During the Super Bowl, fans of the Marvel cinematic universe were delightedly introduced to the less-than-ordinary Vision family. This wacky campy first look has elements from a variety of TV show styles. Here at But Why Tho, we thought it would be a fantastic idea to take a step back and explain some of the major comic influences that will likely play a part in the upcoming Disney+ original, WandaVision —focused on you guessed it, Wanda and Vision.
The show is set to feature Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), Vision (Paul Bettany), Darcy Lewis from the first two Thor movies (Kat Dennings), FBI Agent Jimmy Woo from Ant-Man and the Wasp (Randall Park), Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel (Teyonah Parris), and Kathryn Hahn in an unnamed role. There have also been some set photos of Monica Rambeau aka Lieutenant Trouble, aka the first Captain Marvel and Photon from the comics, leaving a S.W.O.R.D. building (the space division of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
Based on the trailer last night, it encompasses a vast array of different tones and styles, but we wanted to get stuck into the comic stories that have likely influenced the story.
The Vision #1 – #12 (2015-2016)
Tom King’s 12-issue mini-series, The Vison is now a stable book for any fan and one of the best Marvel comics from the past decade. With art from Gabriel Walta, colors from Jordie Bellaire, and lettering from Clayton Cowles, King dives deeply into the nuanced familial life of Vision outside of his relationship with Scarlet Witch.
While Scarlet Witch isn’t the main character of this story, she is still vital to the core of it. King’s script follows Vision as he creates himself a synthezoid wife, Virginia and their two kids, Viv and Vin. He chooses to retire from the Avengers to live out his dream of living a normal, traditional suburban life. This idea of settling down for family seems to be a heavy story element for Disney+, WandaVision. By the time issue 7 comes around, it shifts focus to the story of Wanda and Vision’s romantic life. It features the ups and downs of their love. The central conflict is Scarlet Witch’s desire for a family and Vision’s indifference to her emotional state.
While King’s overall plot for The Vision doesn’t seem to be the entirety of WandaVision, it’s overall themes of family and relationships can give readers a bit of an insight into some beats that could be utilized in the Disney+ original show.
The Vision and the Scarlet Witch #1 – #12 (1985-86)
This 35-year-old story could be arguably one of the more important stories that will have undoubtedly inspire WandaVision. The 12 issue series, written by Steve Englehart, and with art by Richard Howell, features the adventures of Wanda Maximoff and The Vision. The two now-retired Avengers, seek to live a normal life in the suburbs as they discuss the possibility of starting a family. As with other comics from around this era, there’s a lot of campy mishaps and bizarre villains popping up intent on disrupting the happy couple. The main takeaway, through the use of magic, Wanda is able to conceive twin boys, to which Doctor Strange physically delivers them. The twins, Billy and Tommy, will later be developed into Wiccan, and Speed.
Avengers West Coast #51 – #52 (1989)
The twins however have had a bumpy history that draws us into Avengers West Coast. During the time, some of the editors were unhappy with the previous direction to give superheroes children. Written and illustrated by John Byrne, dastardly forces come out to play as the plot is revealed that Wanda’s twin boys are nothing more than shards of Mephisto’s soul. Master Pandemonium, and Mephisto, reveal the horrific truth which crushes Wanda. After Wanda is confronted with the truth of the children’s origin, the Scarlet Witch suffers a nervous breakdown causing her to spiral into madness. She is eventually saved and pulled back from the edge oblivion, however, the cost on Wanda was deeper than the heroes could have anticipated.
Avengers Disassembled (2005)
Written by Brian Michael Bendis, this mini-series details the Avengers at their absolute worst. The series details a version of unfortunate events as numerous heroes experience horrific loss, death, physical torture, and alien invasions. Upon first reading, you may find yourself wondering where this is all leading. Carnage strikes in every corner as the Avengers mansion is burned down, Vision dies and births a return of Ultron, and a ton of other unbelievable events occur. Hold on to your hats, and be prepared, as some of the heroes do not make it out alive. Doctor Strange is called in and discovers that reality is being tampered with on a level that has never been seen before. The root is Wanda Maximoff. The Avengers, joined by the X-Men, must band together to confront the Scarlet Witch, as her chaos magic surges dangerously out of control. In the end, Wanda is found to be too powerful and decides to change the reality on a global level, and that feeds into our next comic.
House of M #1 – #8 (2005)
Out of all of the comics linked with the WandaVision show, this is by far the most heavily linked series. After being confronted by the X-Men, and the Avengers, Wanda has changed everything about Earth as we know it. Magneto is president, mutants are the largest population, and every one of the heroes seems to have what they always wanted. Wolverine, the lone wolf (as he so often is), who exclaims he’s been mind-wiped more times then he can remember, gets exactly what he wanted, he remembers everything. Now, with the help of a young mutant, he has to assemble the other members of the team during their new lives, and wake them up.
Eventually, the team is gathered, and an attack on Genosha is launched against the President and his forces. Ultimately, Wanda reveals herself, clearly exhausted with people’s wants and desires never being enough. She looks internally about how, and where this all went wrong. Wanda concludes that the root of her problems has always been, and always will be, her Father Magneto. Wanda, wanting to punish her Father, utters three devastating words “No more mutants.”. In the latest reality, only a few thousand mutants exist with powers, the rest have been genetically altered into humans.
The comics listed above will likely have influenced the story of WandaVision, and should give viewers an expectation for the coming show. While on the surface we’ll have this wacky, campy, sitcom-style show, I believe on the edges of that reality, the gaps will start to appear. As Wanda struggles to maintain her grip on what is real, her chaos magic will have serious impacts and implications on the larger MCU. This promises to be an odd, funny, mind-bending roller coaster of a ride that will have us all talking for a long time to come!