Marvel’s pivot towards TV spin-offs couldn’t have come at a better time. While COVID-19 has scuppered plans for global blockbuster cinema releases, streaming services are going from strength to strength. Marvel’s latest TV show, WandaVision, marks the return of the beloved MCU and a new era for the entire Avengers franchise.
Here’s everything Aussies need to know to get up to speed with the who, what and why of WandaVision.
What is WandaVision?
WandaVision is the first show in Marvel’s upcoming TV lineup streaming on Disney+.
It’s set to follow Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, has she navigates a strange, hyper-real dimension with the love of her life, Vision. The only problem is Vision is dead, and the dimension she’s in might not be her own.
Early trailers show off a strange, experimental world packed to the brim with strange mysteries. It appears to take inspiration from fellow Marvel mindbender Legion with shades of classic sitcoms like I Love Lucy.
The first reviews hail it as quirky, mysterious and hilarious show.
When do WandaVision episodes stream in Australia?
WandaVision is set to begin streaming on Disney+ from Friday, January 15 in Australia.
According to reports, the episodes will debut at 7 p.m. AEDT every Friday.
Given time zones, it’s likely the show will premiere in a later afternoon or evening slot locally, with new episodes dropping every Friday for the next eight weeks. Each episode will be 25-30 minutes long.
Here’s how the schedule shapes up:
- Episode 1 + 2: January 15
- Episode 3: January 22
- Episode 4: January 29
- Episode 5: February 5
- Episode 6: February 12
- Episode 7: February 19
- Episode 8: February 26
- Episode 9: March 5
This should lead directly into the next Marvel series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which will then be followed by Loki in May.
Where does WandaVision sit in MCU canon?
WandaVision will kick off phase four of the MCU, which follows in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame. While Spider-Man: Far From Home is lodged between them canonically, this film will be mostly inconsequential to WandaVision‘s story.
So far, the only links to the mainline MCU we know about are appearances from Darcy Lewis (Thor, Thor: The Dark World) and Monica Rambeau, who appeared in Captain Marvel. Paul Bettany also recently teased a surprise character nobody knows about for the show.
The finale of the show is rumoured to lead directly into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so it’ll play an important part in MCU canon.
What should I watch before WandaVision begins?
You’ll want to check out the latest four Avengers flicks to get the lowdown on Scarlet Witch and Vision, beginning with Avengers: Age of Ultron.
This film introduces Wanda and her brother Pietro as victims of Hydra-led experiments which give them unique powers. While they technically made their debut in the end credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it’s here they both get their best chance to shine.
It’s also Age of Ultron where Vision makes his debut appearance.
They both next appear in Captain America: Civil War, which sees Wanda put to trial after her powers cause an Avengers mission to go wildly wrong.
This leads into the two-part tragedy of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame which sees Wanda forced to destroy Vision in an attempt to save the universe. While Wanda is dusted by Thanos and ultimately resurrected during the course of Endgame, Vision isn’t so lucky.
It’s what makes his appearance in WandaVision so intriguing. Technically, he’s supposed to be dead.
What exactly are Scarlet Witch’s powers?
Now, this is a question for the ages.
The MCU has played fast and loose with Wanda’s powerset and only explained them vaguely. In Avengers: Age of Ultron she displayed telekinetic and telepathic powers, using mind-influencing abilities to turn the Hulk wild and make the Avengers see terrifying visions of death and destruction. Since then, these powers haven’t been explored much.
Instead, Wanda Maximoff has mostly been depicted as a strong telekinetic with the ability to implode objects.
We know her powers are linked with the cosmic Mind Stone which powered Vision, but outside of this we don’t know a lot about how they work. That’s set to change in WandaVision, which will focus on the ways Wanda’s mind has been warped by the stone and the loss of Vision.
The show may also delve into the stranger side of her powers (as first depicted in the comics): she has the ability to warp reality. It’s likely these powers are what causes the strange sub-reality she finds herself in during the events of WandaVision.
We’ll know more when the show launches on Disney+ on January 15.