WandaVision: 10 Ways It's Still The Best Marvel Studios Series – CBR – Comic Book Resources

WandaVision has left its mark on the MCU, and it might just be Marvel Studios’ best series.
While it didn’t get the Emmy love that many of its fans thought it deserved, WandaVision did a lot of things right. By taking elements from the comics and Wanda’s MCU story, it created something truly unique in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a story that was more than just the cliche superhero romp Marvel Studio does so well. It launched Phase Four in epic fashion, telling a story full of twists and turns and filled with heart.
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WandaVision came out swinging, setting the tone for the other Disney+ MCU shows, and there are a lot of reasons that this first one was the best one.
The Falcon And The Winter Solder and Loki are both good stories, but they are also told in a very plain, cliche MCU way. WandaVision went in an entirely different direction, and fans loved it. By patterning the story after sitcoms, it added a layer of obfuscation to the whole thing that could have turned fans off but actually had the opposite effect.
Fans embraced the sitcom imagery, seeing it for what it was and trying to figure out what it meant to the show and the plot. It was a big risk but it paid off very well, setting the show apart from the typical MCU fare.
Humor is one of the main aspects of the MCU. It’s proven to be a great asset, but it’s also often a detriment to the stories, as the writers use it as a crutch and often as the only aspect of a character’s personality. WandaVision went the other way. The sitcom setting meant there was going to be a lot of humor in the show, but it felt much different than any other MCU product.
Whereas the humor in something like TFATWS could be tone-breaking, the humor in WandaVision was both funny and uncomfortable, as there was the sense that it was hiding something. On top of that, it embraced the tropes of the sitcom era that any given episode was portraying.
TFATWS was a typical MCU superhero narrative with a few side plots for character building. Loki was basically all about finding the person behind the TVA, who was something of a McGuffin. And What If… is an anthology series. All of these shows have their strengths, but they come with structures that fans expect from the MCU.
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WandaVision didn’t. While it would eventually devolve into something that was recognizably MCU, up until the last few episodes, the show was focused more on character and emotion than any of the more expected superhero narratives of the other three shows.
Love stories in the MCU are few and far between. There’s a good reason for that as they aren’t the main focus of the MCU as a whole. Fans accept Pepper and Tony, but it’s not exactly a great love story. It’s the same with Penny and Cap, Sharon and Cap, and Peter and Gamora. The love between Wanda and Vision has always been great, though, and WandaVision makes it even better.
As it’s one of the key themes of the show’s entire narrative, their romance is given a lot of screentime. There are a lot of heartwarming moments between the two, and they feel organic instead of plot elements, like the flirtations between Loki and Sylvie.
WandaVision’s unique format allowed the actors more chances to show their range than the other Disney+ shows. TFATWS and Loki are basic MCU fare, and the actors pretty much just did their normal jobs, with the new characters fitting into the narrative in expected ways. With WandaVision, characters shifted as the sitcom world did, and the actors had to change how they portrayed the characters.
WandaVision’s cast did a tremendous job with the material. They went the extra mile and played each character wonderfully, no matter what changes the story demanded. They also did a great job with the more emotionally focused dialogue and plots.
Loki did a lot of things with the titular character, but fans had already seen Loki take on a more altruistic way of looking at the world and show vulnerability. Seeing Sam question himself and the legacy of American racism was great but it was also kind of expected in TFATWS. WandaVision did things with the established characters that were anything but predictable.
It made Wanda into a better character and showed entirely new facets of her, letting fans understand the core of grief inside of her. It expanded on Vision in ways that didn’t seem possible before. The other Disney+ shows didn’t really bring anything new to the table character-wise, but WandaVision did.
The MCU has some very definite tropes, and those tropes often make the whole thing seem very formulaic. TFATWS and Loki embraced those tropes, and they were very much Marvel Studios products even if they went a little off the traditional MCU path due to their expanded runtimes. While WandaVision couldn’t hold off the MCU cliches forever, it did a great job of subverting the formula for as long as possible.
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The show built up so much emotion and was so novel that by the time it became a typical MCU product, it didn’t feel as formulaic as it would have otherwise.
One of the more lacking aspects of the MCU is that the heroes are rarely given any grey areas. While they’ll sometimes start out that way, they change throughout the narrative and eventually become heroic quip machines with little nuance. WandaVision went the other way, as it made audiences sympathize with Wanda while also showing just how terrible her actions were.
Wanda is a much more complicated character than ever before, and WandaVision has no problem with showing her being selfish and tyrannical, putting her feelings and desires above an entire town’s worth of people for most of the show.
TFATWS was a cliche superhero show that tried to touch on greater issues but fell flat in some places. Loki was a means to a multiversal end. WandaVision was about grief and how it affected people, even superpeople. The show did an amazing job of capturing the sadness of Wanda and her life, something the MCU hasn’t been too successful with. Focusing on grief allowed WandaVision to stand above its peers.
One of the problems with the MCU is that it presents superheroes in a very limited fashion. Comics have presented them in a variety of ways in different stories, but the MCU generally goes in one direction with the whole thing. TFATWS and Loki very much stayed in the established MCU superhero lane. WandaVision did anything but.
Comics in the 21st century are more than simplistic superheroes fighting supervillains, and WandaVision captured that brilliantly, doing a remarkable job of showing that superheroes could be used to tell more stories than the ones everyone expects.
NEXT: 10 TV Shows That Inspired Marvel’s WandaVision
David Harth has been reading comics for close to 30 years. He writes for several websites, makes killer pizza, goes to Disney World more than his budget allows, and has the cutest daughter in the world. He can prove it. Follow him on Twitter- https://www.twitter.com/harth_david.


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