We’ve all seen Captain America: Civil War by this point, and we are consumed with questions. But one of them has nothing to do with the next Avengers movie and everything to do with romance. It turns out Marvel might be introducing us to its strangest love story. Spoilers ahead!
And despite what you think, they’re not minor ones either. So, if you haven’t seen the movie and wish to remain spoiler-free, thank you for giving me another excuse to use this GIF:
Hope you weren’t looking to start a family, Buck. Anyway, one of the ongoing subplots in Civil War is Scarlet Witch being put under house arrest by Tony Stark and other pro-Sokovia Accords partisans. The Vision is assigned to watch over her and try to make life easier for her. At first it just seems like he’s just being nice for the sake of being nice, but at the end of the climactic airport fight, the Vision, “distracted” by Wanda being knocked unconscious, accidentally shoots Rhodey out of the air and shatters his spine.
If all that reads a bit like the Vision has a thing for Scarlet Witch, well, there’s a reason. The Vision and the Scarlet Witch have a long, complicated romance in the comics that started when the Vision was introduced in 1968 and slowly built as a subplot until a 1973 issue written by Steve Englehart and penciled by Don Heck.
Needless to say, their teammates were mildly weirded out for a few reasons: At the time, the Vision was technically a dead guy’s brain patterns in a robot body, although the Avengers can’t throw stones about somebody’s love life. It even forced Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, who’d carried a torch for Wanda for a decade, to temporarily quit the team.
Somehow, it managed to get weirder from there, because the whole thing was essentially an elaborate scam to steal her powers by a supervillain called Immortus, to the point where he ingratiates himself with the Avengers and even officiates the wedding of the Vision and Scarlet Witch.
You might have noticed that Marvel’s movies are vague about what the Scarlet Witch does, and that’s because the comics have a bunch of overlapping and sometimes competing explanations. In the comics, she had a “hex power” which essentially allowed her to inflict Murphy’s Law selectively; she could short out electronics, cause pipes to break, make people stumble over their own two feet and so on. Over time, she learned that this was a manifestation of chaos magic and that she could warp reality to her whims.
Immortus’ plan was to ensure Wanda never had children so she wouldn’t pass on her abilities, and thus make him less powerful. So, being granted enormous power to change reality, Wanda naturally used it to make herself pregnant, throwing a monkey wrench in Immortus’ plans and causing him to pull the trigger on his plan: The Vision is dismantled and his memory is erased.
Oh, and also her kids, it turned out, were made out of pieces of a demon’s soul, so in fairly short order, she learned her marriage was an elaborate trap, she got divorced, and her children ceased to exist. Yes, it was something of a bummer.
Thankfully, Marvel likely won’t be taking this story quite that far. For one thing, Immortus is a younger version of the Marvel villain Kang the Conqueror, who has yet to be introduced. But it seems likely that Marvel’s weirdest romance will be coming to the big screen in some form. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that currently the Vision has an Infinity Gem in his forehead so, uh, maybe don’t get too attached, Wanda.