Theory Thursday: Welcome to New Salem
It’s been known that comics usually take inspiration for their stories from our world and the times that we live in. And Marvel Comics is no exception. After all, Stan Lee himself once said; “Marvel is the world outside of our window”. During the week, I started to look around for any sort of clues that Marvel Studios could tell us about WandaVision and the town that it’s going to be set in, which is WestView. Now, while looking around, I noticed something really interesting in Google Maps. There are multiple WestViews across the United States, but the one in particular that caught my attention was WestView, Indiana. The reason why it caught my attention was that in Indiana, WestView is “an unincorporated community in SALEM Township…” And then my brain clicked.
For my US History nerds (and for those forced to read The Crucible in High School), we know that Salem (in Massachusets) was infamous for the Witch Trials they held in 1692. Many “witches” were persecuted, tried, and executed as part of those trials. And Marvel Comics acknowledges Salem as well in the comics, but where real-world history ended, Marvel Comics continued to write the story their own way. After their persecution, many witches sought refuge near Colorado and founded their own community known as “New Salem”. Now, in order to keep themselves safe, they isolated themselves from the rest of humanity and made their community only accessible to those who possess magical abilities. Now, why is New Salem so important to Marvel Comics and possibly to WandaVision? Well, it’s the home and residence of one of the most powerful witches in Marvel Comics, Agatha Harkness.
Theory: ‘New Salem’ might be an important location in WandaVision.
Going back to the Google Maps research I did, whenever I looked up Salem across the US, nearly every Salem location was associated with WestView. WestView Drive, WestView Ave., WestView Manor, the community of WestView, etc. While I am hesitant to say that WestView is specifically a “dummy” location and that WestView is actually the community of New Salem, I am certain that we might see the community of New Salem appear at some point during the show. Most of Agatha Harkness’ story in the comics is set around the community of New Salem and the strain she possesses with the members of that community, who have branded her a traitor for leaving them and deciding to interact with the commoners, mainly the Fantastic Four. Wanda and Vision also play very pivotal parts in the comics after Agatha Harkness’ spirit contacted them to come to New Salem during the 2nd series of comics for “The Vision and the Scarlet Witch”.
In this particular comic above, Wanda and Vision faced off against Vertigo and the “Salem Seven” after Agatha Harkness contacted them to come to New Salem. At one point, Vertigo absorbed the power of all of the residents of New Salem and lost control, killing the residents of New Salem in the process. But Wanda actually tried to contain and redirect the power after Agatha Harkness had taught her how to channel magic or “hex”. Eventually, Agatha’s astral form in that comic had told Wanda not just to channel that power, but to actually use it and she actually succeeded in using her power to redirect it to the mountain and destroying New Salem. If we were to see this portion of the comic play out in WandaVision, it would actually be a nice callback to Captain America: Civil War (2016) when Wanda couldn’t contain and redirect her power properly causing the explosion in Lagos and the death of dozens of innocents which brought about the events of that film.
WandaVisionIS CURRENTLY SCHEDULED TO PREMIERE AT SOME POINT THIS YEAR On Disney Plus.