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Multiverse of Madness: We Gotta Talk About Wanda

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MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for Multiverse of Madness

For those of us who have seen “Multiverse of Madness,” we know once again Elizabeth Olsen turned in an emotional and heartfelt performance as Wanda Maximoff aka the Scarlett Witch.

She also turned in a bada$$ performance as one of the baddest, most ruthless super villains the MCU has EVER seen.

But for some, her path to the Dark Side was somewhat abrupt and maybe a little too horrific. Especially for those who truly loved the Wanda character up to this point.

Let’s break it down.

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The Gap Between “WandaVision” and “Multiverse of Madness”

We left off the finale of WandaVision with Wanda taking control of the Darkhold and her having ascended as the Scarlett Witch.

We know the Darkhold has that nasty tendency to corrupt its user so we can assume in the time between WandaVision and Multiverse of Madness that she’s been vastly changed and corrupted, but where people might be caught off guard in the film is how much changed she’s changed.

There’s not a major attempt in the film to share flashbacks of the Darkhold taking over and augmenting the worst parts of Wanda and her pain, and thus some fans are confused by her dramatic turn.

It’s not just that she’s corrupted, it’s the level at which she’s been corrupted.

To fill those gaps, we have to remember her pain. She lost here brother in Age of Ultron. Then Lost the only man she ever loved in Vision. She brought him back through magic only to lose him again and also her children. Basically, her whole life has been one long tragedy.

The Revenge of the Sith comes to mind immediately. Anakin for much of that movie was battling his dreams, his love for his wife and trying to protect her from certain death. He was battle his heart with the ways of the Jedi.

Then, he attacks Mace Windu and all of the sudden, “Rise, Darth Vader.” A lot of major Star Wars fans were troubled by that, especially his killing of the Younglings in that film.

But I would go as far as to say Wanda’s corruption goes even further than this.

Someone Left to Raise Them

Let’s just cut to the chase and say Wanda did the Illuminati, more specifically Mister Fantastic, dirty!

It was pretty epic to see Scarlett Witch in all her glory. She was beyond powerful and took no prisoners in Multiverse of Madness.

This kind of power was awe inspiring and fun for any Marvel fan. What caught Wanda stans off-guard could be the fact that she wielded this power as a villain, not a hero.

During the film’s climax, we see Wanda battle and absolutely destroy the Illuminati.

Specifically, her reaction to Mister Fantastic was jarring to some fans.

Reed tells Wanda “I understand your pain. I have children of my own,” to which this former Avenger replies basically saying she’s glad his wife is alive so that the children will have someone left to raise them.

Damn Wanda, where the funk did that come from. Sure, they are trying to stop you from getting to your kids BUT … what a comment!!

It’s taunting, punitive and reminiscent of a character like Thanos, a previous super villain in the MCU.

She then proceeds to murder Reed and the rest of the Illuminati. It’s an absolutely incredible scene, but fans just can’t believe what Wanda has become. Maybe that’s where much of the pain from fans stems from.

A Strange Comparison

Another aspect of her personality that fans may have trouble digesting is the comparison to Dr. Strange.

She says that when he acted and gave the time stone to Thanos, he became a hero, while she does something similar and becomes the villain. This would be a true statement if She were looking to take America’s powers to truly save the multiverse, but to use them to be with her children, not so much.

Strange’s actions in Infinity War were calculated and based off 14 million futures he saw. He was also acting on behalf of billions of lives.

Now, let’s not give Strange a complete pass. The man has long been in the vain of a character like Tony Stark, with the ends justifying the means. His bravado and inability to see “other paths” has and will continue to get him in trouble.

But Wanda’s actions are purely for her own means. She ignores the possibility of destroying universes just so she can go be with her kids. Understandable and heartfelt, but still she is RUTHLESS in this mission.

She murders about 100 people in this film without breaking a sweat. This reminds me of Loki in Avengers (2012). He, like Wanda, was impacted by the Mind Stone and went on an absolute killing spree.

He was clearly a troubled villain in Avengers as Wanda was in Multiverse of Madness. It’s hard for fans because you know there’s good in her, much like Loki, she’s just so tormented and corrupted to get through to.

Loki eventually had redemption, so maybe we’ll see the same from Wanda.

Where We End

The way in which Multiverse ends is also a bit jarring and tough for fans to handle.

She’s battling everyone and everything throughout to get to her kids only to scare them at the very end dressed in full Scarlett Witch gear and then snap out of her rage once she sees their frightened faces.

She sees herself as Wanda once again and then is suddenly transformed back into the hero we know and love.

Wanda then decides to destroy the Darkhold and kill herself in hopes of saving the multiverse.

The scene itself is powerful and Olsen is again incredible in her performance.

It’s just abrupt.

Maybe we could have seen a few moments in the film with Wanda trying to break through.

Even Loki in Avengers has a moment with Thor where he says “It’s too late,” while New York is being invaded and Thor tries to reason with his brother. You can see in that moment that there is reason left in Loki, though he then stabs Thor and rides off to kill some more people.

We don’t really get this from the Scarlett Witch, she’s solely committed to one goal and does not budge on it. In this instance, she really has become Thanos.

And I think that really sums it up. She was one of the most formidable super villains the MCU has ever seen. But she’s just that – a super villain. And for fans of Wanda in the past, this is hard to swallow.

This one-time hero really has no redemption left in her in Multiverse of Madness, but there is always the future. We see a variant version of her, still full of love and hope, and one that closes the film telling her corrupted self that her children “will be loved.”

So hopefully we see that version of Wanda in the near future. One who has come back to the light and back to dreaming again. No more waking nightmares.

Michael Rothman
Michael Rothman
Better known as “SuperheroTok” on TikTok, Michael is an Emmy Award winning entertainment reporter spending over a decade at ABC & Good Morning America, hosting shows like Inside Marvel! Michael brings his unique vision and passion to TikTok, where he also hosts “Shortboxed Presents,” a series focused on everything fans need to know about buying and selling comics in the grading age. He’s also a proud husband, and father to a little golden retriever.

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