Scarlet Witch and Vision is one of Marvel’s most unique projects to date, with homages to classic American sitcoms, the introduction of chaos magic, and a truly fantastic reveal of villains. And while the show draws inspiration from many of Wanda and Vision’s biggest comic book arcs, It is Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s Eisner Award-winning La Vision series that structures the series with the presence of the tragic couple (and their twins).
The Tom King Vision saga is about Vision and his ideal family. Scarlet Witch and Vision twisted Tom King’s vision to tell it from Wanda’s perspective, changing specific elements of the comics, but keeping the core of the story intact.. The message and the structure are the same, just under a different coat of paint. This decision also allowed Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and the company itself to further develop the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) using existing characters and plots to bridge some gaps between the cinematic sagas.
What is The Vision of Tom King about?
In an interview with Variety, Fiege specifically mentioned Tom King comics as inspiration for the series. He wanted to pay tribute to the classic family sitcoms he grew up with, at the same time that he wanted to do “something that can only be done for television“in the first MCU series for Disney +.
And King’s Vision is a perfect story to adapt. It is a 12-issue family drama that focuses on inner dilemmas. Years after his marriage to Wanda, Vision creates a synthetic family of his own and they move to the suburbs of Arlington, VA. However, when problems begin to arise for his wife, Virginia, and their teenage twins, Vin and Viv, he chooses to solve them with increasingly irrational solutions … becoming more and more dangerous.
In the series, Wanda and Vision (or a Vision version) move to the TV comedy version of Westview, NJ, and have a set of twins of their own, Billy and Tommy. And as outside forces breach the fourth wall of Wanda’s perfect world, she grows increasingly desperate to protect her family. So beyond the nostalgia and comic book suburbs, the story also serves as a model for the themes, tone, and structure of the Scarlet Witch and Vision storyline.
Tom King’s Vision and Scarlet Witch and Vision share a central theme by asking the question: What are you willing to do to protect your family? In the comics, it is Virginia (revealed to be a syntezoid created with Wanda’s brain waves) whose actions drive the story forward. Virginia leaves a trail of secrets that she fights to avoid being discovered by Vision in fear that her ideal life will be ruined. The I Love Lucy and Bewitched tributes succinctly establish the series’ thesis. But Wanda struggles against the truth of her reality and the cracks in her Westview world begin to show. Soon, Scarlet Witch and Vision hint that something more dire and sinister is looming over the city.
Luckily she has Agnes close by to help her in any situation …
Agatha all the time
Making Wanda the main character also brings Agnes … uh, Agatha, to the fore. However, Agatha’s dynamic with Wanda in the series is more Ursula / Ariel than the traditional mentor-apprentice relationship from the comics.
In the comics, Sparky is the neighbor’s dog who dies and is brought back as a synthetic pet for Viv and Vin. The resurrected Sparky eats from the Wundagore Everbloom plant and Virginia eats it to see the future of Vision. Terrible!
Both the series and the comic address the concept of self-fulfilling destiny. Scarlet Witch and Vision explores this idea with Wanda becoming the Scarlet Witch, while in the comics Agatha sees a future where Vision is attacking the Avengers (after eating the Wundagore Everbloom plant). There is no specific reference to the Everbloom in the series, but the houseplant that Agatha gives Wanda in the first episode and the lethal azalea are a reference.
The series uses the myth of the Scarlet Witch as a prophecy that Wanda herself sees when she first interacts with the Mind Stone and while fighting Agatha. By giving Agatha this larger role in Wanda’s transition to Scarlet Witch, she allows the MCU to take more advantage of magic in the future.
When Evan Peters was reintroduced as “Pietro” at the end of Episode 5, the question of whether or not he was Fox’s version of the speedster loomed over fans for the remainder of the series. But its inclusion, which is more of a nod to X-Men fans than a hint of mutants coming to the MCU, parallels the role of Vision’s own brother in the comics, Victor Mancha.. Vision through Ultron’s half brother, Victor, was sent by the Avengers to spy on and take down Vision if necessary after Agatha warned them of Vision as a threat. So even though Pietro was revealed to be Agatha’s puppet, the intention is the same: an external element that uses a family member to lower the hero’s guard. And since Pietro was already featured in the MCU, it’s easier to bring his character back (albeit with a different face).
Many fans were upset that Evan Peters’ Pietro is nothing more than a Ralph Bohner joke, but his cast impressively combines the meta-decoy and sitcom character roles of Victor Mancha. Scarlet Witch and Vision used Pietro’s death, as well as using a different cinematic Pietro, to the benefit of the series. And given Peters’ natural comedic rhythm, he fits the role of crazy dude perfectly.
The Gem, the Mind Stone and the White Vision
Both the Vision from the comics and Wanda recreate their lost companions. Wanda, in her pain, uses chaos magic to create a Vision from the mind stone within her. In the comics, Vision uses the gem that Wanda gave him, which has her brain waves and memories, to create his wife Virginia.
This element adapts in two different ways: when Wanda creates Vision from the energy of the Mind Stone fused in her body, and when Vision awakens White Vision with her own memories. Now that White Vision has the memories of the original Vision, the door remains open for Paul Bettany and Vision to return to the MCU and even find their way back to Wanda.
The sacrifice and the future is here
The series ends just like the comic: a goodbye in the living room.
After tearing apart the city she was supposed to prosper in, Wanda goes into exile for her mistakes. Virginia understands (like an echo of Wanda’s brain waves) how important humanity is to Vision, so she corrupts his machinery so that he can continue to live with an intact conscience and reputation. She dies in his arms. In the series, Wanda and Vision hold hands as she releases control over Westview and ends her fantasy.
As a last resort, it makes sense for the series to focus on Wanda rather than Vision. His pattern of loss in the MCU is significant and has been his defining arc thus far. She sacrifices her happiness on the show to grow and strengthen herself against emotional obstacles, or to take on a losing streak like with Agatha. Wanda made the ultimate sacrifice, proving to be stronger than she thought.
Both Scarlet Witch and Vision and The Vision of Tom King explore the desperate actions one can take to recover a memory.. The series is inspired by the Tom King comic, and the story of Wanda and Vision is a loop of love and loss. In the MCU, the story of Wanda and Vision ended too soon and too sadly, but now we have a more complete example of what their life could have been. However, instead of being a story of anger or pain, Scarlet Witch and Vision ends with the most important lesson shared in Tom King’s graphic novel: In the end, we start again.