Of all the upcoming shows on Marvel Studios' slate, WandaVision is the project I am looking forward to the most.
In the cinematic franchise, Wanda Maximoff and Vision have certainly been integral figures, playing particularly pivotal roles throughout The Infinity Saga. However, the films have barely scratched the surface on what these characters are truly capable of delivering.
Wanda herself is arguably one of the most powerful superheroes in Marvel Comics, particularly via her reality warping abilities that have catalyzed a variety of monumental events in the comics themselves. Thus, I am particularly excited for what WandaVision will explore and what source material the writers will be pulling from.
With that being said, today will mark the beginning of my own exploration of the portfolio of works I believe will serve as a solid foundation to the upcoming television series. This portfolio includes iconic stories such as House of M, The Vision and the Scarlet Witch, and The Vision.
The Vision began running in 2015 with an amazingly talented crew featuring the likes of Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Jordie Bellaire, Mike Del Mundo, and Clayton Cowles. The series traverses Vision's personal journeys as he settles down in an Arlington suburb. Now, The notable Avenger doesn't just buy a home in the suburbs, he also creates his own family, including a wife named Virginia and two kids, Vivian and Vin.
Unfortunately for Vision, his decision to settle down and live a peaceful life with his family catalyzes a journey far from what he initially expects.
The Vision itself is an inherently complex work, so let's start from the beginning.
Vision #1 commences with the story's narrator describing the arrival of the Vision family to a residential community in Arlington, Virginia. In the first few panels of the issue, the artist depicts a quaint neighborhood, ultimately a stereotypical exemplification of American suburbia. The narrator goes on to discuss the nature of the community, one that is ideal for families and individuals with conventional 9-5 jobs.
Now, these written and visual descriptions of the neighborhood suddenly become juxtaposed by a floating mailbox. This stark image exemplifies the arrival of The Visions to the neighborhood in addition to their overarching materialization into human society.
Following the establishment of the setting, Vision #1 brings us deeper into the story itself. George and Nora, The Visions' next door neighbors, decide to welcome their new neighbors with some freshly baked desserts. The couple maintain polarizing views of their neighborhood's newest residents with George feeling disturbed by the fact that Vision created his own "robot" family. Nora on the other hand appears to maintain an open mind. However, her curiosity of the family seems to stem from her otherization of them.
When George and Nora knock on their neighbors' door, they find themselves greeted by Vision's entire family. The narrator states that The Visions were indeed happy to have visitors. This appears to be exemplified when they all state, "Pleasure to meet you" to George and Nora in unison.
Now, one cannot help but wonder if this pleasure, and subsequent greeting, is genuine or automated. Perhaps to promote normalcy and appear to be a conventional family, Vision programmed his family to act and respond via human norms to those they interact with.
However, one of Vision's comments following his family's interaction with George and Nora suggests something quite intriguing. In a conversation with Virginia, he states,
"To assert as truth which has no meaning is the core mission of humanity".
This statement alone calls Vision's methods in creating a family into question. Vision manufactured his wife and two kids. He has his children attend school when they can simply absorb all the information they want at a moment's notice. He has his family come together for dinner every night and engage with neighbors, accepting their gift of freshly baked cookies that The Visions cannot actually consume.
So, why did Vision create a family?
Well, one can infer that Vision may be conflicted about his own nature. His biological form has been manufactured, but the character has a history of expressing empathy in addition to agency over his decision-making.
So, the character may feel as though he has indeed lived a human life, but it cannot exactly be defined as such by the rest of the world due to his nature. Thus, perhaps Vision thought that in constructing a family, the rest of the world would finally perceive him as just another human being, living amongst and within humankind.
Ultimately, this question as to why Vision created a family incites a variety of answers, ones that may not exactly become clearer as the story progresses.
One of the primary themes of WandaVision will undoubtedly be that of the subjectivity of one's reality.
Throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wanda Maximoff has not been dealt a kind hand.
Her twin brother perished in the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which also features the widespread destruction to her homeland of Sokovia. Captain America: Civil War places Wanda in the center of conflict after she inadvertently kills civilians during a mission. Finally, Avengers: Infinity War features the death of her partner, Vision, and her own demise.
So, yes, Wanda has not had an easy experience in her Marvel Cinematic Universe journey. Thus, one may presume that WandaVision will explore the character creating her own world and her own state of being, one that she can control.
Each of these aforementioned films feature Wanda in the midst of a situation where her powers can only do so much. Despite being insanely powerful, she has been unable to alter her predicaments. Thus, one can assume the helplessness Wanda felt in these scenarios.
So, perhaps the character will challenge herself and the extent of her abilities as to construct a world in which her home, her loved ones, and her own being will not experience such loss.
Vision #1 and the series as a whole primarily focuses on its titular character with some references here and there to Wanda herself. However, the thematic elements of the series in addition to its aesthetics are aspects I believe will be heavily featured in WandaVision.
As aforementioned The Vision is a complex work, and I do not expect WandaVision to handle those complexities lightly.
So, stay tuned as I continue digging deeper into the portfolio of works that WandaVision may very well pull inspiration from.