WandaVision guides fans into the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Ryder Rasmussen, Lead Arts & Entertainment Editor

WandaVision is set directly after the events of Avengers: Endgame, following Wanda Maximoff as she grieves the loss of Vision. Through her grief, she creates her own reality where Vision is alive and together the couple live out a sitcom fantasy, covering every show from The Dick Van Dike Show to Modern Family. As we come to learn, this escape from reality has dire effects for the real world and it’s up to Darcy Lewis, Jimmy Woo, and Monica Rambeau to put an end to it.

Spider-Man: Far From Home, which came out in July 2019, was the last film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to be released before the COVID-19 pandemic. The original plan was for Black Widow to kick off this new era for the MCU, with multiple theatrical releases and Disney+ originals set to follow. With theaters shut down across the world and production on many films/shows halted, the MCU’s nearly year long break ended up lasting 18 months, making 2020 the first year in over a decade without a single MCU release. With this unusual pause on the cinematic universe, fans have made it very clear how much they’ve missed the franchise as WandaVision became a smash hit.

In more recent years, moviegoers have complained about how formulaic each entry in the MCU can feel. However, WandaVision’s more unconventional storytelling will definitely please those who are tired of the typical MCU format. The first three episodes play out entirely as sitcoms from the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, presented in black and white and accompanied with a laugh track. There are only little hints to a larger threat beyond this fantasy life. It isn’t until the fourth episode we see the events of this series from a different perspective and begin to realize the danger of Wanda’s actions. From this point on, the story transitions into a more familiar MCU story, unique to others with lots of mystery and cliffhangers that kept fans eager in anticipation for the next episode.

Wanda Maximoff and Vision have both been important to the larger MCU story, but we’ve never had a very close look into either of their characters or together as a couple. They were both introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron. By Infinity War, it’s revealed they’ve been in an offscreen relationship which ends with Vision’s death at the hands of Thanos. WandaVision serves these two so well, fleshing them both out and making their significance in this universe far greater. Vision in particular stands out to me and is now one of my favorite characters in the franchise. I really appreciate how sincere and genuine he is. While he’s not human and has only been alive for a few years, he feels the most pure and human out of anyone in this show. And that’s not to put down the development of the other characters in WandaVision, it goes to show how much Vision grows.

Speaking of other characters, some familiar faces return for this series, including Jimmy Woo from Ant-Man and the Wasp and Darcy Lewis from the first two Thor films. Many fans probably surprised to see these two pop up in prominent roles, as they lead the fight to stop the chaos Wanda is creating. Darcy Lewis’s appearance is especially surprising, considering she hasn’t shown up in a Marvel project in nearly eight years, but her return is very much welcomed. 

We get to know her and Woo a lot better than we did before and they help to remind the audience of the interconnected universe they’re a part of. These two help to make up the trio that’s incomplete without Monica Rambeau. Rambeau first appeared as a child in 2019’s Captain Marvel and now returns as a young adult and is set up to inevitably lead a heroic future. Her drive to always do the right thing no matter who tries to hold her back makes her a very likeable hero and has me excited to see her story continue in Captain Marvel 2.

WandaVision not only serves as a great reentry into the MCU, but was also a great experience to catch up on each episode as it released every Friday. While Black Widow isn’t set to hit theaters until July, these extremely entertaining Disney+ series’ should hold fans over in the meantime. In case you missed out on WandaVision as it premiered, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is currently releasing new episodes and still has a few to go until it’s finale; after that, Loki will follow. 

Even if you’re not very familiar with the MCU, WandaVision is still definitely worth a watch, especially if you’re trying to jump into the franchise. It includes some great characterization of fan-favorite heroes and does some great world-building.