Until now, HYDRA and Thanos were the main villains of the MCU. But phase III is long overdue – it’s time for a few new villains and the first offering of phase IV i.e. WandaVision isn’t disappointed as in just two episodes it has teased the possibility of not one, not two but six villains!
Let’s start the countdown, shall we?
Normally, we are programmed to skip the opening and closing credits of a movie or show, but with WandaVision you will need to be extra vigilant as the credit titles seem to hide a lot of clues. To begin with, the EnchantedThe opening titles of the second episode of the series hide references to the witch, Agatha Harkness and Bova the cow that Scarlet Witch raised in the comics. But the one that worries us is the brief scene where Vision walks through the walls, and from the many rubbish littered in the shelves of their home is a highly recognizable helmet that belongs to a notorious villain – the Grim Reaper.
In the comics, the Grim Reaper was initially named Eric Williams, who eventually became the dreaded villain after his brother Simon (who was turned into Wonder Man by Baron Zemo) died while saving the Avengers. Fueled by grief and anger over the loss of his brother, Eric held the Avengers responsible and wanted to destroy them. But his main problem was with Vision, who possessed his late brother’s brainwave patterns.
From there began a series of his very weird plans, such as proposing to transfer the consciousness of the android to his brother’s preserved body, then offering to make Captain America the host, then resuscitate his brother, followed by trying to both Kill Wonder Man as Vision in order to get the “pure Simon” into a lookalike zombie instead. Oof!
What makes Grim Reaper’s performance in the MCU possible is the fact that from now on WandaVision resembles Steve Englehart’s 1985 Vision and the Scarlet Witch miniseries and 2015-16’s Vision miniseries by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez a a lot of. So, since one of the main antagonists in those comics was the Reaper, hiding his helmet like an Easter egg could have darker implications.
Okay, before you get started, we agree this villain is kind of old – older than Captain America is now * gasp * But the second episode of WandaVision not only did the name of the HYDRA leader, Strucker, who turned Wanda and Pietro into superhumans, dropped the name, but also seemed to suggest that he or most likely the terrorist organization is not done with the Avenger. Whether it’s the ominous phrase, “ He’s making time for you, ” the constant talk of kids to plant the idea of becoming a mother in Wanda’s head, or the fact that the Reaper, too, once worked with the organization, HYDRA still seems always to be in the picture and maybe shoot to turn super powerful kids into slave soldiers.
If we isolate the repeated innuendo against Wanda about having children and the creepy chant of ‘For the kids’ that ended with her discovering she was suddenly pregnant, we have another villain who actually made up the brains behind the reality could be Scarlet Witch lives in. It’s Mephisto, the cunning demon who first appeared in the 1968 release The Silver Surfer # 3 and goes by many names such as “Lucifer”, “Prince of Lies” but is more commonly known as “The Devil.”
In the second episode, we see the Westview housewives preparing for a talent show “for the kids” when their haughty leader, Dottie, notices how “the devil is in the details” that Agnes cheekily jokes about “that’s not the only place where he is. ”All seasoned MCU fans know that nothing there is always only one disposable line in it. Given that it is clear that Agnes really is the mighty witch Agatha Harkness in disguise, she may know a lot more than she shows, which could confirm that it is indeed Mephisto who is being cunningly referred to here. He has many powers, but what worries us is his ability to warp both reality and time and project illusions. He even has his own pocket dimension that he likes to call Hell.
As for Mephisto’s history with Scarlet Witch, it was the shards of his soul that Wanda unwittingly used to create her twins, Billy and Tommy, who were eventually killed when the devil was resurrected. Although this does not resemble the sequence of events that WandaVision Following, Marvel Studios has a knack for changing the storyline and its characters in a way that suits the larger story currently moving into alternate timelines and multiple universes. So, who better than Mephisto to be the big villain of Stage IV and the harbinger of the multiverse? Even the trailer van Loki plagued the arrival of Mephisto by including the depiction of a devil figure on a stained glass window!
Although Mephisto has confused with many superheroes in the past, including Doctor Strange, the devil once faced another villain named Beyonder as well. While WandaVision doesn’t make an obvious reference to him, if you look closely (like very close) to the commercial in the second episode, it seems to be more than just a reference to HYDRA.
In watch ads, even today, the dials almost always show the time 10:10 – this allows other details of the watch, such as the logo plus the minute and hour hand, to stand out while giving it an overall symmetrical appearance. But instead, the time the wait in the second WandaVision commercial shows is 2:42. Attention to detail is something Marvel Studios takes pride in, and so there are high chances that this particular time was carefully chosen to evoke a particular evil ancient creature known as the Beyonder.
The time, 2:42, may refer to the Avengers comics Vol 1 # 242, where Vision returns to “life” after being knocked out by Fantastic Four’s nemesis, Annihilus, in # 233 and reveals to the rest how he has detected the impending arrival of an immensely powerful force. This eventually became the Beyonder who also kidnaps some of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men etc along with criminals such as Doctor Octopus, the Enchantress, Kang, Galactus. He pitted the warring factions against each other and started the secret wars on Battleworld, the planet he had built.
Beyonder belongs to an alien race that resides in their own dimension outside of every universe and realm. Interestingly, he also has the ability to manipulate reality and is very fascinated (read: obsessed) with the concept of multiverse.
Towards the end of the second episode, Wanda, who is suddenly pregnant, hears a noise outside and takes Vision into the street to watch it. We see an opening in a manhole cover and a man in a beekeeper suit climbing out. The symbol on the back of his suit is S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Division), an organization that is sort of a sister branch in the comics to the now-defunct S.H.I.E.L.D. While they are (maybe) the good guys, the suit we see bears a rather strong resemblance to the outfits worn by the genius but evil scientists of the criminal organization A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) who are hungry for power and always striving to turn the governments of the world upside down
There is also the fact that A.I.M. was founded by the HYDRA leader Strucker, who was also called handy in the second episode. Maybe, like S.H.I.E.L.D. was secretly infiltrated by HYDRA, S.W.O.R.D. already crawls with the crooks of A.I.M.
Now this may sound a bit far-fetched. But since you’ve already made peace with an article full of wild theories, listen to us. While the suit of the man who exists, the manhole screams “A.I.M.!” neither does the swarm of bees whirling around him. What they do remind us of is the Nazi supervillain Swarm, Spider-man’s sworn enemy in the comics.
He was previously known as Fritz von Meyer, who was initially one of Adolf Hitler’s top scientists. When he tried to enslave a colony of mutant bees, they consumed him completely, leaving only his skeleton, but his consciousness persisted, which then merged with that of the bees. It gave him the ability to manipulate the hive to do his bidding and enclose his skeletal remains, giving him an eerie but mostly weird shape.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that future episodes of the series will come out with the answers to our burning questions. The premiere episodes of WandaVision are currently streaming on the official Disney + app.
Topics: WandaVision, Disney Plus, Streaming