Marvel Studios unveiled its first Disney Plus series and kicked off Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with the debut of WandaVision on January 15th. WandaVision marks the end of Marvel’s longest content gap and promises to keep fans entertained with superhero shenanigans until at least mid-March. While WandaVision is not Marvel’s first TV show or its first streaming service series, it is Marvel’s first series to focus exclusively on two of its main characters and, therefore, the first series that will have a direct connection to the MCU as a whole. There is no doubt that WandaVision will have an important influence on future Phase Four films and characters.
So far, the series follows the seemingly perfect suburban lives of two superheroes all Marvel fans know and love: Wanda Maximoff (the Scarlet Witch) and Vision. Each episode is set to take place in a different TV era beginning in the 1950s and continuing up to the 2000s The Office-style sitcoms. The director of the show has dubbed WandaVision a “love letter to the history of television” and rightfully so, WandaVision was met with immediate high praise and excitement from fans and critics alike. It is clear that quite a bit of thought and effort went into tailoring each episode to fit within its respective era. Marvel recently shared that the 1950s episode was filmed in front of a live studio audience, just like any other 50s sitcom, and that practical visual effects were used instead of CGI to illustrate Wanda’s powers and magical costume changes. Each episode has its own set of appropriately styled historical costumes and hairstyles, adding to the overall nostalgia of the show. The addition of era-styled theme songs and MCU inspired advertisements only add to the appeal of the show, all while giving fans new theories to speculate over.
The first two episodes of the show currently offer more questions than answers, the most pressing being what on Earth is going on here? Why is Vision suddenly alive and well after the disastrous events of Avengers: Infinity War? How does Wanda have control over this wacky alternate universe and is she responsible for its creation? How do Agent Jimmy Woo, Darcy Lewis, and Monica Rambeau come into play? Fans of the Marvel comics may have noticed the logo for the intelligence agency S.W.O.R.D. pop up in multiple locations; is S.W.O.R.D responsible for Wanda’s current predicament or is it trying to save her from a greater force at play? Is it a coincidence that noisy-neighbor Agnes bears a striking resemblance to the witch/sorceress Agatha Harkness, who acted as Wanda’s teacher in the comics? Knowing Marvel’s track record, most likely not, but whether her role is friend or foe remains to be seen. Overall, Marvel has done it again and created an engaging show with an intriguing plotline, all while building upon the character storylines Marvel fans have come to cherish. The plot seems a little random at the moment, but any well seasoned Marvel fan knows that good things come to those who wait. WandaVision is funny, emotional, and will no doubt continue to bring all sorts of Marvel themed surprises to audiences.