Avengers television spinoff WandaVision, the inaugural Marvel Studios series coming to Disney+ later this year, sees two properties previously controlled by 20th Century Fox enter into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the first ties to Fantastic Four and X-Men. Disney's $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox, completed in March 2019, granted Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige the ability to pull from hundreds of Marvel Comics characters packaged with sales of the Fantastic Four and X-Men film rights. In addition to marquee characters, like Doctor Doom and Wolverine, Disney-Marvel is now free to use organizations or ancillary characters first appearing in or related to the Fantastic Four and X-Men comic books.
This includes the Sentient World Observation and Response Department, or SWORD, a counterpart of S.H.I.E.L.D. that handles extraterrestrial threats. A full trailer for WandaVision released during Sunday's Emmy Awards offered a glimpse at SWORD, which first appeared in the pages of an X-Men comic book and once counted a founding X-Man among its ranks.
Another first look reveals "nosy neighbor" Agnes (Kathryn Hahn), widely speculated to be centuries-old witch Agatha Harkness. The ancient sorceress first appeared in the pages of Fantastic Four, where Sue and Reed Richards discovered Agatha's powerful witchcraft after entrusting her with the care of their newborn son.
In addition to her recurring role in the Fantastic Four comic books throughout the 1970s, Agatha appeared in Vision and the Scarlet Witch and later acted as a mystic mentor for the magic-wielding Wanda Maximoff. Following the adventures of ex-Avengers and lovers Vision and Wanda, a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch, the book would lead to Wanda becoming pregnant with twins.
Harkness would play a small role in Avengers Disassembled, where Wanda's powerful and unpredictable chaos magic devastates the Avengers in the wake of shocking revelations about her children. This storyline would be followed by the House of M event, which finds the mainstream Marvel Universe transformed into an alternate reality created by Wanda's powers.
"It's great to [finally] have what most companies that hold a lot of intellectual property have, and it's access to all those characters," Feige said in a June 2019 interview with Fandango. "We were one of the few companies that has a lot of characters but didn't have access to a whole bunch of them, and now that we do, it's wonderful. They're back in the sandbox, in the toy chest, and now as ideas come up and as opportunities come up, we can utilize them, which feels really nice."
WandaVision premieres later this year exclusively on Disney+.