The Marvel Cinematic Universe is stacked with powerful characters, but what makes one character more powerful than the other can be subjective — unless its creator weighs in. When Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that Captain Marvel is the most powerful character in the MCU, a portion of the internet lost its mind for all the wrong reasons: Namely, that there is no way a woman could be more powerful than all of the other (male) characters. Despite rampant sexism, Captain Marvel was a huge box office success, and now Disney+ will be the home of another powerful MCU hero: Wanda Maximoff.
Though Scarlet Witch has appeared in several Marvel films, we’ve only just begun to see the extent of her powers as of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Feige recently weighed in on Wanda’s powers as he discussed the upcoming series WandaVision: "Wanda Maximoff, who is probably near the upper echelons of power -- I contend she would have taken down Thanos if he hadn’t called the [army] ...”
So speaketh the maker, so it is fact. Thanos, in the end, was only taken down by Tony Stark's sacrifice, but it’s heartening to know that, had Thanos not been a coward and faced the Scarlet Witch, she could’ve exacted her revenge. Some fans have had difficulty accepting this fact — again, for purely sexist reasons — while others have pointed out that if Captain Marvel, Feige has confirmed strongest Marvel character couldn’t quite finish the job, what does it mean if Scarlet Witch could have?
From what we’re seeing, WandaVision could establish Wanda as the MCU’s next most powerful hero. So far, we know the show will have a 1950s aesthetic and will have sitcom elements. That's an interesting juxtaposition for a character who has a relatively darker backstory than other Marvel characters, both in the comics and in the films. What reasoning could Feige and the show’s creative team have for these artistic choices?
Comics aside, the films have established Scarlet Witch as powerful. From defending the key alone to destroying an Infinity Stone with one hand, Wanda is rightfully in that upper echelon of power even without Feige’s explicit confirmation. If the MCU wants to continue building her powers and her character using the comics as a reference, we could be getting Wanda’s reality-altering powers in the show.
The House of M storyline is what every comic book reader points to as an example of Scarlet Witch’s power. In three words, she creates a reality in which there are hardly any mutants. We haven’t seen Wanda reach that level in the MCU, but this is the natural escalation of her powers if the MCU wants to show her at her most powerful.
Now, in the comics, Wanda has her M-Day mental break because she’s angry. She’s lost her children, and her father Magneto used her and her brother Pietro. It stands to reason, then, that the MCU Wanda could also get to a breaking point similarly, and WandaVision is a reality in which she and Vision could still be together. For, as we know, Vision is still dead in the main reality, and because of the snap, Wanda hasn’t had the five years to process her grief like other characters in the MCU. We saw how seething her rage was at Thanos in Endgame, and a traumatic event like the one she suffered from in Infinity War isn’t just going to go away in a snap -- pun intended.
The '50s aesthetic lends itself to the idea that it’s Wanda’s creation — the nostalgic fantasy of the suburban housewife and her husband is just exaggerated enough for us to know it can’t possibly exist in our reality. The rise of her reality-altering powers could be one way to explain how Vision is around, and it can set up her becoming even more powerful than she already is.
The poster unveiled at D23 Expo last month leans into the I Love Lucy era of Americana. Wanda and Vision are smiling on the couch, and she’s even wearing an apron. In the shadows, we see their superhero silhouettes, which means there’s more than what meets the eye here. Perhaps this foreshadows that Wanda’s created reality will always have their superhero truth in the background, which also makes us wonder how long she could make this reality last.
Additionally, WandaVision is going to directly connect to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which, if it follows the Doctor Strange team-ups with Scarlet Witch in the comics, is going to be enormously entertaining. Doctor Strange is another one of those characters that a certain population of comic book fans says is more powerful than any of these lady superheroes, but consider this: even in the comics, the Eye of Agamotto considered choosing Scarlet Witch as Sorceror Supreme.
While Scarlet Witch isn’t as skilled of a hand-to-hand fighter as her colleagues, she’s certainly in the running to be the most powerful, and there’s a lot to pull from the comics to show her at her strongest. Some fans have theorized that WandaVision could even bring mutants into the MCU if it retcons the origins of her powers. As of now, the origin of her powers in the MCU is from the Mind Stone. The powers of the reigning most powerful MCU superhero, Captain Marvel, also come from an Infinity Stone. Therefore, it makes sense that if any superhero is going to be even close to taking Captain Marvel’s spot at the top, it’s Scarlet Witch.
WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as Scarlet Witch and Vision, with Jac Schaeffer serving as showrunner. Also joining the cast are Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Kathryn Hahn in an undisclosed role. The series will be available for streaming on Disney+ in spring 2021.