I just finished watching the entire WandaVision series that’s available on Disney+. My experience might drastically differ from yours because, unlike most fans who were dying for any new Marvel Cinematic Universe content, I didn’t watch it on a per week basis. I binge watched the entire 9 episodes all in one day. In one night, actually! Like Darcy, I was super invested with what was happening with both Wanda, Vision and the rest of the plucky cast and I really wanted to see where this was all headed.
This didn’t mean I was actively avoiding spoilers. In this day and age, that’s practically impossible. So I was expecting to see a ton of stuff because I knew they were coming. Since I was watching everything in a short period, I wasn’t afforded the time to develop my own theories as to how Marvel was developing WandaVision. There were certainly a lot of fan speculation, most especially from longtime Marvel fans and, in retrospect, I can see why they developed these theories. Marvel Studios liberally sprinkled little hints all throughout WandaVision, hinting at future developments.
However, most of them were eventually revealed to be red herrings and I can see some fans being disappointed as they thought their fan theories were better than the final product. Maybe these same fans are thinking Marvel made a lot of missed opportunities with all of these red herrings. In my opinion, though, this was all intentional. Marvel and Disney intentionally trolled fans but not in a malicious sort of way. Rather, they did it for their benefit.
Of course, even if I did watch all 9 episodes of WandaVision, maybe not everyone has yet. Since I’ll have to talk about the actual trollish moments, I’m putting up the obligatory SPOILER WARNING up right now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
WandaVision did a good job of liberally dropping hints which lead nowhere all throughout the series. We had Monica Rambeau stating she knew a certain aerospace engineer who could help her re-enter Wanda’s Hex border and, almost immediately, Marvel nerds and geeks everywhere speculated who from the Marvel universe would fit the bill. Most pointed a finger at Reed Richards, the stretchy scientist leader of the Fantastic Four. It turns out it was just some girl from SWORD who was friends with Monica. Since Wanda was creating a new world, fans immediately thought we would see Doctor Strange make a cameo in WandaVision at some point of the series as his upcoming movie supposedly deals with the multiverse. The only Doctor Strange we get is the reference of the Scarlet Witch being much more powerful than the Sorcerer Supreme.
The biggest red herring WandaVision dropped, hands down, was the appearance of Wanda’s twin brother, Pietro. Comic fans better know him as Quicksilver, Marvel’s speedster. However, this wasn’t the Quicksilver we saw in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The Quicksilver we got in WandaVision was the one we saw in the X-Men movies from Fox! This didn’t seem like much if you think all Marvel movies come from Disney and are totally unaware about Fox’s superhero movies are not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, this was incredibly important to those who know about Disney acquiring Fox and absorbing the X-Men property back into Marvel. This immediately had the geek fandom buzzing as they said this was how Disney was going to merge the Marvel Fox films into the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
It turns out this was much ado about nothing. This wasn’t Wanda’s twin brother nor was it the Quicksilver from the X-Men movies. It was Ralph Bohner all along. Who’s Ralph Bohner and what’s his role in the comics? Absolutely nothing! It turns out Ralph Bohner was Agatha Harkness’ puppet as she was trying to mess with Wanda! Why Wanda recognized him as her twin brother was just a huge misdirect from Marvel and to get the fans speculating how the Fox version of Quicksilver plopped into the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
I can see some fans getting upset with all of these bait and switch tactics they employed all throughout WandaVision. It’s like Marvel went out of their way to give fans a little taste of what was possibly going to happen only to yank it away like some cruel joke. While it may seem like Marvel is being like some evil temptress by filling the fanboys’ collective imagination with these enticing possibilities, I actually think Marvel, while doing these intentionally, did all of this in a fun and positive way. I think they trolled fans out of love.
Why would I say something like this when you can also say Marvel basically lied to longtime fans by showing them these distracting pieces of fandom? Well, all of these bits and pieces brought a lot of joy from the mere thought their theories could come true. Never mind we didn’t see anyone from the Fantastic Four; the idea we could see John Krasinski with white sideburns made fans whet with anticipation. Never mind we didn’t see Stephen Strange make a quick pop inside the town of Westview; it made us want to see the next film even more. Okay, the thing with Ralph Bohner was hitting a little below the belt but it was funny if you didn’t take it too seriously. Besides, for the true die-hard believers out there, Mr. Bohner is really Quicksilver in their eyes, no matter what! Who knows? Maybe they’re going to be proven right in the future! I’m not going to hold my breath but they might!
I understand there are going to be some fans who will focus on how WandaVision crushed their dreams/theories. That’s natural, especially for something you’re sure of. I do like to think of the happiness and the shock fans experienced while watching those hints being dropped and the joy of trying to figure out what it all means. I experienced it myself while watching WandaVision. I may not have a whole week to devote to developing my own theories since I binge watched the entire show but, I will admit, even though I already knew I was going to see the X-Men version of Quicksilver, that was one heck of a memorable and stunning moment from the show.
If you’re upset your theories were debunked, I totally get it. However, maybe it’s best to think of the period when you were trying to figure it all out and how happy and excited you were when it was even a possibility. That’s what I think Marvel was going for.
What did you think of WandaVision trolling their viewers? Was it done in good fun or pure malice? Let me know in the comments section below!