WandaVision is the primary of the Disney+ Marvel reveals to air, and over the course of its run, it is turned out to be one of the crucial satisfying entries, film or TV present, within the total Marvel universe. We will discuss concerning the unimaginable element of the sitcom parodies, we will (and we should always!) discuss concerning the ridiculous versatility and expertise of Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, however WandaVision’s largest energy can be what makes it uncommon for a Marvel property. As an alternative of focusing closely on Easter eggs and hints at what’s to return, the present cares most about its small, central solid of characters and creating them in a nuanced approach.
At its coronary heart, WandaVision is not a superhero story within the conventional sense; it is a character drama concerning the nuances of grief. Its protagonist, Wanda, cannot be put right into a neat field: she is and is not a hero; she is and is not a villain. She by no means means to harm anybody, and she or he saves individuals, however her grief is so overwhelming and all-consuming that she winds up holding an entire city hostage to her desires and her nightmares; to them, she is a villain – understandably.
We watch her undergo denial, anger, bargaining, all these issues that grief tends to deliver, and, finally, acceptance. In a yr when so many people have needed to cope with grief (collective, private, or each), a complete story concerning the challenges of grieving and of discovering methods to manage feels extra highly effective than ever. It is why one line from the penultimate episode, delivered by Imaginative and prescient in one among Wanda’s reminiscences, has develop into an prompt hit: “What’s grief, if not love persevering?” That compassionate framing of grief hits dwelling in such an elegantly easy approach.
“What’s grief, if not love persevering?” – Imaginative and prescient
All that is attainable as a result of WandaVision, for essentially the most half, resists the urge to be an Easter egg manufacturing unit for future Marvel reveals. To be truthful, we do watch each week questioning if a sure allusion implies that some villain is coming or if a casting gag really is a touch at a future multiverse. Over a decade of watching Marvel motion pictures has skilled us to search for these, in any case, and the weekly launch schedule has solely amped up the necessity to maintain the conversations and the theories going.
In the end, although, WandaVision politely however firmly brushes off most makes an attempt at confirming theories about Mephisto, Nightmare, the X-Males, the Incredible 4, and extra. It is extra occupied with being a narrative concerning the characters in its title than it’s about being a trailer for the following future blockbuster. That is one thing that, I believe, Marvel has misplaced a bit of bit over the previous a number of years. Approach again in Part One, though the groundwork was clearly being laid for the Avengers team-up, we nonetheless obtained particular person origin tales that created intriguing, three-dimensional characters. We realized about Tony Stark’s ego blended with guilt and trauma, we discovered why Steve Rogers devoted himself to preventing, we watched Thor study humility and selflessness.
Lately, nevertheless, with a few exceptions, the main target in Marvel tales at all times appears to be about what’s subsequent, somewhat than what’s. We hardly ever deal with characters and their relationships as a result of we’re at all times busy chasing down the following magical merchandise or supervillain or specializing in that background billboard to see if it has a clue to a hero that may presumably present up 5 years down the road. There is not any room to breathe when every part hints at one thing else. That is what makes WandaVision such an achievement: it does not exist in a complete vacuum (it does, in any case, arrange a minimum of two future motion pictures and presumably a minimum of one TV present), however that is not the primary level.
It does not matter that Monica’s engineer good friend wasn’t Reed Richards or that “Pietro” wasn’t really an alternate-universe superhero. What issues is that we obtained to discover characters and a relationship that the Marvel motion pictures anticipated us to purchase into however by no means really gave us sufficient to actually really feel related to. As an alternative of being informed to really feel a sure approach, these feelings grew organically from the story we watched.
That is disappointing for some viewers, I am positive. In some methods, it jogs my memory of the response to the Misplaced finale, divided between these happy with the character-driven finale and people indignant that they left mysteries unanswered. For me, a minimum of, WandaVision was satisfying and emotionally resonant, because of its willingness to easily inform its personal story. I can solely hope that future Marvel tasks will see the richness of their characters and select the same path.