What do you do when you’ve peaked? After a score of films, The Marvel Cinematic Universe culminated its megalomaniac plan in 2019 with the definitive event, « Avengers: Endgame », which managed to unseat « Avatar » as the highest grossing film in history. Once that milestone is reached, Phase 4 will introduce a multitude of new faces and investigate those characters who have not had the opportunity to develop their stories alone. However, the coronavirus pandemic has altered Marvel’s roadmap for this new stage, which was to start with « Black Widow » in May 2020 and extend with « Falcon and the Winter Soldier » in August. In the end, due to the dance of dates caused by the health crisis, the responsibility has not fallen on either of those two titles, which aim to continue the tradition of large-scale action on which the franchise has been built, and the chosen one ultimately it has been ‘Scarlet Witch and Vision’, a series that promises to revitalize the saga from a totally different perspective than the one exposed so far.
Wanda and Vision, a (?) Happy marriage (?) In ‘Scarlet Witch and Vision’
The first series created by Marvel Studios expressly for Disney + it’s a fascinating rarity, which, far from feeling like a torn film, makes the television spirit its own and, in fact, integrates it into its own discourse. About its plot it is better to know as little as possible before facing it. In short, ‘Scarlet Witch and Vision’ takes its protagonists to a peaceful neighborhood, portrayed through the prism of a 1950s sitcom. There they settle down as a happy marriage, which, in the style of ‘Bewitched’, is entangled in amusing confusions linked to its supernatural nature.
She is a witch and he is a Sytozoid, an artificially created human being, who must hide their powers to fit into the ideal society, to be a true family. That is why the choice of the aesthetics and the essence of the classic sitcoms is so successful, which were already a pamphlet of the American dream in the middle of the Cold War, when communism threatened to overthrow the values understood as irrevocable. And the most interesting thing about the assumption of the old format is that it is not a mere whim, but rather has a narrative purpose, since by conjuring up this anachronistic spirit, a personality as kind as it is disturbing is molded, which reveals darkness between the cracks of apparent happiness.
Wanda tries to make the perfect dinner
Journey to the center of TV
The premise brings ‘Scarlet Witch and Vision’ closer to the acclaimed Vision arc written by Tom King and illustrated by Gabriel Hernández Walta, who transferred the artificial being to a Virginia suburb with his wife and children, who had been created by himself to fulfill his greatest desire: to be a human like any other. At the time, that comic was described by its authors as a cross between ‘Breaking Bad’ and « The Incredibles », and the Disney + series draws heavily on that mix of disparate elements, substituting AMC drama from the equation for such an iconic reference as « The Truman Show. »
From what has been seen in the first three episodes of ‘Scarlet Witch and Vision’, which have a surprising duration of half an hour, it is evident that the series hides much under its illusory halo of innocence. The shadow of a negative reverse remains latent, probably in relation to what happened with Vision in « Infinity War », and is gradually manifested through meta-television language. As it progresses, the series evolves by leaps and bounds, mutating its style while still emulating the full experience of broadcasting on the small screen. In the midst of that metamorphosis, the common thread is the link between the protagonists, played once again by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, who live surrounded by clichés in the hope that they too.
Wanda and Vision unleash their relationship
The step forward that Marvel needed
Although fortuitous, the role of ‘Scarlet Witch and Vision’ as the trigger for Marvel’s Phase 4 is a resounding success. At the same time that it innovates within a franchise that has sometimes shown signs of wear and tear, the series created by Jac Schaeffer (« Captain Marvel ») and directed by Matt Shakman (‘Game of Thrones’) row in a very promising direction, introducing elements that will be decisive in the future of the Cinematographic and Television Universe. And it does so by assuming the familiar nature that has made the saga so universal and subverting it at the same time, giving rise to a unique and tremendously ambitious experience, which is especially striking coming from a company as conservative as Disney.
The success of ‘The Mandalorian’ has made television a more versatile playing field than the movie for Disney, and ‘Scarlet Witch and Vision’ follows in their footsteps, reaching the usual degree of spectacularity of the Californian company without compromising a much more artisanal and experimental vocation than usual. The result is a imaginative catharsis that, if it maintains the level exhibited in its first episodes, it will be one of the brightest series of a year that has only just begun.