Enjoy the show more by knowing the basics.
WandaVision is an incredible show that ties together the larger Marvel Universe. The show is so popular that it crashed Disney+ when the latest episode released. However, to enjoy WandaVision, you don’t have to watch all 26 movies based on the Avengers to understand and appreciate it. Here, you will learn the essentials of the main characters, some of which come from the earlier movies and some from the comic books.
There will be some spoilers of the previous movies and the comic books, but I will keep the WandaVision show spoilers minimum. These will be slight spoilers that set up the backstory, which will help you enjoy the show even more. I will cover Vision and Wanda first, with more significant spoilers past that. I will give you a warning before those spoilers.
Vision – Part J.A.R.V.I.S., Part Ultron
Let’s take the most confusing character and make it easy: Vision. Actor Paul Bettany plays Vision. You may recognize Bettany from A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, or Solo: A Star Wars Story. However, Bettany is most known for his roles in the Marvel Universe, including being in the first movie Iron Man.
Bettany was/is the voice of Tony Stark’s A.I. named J.A.R.V.I.S. Every movie with Iron Man included Paul Bettany’s voice (who later turns into Vision).
Everything changed in the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron. That’s where the villain Ultron showed up, where he created an android body using the power of the Mind Stone. Ultron named his creation Vision.
To “defeat” the evil version of Vision, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner used the core software of J.A.R.V.I.S. to bring Vision under control. That’s why Vision sounds like J.A.R.V.I.S. They are the same!
Stark and Banner weren’t able to do this mind-melding without Thor’s power, making it fascinating when astrophysicist Darcy Lewis shows up (played by Kat Dennings of 2 Broke Girls). Lewis was in two of the Thor movies and returns in WandaVision.
Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olsen, sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley) and her twin brother Pietro first appeared in the movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The twins were survivors of Hydra’s (bad guys) experiments on humans using Loki’s scepter. (Loki is another upcoming Disney+ series set in the Marvel Universe, also of Thor fame.)
Wanda shows how badass she is in the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron (same one mentioned above where J.A.R.V.I.S. becomes Vision). Without spoiling too much, there is an epic scene of the floating city, an attacking army of flying robots, and Hawkeye wondering how to defeat them with his bow and arrows. One word: Wanda.
What triggered Wanda? Losing her twin brother, who sacrificed himself to save the day. Wanda is also known as The Scarlet Witch.
Wanda’s power and story increase in the movies Captain America: Civil War and then Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. These movies are where Wanda falls in love with Vision and ultimately loses Vision by destroying the Mind Stone (that keeps Vision alive) in order to save the world, thus killing Vision.
To say that this causes psychological scarring for Wanda is an understatement. This history is the entire drive and purpose of the show WandaVision.
Three more characters of the show are below. Knowing their background in the comic universe will help you appreciate the show more. There are some show spoilers, but knowing them will enhance your experience and enjoyment.
– SLIGHT SHOW SPOILERS BELOW –
– Keep Scrolling for 3 More Characters –
Agnes – Agatha Harkness
Kathryn Hahn plays the nosy neighbor Agnes. You may know Hahn from her role on Crossing Jordan or the dozens of other television shows or dozens of movies that she has stared in, including Anchorman and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Without revealing the show’s events, we know from IMDB and the credits that Hahn’s character is also known as Agatha Harkness. Harkness first showed up in Marvel’s comics The Fantastic Four #94.
Harkness is the mother of Nicholas Scratch (the enemy of The Fantastic Four) and is the mentor of The Scarlet Witch. Yes, Agatha Harkness is the one who trained Wanda on how to use her powers.
Teyonah Parris plays the character Monica Rambeau. You may know Parris from her role in the show Mad Men. As for the character Rambeau, Disney first introduced us to her in the movie Captain Marvel. However, she first appeared in the Marvel universe in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 in October of 1982.
Monica Rambeau is the daughter of Maria Rambeau, a colleague with Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel). Monica later becomes a captain in S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division). There’s a WHOLE LOT more to Rameau.
In the comic book series, Monica Rameau gets superpowers and falls under Captain American and AntMan’s mentorship. She later becomes the second Captain Marvel and the eventual leader of the Avengers. This is really cool!! An African American woman becoming the LEADER of the Avengers.
We don’t fully know Rameau’s role in WandaVision, but we do know that Teyonah Parris returns in Captain Marvel 2 sometime in 2022.
“Where have I seen this guy before?” was my question when Randall Park showed up in WandaVision. In the Marvel universe, Park’s character Jimmy Woo first appeared in AntMan as Scott Lang’s (AntMan) parole officer.
What makes Park’s appearance confusing is not only was he in Always Be My Maybe, but he also plays Dr. Stephen Shin in the DC Extended Universe film Aquaman. As far as I’m aware, this is the only major actor to play in both Marvel and DC Universe films. Confusing!
WandaVision is a Disney+ show with a new episode appearing every Friday. Disney currently plans to have nine (9) episodes in the first season. Additional and upcoming standalone Marvel series by Disney include The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki.
Enjoy the trailers for all three shows below.