I’m going to go out on a limb and say if you clicked the link to read this you’ve probably watched the most recent episode of WandaVision, but just in case you are a drifter who has gotten lost in the abyss of the internet here’s a SPOILER WARNING for episodes 1-5 of WandaVision.
Still here? Good cause HOLY SHIT FOX’S VERSION OF PIETRO IS IN THE MCU!
It’s her brother from a different mother... and universe... and father. MAGNETO IS HIS FATHER!
Okay, there’s a lot to process here, so let’s unpack what this appearance means for the MCU as a whole and, perhaps more importantly, how this might just be the best thing Marvel has ever done for one of their female characters.
Let’s start with the big and obvious question raised by the Evan Peters version of Quicksilver appearing in WandaVision, which is, will the Fox version of the X-Men come to the MCU? Probably yes and no.
Obviously I have to say yes to some degree because Fox’s Quicksilver is right here standing at Wanda’s door in his silver-haired glory asking for a hug, but appearing and staying are two different things. When Brandon Routh donned the Superman cape again for the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover no one thought he was really back as Superman. It was more like a retired wrestler showing up at the Royal Rumble. It’s nice to see him again but we know he’s going over the top rope almost immediately. This is likely what is happening here, the Evan Peters Quicksilver is a fun cameo in a messed up reality who can disappear at any moment and still leave the MCU open to reboot the X-Men at a later date, as I imagine they definitely want to do.
But that’s not to say this isn’t an important moment. It may even be a catalyst for the entire Phase Four of the MCU, which is kind of huge. The most likely explanation for this version of Pietro being here is that Wanda has torn a hole in the Multi-verse and pulled him through from the Fox X-Men world. This makes sense considering the prominent theme of the most recent episode is that people cannot come back from the dead (with Vision perhaps being the exception because he is an android and/or an infinity stone). Unless you pluck someone out of a different timeline like Loki or Gamora, characters who truly die stay dead and Wanda does not seem to have the power to resurrect them as she is unable to revive her children’s dead dog. So what’s a girl to do if you can’t resurrect your dead brother - make a hole in the Multi-verse and pull an alternate version of him on through of course! And not just any version, no, this is a Pietro from an X-Men film franchise set in the 1980’s, getting pulled into a fake sitcom ALSO set in the 1980’s. There are so many layers here fitting seamlessly together that it feels like the writers solved the ultimate math equation to the sum of a perfect moment of television.
But the existence of a Multi-verse isn’t just a huge reveal for the show, or for the future of the X-Men, this moment could shape the Fourth Phase of the MCU. The next Spider-Man movie is heavily rumored to include former Spider-Men, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, and for that to happen we’re going to need a big hole in the Multi-verse for them to fall through.
Not to mention the next Dr. Strange movie is set to also star Elizabeth Olsen and is straight up called Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (which is a little on the nose) but establishes beyond a shadow of a doubt that our heroes are going to be dealing with an eruption of Multi-verses in upcoming Marvel movies and it’s all starting here, on WandaVision and I LOVE IT because it has centered this absolutely integral moment in the MCU within a story about a grieving female superhero. It has made Wanda, a mostly unexplored, forgotten character, a focal point for everything that is about to happen in the MCU which, simply put, has never happened before. As of this writing I’d say she’s the most important character in the Marvel Universe, putting storylines in motion that will reach out for years.
This is an incredible step in Marvel’s storytelling as the MCU has a habit of ignoring both their TV shows and their female characters, which didn’t bode well for WandaVision having any importance in the grand scheme of the MCU. For example, aliens attacked Earth on one season of Agents of SHIELD and the Avengers never helped or mentioned it. Similar to WandaVision, Jessica Jones was also an excellent exploration of trauma but the show tied into nothing else in the MCU, which meant you weren’t forced to watch it to understand the rest of the universe. Captain Marvel had a similar issue – being set in the 90’s made the story almost inherently skippable. It was good, but it didn’t change the landscape of the MCU in many ways. And then we have Black Widow, a movie set pre-Infinity War, making it yet another female led standalone story with no reaching impact on the MCU or how it unfolds.
But that is not WandaVision’s fate. This show, and Wanda’s story in particular, has been made INTEGRAL to understanding the Marvel universe going forward. Every viewer who wants to understand the landscape of the MCU will have to watch a story about a powerful woman dealing with grief. It means troves of viewers analyzing Easter Eggs about Wanda and realizing that each commercial is tied to a different horrible trauma she has suffered, or reading up on the House of M comics, or having wide discussions about Wanda’s past and motives and her life in general. Frankly it has made a female hero the most important character in Marvel film for the first time... ever. Wanda is now seen as powerful and complex, inherently interesting and layered, but also a crucial part of the make-up of the MCU and that is a very big and exciting step for Marvel, with their history of making their female characters powerful but not important.
Will they stick the landing as we dig down deeper into what Wanda’s doing and why? There’s no way to know until we get to the end, but for now I’m very excited for what this show has done for both Marvel television and their female characters, and look forward to what comes next.
WandaVision airs every Friday on Disney+
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