Marvel's latest project, WandaVision, has just landed, and in the time-honoured fashion the Marvel stans have gone above and beyond in combing the two episodes that have dropped so far for Easter eggs, references and nods to the rest of the Marvel Universe.
After a year of no Marvel anything, the sheer density of stuff to comb through in WandaVision has provided an extremely useful respite from staring into space and considering the end of all things, and a fair few Easter eggs have popped up which might hint at where the series is going. Which is handy, because we haven't got the foggiest. These are the best we've spotted so far.
Agent Jimmy Woo can do magic now
Well, as long as it involves a business card. The FBI agent we got to know while he was keeping an eye on Scott Lang in Ant-Man was last spotted teaching himself some sleight-of-hand close-up tricks with Online Magic University, and he pops it out – flawlessly – the first time we meet him here. At least someone's spent the last five years doing something useful.
That briefly seen snap of Lynch as Captain Marvel's mate Maria 'Photon' Rambeau was a nice little nod to the film and to Monica's mum, but it might also be a pointer to where we're headed too. Reminding us of the 'Photon' name could be a hint that Monica could become the Photon of the comics. That Photon gained her powers after being hit by an energy-disruptor weapon, but some fans reckon Monica could have picked up some powers after being blasted out of Westview by Wanda.
Mind control soap
The ad breaks within WandaVision are full of nods to the Marvel Universe, and in the third episode we get that hard sell for the Hydra-brand bubble bath. As fans have pointed out, there's a connection there to a scene from Agents of Shield, in which Agent Coulson blames soap for his disintegrating mental state.
"Hydra loads it up with chemicals," he explains. "It seeps into our bloodstream, implants false memories in our brains. They want us to believe this is a magical place. But don't worry, I'm clear. I make my own soap now."
Coulson's membership of the tin foil hat brigade aside, there might be something in this. Wanda and Vision are clearly in a fantasy, and alongside the number of Agents of Shield characters turning up here and there within WandaVision, it feels like there's a connection to one of Marvel's other TV outings there to be explored.
That back-to-back moment
If you needed any further proof that no scrap of comic book history is too obtuse to be referenced with an equally obtuse bit of scene composition in another Marvel property, one extremely eagle-eyed fan spotted that a brief moment in episode three when Wanda and Vision are back to back is a shout to a cover of The Vision and the Scarlet Witch.
— Haydn (@Lemon_Hayd) January 22, 2021
Billy and Tommy aren't names pulled out of nowhere: in the original House of M series, Scarlet Witch and The Vision's twins were known as Thomas and William, but when they were reincarnated (long story) they were only known as Billy and Tommy. So, that might suggest this time around we're skipping the whole reincarnation plot-line. Or! They don't exist at all, and they're a part of this whole fiction Wanda's created around herself.
As well as the Hydra bubble bath in episode three, the tentacles turn up on the face of a Strucker-branded watch in one advertising break. Baron von Strücker was the Hydra scientist who experimented on Wanda and her bro Pietro and gave them their powers. Whether this is a shout to the Marvel Universe at large or a specific pointer that Hydra's going to end up having its tentacles in whatever this sitcom thing's all about, we'll have to wait and see.
The Stark Industries Toastermate
Another consumer item no self-respecting Fifties sitcom housewife would be without, the flashing red light on the Stark Toastermate starts flashing and beeping alarmingly quickly. It looks more like a bomb than a Breville. And throw your mind back to Age of Ultron – we found out then that Wanda spent three days trapped with a Stark bomb that didn't go off, and that her parents were killed by one. Plus, when the actress demonstrating the Toastermate turns its dial, we hear the familiar sound of one of Tony Stark's gauntlets powering up. It might also be a nod to this panel in the comics.
— Halle I. (@haleiggles) January 15, 2021
One popular theory at the moment is that the callbacks in these sponsors' messages are Wanda's subconscious are her traumatised memories poking through the manicured veneer of Westview.
In the Bewitched-inspired opening sequence of episode two, many fans have pointed out that there's a very distinctive helmet kicking about under the floorboards of Wanda and Vision's dreamhouse.
That's Grim Reaper's helmet, and a couple of other Easter eggs point to his appearance in WandaVision: Agnes, Vision's boss's wife, wears a pendant showing a Grim Reaper figure with two children; and the license plate of the car which Wanda and Vision drive to Westfield in the opening sequence of the first episode is 0102, which is also the number comic in which Grim Reaper first meets Vision.
Or rather, that SWORD. It turns up a lot in these opening episodes.
SWORD stands for Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Department – a slight tweak from the Sentient World Observation and Response Department in the comics – which might point to the other big fan theory doing the rounds. Some reckon that the sitcom fantasia Wanda and Vision are in is really just a projected reality which Wanda has created to protect herself from all the trauma of Endgame.
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