A History of Scarlet Witch and Vision’s MCU Relationship Prior to WandaVision<\/em>
For those of us following the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s no way to beat around the bush—it’s been a long time. Due to COVID-19, it’s been an 18-month layover since any new MCU content has been released (the last was Spider-Man: Far From Home in July 2019). Luckily us, that’s come to an end, as Disney+’s new limited series, WandaVision, is bringing the expansive world back to us—and telling us the story of two key characters: Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany).
The thing is, though, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is quite a big library to work through. At this point, there are 23 movies, and it’s a little bit harder to work a full rewatch of those than, say, three Lord of the Rings movies. So some of us might want to watch WandaVision, but still be wondering, uh, who were these guys again? It’s confusing for anyone to dive into a full-on bizarro superhero/sitcom hybrid world, but probably especially so if you don’t remember these characters, or why they’re walking through walls or making things fly with their brain. Prior to WandaVision, while both characters had their moments, they did tend to get a little bit lost in the scuffle of everything else happening around them. So it’s hard to blame anyone for needing a refresher.
So we went back to the archive to wrap everything up in a neat package. Scarlet Witch first appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Vision first appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron. There are a few movies to work through—so let’s get onto it and get you ready for some weird superhero sitcom stuff. Here we go.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Wanda’s first appearance in the MCU comes in a Winter Soldier credits scene; she’s seen, along with her brother, Pietro, in the captivity of a Hydra operative named Strucker. We see him overseeing experiments being run on Wanda, who is telekinetic, and Pietro, has super speed.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Wanda and Pietro both appear early on in Avengers: Age of Ultron, being used as Strucker’s weapons against the Avengers. Wanda gets inside Tony Stark’s head and pushes him to see his actions leading to the deaths of his fellow Avengers, and eventually allows Tony to take Loki’s scepter (with the Mind Stone inside) for himself, believing that it will eventually lead to him driving the Avengers to their destruction.
The Avengers defeat all the forces at the Hydra base and capture Strucker, but Wanda and Pietro escape. Meanwhile, Tony’s experimental A.I. system Ultron has taken on a life and mechanical body of its own and fairly quickly becomes…pretty evil. Ultron wants Wanda and Pietro to team up with him against the Avengers, and while they briefly entertain the idea, they eventually keep their independence and then decide to fight alongside the Avengers against the army Ultron builds.
As part of Ultron’s evil plan, he works with a brainwashed scientist ally of the Avengers to develop a superpowered synthetic body that’s partially made of the vibranium found in Wakanda (which is also the material Captain America’s shield is made of). Ultron plans to eventually implant his own consciousness into this superpowered body, which would…well, it would put the world in grave danger to say the least.
To combat this, Tony comes up with a plan. The Avengers find the body, and turn it into a cocktail of sorts; they put the mind stone INTO the body, but Tony puts his trusty A.I. system, J.A.R.V.I.S. into the body with the mind stone before Ultron can get there. The frankenstein android superhero experiment works: Vision is born.
Vision is not J.A.R.V.I.S., but rather an entirely new consciousness; he doesn’t take sides, but does take “the side of life,” as he tells our heroes. He doesn’t know how he can get them to trust him—but when he’s able to successfully wield Mjolnir, that’s certainly a start. He also has some powers that allow him to sort of manipulate reality, walk through walls, and fly.
Fast forward to the conclusion of the movie; both Maxmioffs and Vision are fighting alongside the Avengers and against Ultron in Sokovia, the war-torn home country of the twins. Pietro dies in an act of self-sacrifice, leaving Wanda all alone; in her rage, she rips the original Ultron’s robot heart from his chest, killing the entire system. Vision meets the final Ultron in the woods and after a quick conversation, destroys him for good. Wanda and Vision don’t have any meaningful interacti0n throughout the course of the film, but we do see them both together at the end of the movie, as part of Captain America and Black Widow’s new Avengers.
Captain America: Civil War
By the time Civil War begins, we see that Wanda and Vision have become friendly. Wanda calls him ‘Vis,’ and warns him that he can’t keep walking intro rooms by just walking through walls—he needs to use the doors like everyone else.
The film’s central conflict puts the Avengers on two sides: Iron Man, who, in his trauma following the aftermath of the events of Ultron believes the government should be able to regulate the Avengers, and Captain America, who stands firmly against this. Wanda is basically a ward of Tony’s at this point, living in the Avengers compound; when the team is on a mission through the base elsewhere, he leaves Vision to watch over Wanda—and not allow her to leave the compound. Civil War is the first movie to really explore the relationship between the two characters.
Eventually, Hawkeye—on team Cap—shows up to get Wanda/Scarlet Witch out of there. Vision remains loyal to Tony, and a fight between the three breaks out. Eventually, Wanda blasts Vision deep into the ground and she escapes with Hawkeye to join Cap’s side. After a large—and, really, quite awesome—fight at an airport, the two sides go their separate ways after Vision shows up and basically calls for a momentary truce.
Avengers: Infinity War
By the time we meet back up with everyone in Infinity War, Wanda and Vision have fully become a romantic item. They’re together in Edinburgh, and Vision at this point has learned how to make his exterior appear like a human and not like his traditional, uh, red.
Thanos’ goons show up, though, seeking the Mind Stone implanted in Vision’s head. The two fight them off briefly, but eventually are helped when the reinforcements show up: Captain America, Falcon, and Black Widow show up and fight off the goons and save the day. Knowing that Thanos is after the stone in his head, Vision suggests that Scarlet Witch destroy him to save the world from Thanos’ wrath. She refuses, citing her love for him. At Captain America’s suggestion, they travel to Wakanda, where T’Challa’s sister Shuri might have the scientific capabilities to remove the stone from Vision’s head without killing him.
This doesn’t take, though. By the end of the film, Thanos has four of the five stones he needs to destroy half of the life in the universe; the mind stone in Vision’s head is the final one he needs. Vision and Scarlet Witch, both at the movie’s final battle in Wakanda, agree that while it’s not what they want, they need to do it. Wanda painfully, regrettably, destroys the stone in Vision’s head, killing him but stopping Thanos in the process. Unfortunately, though, Thanos has the time stone—he reverses time, bringing Vision back to life only to rip the stone out of his head, killing him once again.
Thanos, at this point, has all the stones. Thor almost kills him—but he doesn’t. Thanos snaps, not far from Vision’s dead and now discolored body, and we begin to see half of the life disintegrate into ash; Wanda is one of the many heroes who ceases to exist upon the snap.
Given that Wanda/Scarlet Witch was snapped out of existence at the end of Infinity War, her role in Endgame is relatively limited. Still, in the movie’s third act, once she and her other rapturees are snapped back into existence, she has a major face-off scene with a past version of Thanos. As Wanda confronts him, Thanos doesn’t even seem bothered—”You took everything from me,” she tells him. “I don’t even know who you are,” he responds, in one of the movie’s most memed scenes. She puts up a good fight, destroying his sword and forcing him and his troops to attempt to retreat but still doesn’t manage to defeat him. After the events of the final battle with Thanos, we see Wanda at Tony Stark’s funeral with Clint Barton/Hawkeye, both consoling the other after having lost someone—Vision and Black Widow.
And here we are. We don’t know why—but Wanda/Scarlet Witch and Vision are not only happily together, but living life through a series of bizarre sitcom existences. They’ve got new friends, a nosy neighbor, and a whole lot of intrigue. We’ll see whatever the hell is happening here in due time—but it’s going to be a fun ride.
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