If you thought the Marvel Cinematic Universe was massive before, well, it’s about to get a whole lot bigger. Avengers TV is officially upon us and the first of the many spin-off series is here, with WandaVision releasing this week on Disney+Hotstar Premium.The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Loki and What If? will follow later in the year, with Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel currently in production.
WandaVision takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame which was a culmination of the 21 films that came before it. The show continues the stories of two of the Avengers, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany).
Aside from being the first spin-off series, WandaVision appears to be Marvel’s most genre-flipping and out there project yet. It shows the two towering superheroes living in the world of a classic sitcom. The first episode was even filmed in black and white in front of a live studio audience.
So how are two superheroes from a blockbuster franchise inhabiting the world of a sitcom? And how is Vision back when he died 3 films ago? Before we embark on Marvel’s most trippy project yet and get answers to those questions, we figured we could all use a refresher on what’s gone down so far with these characters.
So, whether it’s a recap you’re after, or if you’re new to this world and need a primer on who’s who and what’s what, we’ve got you covered.
Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen key films from the MCU.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Age Of Ultron, the second Avengers movie, was the film that introduced both Wanda and Vision.
Wanda, along with her twin brother Pietro, were a pair of enhanced superhumans created to fight the Avengers. They team up with the movie’s big baddie Ultron to do just that. That is until they discover his true intentions, see the error of their ways and end up joining forces with the Avengers to defeat Ultron, at the cost of Pietro’s life.
Powers wise, Wanda’s abilities include telepathy and telekinesis – basically she can move stuff with her mind and also mess with yours. As we see her power grow exponentially with each film, it becomes pretty clear that she may well be one of the most powerful Avengers.
Age Of Ultron also introduced Vision – an android created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner to help protect the world. Infused with Stark’s personal AI assistant Jarvis, Vision was created with the power of The Mind Stone – one of the six Infinity Stones (these fancy, all-powerful stones).
Vision has all kinds of flashy powers, including super strength, flight, phasing through stuff and shooting energy beams out of his forehead. I mean, what more could you really want? On the downside though, he does look like an overexcited crayon. He also remains one of the only beings to have lifted Thor’s hammer, which further proves his worthiness and all around badass-ness.
Age Of Ultron ends with both Vision and Wanda officially joining the Avengers.
Captain America: Civil War
In many ways the third Avengers film, Civil War, sees Wanda and Vision as the more seasoned members of the team. What’s more they’ve grown close over time and start to develop feelings for each other.
That is until they get caught up in the rift between Captain America and Tony Stark on whether the government should be able to control the Avengers, and end up on opposing sides. The film ends with Vision as one of the few official Avengers left and Wanda on the run with Cap as part of his ‘rogue Avengers’ who remain fugitives.
Avengers: Infinity War
Infinity War opens with Wanda and Vision now in a relationship, meeting in secret given that Wanda is technically still a fugitive.
But their cosy time is short lived as a bunch of new alien bad guys are in town who are after Vision, wanting to kill him and steal the Infinity Stone (shiny thing on his forehead) for their master Thanos – the baddest bad guy yet.
To try and stop him, The Avengers get together again and, with the help of Black Panther’s Shuri, try and find a safe way of separating Vision from the stone that gives him life. When that fails Vision sees no choice but to destroy the stone, and himself, so Thanos can’t get his hands on it.
In one of the film’s most emotionally-charged scenes, he asks Wanda to kill him for the sake of the greater good. But even that fails and ultimately Thanos gets a hold of Vision and kills him by literally yanking the stone out of his head. Thanos is left victorious in his mission of snapping half the world out of existence.
So yes, Vision is dead. Like lying-on-the-floor-with-part-of-your-head-missing dead.
During the final showdown between Thanos and the Avengers (including all those who had been snapped out of existence), an enraged and distraught Wanda confronts Thanos. She takes him on, and is one of the only Avengers who come close to defeating him alone.
Vision isn’t among those who returns because he wasn’t snapped out of existence, he was killed and there’s no returning from that. Dead is dead. (Or we’re pretty sure anyway).
Going into WandaVision, how Vision is still around and why things are all upbeat and black and white, we don’t know. The dominant theories about his return and the genre change-up include that a grieving Wanda used her powers to create a false reality in which her robo-love is alive.