Before ‘WandaVision’: The Wild Romantic History of Vision and Scarlet Witch

TJ Dietsch
TV Movies
TV Movies Comics Marvel MCU

One of the more unique and interesting romances in all of fiction will take center stage in the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision, now set to debut January 15 on Disney+. Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, reprising their roles from the MCU films, the show will dig deeper into the relationship that has been developing between Wanda Maximoff and the Vision over the course of Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War.

Of course, there’s a lot to ponder about the odd nature of WandaVision from we’ve glimpsed in the trailers, including Vision seemingly alive and well (after biting it in Infinity War), and a tour through a variety of decades ranging from the 1950s and on, as seen through the lens of the evolution of TV sitcoms. In the midst of this, there have been glimpses of Wanda and Vision in more comic book inspired outfits — seemingly worn as Halloween costumes — and the duo standing over a pair of cribs.

What might all that mean based on the duo’s long history? We’re looking back through the comic book source material to see where the show — and Wanda and Vision’s relationship — might go!

Divergent Paths

Things get trippy for Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) in the Disney+ series WandaVision.

First and foremost, it’s important to mention the major differences between these characters in the comics and the versions that appear on screen. In the source material, Wanda Maximoff is a mutant with magical hex powers and her father is none other than Magneto. Debuting during the mid-credit sequence in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, before a spotlight role in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the MCU’s take on Wanda gained her powers by way of Hydra’s experiments in Sokovia and has, at this point, no connection to mutants or Magneto (though the eventual addition of mutants to the MCU could always change that…). There’s also the matter of Wanda’s hot-headed twin brother Pietro, the speedster known as Quicksilver. While he did appear alongside his sister in Age Of Ultron, he didn’t make it out of the film alive, while the four-color variant continues causing trouble to this day.

Meanwhile, Vision’s comic book counterpart came to be when Ultron decided to create a mass-controlling synthezoid and used Wonder Man‘s brain patterns to make a being that could infiltrate the Avengers. First appearing in Ultron, movie Vision came about from a combination of Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S. artificial intelligence, the Mind Stone and a synthetic body laced with vibranium that Ultron intended to use for himself.

The pair eventually began dating in the comics, as they did in the films. In the MCU, after Wanda allied with Captain America, who split from the official Avengers, she and Vision — who stayed on Stark’s side — would meet secretly, as seen in Infinity War. However, that came to an end when Thanos ripped the Mind Stone out of Vision’s head and snapped half of all living things out of existence. Scarlet Witch returned in Endgame to avenge her love, but Vision — whose death was not specifically caused by Thanos’ snap — did not come back at that time. However, given his artificially created nature and the fact that Shuri was working on him before he ran off to fight Thanos in Wakanda, it’s certainly possible she backed up his consciousness in some way that can be inputted into a new synthetic body. Or, it might all be Wanda’s doing… (more on that below)

From Teaming Up To Hooking Up

Wanda and Vision fall in love!

Scarlet Witch had already joined and left the Avengers by the time Vision made his first appearance in Avengers #57. At that point, he was being manipulated by his creator Ultron into being a villain. However, he overcame that programming because of his human traits and soon became a stalwart member of the squad. The pair didn’t actually become teammates until Wanda rejoined the Avengers about 20 issues later.

At first, Vision seemed to regard Wanda as he did most of his other teammates, but during the Kree-Skrull War it became clear that he had more than platonic feelings towards her. Not long after, Maximoff began to fall for the synthezoid as well, much to the chagrin of her overprotective brother, Quicksilver. After finally being honest with one another, the pair began dating and went on to get hitched in Giant-Size Avengers #4 in 1975.

Wedded Bliss

Vision and Scarlet Witch in action

The married couple stuck around as Avengers for a while after that, but eventually left the team when Captain America invoked his right as chairman to limit the roster to just six individuals. Eventually, they decided to take a break and try to see where they fit in with “normal” society as a synthetic human and a mutant super hero duo. That lead into a pair of Vision and the Scarlet Witch limited series, one lasting four issues, the other 12. In those books, they began living in Leonia, New Jersey, but their far-from-normal lives lead to conflicts of all sorts, many of which featured magical menaces.

In the year-long book, Wanda and Vision’s lives changed forever when they discovered she was pregnant. Babies Billy and Tommy seemed different from the very beginning when even Dr. Strange admitted to not knowing Wanda was having twins during the entire pregnancy. Shortly after, the family moved to California to join the West Coast Avengers. While the parents continued being super heroes, the boys grew up in the amazing Avengers Compound headquarters.

Broken Hearts and Circuit Boards

Master Pandemonium absorbs the twins

After Vision got the misguided idea to take over all of the world’s computers, a mysterious group got their hands on the Avenger and dismantled him, not wanting a repeat performance. Enraged, Scarlet Witch demanded to see her husband and was stunned to find a totally different, all-white version of him standing before her. Since all of his memory back-ups had been deleted and Wonder Man refused to donate his brainwaves again, this version of Vision remained cold and aloof, but attempted to continue his relationship with Wanda.

Things got worse when the demon-handed Master Pandemonium snatched the kids, revealing that they actually owed their very existence to the devil Mephisto. In reality, the children were aspects of Mephisto’s soul. He had lied to Pandemonium in an effort to collect and reintegrate the missing pieces. After doing so, the children disappeared from existence. To protect her from all the pain that would come from missing her kids, Wanda’s old mystical mentor Agatha Harkness blocked all of those memories. Immediately after that, Vision decided to leave the team and go back to the East Coast Avengers. These events lead to a break in the Scarlet Witch’s mind that pushed her to the side of evil briefly, though she soon regained herself and she came to lead the West Coast Avengers and even stuck around when they rebranded as Force Works.

Avenger Disassembled

Wanda disassembles the Avengers

Down the line, Vision regained more of his humanity. He and Wanda made up and even gave their relationship another shot, but it didn’t work out. Years later, a slip of the tongue from Wasp at the Avengers pool made all of the twin-related memories come rushing back to Scarlet Witch. Horribly distraught, Wanda launched one of the most effective and deadly attacks on the Avengers, one which resulted in the deaths of Vision, Hawkeye and Ant-Man (Scott Lang). Overcome with powers she never fully understood, Maximoff recreated her old life until Dr. Strange showed her the reality of the situation. At this point, Magneto took custody of his daughter who would spawn a whole new reality called the House of M, and then nearly destroy the mutant population by uttering the words, “No more mutants.” After that, she went into hiding for a long time.

A prevalent theory around WandaVision is that Wanda is somehow making the whole thing happen with her powers. That might explain what’s happening in the series with its mix of styles, ranging from black-and-white 50s sitcom to a full-on appearance of the comic book Scarlet Witch costume. Whether all of it’s taking place in her mind or in a new reality she’s created — as in House of M — remains to be seen.

Kid Stuff

Wiccan and Speed, Young Avengers

Making matters all the more complicated, a pair of super-powered teens known as Billy and Tommy began running around with a group calling themselves Wiccan (formerly Asgardian) and Speed. One utilized magic while the other was super fast. Sound familiar? As it turned out, Wanda had used so much power in creating her twins’ souls that, even when Mephisto reabsorbed them, some of that magic went out into a pair of about-to-be-born kids, resulting in the two Young Avengers team members. In yet another strange twist of fate, Wiccan and Speed wound up on a team with an updated version of their own “father,” the Vision, without fully getting the connection until later.

The MCU definitely seems to be building up a younger crop of heroes. There’s obviously Spider-Man, but we’ve also heard that Kate Bishop will make her debut in the Hawkeye show on Disney+ and Ms. Marvel has her own Disney+ series on the way as well. Plus, they made a point to bring back the bright young Harley Keener from Iron Man 3 in Endgame. Perhaps he will carry on Stark’s legacy in his own way. Wiccan and Speed could easily fit into a younger team of Avengers like in the comics.

It was later revealed in the comic Avengers: The Children’s Crusade that, before she attacked the Avengers, Wanda had traveled to Dr. Doom for help in bringing her sons back. He agreed, which resulted in her possession by immense powers that lead to her transgressions against her teammates. After a trip through time uncovered her mostly-forgotten memories, Wanda met the new versions of Tommy and Billy and attempted to start righting her wrongs. She has briefly worked with Vision since returning to active duty, but their overly complicated history has made those occasions few and far between.

Show Time

Wanda in the Scarlet Witch togs

At this point, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the specifics of what is occurring in WandaVision. It’s been described as a mix of classic sitcoms and more traditional MCU action, some of which we we’ve seen in the ads. In addition to the title characters, it will also feature established characters like Kat Dennings’ Darcy Lewis (Thor, Thor: The Dark World), Randall Park’s Agent Jimmy Woo (Ant-Man and the Wasp) and a grown-up Monica Rambeau (Captain Marvel), this time played by Teyonah Parris.

Considering that Darcy is a new creation for the films, Jimmy Woo is very different than in the comics, and we don’t know how an adult Monica’s being handled yet, it’s tough to guess how they will play into the series. It is worth noting that Scarlet Witch and Vision both served with Rambeau on the Avengers at various points throughout Avengers history. Also, the sitcom setting sounds like a direct nod to the Wanda and Vision’s life as depicted in Marvel Comics in the mid-1980s, when they lived in Leonia, New Jersey, while the suburban visuals also echo the 2016 Vision solo comic book series, which found the synthezoid literally creating his own robot family. And of course there’s the matter of those two cribs we see Wanda and Vision standing over and the implications, based on the comics, of what could be occurring.

The super hands that rock the cradles

Even without so many of the other direct comic book connections — Magneto, Wonder Man and all that magic (at least so far) — the show’s creators have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to themes already present. These characters have dealt with feeling like outsiders, bigotry, loss, death, survival and more than their fair share of murderous beings. Transferring that dynamic into a suburban setting will not only nicely refer back to the source material, but also build on the specific versions of these characters from the films.

It will also be interesting to see how WandaVision sets up Wanda’s status in the all-new, all-different Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kevin Feige has said that she will officially earn the name Scarlet Witch in the series for the first time in the MCU. And on top of that, her role in WandaVision and the events that occur within in it will then directly lead to her co-starring turn in the upcoming Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.

WandaVision debuts January 15, 2021 on Disney+.

TJ Dietsch writes about all things geeky, from comics and collectibles to horror and...comics.