Marvel’s “WandaVision” sets a unique precedent for the future of MCU

Owen Reimer, Entertainment Editor

Superhero movies and TV shows as a genre tend to use the formulaic ‘popcorn-movie’ type approach: loads of quips, action sequences, and a big bad villain at the end. “WandaVision,” on the other hand, plays much more subtly, at least from the initial two episodes.

It’s been a long time since the release of “Spider-Man: Far From Home”, the last film Marvel Studios released prior to COVID-19. A year and a half off is a long time for a company that was releasing three to four movies pre-pandemic. “WandaVision” marks the beginning of the next era of Marvel, one where things may begin to change. 

The first two episodes, which came out Jan. 15, might be the strangest thing I’ve seen in the cinematic universe, which already contains microscopic people, multiple dimensions, and talking raccoons. 

Both episodes play like sitcoms from the 50’s and 60’s respectively, with each episode seeming to jump into another decade. It follows Wanda Maximoff and Vision, a happily married couple who moved into a house in the suburbs together. The problem is, the last time we saw Vision, he was murdered by Thanos, leaving what should be a simple old school family show with several unanswered questions.

From the beginning, something seems off. Following these characters from “Avengers: Endgame,” the entire world they are living in is surreal. Then, after a little confusion, it kind of becomes natural. The show does an incredible job of imitating a legitimate old-fashioned show. It even succeeds at being surprisingly funny.

The charming 50’s show aesthetic, however, does not hold up. When things get comfortable “WandaVision” takes back the reins to add loads of confusion that go completely unanswered–so far at least. After just two episodes, I’m already begging for more. Disney’s strategy of releasing episodes weekly, which worked for “The Mandalorian,” is a great choice for a show like this, however frustrating it is. 

While much remains unknown, what seems likely is pretty heartbreaking. The likely answer is that Wanda has created this reality to cope with the death of her partner. It’s a dark shadow that lies on every second of the show. What seems to be two people living out a simple and happy life is more likely a woman going through immense grief. The series seems to take reference from “House of M”, an iconic ‘X-Men’ arc where Wanda also creates her own world in order to cope with her world falling apart around her.

The complete lack of formula also makes the show more exciting. As the first of many Marvel shows on Disney Plus, it shows how this could be the future of the universe. It allows experimentation that is unprecedented in any of the movies yet. 

The show does an excellent job of setting the tone in the beginning, while also creating a world that has much more to be explored. I would bet that from here it will become much darker and stranger, but from just two episodes, “WandaVision” is already one of, if not the most, unique things Marvel Studios has created. 

After “Endgame,” the best way for Marvel to maintain their grasp on the entertainment industry would have to be to stray even further from the beaten path of superhero movies. While this universe has already transitioned into much different worlds than anything like it before, “WandaVision” shows clearly that Marvel Studios still has tons of potential, and quite possibly has yet to reach its peak.

You can stream “WandaVision” on Disney Plus.