I still can’t believe it’s been a year and a half since we’ve had a Marvel Cinematic Universe theatrical experience. It seems like only yesterday that I was sitting in a movie theatre in Orlando with the Princess watching Avengers: Endgame, cheering as Captain American wielded Mjolnir and said “Avengers Assemble!” It seems like even less time since the two of us watched Spider-Man: Far From Home in a 4D surround theatre, which was a cool experience. But as we all know, Covid-19’s put that experience on hold for all of us. Thank goodness that Kevin Feige and the folks at Disney+ had been working on various new MCU shows for the streaming service, so that us Marvel Zombies have finally been able to get our fix with the release of WandaVision.
I have no doubt that you already know the high concept that the series is going for, as Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) experience a life together through the lens of various sitcoms from decades past. We all know something is up, especially seeing as how Vision died at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, and in the first two episodes we’ve been given hints, with the appearance of the S.W.O.R.D. logo, and the familiar name of Agnes (Katheryn Hahn), who no doubt is the witch Agatha Harkness, Wanda’s teacher from the comics.
I enjoyed the first two episodes of WandaVision, especially the second, which I found genuinely funny. Both Olsen and Bettany get to cut loose with their characters in ways I doubt any of us expected, and I appreciate the surreal, Lynchian concept that something strange always lurks under perfect surfaces that the series is working with.
Now, while a lot of critics are talking about books like Brian Michael Bendis’ House of M and Tom King’s Vision as influences on the new series, it’s absolutely worth highlighting that the strange romance of Wanda and Vision was happening long before either of those stories came into play.
The marriage between this android and human/mutant first happened way back in 1974, in Giant-Size Avengers #4, which was written by Steve Englehart and illustrated by Don Heck. The Vision and Scarlet Witch would eventually get their own four issues mini-series in 1982, from writer Bill Mantlo and artist Rick Leonardi. That series it saw them up against the supernatural Samhain in its first issue, and it was where it was revealed that Magneto is the father of Wando and her brother, Pietro aka Quicksilver (and by the way, there’s serious talk that Evan Peters, who played that character in FOX X-Men movies will appear in WandaVision).
Three years later, a second The Vision and Scarlet Witch mini-series arrived, this one running for 12 issues, once again written by Steve Englehart with Richard Howell taking over the art. This is where I came in as a young reader, and I loved it, specially the first few issues that crossed over with the new West Coast Avengers series and featured a supernatural element yet again, this time with voodoo and zombies, along with a new villains off the top, the dreaded Grim Reaper. This mini-series would see the magical birth of the duos children, repercussion of which would be felt for years to come.
These core stories are a huge part of what makes WandaVision so interesting, and they’ve been collected in the Vision and The Scarlet Witch: The Saga of Wanda and Vision. The book is a massive 467 pages and is an important part of Marvel history, both its comics and now its cinematic universe as well. While Brian Michael Bendis’ and Tom Kings’ work are important pieces of the Wanda/Vision puzzle, neither of them would have matter they way they do without the seminal stories that came before them. I’ve been rereading the stories I know, while also delving into the ones I’d only heard about; they all hold up very well.
So, while MCU fans continue to watch their live action lives playout on Disney+, it’s definitely worth exploring the comics that helped make Wanda and Vision as memorable as they were in the first place. Vision and Scarlet Witch: The Saga of Wanda and Vision is an easy way to do so.