Just so we’re clear, there are spoilers ahead since Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness just came out, and plenty of people are going to be talking about it for a bit, for several reasons. But we’ve seen Wanda manhandle Thanos with her hex magic, was there any indication that anyone below the mad titan was going to be an issue for her? Now keep in mind that the only check being placed on her powers was her sense of morality, which was shaky at best. What she did to Westview in WandaVision was done out of grief and a reflex that set her power rolling outward until it encapsulated an entire town. Let me repeat that: it was a reflex, an outpouring of grief that she didn’t fully control. Now think about what she did when she WAS in control. She took one of the most powerful individuals that have been seen in the MCU as of yet and hung him in the air like a puppet as she started to strip his armor from him one piece at a time.
Grief is a powerful tool, as it can lead one down the expressway to rage, and can keep an open channel so long as morality doesn’t throw up a roadblock or two to bring the individual back to the point of rational thinking. That was what happened in WandaVision, kind of, as she finally realized what she was doing and what she needed to do to release everyone. But upon finding seclusion it would appear that Wanda’s desire to see her children once again grew too strong, and she started mucking about with the Darkhold, which is kind of like the Necronomicon in the Evil Dead movies, powerful, but good for nothing save trouble. The fact that the land she’d secluded herself in had become a blasted, wasted plain was proof of that, but the further proof was the brakes were off in this movie and Wanda was ready to do what it took to get her kids back.
The only problem was that this meant she was willing to rip the power from a young girl and kill anyone who found themselves in her path. Giving in fully to the persona of the Scarlet Witch, she managed to rain death and destruction down on Kamar Taj, a temple fortress filled to the brim with sorcerers, and she did it almost effortlessly. Not only that, but she took on Captain Carter, Captain Marvel, Black Bolt, Professor X, and yes, Reed Richards, and dismantled the lot of them. It might have taken her a bit of an effort to do this since she’s not an expert fighter, but her power more than makes up for this since she took on a group of extremely powerful individuals and put them down with less effort than Thanos might have needed. And to be fair, it was actually far more pleasing to see than ever before, because a Wanda without the moral boundaries was able to go all out in a way that even several villains haven’t been seen to do in the MCU, as the carnage she caused was far more akin to the comics that served as the beginning of the idea that would one day become the MCU.
A lot of credit can go to Sam Raimi, who’s an expert in telling a horror story that’s loaded with action. But Wanda’s turn was also great because it raised the stakes in a way that not even Thanos did. Imagine a Scarlet Witch that could travel between dimensions and do pretty much whatever she wanted. That would be uniquely terrifying since it’s been shown that there aren’t a lot of people that can stand up to her and the hex magic she uses so effortlessly. Even Wong and Doctor Strange were having a tough time handling her, and these two are among the strongest magic users in the MCU, and in all of Marvel in fact. It’s a little regrettable that she became the villain, but the grief and hurt that she’d experienced before Infinity War and leading up to it made this turn inevitable since her mind, despite being strong and capable of telling right from wrong, had finally given over to a power that was greater and far more seductive.
But is she dead? There was a mysterious flash of crimson when the Darkhold was finally toppled, so it’s fair to think that we might not have seen the last of her. Plus, there are many other Wanda’s scattered across the multiverse, and it does feel as though her story hasn’t been told in its entirety yet. The turn that Wanda was given turned out great since it showed people just how tough she really is, and why it’s wise to be fearful of what she might do if she loses complete control.