As we’ve seen so far, the commitment to making the first 2 episodes of WandaVision as authentic to the sitcoms of old was pretty next-level. Whether it was the live studio audience, the aspect ratio of the screen or even the audio, it was clear that a great deal of effort was expended both in the planning and execution of making these sitcoms as close to the “real deal” as possible. No network sitcom would be complete without some great advertising and product placement targeting the subconscious of the viewer. To that end, Marvel Studios prepared an impressive and unexpected ad campaign based around the tragedies that have befallen Wanda Maximoff.
These have been widely broken down and discussed but with another episode of WandaVision just a couple of days away, it’s a good time to get your gears spinning again in anticipation of the continued trip through Wanda’s tragic past. So far, both episodes of WandaVision have had short commercials hosted by actors Ithamar Enriquez and Victoria Blade. While they’re definitely following the script of 50’s and 60’s TV commercials, the couple themselves are a bit of an enigma and have been the source of some pretty wild and pretty great theories, including one of great interest: that the commercial hosts are the parents of Wanda and Pietro Maximoff. In all of Marvel Comics there’s probably no more muddled, twisted and retconned backstory than that of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. It seems like most casual fans are under the impression that their father is the classic X-Men villain Magneto, but that’s not been the case for some time, and in fact, in current continuity, Wanda and Pietro are no longer mutants dating back to 2014’s AXIS event. While it’s highly unlikely that Enriquez is Magneto incognito, the case could be made that he’s some version of Django Maximoff, the brother of the twins’ mother, Natalya, and the man that raised them as his own children. If that’s the case, it’s possible that Blade is playing either his wife, Marya, or, more intriguingly, his sister Natalya.
As explained in James Robinson’s 2015 Scarlet Witch, Natalya Maximoff was herself an incredibly powerful witch herself from a line of witches who each held the title of Scarlet Witch before Wanda inherited it. A panel from Robinson’s series was among the many we found in the background of the Expanding the Universe documentary, indicating that it was likely a book that had some influence on the development of WandaVision. The One-Above-All himself has told us that this series will explore the backstory of Wanda and see her truly become the Scarlet Witch, so it’s not completely ridiculous to think that we might just be meeting (or already have met) Wanda’s mother.
As for the nature of the commercials themselves, while it’s clear that they are alluding to the tragedies that have befallen Wanda, there’s certainly some more subtext to them than that. The toaster in the first commercial has widely been interpreted as analogous to the bomb that Wanda and Pietro talked about in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but the tagline (“Forget the past, this is your future”) is clearly aimed less at viewers and more at Wanda herself. The Strucker watch in the second commercial is a clear call back to the time she spent being experimented on by Baron Strucker and Doctor List, but its appearance in an episode that reveals time isn’t quite right (Wanda appears visibly pregnant the morning after she and Vision get it on) is also probably relevant.
As we move forward, we can certainly expect to see other tragedies relived (the deaths of her brother and Vision sure to be among them), but let’s also continue to pay attention to the hints to Wanda being trapped, apparently against her will, which are coming through in classic commercial attacks on the subconscious.
A new episode of WandaVision streams this Friday!