I don’t have to tell you all the ways that the coronavirus is making us all miserable right now – we’re all facing the same lousy circumstances. So in the grand scheme of things, missing out on this year’s MCU slate isn’t the worst problem to have. But as someone who turns to movies for relief when life gets tough, I could really use some new comic book movies in my world right now.
2020 should have given us the Black Widow movie last spring, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series last summer, and The Eternals movie and WandaVision series this fall. And due to these heavily serialized films, releasing these titles out of order would wreak havoc on the MCU’s continuity (imagine watching The Avengers before Captain America: The First Avenger). So it comes as a surprise that Disney+ has announced its new streaming series, WandaVision, will debut in late 2020.
After checking out this wild trailer, I’m impressed by Disney’s willingness to really dive into the comic book roots of these two troubled characters.
WandaVision’s creepy tone feels more in line with The Twilight Zone than its MCU brethren. Which makes sense given the long and troubled comic book histories of Wanda Maximoff (aka Scarlet Witch) and The Vision.
Wanda is the daughter of one of Marvel Comics’ most notorious villains, Magneto. Over the years, she has flipped back and forth between being a hero and a villain. In the comics, Wanda is a powerful mutant with the ability to alter reality. And there have been times where Wanda, under great duress, suffered psychotic breaks. During these breakdowns, her powers literally warped reality, creating alternate timelines that reset the comic book’s timeline – which is preciesly what’s happening in this trailer.
Wanda’s MCU boyfriend, The Vision, also began life as one of The Avenger’s rogues gallery. Although he started out as a cold artificial lifeform, Vision evolved into the heroic and empathetic hero we see in the films. I’ve always enjoyed plotlines with Vision at his most existential, pondering what it means to be human.
In 2015, writer Tom King and illustrator Gabriel Hernández explored these themes in their excellent comic book series, The Vision. This title saw Vision living a Leave It to Beaver-esque family life with his android wife and android children. I see more than a few similarities to King’s series in WandaVision.
WandaVision is the first of many Marvel live-action TV series scheduled to run on Disney+. If WandaVision’s off-the-wall comic book-y-ness is any indication of what’s in store, the MCU is finally letting its freak flag fly, and the brand is all the better for it.
Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, “WandaVision” marks the first series from Marvel Studios streaming exclusively on Disney+. The series features a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.
WandaVision arrives on Disney+ in late 2020.