Hello, everyone! My name’s Roderick J. “Jay” Fritz, AKA RJ Writing Ink, AKA the newest member of The Game of Nerds staff! I’ve spent years writing about nerdy topics on my blog, but now I’m ready to become part of a larger universe. And to start things off, I want to talk about the show that’s got the Internet aflame: WandaVision.
With the miniseries now halfway over, some casual fans may be left wondering how Wanda Maximoff could end up like this. How did she bring back her dead lover, Vision, and then trap an entire town in a distorted sitcom world? After all, she’s never shown this level of power before. At least, not in the MCU.
The thing is, while she’s only started to tap into the full extent of her powers in the MCU, Wanda Maximoff has a history of being overpowered in the comics. And just like what we see in WandaVision, that power took a toll on her sanity. Worse, it almost tore the Marvel universe apart. To help the uninitiated better understand where MCU Wanda’s going, we’re going to take a look at her history of mental instability in the comics. To be more precise, we’ll be looking at two major events that WandaVision is drawing inspiration from to craft a tale of loss and madness. Our first stop is a tale that shook the Avengers to the core: Avengers Disassembled.
The Beginning of the End
It was a quiet morning at Avengers Mansion. Team members were up having breakfast, getting ready for a day on the job. Then, out of nowhere, a friend they thought dead appeared…and proceeded to blow themselves up. The blast killed Scott Lang (Ant-Man) and leveled part of the Mansion.
From there, things begin to snowball out of control. At the UN, Tony starts acting like he’s drunk and threatens the ambassador of Latveria (Dr. Doom’s Country), making a fool of himself. Then, the Vision creates five duplicates of Ultron before dying that fight the heroes until one of them goes berserk. And if that wasn’t bad enough, suddenly, a Kree warship appears out of nowhere and starts attacking the heroes, with Hawkeye sacrificing himself to destroy the ship. It’s one crisis after another, and the Avengers are at the breaking point. That’s when Dr. Strange arrives with a warning: someone near them is abusing magic to cause all this chaos. And while Captain America doesn’t want to admit it, he knows who it is: Wanda Maximoff.
The Tragedy of the Scarlet Witch
Like in the MCU, Wanda hasn’t had what you’d call a happy life in the comics. After debuting as a reluctant supervillain, Wanda found happiness amongst the Avengers, becoming a regular team member. She even married the android Vision, and the two had twins together. But then, everything went downhill.
After Vision briefly turned evil, the US Government kidnapped and took him apart. The heroes put him back together, but now he lacked any emotions, leading to their marriage falling apart. Even worse, it was discovered that Wanda’s twin sons weren’t real. She used her powers, combined with the fragments of the soul of Marvel’s equivalent of the Devil, to create them. And when the Devil came to get his due, it was too much for Wanda. Her mentor, Agatha Harkness, had to wipe her memories of them. But a stray comment by one of her teammates brought all those memories back, and the madness.
With her powers now amped up to reality-warping levels, Wanda unknowingly began to use them on her teammates, revenge for their apparent inability to save her sons. She even went so far as to recreate her children with her powers. Left with little choice, the Avengers confronted their friend, who used all her power against the other heroes. In the end, Dr. Strange managed to put a stop to the chaos, but Wanda Maximoff was spirited away by her (maybe) father, Magneto.
The damage was done, though.
Avengers Disassembled, A Hero Fallen
In the aftermath, the Avengers were in tatters. Tony’s actions caused the UN to cease their partnership with them, their HQ laid in ruins, several members were dead, and the events mentally drained the rest. It was too much for the team. And so, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes decided the time had come to disband.
Of course, they eventually reformed because “status quo is God,” and we would eventually learn that there were outside forces manipulating her, but Wanda’s actions would have a lasting impact on the Marvel universe.
The takeaway here is that, while Wanda’s actions in WandaVision may seem a bit out of left field, they’re not. Like in the comics, MCU Wanda’s gone through several traumatic events in her life. What we see in the show could be her reaching the breaking point. And with her level of power, that makes her a threat to herself and to the MCU.
Don’t believe me? Because as bad as the events I just abridged were, they’re nothing compared to what she did next. Come back next week as I cover Wanda’s most infamous display of power, the House of M.
Or click here if you want to see some more MCU/Marvel Comic action.