We’re three episodes into WandaVision, and things are starting to get weird — multi-verse story bridging weird.
While the show’s first two episodes managed to introduce the sitcom-inspired fantasy that Wanda and Vision found themselves somewhat mysteriously housed in, the show’s third episode launched (quite literally) our collective conspiracy theorizing into overdrive with a few key reveals. We recapped a few of them here, but the show’s consistent Easter egg-hiding deserves a closer look, not just because the writers are doing a terrific job of calling back to Wanda Maximoff’s rich comic-book origins but because these teases might be setting up Wandavision as a sort of lynchpin for the future of the MCU.
It’s a bold choice, to reprogram the blockbuster superhero model through a genre-bending streaming offering that delights in niche comedy and cheeky pop culture callbacks, but so far, WandaVision has been able to deliver on all fronts. There’s definitely something sinister lurking beneath the technicolor glow, and the show is starting to dive into more comic lore, possibly in an attempt by Disney and Marvel to incorporate more superhero universes within the MCU.
Disney recently acquired 21st Century Fox, which means they now own the rights to pretty much every comic book franchise of note that isn’t tied to the DC universe. That merger has had plenty of fans wondering whether characters from the X-Men verse or even the Fantastic Four franchise might soon make their way to the MCU, especially considering the loss of bigger-name heroes like Iron Man and Captain America have left a void to be filled. With Marvel heading into possibly its most ambitious phase yet, the choice to have Wanda Maximoff set up this new foray into multi-verses and space-charting adventures can’t be an accident.
This brings us back to WandaVision and the clues the show has hidden in its first few episodes.
We know that the world Wanda is currently living in isn’t real. Though decades change with each episode, only days have passed from the first installment to when she gives birth to her twin boys, Tommy and Billy, in Episode Three. We also know that the townsfolk populating Westview are more than they seem. Agnes (the brilliant Kathryn Hahn) may be a powerful witch named Agatha Harkness, who served as a mentor for Wanda Maximoff in the comics and had a key role to play in her descent into madness. While Agnes and the rest of Westview’s residents seem compelled to act out this small-town fantasy, they also seem to be aware, at least on some level, that this world is one of Wanda’s making. Both Agnes and Herb (David Payton) nearly reveal that to Vision before thinking better of it, but it’s interesting that both of these characters are more sentient than they let on.
There are theories that Agnes and Herb (who may serve as a callback to the comic book character of Herbert Edgar Wyndham, a genetic scientist with roots in Wanda’s origin story and the ability to turn super-powered beings into dangerous weapons) were two people Wanda herself might have sought out after the events of Avengers: Endgame in the hopes of bringing Vision back to life. Maybe something went wrong, and they’re now trapped in Wanda’s dreamworld or maybe the plan was to have her build the fantasy and want to stay there all along?
But Agnes and Herb aren’t the only magical beings in Westview. Fans think Dottie (Emma Caufield) may be a stand-in for the multiverse hero known as Arcanna, who has naturally occurring powers and had a big role to play in Marvel’s Defenders comic series. So why would someone want to trap Wanda and these powerful beings in an alternate reality, and how does that hint at the MCU’s expansion into X-Men territory?
That link seems to be taking shape in two ways. The first is with the introduction of A.I.M., a science division of Hydra created by Baron Von Strucker — the same guy who harnessed the Mind Stone to give Wanda and Pietro their powers in Age of Ultron. A.I.M. made a brief appearance in Iron Man 3, but the show has alluded to the group becoming a bigger antagonist – that beekeeper popping out of a manhole and those hexagon-shaped title cards previewing the show’s third episode are direct callbacks. A.I.M.’s main goal is to create world-destroying weapons because, well, they’re Nazis. Their presence in the show necessitates the arrival of Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), who’s introduced as Geraldine early in the season. Monica works for S.W.O.R.D., another organization modeled after S.H.I.E.L.D., whose job is to find and monitor sentient weapon threats. As powerful as Wanda has proven to be, she definitely qualifies.
We’ve seen Monica blow her cover in the dreamscape, which ended with her being thrown out of this manipulated reality (which seems to be camouflaged in some kind of static TV-like bubble encasing an actual town called Westview), and though we don’t yet know whether A.I.M. is facilitating Wanda’s fantasy or whether S.W.O.R.D. is trying to just manage it, the fact is, Wanda’s form of Pleasantville has popped up on someone’s radar.
Of course, it’s also possible that A.I.M. employed Agnes to help Wanda create this more perfect vision (get it), but she agreed in order to serve another master, who’s the second, more compelling, link between the franchises.
His name is Mephisto, and he’s a Satanic villain with immense power who, while not originating from Biblical mythology, uses the idea of demons and Hell to terrify humans. He’s had the ear of both antagonists and heroes within the comic verse, generally enjoying reaping chaos and destruction wherever he goes. He’s also Marvel’s best bet when it comes to a baddie powerful and threatening enough to follow in Thanos’ footsteps. The “devil” has been referenced a couple of times in WandaVision so far, and some think Agnes’ husband is actually Mephisto – though we haven’t technically met him yet.
In comic lore, when Wanda “created” her twin boys, she accidentally harnessed a bit of Mephisto’s energy which allowed him to eventually reabsorb the twins, effectively erasing their existence. That led to Wanda having a bit of a breakdown and becoming a villain of sorts in later series. Mephisto also has ties with the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. He’s terrorized everyone from the Silver Surfer and Victor Doom to Jean Grey, so if he were to be pulling the strings at A.I.M., this could set up a crossover storyline.
If heroes and villains from alternate universes (like Arcanna and Agatha) are living within this fantasy, it stands to reason we could see more alternate universe characters pop up in WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki. The latter show’s trailers have already hinted at the multiverse and Mephisto, and we know Wanda will have a key role to play within the next Doctor Strange film. Perhaps she’ll bring about a merging of the multiverse that Strange will need to make right, maybe spurred on by the loss of her children? Or she might realize she’s been manipulated to create these children by agencies interested in weaponizing powerful mutants, and if we’re talking about them, we’ve got to talk about Weapon X, the program responsible for creating Deadpool, who we now know is officially joining the MCU. There are also rumors that Evan Peters, who played Quicksilver in the X-Men universe, might be making an appearance in WandaVision’s timeline, which could also help bridge the different superhero properties.
So yeah, there’s a lot to unpack here, but we doubt that the show would be throwing all of these Easter eggs in just for kicks. Whether some are red herrings or some are actual teases of storylines to come is something we’ll have to wait to find out. But the possibilities of WandaVision have me more hyped for the future of the MCU than I’ve been in a long time.
New episodes of ‘WandaVision’ drop Fridays on Disney+.