The Multiverse of Madness Retreads Wanda’s Character Development


The following contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

As seems to be the norm with MCU movies now, there’s been a lot of talk on the internet about whether Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is good. The conversation is particularly focused on the character of Wanda Maximoff and her interpretation in the film. This time around, she’s gone into Scarlet Witch villain mode, and while she’s the main antagonist of the story, her development is as central to the story as Doctor Strange’s, likely due to her status as main character within the larger MCU.


However, much of his character development seems to mirror things that have already been explored in Wanda Vision. If anything, this movie sort of plays like a direct sequel to that series, and as such it tries to continue Wanda’s story. The problem is that instead of introducing or building on aspects of his character, the film seems to be retreading old ground. Realistically, people are going to struggle with the same issues over and over again (especially when those issues are trauma-related), but in a fictional story, it seems a bit redundant to give character development they already have. had.

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In Multiverse of MadnessWanda again hurts others to have an idyllic life with her family, much like she did in Wanda Vision. The main difference is that in Wanda Vision, she held a city captive in the imaginary life she had created for herself. During this time at Multiverse of Madness, she needs to steal a person’s power to travel to a different universe and be there with her sons. Obviously, the post-credits scene of the final episode of Wanda Vision hints that Wanda hasn’t totally let go of her family and will continue to search for them, but now in the new movie, it seems like she really hasn’t learned anything from her experience with Westview.

Wanda must once again learn to let her children go, because keeping up the facade only hurts and destroys – which is the exact lesson she (apparently) learned in Wanda Vision. She also only becomes aware of the negative effect her actions have had (or at least seems to realize) when confronted with the fear she causes in others. In Wanda Vision, she became more aware of what she was doing when she heard the locals asking her to let them go. In Multiverse of Madness, although she is much more lucid and aware of her actions, she does not realize what she has become until the alternate versions of her children are afraid of her. Even though it manifests in slightly different ways, it feels like the same story is repeating itself.

Focusing on this scenario, Multiverse of Madness added nothing to Wanda’s character or story that has not yet been explored; the only thing he did differently was make her a full-fledged villain. The movie plus a continuation of her Wanda Vision story, which would be nice if the film’s creators had found a new avenue of his personality to explore. It’s not like she’s in Multiverse of Madness it’s boring, but it does Wanda Vision almost feeling useless if it turns out that Wanda really didn’t learn anything from the experience.

Not all media has to be a moral lesson, and it would be totally fine if Wanda didn’t learn anything from Westview. However, the way the show’s ending is framed, it seems like the MCU wants the audience to believe that she has at the end of Wanda Vision. Unless the ending of is meant to be a momentary break for her instead of a wake up call (which is possibly implied by the end credits scene where she’s clearly not ready to give up on the witch scarlet or her family), it seems odd to see her seemingly realizing her mistakes only to repeat them and fall even deeper into a villainous role.

Maybe that was the goal all along: to make it clear that people repeat their mistakes and that’s not something Wanda is going to give up so easily. However, if this is the case, it should be specified. Right now the impression is wrong, as if Marvel only knows how to portray Wanda in one way. She’s certainly growing more now than she was in her early days in the MCU, but the MCU is really reducing her character to “a traumatized, mentally ill mother.” Again, it works in Wanda Visionbut his bow in Multiverse of Madness just seems to leave her at the same point Wanda Vision did.

It doesn’t feel like the character is regressing, just spinning around, remaining static instead of growing and developing. It’s exciting to see more of Wanda as she’s clearly a fan favorite, but when her story keeps retreading the same ground over and over again, it’s frustrating. Hopefully, in any potential future appearances she has (that’s not a guarantee, since the character ends with Multiverse of Madness was left intentionally ambiguous), the writing manages to find something new to explore with Wanda, and doesn’t have her walking the same path yet.

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