Written by Fawaz Qashat
SDSU Biology Major, 2021
We are back with a load of comic references from WandaVision — Ep. 2, “Don’t Touch that Dial,” dropped on January 15, 2021 — that are just peachy keen! In the opening theme for the show, Vision is depicted in cartoon form getting ready for work. As he phases from the closet down to the fitting room, a helmet can be spotted in the structure of the house. The helmet is that of the Grim Reaper, a comic book character who has a connection to Vision in the form of his brother, Simon Williams. Simon Williams, also known as Wonder Man, is a superhero capable of harnessing ionic energy. His brain patterns were put into a gem which was used to power up the Vision and give him a conscience. This led Vision to see himself as the twin brother of Simon, which Simon embraced happily. This news did not settle well with the Grim Reaper who seeks to kill the Vision throughout the comics.
In that same opening scene, we see Wanda grocery shopping with Geraldine (Monica Rambeau) in the background. On the ceiling of the store are several advertisement signs which each have a reference to the comics. Starting on the left, a cereal called Wonder Oats can be seen which is a reference to Wonder Man, the Vision’s twin brother. Next to that, there is an ad for Bova Milk. In the comics, the High Evolutionary is a scientist who experimented on humans and turned them into animals. Some of his test subjects included Bova, Wanda, and Pietro. Bova was turned into a cow and he considered this test successful. However, Wanda and Pietro showed no physical signs of change so he gave them back to their family. In addition to their connection as subjects of the High Evolutionary, Wanda and Bova share a connection in that Bova was Wanda and Pietro’s nanny when they were babies. Their mother, afraid of what Magneto would do to the children, gave Bova the twins to take care of and protect. The third ad houses a special nod to the comics. Auntie A’s kitty litter is a direct nod to Agatha Harkness and her cat, Ebony. In the comics, Agatha has a pet cat, not a bunny, who has special powers of growing into a large panther.
At the very end of the opening theme, when Wanda and Vision are sitting on the couch, a figurine can be seen on the table next to Wanda. The figurine has a W on his chest and wings on his head which is a nod to the Whizzer in Marvel comics. The Whizzer, also known as Robert Frank, is a hero who has super speed and was thought to be Wanda and Pietro’s father. For the longest time, Wanda and Pitero were known as the Frank twins until the truth was revealed and Magneto told them that he was their real father and that they were the Maximoff twins, not the Franks.
When Vision is practicing his magic act, the Cabinet of Mysteries that Wanda rolls out has the shape of the mind stone on it. This is a reference to the source of power and connection for both those characters. However, the rays that are coming off the stone also symbolize the fate of the stone and Vision in Infinity War when Wanda and to destroy the stone. Not only is this a magical easter egg, but the names Glamour and Illusion that Wanda and Vision use for their stage names have a deeper roots in the comics. Glamour and Illusion are Wanda and Vision’s neighbors in the comic series Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1985) by Steve Englehart. They are a super-powered couple who uses their abilities to put on magic acts for a living. However, their deeper secret, which they keep from Wanda and Vision, is that their magic act is front to steal jewels.
When Wanda is walking from the kitchen to the living room to fluff the pillows, a mural can be seen on her left of the Hydra castle in Sokovia. That reference symbolizes the first movie in which Wanda had a role in the MCU as well as the first location she is seen in the opening of the movie. This castle is also where Ultron built his army before attacking the Avengers in Sokovia. Later in this scene, Wanda hears the SWORD helicopter crash outside. The helicopter also has an easter egg, the number 57, which is a direct reference to Avengers #57 (1968) by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, the first appearance of the Vision! As Agatha startles Wanda out of her helicopter confusion, we see Agatha carrying her pet rabbit, Señor Scratchy. The name is a nod to Agatha’s son in the comics, Nicholas Scratch, who is also a magic user like his mother.
The commercial for this episode is for the Strücker Watch. This references the person who gave Wanda and Pitero their abilities in the MCU by conducting the mind stone experiments on the twins. Furthermore, it symbolizes Maximoff’s brief time working for Hydra to get revenge on Tony Stark.
At the very end of the episode we see Wanda saying, “No” to reverse the tape and get rid of the Beekeeper (a.k.a. Agent Franklin). This line is a nod to House of M #7 (2005) by Brian Michael Bendis where Wanda says “No more mutants” to get rid of 90 percent of the mutant population.
The theme of this episode and most of the show is Wanda and Vision trying to fit into their neighborhood and be seen as normal. This is a prevalent theme in the comic series Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1985) by Steve Englehart as well as The Vision (2015) by Tom King. It brings in a new adaptation of an existing struggle within these characters which shows that even though the days and years progress, some struggles are persistent.