Wanda Maximoff Deserves Better From the MCU

Wanda Maximoff has it he endured a couple of hard years. After appearing in several Avengers films, the character finally got the spotlight on the first original Disney + Marvel series. WandaVisionand again this month Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness. After years as the fifth, sixth, or seventh superhero on the call sheet, he’s getting his debt. There’s only one problem: as he ascended to the status of the film’s center, he also went from a character who realizes the inherent responsibility of his powers to someone out of control, spinning ideas of his comic book incarnations. in something far worse than anything ever seen on the page.

For some, the 2014 Wanda screen trip Avengers: The Age of Ultron a Multiverse of madness is adequate. After all, she was initially presented as an operative by the terrorist organization Hydra. So maybe, says the argument, it makes sense for him to make an “evil” turn. But these rationalizations ignore the fact that Marvel mythology is based on redemption, on people who overcome serious circumstances to become heroes. If Bucky Barnes can survive the manipulation of Hydra to fight alongside the Avengers and remain a hero, why not Wanda? Why would she, one of the most powerful witches in the universe, be transformed into a character that could be manipulated by everyone and everything from Hydra to Agatha Harkness and The Darkhold? People will say it’s because she’s grieving over the death of her partner, Vision, but these excuses are worrisome because they steal her strength from one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel movie universe.

Many have pointed out that Wanda’s MCU journey parallels that of another high-profile Marvel heroine and another story that has hit the big screen (in fact more than once): Jean Gray of the X-Men franchise. “The Dark Phoenix Saga”, as the story is known retroactively, saw Gray, one of the original members of the fan favorite team, acquire the skills of a god, only to lose touch with his humanity. and transform into a villain. this has to be dealt with by his fellow X-Men. It’s not exactly Wanda’s story, but the message is worryingly the same: Powerful women cannot be trusted; you never know what they will do.

However, Wanda Maximoff’s on-screen journey was not directly inspired by Dark Phoenix; it is actually taken directly from the comic book story of the character himself, and in particular from the work of writers John Byrne and Brian Michael Bendis. Byrne’s late 1980s and early ’90s continue West Coast Avengers (retitled West Coast Avengers halfway) is the basis of much of what MCU Wanda has endured over the past two years. In the space of two years, Byrne dismantled Vision, undid Wanda’s marriage in the process, revealed that her children were just magical constructions that ceased to exist due to the machinations of a demonic villain, and it was owned or influenced by two separate entities to turn his evil into different plot purposes.

Since then, Byrne has claimed that this was part of a larger story he was planning that was never told because he left the series due to conflicts with Marvel editors and executives, but the wounds were already inflicted. Wanda’s world fell apart and the character was damaged as a result.

How broken? Well, that’s why we moved to Bendis in 2004 Avengers debut in writing, “Chaos.” (Also known as “Avengers Disassembled”, which was the official name of the editorial event that led the story.) In this story, Wanda’s deleted memories of her children come to the surface, causing her to lose her mind. and attempts to kill. all Avengers. She is defeated by the team and placed in a magical coma no more and no less than Doctor Strange, and then taken away by her then father, the villain of the X-Men Magneto. (Wanda’s affiliation is a long story, too complex and repeatedly rewritten in comics; don’t ask.)

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