WandaVision Episode 5 kicks the door of fan theory wide open when comes to several key ideas of what's going on in the series - and who or what may be responsible. Titled "On a Very Special Episode..." we see '80s-era Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) trying to raise their two twin boys, Tommy and Billy - while SWORD continued trying to bring Wanda back to her senses from the outside world. The episode ended on a game-changing twist cameo that has a lot of fans once again thinking the devil (Mephisto) is afoot; however, WandaVision episode 5 may hint that in fact, it is Kang The Conqueror pulling the strings!
Warning: WandaVision Episode 5 SPOILERS Follow!
In the world outside the town of Westview, the agents of SWORD and their allies are having a serious debate over what to do about Wanda. Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) argues that Wanda isn't an evil threat to the world, but acting director Hayward doesn't agree with that assessment. Wanda's villain past, and "mishap" in Lagos fighting HYDRA and Crossbones (in Captain America: Civil War), already has Hayward wary of her - then there's the more recent matter of Wanda attack SWORD.
Hayward shows Monica Rambeau a surveillance video from a SWORD research facility nine days back: the video shows Wanda storming the facility and taking the remains of The Vision that were in SWORD custody. The scene isn't just revelatory about what happened to Vision's body - it's all a Marvel Comics Easter egg that also hints at how Kang (or at least a version of him) is the one pulling the strings.
Wanda's mission to recover Vision's body from SWORD is a direct reference to the "VisionQuest" storyline from late '80s Avengers West Coast comics. In that famous John Byrne storyline, Wanda finds out that Vision has been taken to be decommissioned, in a joint venture by a collection of secret agencies. Scarlet Witch and her West Coast Avengers teammates storm the facility and recover Vision, having to battle the deadly mind-wiped android before restoring him to his familiar self, in a new body. The key to this storyline is that it was just one part of a grand scheme being played across timelines by Kang The Conqueror - or more specifically his older self, Immortus. WandaVision Episode 4 had fans noticing ominous signs that SWORD has been co-opted by a evil force - maybe things are playing out like the comics and Kang/Immortus is manipulating everyone involved?
We know the Lovecraft Country star Jonathan Major has been cast as Kang in Ant-Man 3, and the villain is already rumored to be part of the Loki series. In breaking down Kang's role as MCU Phase 4's big bad, we explained that what makes this villain fascinating are the divergent personas he creates through time traveling at various points in his life:
- "Kang The Conqueror" is the war-mongering general from the future who conquers various eras like a sci-fi Alexander The Great.
- In his old age, Kang loses the thirst for war and chooses to become the scholar Immortus, who tries to master time itself.
- As a young man, the boy who will become Kang tries to avoid his own dark fate by traveling from the future to modern-day in some Iron Man-style armor, to form the Young Avengers team (with Wanda's sons) to fight Kang.
It's the Immortus persona who may be the one pulling Wanda's strings in WandaVision. Later Avengers comic stories like "Avengers Forever" revealed that Immortus has always been fascinated/frightened of Wanda/Scarlet Witch's powers, as well as her relationship with Vision. In the comics, Immortus has tried to manipulate Wanda's powers to become the master of time (scheming the Time Lords would punish him for), he's also been revealed to have been involved in key moments of Wanda and Vision's lives, like officiating their wedding, or erasing the memory of certain events from their minds.
Immortus' real fear is that Wanda is a "nexus being" (that Hexagon shape?) whose power can threaten the cosmic entities of the universe. That fear extends to Wanda's children Billy and Tommy (who become the superheroes Wiccan and Speed), who Immortus tried (and failed) to prevent from existing.
WandaVision arguably carries as many hints to Kang/Immortus and time travel as it does occult references to the devil Mephisto (like why the eras of sitcom references keep changing). Kang/Immortus is also a villain whose reach would span WandaVision, Loki, Spider-Man 3, and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness. Has Kevin Feige woven an even bigger, more intricate, web than Thanos and The Infinity Saga? We wouldn't put it past him.