I’ve seen a lot of people saying that Wanda in the Multiverse of Madness was out of character- even saying that obviously no one involved had watched Wandavision, that they didn’t understand, that they made her the crazy woman, just the mother, etc. Etc.
And as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch is one of my all time favorite characters portrayed brilliantly by one of my all time favorite actresses. I have to say… I think it’s completely wrong to say she’s out of character in Multiverse.
Now I do want to say while I enjoyed this movie and am still thinking about it (and honestly could come up with a ton of things to write) it had some pretty big flaws and I do think opinions on how far they took it with the Scarlet Witch yeah, maybe you can make the argument they took it too far.
Of course I think we finally had a movie that didn’t have a villain problem that she was actually even more powerful than our “hero” and was allowed to let loose and use those powers. But I’ll probably ramble about that stuff another time.
Was she out of character?
Most people when they make this argument are of course talking about Wandavision (which I would argue you definitely have to see despite previous statements from Kevin Feige). I think perhaps there’s already a disconnect for me in some arguments because I hear people stating the fact that, ‘she was the hero in Wandavisioin.’ (Me: I will defend her to the end but really??? The hero???)
Or that she did make it right in the end. Which is important of course.
But also it’s important to remember that even when faced with the truth of what she was doing even when confronted by Vision of all people about the pain she was causing Wanda did not even attempt to make things right. Most of the time she dug in. In fact even when Agatha finally started removing the spells when confronted by those people begging for death her first instinct was to magic choke them.
Yes there are all kinds of things mitigating Wanda Maximoff’s actions- grief, trauma, PTSD, etc. etc. But that’s the other thing about the end of Wandavision- when I say she really got off with no consequence whatsoever she also didn’t get any help. Monica basically patted her on the back and then Wanda pissed off, as we saw in the end credit scene, to her private cabin in the middle of nowhere so she could astral project and read her demonic book in peace. A book to be fair we also see corrupted two of the Strange’s in other universes.
*Consequence and culpability in the MCU is an interesting bag of issues in itself. My only point is she didn’t receive help either.
“It won’t be Wanda who comes for her. It will be the Scarlet Witch…”
Again the question of was she in or out of character raises the issue she herself is splitting the characters, she’s the Scarlet Witch for the better part of this movie and that’s not a character we’ve ever seen before in the MCU.
I mean of course Wanda is the Scarlet Witch but she hadn’t even heard the term until the end of Wandavision and here she embraces it big time- she goes for it. And we’re seeing her truly be the Scarlet Witch for the first time.
They did her like Dany!
I’m not a fan of Michael Waldron who wrote this movie and Loki (which everyone seemed to love) but I do believe he does understand characterization and the importance of themes so he’s already got one up on Dan and David. She didn’t snap when completing all her goals just because her family was mad in the past and start burning women and children instead of Lannisters…
I mean like I said I have a lot of problems with this script but you need to go a lot further to compare to that disaster.
The Crazy/Mad Woman
Wanda’s previous mental health trauma aside was she just the crazy/mad woman here or was she just finally a vicious villain who was more powerful than our heroes and was using it so we have to say she’s the crazy/mad woman too make ourselves feel better?
Scarlet Witch was very calculated in most of the things she was doing here. She had a purpose- to reunite with her sons, she was exacting a plan (to catch and kill America and take her powers) and she had answers for everything…
Strange: America is just a child!
Scarlet Witch: She’s not a child. She’s a supernatural entity…
Even when Wong asks her why she can’t just have America send her to another universe instead of taking the powers she does have a reason- what if her boys get sick? What if one dies? Then she would need to travel to other universes to keep them together.
While I thought they did enough to emphasize the evil book and I loved seeing the Mt. Wundagore mythology short as it was- there’s always the argument to be made that it might have been better to finally embrace the Mephisto of it all or bring back Evan Peters and have him play Nightmare (or have him play Mephisto and bring that full circle fixing the Ralph Bohner mess that brings down Wandavision and paying it off.)
The Cosmic Phase Execution Problems
I’m going to try to keep this Wanda in the Multiverse related for now.
Though I think one of the big problems with Michael Waldron and the cosmic phase of the MCU so far is it’s just not hanging together as tightly as it could. A simple nod to some knowledge of how much time had passed between Wandavision and the start of Multiverse might have been helpful.
Before Endgame I could figure that out pretty easily no matter the movie. Now I feel like I need a time chart.
Also at the end of Wandavision when she does hear her children they seem to be calling for help. Yet in Multiverse she’s going after a set of children who are seemingly very happy with their mom Wanda and just setting it up like that instead of the Mephisto of it all leads to all kinds of questions…
Are those kids somehow real? Is that Wanda still fucking with some version of Westview that no superhero in any universe seems to care about? Why are the kids so much more annoying here than they ever were in Wandavision when I actually thought they were rather good actors and was looking forward to seeing them again?
And as I feel comes up more and more for me in these movies: Where is Vision of Living Kids Universe? Where the fuck is White Vision who could maybe take her out?
Strange took a shot at Hawkeye, for some reason, but hey Clint has talked her down before and he could have been a much more brutal and meaningful death than the Illuminati who all went out rather like chumps of course kind of came off like chumps but that’s a whole other story. Would have loved to get some Agatha to? Mainly I admit because Kathryn Hahn in a Sam Raimi film would probably be so much fun!
The ending of Wanda’s story here actually really worked for me. Because much like Agatha forcing her to face the truth in Wandavision (for very different reasons) America knowing she couldn’t defeat her gave her what she wanted and the boys seeing her as a witch and being terrified of her finally got through to her.
I also loved the little bit when she was trying to comfort them that she wouldn’t hurt them, she wouldn’t hurt any…
So long story short- Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness had its issues. Right now I think everything Marvel is doing surrounding the multiverse does for me… but Wanda certainly wasn’t one of them. She was in character and Elizabeth Olsen killed it!