The once great Marvel universe is in peril. Not financial peril, for the movies are doing we’ll at the box office and the shows at Disney+. Nor do I refer to the obvious threats that exist within that universe. The Marvel universe is in deep, shameful moral peril and it will soon be dead to many fans if it does not quickly fix this problem.
The peril began with the release of WandaVision, when Disney decided to make their hero enslave thousands of innocent people to live out her sick fantasy to deal with her grief. This shocking, evil act was not punished. In the end, Wanda walks away Scott free, her only “punishment” being her insufficient guilt of having mentally raped innocent people.
While the show obviously wants the viewer to know that what Wanda did was bad, it tries hard to say that Wanda is still a good person and that the REAL villains were Agatha (a mostly innocent witch whose worst “crimes” seem to have been defending herself at Sale, trying to steal evil Wanda’s powers, and killing a fake dog) and Hayward (the government official who does everything in his power to save Wanda’s innocent victims.) In the end, poor Agatha is brainwashed by Wanda and forced to waste the rest of eternity (she’s immortal, so death by old age is not an out) living out Wanda’s twisted fantasy as Agnes, the nosy neighbor. Hayward, meanwhile, is arrested for violating the Sokovia Accords – never mind that so did Wanda, even before the events of WandaVision began. The other so-called hero of this show, Monica, spends much of her time defending and minimizing Wanda’s actions. In the end, she actually tells Wanda “they’ll never know what you gave up for them,” referring to Wanda finally letting her slaves free. Can you imagine if someone made a movie about American slavery in which the part where the audience is supposed to be sad is the part where the slave master finally let’s her slaves go? This is despicable.
Sadly, most, or at least many, Marvel fans have joined Monica in downplaying Wanda’s crimes and excusing them. I have lost track of the number of times I’ve been told that “I would do the same thing in her position.” Thankfully there are also many people who were disappointed by how the show handled Wanda’s crimes. Long form movie essayist Mauler (who I have recently started to appreciate despite some past disagreements) did an excellent livestream with his friends where they talked more in depth about the moral peril in WandaVision. I especially appreciated when they tried looking at this story from the point of view of the children who Wanda trapped in their bedrooms as she inflicted mental trauma on them. Another popular YouTuber who takes WandaVision to task is left-wing streamer Vaush. I recommend giving both videos at least a little of your time.
The only way for Marvel to fix this problem is if Doctor Strange takes it upon himself to arrest Wanda in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Theoretically, he has the power to at least give Wanda a good fight, and we know for a fact that Wanda is going to be important in this movie. But I don’t trust Marvel anymore. Unfortunately, I believe that Doctor Strange will be content to rebuke Wanda with words before teaming up with her to fight whatever big bad the movie decides to throw in our face. If that happens, then his character is now complicit in Wanda’s crime, as will every other Marvel hero who knows what happened and decides to side with Wanda anyway.
If that happens, I may decide to stop watching Marvel movies. Maybe I’ll find a better use of time – like writing fan-fic from the point of view of a child who was traumatized by being forced to live out Wanda’s nightmares all alone in her bedroom with no escape and no one to comfort her. It will be an interesting horror story.