Marvel’s Newest Show, Wandavision, Places Grief at the Forefront of Villainy

Social media sites within the past couple of weeks have been ablaze with fan reactions, memes, and conspiracy theories surrounding Marvel’s newest tv show on Disney+. Scattered promotion initially portrayed the show taking place throughout different eras of television as a continuation of Wanda Maximoff and Vision’s relationship in a post-Endgame world, leaving many fans confused as to how the comic empire resurrected Vision from his tragic death in Avengers: Infinity War. 

Each episode takes place within a beautiful recreation of the chronological styles and designs of television shows from the 1950s until the present day, with small snippets of the world outside “Westview” coming to the forefront of the show as each episode progresses. Viewers soon come to learn that everything is not as it seems and that this constantly changing version of reality is the creation of Wanda. Members of the S.W.O.R.D. organization (a replacement for S.H.I.E.L.D which fell in Captain America: The Winter Soldier) inform the audience that Vision has not been miraculously resurrected but is a by-product of Wanda’s newfound ability to distort the innate matter of objects. 

Marvel is well-known for promoting villains with world-altering abilities and devious plots, yet in this new phase of the MCU, Wandavision seems to promote one of the most abstract aspects of life as its main villains: grief. And there’s a lot for the main character, Wanda, to grieve. As we see in the most recent episode, 8, Wanda entered the Marvel Cinematic Universal as an orphan with only a twin brother, Pietro, to show for the family. Within the two-and-a-half-hour plotline of Avengers: Age of Ultron she loses this final piece of familiarity and comfort. Followed later on by the tragic death of her lover, Vision, and those few members of her new Avengers family in a matter of seconds after Thano’s snap in Avengers: Infinity War, it is no wonder why Marvel screenwriters and producers chose to pursue this new form of villainy. Photo by Kristina Paukshtite from Pexels Having followed Wanda’s tragic journey of loss, it only makes sense that she would resort to creating a false reality in order to cope. A false reality in which Vision can live another day of the American dream: buying a house, making friends with their neighbors, and even having two children, Billy and Tommy. As the outside world begins to catch up with Wanda and her actions, the show presents a series of truly complex questions to its viewers. The ethics of Wanda’s holding the town of Westview captive are another matter entirely so let’s disregard that for now. If you had the ability to save your loved ones wouldn’t you do everything within your power to bring them back? If you had supernatural powers, wouldn’t you create a false reality to cope within rather than truly accept the heartbreaking loss of a loved one? 

As each episode is released on a weekly basis, we’ve been given more information about Wanda’s origin story and the writers continue to build this breathtakingly heart wrenching storyline that speaks to Marvel’s ability to tell stories of deep loss, love, and passion. Going beyond the stereotypical superhero thrillers that are often looked down upon within the film industry, Wandavision’s portrayal of grief is truly one of the most honest that I have ever seen promoted on television (minus the whole false reality and superpowers, of course). This exploration of grief as the main villain is extremely telling of Marvel’s vision for this new phase and its willingness to go beyond the surface level for its female characters rather than reducing them to sexy costumes and side plots. 

Photos: Her Campus Media