5 Real-But-Bananas Plots You Won't See On 'Wandavision'
One of the most popular shows on streaming right now is about a superhero of vaguely defined powers living inside a vintage sitcom with her dead husband, an android who used to be Robert Downey Jr.'s robo-butler. Unless The Crown went in a weird new direction in the episodes we haven't seen yet, you've probably guessed that we're talking about WandaVision. Thing is, everything we just described is actually an extremely simplified version of Scarlet Witch's comic book adventures. If you think the show is perplexing, we're warning you that your head might explode upon learning that, in the comics ...
Her Midwife Was A Talking Cow
Comics writers just can't leave Scarlet Witch's origin alone: at various points, she and her twin brother Quicksilver have been the children of random Romani nomads, a superhero called The Whizzer (yes, of course we've written about him, come on), Magneto, random Romani nomads again, and an actual witch. But, across most of these retcons and revelations, one basic truth remains unchanged: the midwife who delivered them was a talking cow.
In case you're wondering, Lady Bova isn't a mutant whose power is looking like a cow -- she is an actual cow who was mutated into (somewhat) human form by the experiments of a being known as the High Evolutionary. And if you're also wondering why someone would turn cows into people, we suspect the answer is right there in the first part of the High Evolutionary's name.
In the longest-standing version of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver's origin, their mother was an Eastern European woman named Magda who freaked out upon learning that her husband could control metal and loved killing people (especially Nazis and bald psychic dudes in wheelchairs). Magda sook refuge in a nearby castle, which happened to be inhabited by a crazy scientist in a purple armor and his talking farm animals. That still seemed way less scary than her magnetic psycho hubby, so she stayed there.
Magda bailed from the castle soon after Bova the Cow-Woman helped her give birth, saying she didn't want her husband to find the twins through her. Of course, he still found them decades later, when he randomly saved Wanda from being killed by angry villagers. Then, in accordance to Eastern European traditions, Wanda was obligated to join her savior/unknowing dad's supervillain team, and her bro just sorta tagged along.
It was only years later, after making the surprisingly easy transition from X-Men villains to Avengers heroes, that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver found out Magneto was their dad -- a revelation that was un-revealed in 2015 due to a movie studio kerfuffle over mutant characters. As for sweet old Bova, she continued popping up all over the Marvel Universe for decades, until she was gruesomely murdered by her boss. But at least WandaVision gave her a cute little cameo in a milk ad, so that's nice.
Her Babies Became A Villain's Hands
Like her cinematic version, comic book Scarlet Witch eventually falls in love with her synthetic Avengers teammate, the Vision, presumably after the team's vending machine rebuffed her advances. "Magic mutant dates crying robot" is a weird enough concept, but things turn exponentially weirder when their children are born and end up like this:
OK, let's back up. How did Scarlet Witch even get pregnant from a crime-fighting robot? Easy: by channeling the magic from a town full of witches while wishing for kids. Originally, the comics presented this as a happy miracle, but after the kids were born and the writers found out how boring it is to write babies, they started hinting that there was something wrong with them. For instance, they'd blip out of existence whenever their mom wasn't thinking about them ... which sounds pretty convenient, to be honest. Non-existent children use way less diapers.
The hints that Wanda's babies weren't totally real got more and more on the nose, culminating in the issue where Master Pandemonium, a villain with demons instead of hands, is able to use them as fire-spitting weapons:
You see, Wanda wanted children so badly that she conjured them with her magic, but since she can't create souls, she used stolen fragments of Mephisto, one of Marvel's top demons (and the guy responsible for Spider-Man's magical divorce). Through Mr. Demon-Hands, these fragments rejoined Mephisto and the babies just stopped existing ... because they barely existed in the first place, anyway. Wanda's friends erased her memory of the whole demon baby saga to spare her the trauma, and after reading the entire thing, we kinda wish someone would do the same to us.
Because no one in comics stays dead, Wanda's fake babies were eventually reincarnated as teenage superheroes. But, for a long time there, one of the most powerful Avengers was living with a huge hole in her mind. No way this can backfire, right?
She Kept Going Crazy And Killing Her Teammates
It turns out that losing your kids and having them Eternal Sunshine'd out of your brain isn't totally healthy. To be fair, there were already signs that Wanda was losing it before they messed with her memories, like when she slaps her teammate The Wasp (people keep doing that) and says some pretty human-cist things:
Then she went double crazy. Perhaps touched that his (then) daughter had suddenly started talking like him, Magneto decided to visit Wanda while she was catatonic after the baby drama. Somehow, this caused her to have a mental breakdown and "lose her inhibitions" -- both power- and horniness-related. She freezes her friends with her newly expanded powers and it's heavily implied that she gets gropey with Wonder Man, a fellow Avenger who'd been crushing on her for years.
Oh yeah, she also killed Wonder Man and brought him back to life just to keep messing with him. Upon learning that a time-traveling villain called Immortus had orchestrated a series of tragedies in her life so she'd turn evil (down to making her fall in love with an infertile toaster), Wanda decided to go back to being good and the Avengers were like "Yay, problem solved!" That is, until an offhand joke by The Wasp one day:
That little comment apparently caused Wanda to start remembering her non-babies, and then all hell broke loose -- she went double double crazy and murdered Vision, Hawkeye, and Ant-Man, and tried very hard to kill all the rest. After that, while the Avengers and the X-Men were trying to decide what to do with her, she used her powers to reshape reality and de-power 99% of mutants on Earth, causing many of them to die or wish they were dead. So, maybe keep your baby jokes to yourself next time, Janet.
Again, Marvel later played the "She was being manipulated by (spins roulette) Dr. Doom all along!" card, but no one seemed to pay much attention to that revelation ... including Wanda herself, considering what she did next.
She Accidentally Recreated Plants Vs. Zombies With Mutant Genocide Victims
Lest you think that "Scarlet Witch royally screws up" storylines are a thing of the past, Marvel's 2020 crossover event included perhaps her most undignified moment yet. Still feeling kinda guilty over the whole mutant decimation thing, Wanda decides to use her magic to bring back sixteen million mutants who were murdered by Sentinels in another storyline (unrelated to her being insane). The good news: it works! The bad news: the reanimated mutants suddenly have a thirst for human brains. Or mutant ones, whatever.
Meaning that, yes, she summoned sixteen million superpowered zombies.
This little slip up happened to coincide with the week the Earth was being invaded by talking plants from outer space (as part of Marvel's Empyre event). So, when the plant aliens touched down on a supposedly empty island, they bumped into the mutant zombie army and immediately started fighting -- making it clear that this whole ridiculous plotline was an elaborate setup for a joke about a mobile game that was all the rage in 2010.
The worst part is that Wanda didn't even get to fix her mess and redeem herself: Dr. Strange saved her and undid the spell while the X-Men were forced to team up with a group of elderly eco-terrorists to prevent another mutant genocide. Bear in mind that all the weirdness we've described so far has happened in the main Marvel Universe, not some wacky alternate dimension or, like, a comic on the back of a Subway ad.
Nope, the stuff that happens to Scarlet Witch in other universes is even grosser than millions of rotting corpses chewing on sentient plants ...
She Porked Her Brother In Another Universe
When Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver first appeared in The Ultimates, the alternate version of The Avengers set in a more streamlined, Hollywood-friendly parallel reality, fans noticed that they seemed awfully ... close to each other.
Like, way too close.
Like, "illegal in most states" close.
There was also a running gag about Quicksilver being jealous of her flirting with Ant-Man's android helpers, although her robo-fetish seems downright adorable in this universe, relatively speaking (no pun intended).
At first, everyone assumed that the Ultimate Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver relationship would never move beyond awkward hugging and some light innuendo. But when new writer Jeph Loeb (and future Marvel TV Executive Vice President) came aboard, he decided to just come out and make the twincest explicit, in an issue that bizarrely acts like Captain America is some old-fashioned caveman for thinking that's gross.
Later, Wolverine regales the Ultimates with the tale of the time he saw Wanda and her bro doing it in the jungle, right after working in the fact that he once slept with their mom -- resulting in a half-brother Wanda never learned about (probably for the best).
That robot servant Wanda flirted with gained self-awareness and fell in love with her, only instead of giving her imaginary babies like Vision, he just killed her upon finding out that she liked to keep it in the family. Anyway, don't get mad at us if everything we described ends up happening in WandaVision, though they'd probably have to move it from Disney+ to the dark web or something.
Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com.
Top Image: Marvel Studios