Many fans believed the ending to be somewhat anticlimactic; the Pietro reveal and the lack of Magnito left fans disappointed. Nevertheless, the final episode was packed with both action and emotion and created a perfect segway into phase four. 


“Everyone kind of reading into every little detail set us up for disappointment,” Dionisio said. “Yes I was, every week, theorizing, talking with my friends and throwing out crazy ideas but, in the end, I still thought it was a great show and the finale was amazing.”


“There were a few moments that made you roll your eyes and weren’t that great but I really enjoyed it on the whole and it is easily the most unique thing that the MCU has ever done,” Freedman said. 


I will not hesitate to give “WandaVision” a five-star rating. It lived up to every expectation and will most likely go down in MCU history. And it’s not just me who thinks that “WandaVision” is a marvelous show: 


“You know what, I’ll give it a full five stars,” Moskal said. “Elizabeth Olsen and Katherine Hahn are both doing such a great job blowing it out of the water, and, with each passing genre they do, they are giving it an outrageous performance. The costumes, the cliffhangers, I’ve enjoyed it so much.” 


“I’d give it a solid four and a half stars out of five,” Dionisio said. “Really good show. I hope they don’t bring it back for a second season; I like it as a limited series and I think that one season of this is a perfect wrap-up to the story.”