Neither Wanda Nor WandaVision Need A Big Villain To Succeed
If you’re like us folks over here at Comic Years, the odds are that you have been planning your entire weeks around new episodes of WandaVision. The innovative Marvel series has been releasing weekly episodes on Disney+, and time is going by faster than Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Sokovia. That is to say, we’re already nearing the end of the series. Despite having only three episodes to go, the show has yet to (SPOILER ALERT) name its primary villain. This delay has been causing quite the ruckus online, with many starting to fall out of love with the series because of it. However, we aren’t so sure that WandaVision needs a big villain.
Here’s your warning! This post will contain spoilers for the first six episodes of WandaVision. If you need a recap, head on over to our WandaVision episode 6 recap and come back to this at a later time.
Image via Disney+.
Why Does WandaVision Need a Villain?
Marvel has done a great job introducing some truly terrifying (and sometimes relatable) villains. There was Thanos, with his neverending desire to save the universe by erasing half of it. Killmonger wanted to end the oppression of people of African descent in places beyond Wakanda while elevating himself to the highest power. The list goes on. Because of these multi-layered and often sympathetic villains, we have come to learn that every Marvel viewing should come with the anticipation of a similarly well-written antagonist.
Well, we’re almost finished with WandaVision, and there has yet to be a baddie as big as Thanos. Sure, we have Hayward, S.W.O.R.D. Director, whose antics are coated in darkness. But the big reveal has yet to happen, if it ever will. And this has been upsetting more than a few people.
Image via Marvel Studios.
A Lack of a Villain Is Frustrating to Some
Drama ensued online when TVLine writer, Matt Webb Mitovich, released an article titled “Why WandaVision Should Reveal Its Big Bad Now, Versus Later.” In this article, Mitovich shares that viewers need confirmation that what they have been watching isn’t all for nothing. Apparently, this is because we’re running out of time to fully understand the “motivations and means” of whoever it ends up being. Anything other than a big reveal would be a “waste.”
Mitovich isn’t alone in thinking that WandaVision has been less than satisfying up until this point. An earlier article by IndieWire, written by author Ben Travers, suggests that the latest episode added nothing to the story. “Another week, another wait,” he writes. But are we really waiting? I thought we were just watching.
WandaVision Is Already Enough
Sure, Marvel has a reputation for writing fabulous villains. And yes, we often center our predictions and expectations around who the next one might be. We all do it. But WandaVision is about far more than just some bad guy in a cool outfit. Instead, the series is documentation about grief and what it can do to a person. For Wanda, the trauma of losing her entire family and the love of her life is the real villain.
Not everybody shares the opinion that WandaVision needs a villain yesterday. A recent viral tweet by Ashley Esqueda reminds us that Wanda’s story can be enough without a powerful man setting things up for her.
I want to elaborate more on my theories but don't want to say anything if people haven't caught up, but…what if Wanda's grief ends in an world-shifting event *without* a bad man behind it? Wouldn't that be enough?
— .ashley. ✨🎙 (@AshleyEsqueda) February 15, 2021
She has a point. Following the story of Wanda Maximoff isn’t about coming up with some impressive bad guy. Her story is complete without the addition of anyone else.
The true villains of this story are people we have already seen. Its the impact that Stark Industries had on Wanda’s childhood, making her an orphan at a young age. It’s Ultron, who killed her brother. It’s Thanos who was responsible for the death of her lover and the minimization of her powers. Finally, there is Wanda herself for possibly hijacking the lives and minds of an entire town (though, not intentionally as far as we know). And ultimately, the biggest villain is the lack of support available to people coping with grief.
We Already Have a WandaVision Villain
Based on what we know about Marvel Studios, we won’t be surprised if some character in WandaVision does develop into another big villain. It could be Hayward becoming an even bigger jerk. Or it may be Agnes, cloaked in mystery. Or hey, maybe Ralph (who a few folks on our team think is Mephisto) is bound to pop out at some point. But at the end of the day, we’re going to be more than okay if this doesn’t happen. Or if, much to the chagrin of WandaVision critics, a villain doesn’t pop out until the very last second. Marvel is all about setting things up for the future, but if someone does show up it’s not their story. It’s Wanda’s.
Wanda’s story will continue beyond this series. She will show up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Perhaps the ending of WandaVision will directly lead to the events of the film, where Wanda is no longer alone in trying to defeat some ultimate “Big Bad.” We would be even happier to see her come into this movie with a darn good therapist and some more supportive friends (by the way, why isn’t Wanda hanging out in grief counseling with Hawkeye? Have they even texted her to ask how she’s doing?). Or is he too busy with Kate Bishop?
Our motto for watching this series has always been “sit back and enjoy the ride.” WandaVision doesn’t need a huge villain to be a success. Wanda deserves a story centered on her needs, desires, and all of her strengths or failings.
Featured image via Disney+.
Meghan Hale is a graduate student living right outside of Toronto, Canada. She has always been the go-to gal for talking about anything film related and has a frustratingly long list of movie trivia up her sleeve. She is currently working on her first screenplay, as well as a horror novel, with the goal of publishing it while Stephen King is still around to read it.