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Monday, March 22, 2021 

A dreadful column about where Scarlet Witch is going in live action

Here's a Captain Comics column on the Indiana Gazette, written as an absurd Q&A, where Andrew Smith talks about the direction WandaVision is going in, and what it's leading to for Scarlet Witch:
Q: Yes, yes, but what was it about?

A: The beauty of the show is that the answer to that might vary from person to person. But my biggest takeaway was “grief.”

Specifically, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) dealing with the grief of losing her parents, her brother and the love of her life. And blowing up a bunch of civilians in Lagos, which launched “Captain America: Civil War,” which cost her a home with the Avengers. I mean, the girl’s been through the mill.

In fact, you can even view the show through the lens of Kubler-Ross’ “Five Stages of Grief.” Wanda demonstrated denial with the Westview Hex and all that entails. Anger when she threw Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) out of the hex. Bargaining when she pleaded with Vision (Paul Bettany) to stay in Westview. Depression when she didn’t want to get out of bed. Acceptance when she allowed the Hex to disintegrate — and her husband and children with it.

Q: Yes, I teared up at that part. Does that mean that Martin Scorsese owes Marvel an apology?

A: I know what you mean. In 2019, Scorsese slammed Marvel movies in “Empire” magazine, saying they weren’t “the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.” “WandaVision” shows just how wrong he was, and I think, yes, he does owe Marvel filmmakers an apology.
Oh no he doesn't. What's so great about a story where Wanda's depicted murdering innocents, as this seems to indicate? And I thought the Phoenix Saga was bad enough. This is no less sick, even if the body count isn't as big as it was when the Phoenix entity wiped out a billion aliens on a faraway planet in 1980. And these propagandists have no issue with it? What's irritating is that, science fiction or not, Wanda is being set up to look like a literal madwoman rather than somebody who, moral flaws or not, has a grip on sanity as she did when she first debuted. With the worst part being that the producers may be hoping nobody watching the show will be interested in checking out the Silver Age material where she first appeared, and realize, if anything, that she never began as a crazy flake, or that the storyline she went through in 1989-90 only lasted a short time, and was put to rest with her sanity restored. The following may state it's really the influence of a villain she's under, but it's still extremely unpleasant:
Q: That’s just one of things I wanted that the finale didn’t give me. I didn’t get Mephisto, either. Or Chthon. Or even Dr. Strange.

A: Yep, the “WandaVision” finale didn’t give us a surprise guest star or Super Big Bad, as had been feverishly expected in certain quarters of the internet. It just gave us an unforgettable emotional wallop and established the Scarlet Witch as Marvel’s most tragic figure. It also gave us Vision talking Vision out of a fight with Vision by using a thought experiment in a library, which is exactly how Vision would handle fighting Vision.

As for the villain of the piece, we now know it was “Agatha All Along.”
This is exactly what offends me about where they're going. How is anybody supposed to admire and find inspiration in a girl who's depicted as a basket case? And Harkness is a baddie? Double the insult whammy if correct. It's beginning to sound like the time Identity Crisis made Jean Loring out to look like the person who killed Sue Dibny, all for the sake of shock value. And in the 7th episode, no less, not unlike the 7th and last issue of IC in 2004. Do they think that because Harkness is an old lady by contrast makes it excusable? No way.
Q: And Wanda herself? The end credits stinger showed two of her. Where is she and what’s that all about?

A: Well, the double vision (had to work that one in) is easily explained; Dr. Strange did the same trick in his movie, where his physical body did one thing while his astral self did another (studying magic, just like Wanda). As for where she is, the comics would suggest Wundagore Mountain in Transia (her birthplace), which is the stomping grounds of the High Evolutionary (a supervillain) and Chthon (an Elder God).

The movies would suggest Sokovia (her other birthplace), which has its own perils (Hydra, a whole country that hates the Avengers).

Hmmm. Those both sound like terrible places to take a working vacation. Maybe she just rented a cabin at the Kia Kima Boy Scout Reservation in Arkansas, where the only threat is adolescent hormones.

But don’t worry, we’ll see her again. She’s co-starring in “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (expected March 25, 2022), and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (Dec. 17, 2021) which is also tied to the Strange sequel.
If the Strange movie sequel is meant to be a carry over from WandaVision, it sounds like a pretty cheap gimmick that isn't stand-alone.
Q: So it’s over. Will there be a second season?

A: It doesn’t seem likely. But possible. Even Marvel Supreme Leader Kevin Feige doesn’t know. “I’ve been at Marvel too long to say a definite ‘No’ to anything as far as a second season of ‘WandaVision,’” he said to the Television Critics Association on Feb. 24. And if he doesn’t know, nobody knows. So anything’s possible. She will probably try to re-create her children — we heard them calling to her in finale after-credits stinger — so there’s more story to go. And there’s still plenty of TV left to parody!
Except this is no laughing matter. It's nothing more than another example of TV shows and films that aren't very respectable of the characters cast, relying on some very revolting storylines to make their shoddy point. Much like this column is the work of somebody who clearly isn't a real fan of Scarlet Witch, let alone the Avengers.

Since we're on the issue, here's a recap of the finale from Distractify, and what Agatha did in its rendition:
The bombshell realization came at the conclusion of the episode, which revealed that Agnes' real name is Agatha Harkness and she is also a witch who has been manipulating the events happening in Westview, including killing Sparky the dog. So, just who is Agatha? Does the comic book character work for another villain in the Marvel Universe?
They say alleged fans are wondering if she's working for Mephisto, as though this couldn't be tasteless enough. And then:
So, who is Agatha?

In the comics, Agatha is a powerful witch who was burned at the stake during the Salem Witch trials and later came back to life. Agatha becomes a mentor to the Scarlet Witch and helps her master her powers. In the final moments of the episode, fans watched Agatha put a trance on Wanda.

Comic book fans know that Agatha erases Wanda's memory of her kids, after the Scarlet Witch finds out from her mentor that her children were created from pieces of Mephisto's soul and that he reabsorbed them. Ultimately, Wanda discovers this and kills Agatha.
And the worst part is that what we have here is a situation reminiscent of the time 2 decades ago in JSA, when Obsidian was influenced by Ian Karkull into first murdering his stepfather before turning against and wiping out the villain who'd originally appeared in Dr. Fate's Golden Age stories from More Fun Comics. IIRC, the JSA story was written by David Goyer and Geoff Johns, and serves as an example of heroes whom the writers cheaply turn into de facto villains simply because they don't know what else to do with them. It makes little difference whether a villain influences a hero into madness and criminal behavior; what matters is that it's still very pathetic, and poor taste. Some of what they mention may have appeared in Avengers: Disassembled, and again, it explains what's wrong with Brian Bendis' grimy tale. Most importantly, it serves to demonstrate why corporate owned properties can be the most vulnerable to distasteful storytelling.

Anyway, I won't be watching what appears to be a TV miniseries planned as a lead-in to a major movie sequel. And I won't be watching the Dr. Strange sequel either. All these shock value elements have made me weary, as I see people more interested in exploiting the creations of comicdom for the sake moviedom, and making things worse than need be along the way.

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...you keep the spam and yet delete any comment that doesn't fit your worldview? Where's the logic in that?

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