A Beginner’s Guide to WandaVision
Updated: Jan 20
Don’t worry, no spoilers ahead!
Marvel’s first television series on Disney+, WandaVision, was a smash hit. Of course, no one really expected it to flop, but even The Vision (Paul Bettany) himself didn’t think it would be such a success. In January, before the season was fully released, WandaVision had the highest viewership in streaming, according to a Variety report. Wanda and Vision’s “kooky” story beat out other fan favorites Bridgerton, Cobra Kai and Lupin, which are some of Netflix’s biggest success stories.
Now that the first season is over, and with little hope for a second season, WandaVision is in the perfect bingeable format. If you’re new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and aren’t up for watching the 23 movies that come before WandaVision, don’t worry. We’re giving you everything you need to know about Wanda and Vision’s story before diving into the sitcom-inspired series.
Let’s start with something simple:
Who is Wanda?
Wanda Maximoff, superhero name The Scarlet Witch, has a complicated history in the MCU. She first joined the franchise in Avengers: Age of Ultron as a villain (I know, shocking). Wanda was an angry teenager hailing from an Eastern European country, Sokovia, with a personal vendetta against Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. A Stark Industries weapon killed her parents and left her and her twin brother, Pietro, stranded in their home for days. Pietro and Wanda join forces with Hydra (it’s a very bad group of villains, but you don’t need to know much about them) where they undergo genetic experimentation with the Mind Stone that eventually gives them their powers.
Mind Stone? What?
It’s one of the six Infinity Stones and was used to create both Wanda and Vision’s powers, but you don’t need to worry about anything more than that.
What exactly are her powers?
The full extent of Wanda’s powers has not been revealed yet. However, it’s safe to say she’s one of the strongest Avengers. Her abilities include telekinesis, and energy manipulation, she can also read thoughts and make people see waking nightmares. Her powers seem to be tied to her emotions, as we see after Pietro is killed by Ultron and she lets out an energy field.
While she does join forces with the Avengers, who teach her how to better control her powers, the team seems quite scared of what she is capable of. Everyone except for Vision, who is put on Wanda babysitting duty in Captain America: Civil War. During this film, the two develop a romantic connection, which is later explored in Avengers: Infinity War.
Who is Vision?
Vision also joined the Avengers in Age of Ultron, but his actor Paul Bettany has been a member before that. Bettany voiced J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark’s computer operating system. After J.A.R.V.I.S. was destroyed by Ultron, Tony uploaded it into a synthetic body made of vibranium, and powered with the Mind Stone. The almost indestructible being became known as Vision. He is typically red in his synthezoid form, but he can sometimes take on a human form thanks to Wanda’s powers.
Buckle up, this next part gets complicated. In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos (another bad guy) is after the six Infinity Stones, one of which is basically Vision’s main power source. The Avengers try to surgically remove the Mind Stone from Vision, but they can’t hold off Thanos’ army for long enough. Vision asks Wanda to destroy the Mind Stone, thus destroying Vision. She successfully holds off Thanos (see, most powerful Avenger) and destroys the Mind Stone. However, Thanos uses the Time Stone to go back in time and kill Vision to complete his Infinity Gauntlet. So, if we didn’t believe Vision was dead the first time, he’s definitely dead the second time.
Wait, didn’t you say Vision is dead? Then how…?
So yeah how is dead Vision parading around suburbia in WandaVision? That’s a good question, but I can’t tell you the answer. I said no spoilers, remember. Just keep in mind that Wanda’s powers give her the ability to control others’ realities.
What exactly are his powers?
Thanks to the Mind Stone, and Tony Stark’s AI, Vision has many powers. He can phase through solid matter, fly, create energy beams, and use superhuman strength. On top of that, he’s extremely intelligent.
What is WandaVision about?
WandaVision sends Wanda and Vision into the ideal suburban life of Westview. The catch is each episode is told through the lens of a different sitcom era. Starting in the ‘50s with a Dick Van Dyke Show spin, each episode follows the tropes of its respective time period. As you can expect, everything in this town is not what it seems and the show’s kooky nature soon turns mysterious.
What about the comics?
Similar to the other MCU movies, WandaVision is its own entity and isn’t pulling from any one comic. However, the show does pull themes from a few comics Scarlet Witch, Vision and Scarlet Witch, Vision and House of M. WandaVision is meant to be its own story, even loosely unhooked from the other MCU narratives.
Why are they in an ever-changing sitcom?
Right now it’s unclear why they are there or even how they got to Westview. However, as the series unfolds you will get more and more clues. Come on, this is Marvel, they aren’t going to answer all of your questions.
What was your favorite WandaVision episode?