A classic Marvel Comics storyline starring Scarlet Witch and the Avengers could be the key to figuring out WandaVision — and Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In WandaVision, the first original series from Marvel Studios, unusual couple Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) relocate to the suburbs of Westview after the events of Avengers: Endgame. As Wanda channels decades of sitcoms in a reality seemingly of her own making, magically creating a happily ever after with her dead spouse and newborn twin sons Tommy and Billy, they begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems in TV Land.
After the Avengers traveled through time and parallel dimensions in Endgame to reverse the Thanos (Josh Brolin) snap that erased half of all life in the universe, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed Multiverse connections would unfold before and after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Feige also revealed WandaVision forms a loose trilogy with Spider-Man 3 and the Doctor Strange sequel, where sorcerer Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) mentors the reality-bending Wanda.
Multiverse of Madness also directly connects to the coming Disney+ series Loki, which could introduce the time-defying Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) before he appears on the big screen in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
If Wanda's nosy neighbor Agnes (Kathryn Hahn) is secretly Agatha Harkness, an ages-old witch and mentor to Scarlet Witch in the Marvel comics, WandaVision has three of the key characters needed for the story setting up Avengers Disassembled and House of M. When Episode 4 introduces the possibility that Wanda might be the secret villain of WandaVision, it recalls the Darker than Scarlet storyline that ran through Avengers West Coast in the late 1980s:
Normal in Every Way
Agatha expresses concerns about Thomas and William, the offspring of a mutant and a synthezoid, shocking Wanda with the revelation that her children disappear when she's not thinking about them (Avengers West Coast #51). Wanda rejects Agatha's accusation that the twins aren't normal children, refusing to believe Thomas and William "simply cease to exist" when Wanda is preoccupied.
When Master Pandemonium attacks the Avengers with a horde of demons and kidnaps the twins, the villain reveals the super-demon Mephisto scattered his soul after splitting it into five pieces. When Wonder Man mentions Bewitched — one of the classic sitcoms influencing WandaVision — an enraged Wanda loses control and lashes out at fellow Avenger the Wasp.
Watching from afar is Immortus, one of the identities of Kang the Conquerer.prevnext
One Small Step Beyond Illusion
Agatha reveals Wanda's children were born out of her desire for a normal home, making them manifestations of Wanda's will through a combination of magic and her mutant powers. Because Vision is a sophisticated machine, Agatha explains, Wanda used her probability-altering powers to make it possible for the couple to start a family — but even Wanda's immense powers can't create life (Avengers West Coast #52).
The Avengers confront Master Pandemonium, who kidnapped Wanda and Vision's children to replace the missing pieces of his soul — only to discover that Thomas and William are pieces of Mephisto's soul once thought destroyed by Franklin Richards (Fantastic Four #277). When the demon reabsorbs his missing pieces, restoring his essence at the cost of Wanda losing her children, Agatha defeats Mephisto by erasing the twins from Wanda's memory.prevnext
As If They Never Were
Agatha explains: "Wanda longed all her life for the kind of normal existence forever denied her by her mutant powers. She so greatly desired a family — in her mind the perfect symbol of a peaceful, happy life — that she suffered what in a human woman would have been a hysterical or imaginary pregnancy. In such cases there is usually no child to be born… but Wanda's power to change probabilities created Thomas and William. Twins, you see, to double the fulfillment of her dream. Since her power cannot create true life, she reached out unconsciously to snare anything which would function as souls for the newborns. What she caught, still much weakened by their recent separation, was two of the missing pieces of Mephisto!"
To spare Wanda the pain of losing her children, Agatha closes that corner of her mind — making it so that the twins "never were" for Wanda (Avengers West Coast #52).prevnext
Darker Than Scarlet
Left almost comatose after weeks of turmoil (Avengers West Coast #53), Agatha watches over an unresponsive Wanda when Magneto — Wanda's mutant supervillain father, a relation that would be retconned decades later — takes her away from Earth (Avengers #313). Wanda's nervous breakdown turns villainous when she returns to California and attacks the Avengers (Avengers West Coast #55).
Attempting to reason with her pupil, Agatha tells Wanda that her mind is unhinged because of recent tragedies. Relishing her newfound power, Wanda tells the captured Avengers that her ability to alter probabilities means she can reshape the universe at will (Avengers West Coast #56). With just a thought, Wanda can transform her slightest whims into reality.prevnext
From Pawn to Queen
After leaving with Magneto and her twin brother Pietro (Avengers West Coast #57), Wanda allies with Magneto despite Quicksilver's attempt to save her. Immortus continues his plot to rule centuries as the master of time, placing Wanda under a trance during a battle with the Avengers.
Just as Quicksilver begins to suspect Magneto was manipulated by someone more powerful than himself, the time traveler reveals himself and takes Wanda as his queen (Avengers West Coast #60).prevnext
Immortus transports the Avengers to Limbo, where he pits Earth's mightiest heroes against "zombified" enemies making up the Legion of the Unliving to keep them from interfering with business that is "vital to the timeliness of many realities — including, most especially, this one" (Avengers West Coast #61).
Agatha half-sensed Immortus was behind Wanda's misfortunes — her increased powers, her growing alienation from humanity, and her nonexistent children — and is aware that Earth's timelines are in danger of unraveling.
Immortus reveals that an omnipotent trio called The Time Keepers — who could enter the MCU in Loki — appointed him custodian of the time stream for the period he lived as Kang: from 3000 B.C. to 4000 A.D. His task: to monitor all time travel spanning seven millennia while untangling realities brought about by various Kangs in exchange for total mastery over seventy centuries.prevnext
The Final Fate of the Scarlet Witch
Finally, Immortus reveals he's been manipulating Wanda's life for years because the Scarlet Witch is a Nexus being, one that belongs equally to all possible timelines and all realities and divergences. Through Wanda's power, all futures can be safeguarded and controlled by Immortus, the self-declared master of time.
Immortus explains that his orchestration of Wanda's tragedies, and the resulting trauma, would make her susceptible to becoming his powerful and indispensable puppet (Avengers West Coast #61 and #62).prevnext
Dooming the Multiverse
Agatha's astral form attempts to reach the entranced Wanda, who is turned into a living power source for Immortus. Urging her to rid herself of the excess power bred in her by Immortus, Agatha desperately tells Wanda she will be useless to him without the ability to alter the probabilities of cosmic timelines. When Wanda's love for her teammates stirs her from her trance, Immortus curses Agatha for creating new divergences that he says will "wreak irreversible havoc across uncounted realities already in existence" — potentially dooming the entire Multiverse.
As Wanda attempts to draw that power back into herself, thereby preventing a cosmic calamity, the Time Keepers interfere and prevent her from reabsorbing those powers (Avengers West Coast #62).prevnext
The Time Keepers tell Immortus his only duty was the eventual transmutation of a particular Nexus being — the Scarlet Witch — into a source of power. They explain: Immortus would then use that power over probabilities to safeguard key events that must occur in various timelines to assure a certain future, including one in which the Time Keepers have a vested interest (Avengers West Coast #62).
The trio reveals Immortus could only utilize a pre-existent Nexus being, not create one. When Wanda managed to reject her hex power, they were forced to intervene. "If that power were allowed to cause chaos among the timelines," they warn, "all futures would be in jeopardy — including that in which we ourselves came into being!"prevnext
The Greater Good
When Immortus reveals that the Time Keepers never told him precisely what future he was protecting, they tell the Avengers their unselfish actions were for "the greater good of the cosmos."
"Should we cease to exist because of befouled timelines, the loss to the Multiverse would be profound," say the Time Keepers, who send the mutant energy expelled by Scarlet Witch into Immortus. They doom him to an unmoving existence in limbo, transformed into the very same all-powerful energy receptacle he intended Wanda to be, and Wanda returns to the Avengers (Avengers West Coast #62).0comments
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