At this point in the MCU, it’s already been established that life isn’t fair, that things are going to happen, and that situations are going to get worse before they get better. But after watching Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it would appear that Wanda’s situation is only getting worse at this time, especially since she allowed herself to be so corrupted by the Darkhold that she ended up killing more than one individual from different realities. She corrupted an entire town in her grief, she harmed others thanks to her delusions, and she’s been an unrelenting terror to another version of herself within the multiverse. And yet, she made the decision to destroy the temple that was built to glorify the Scarlet Witch and was used to help her reach out and continue the horror that had been building for a while. There were several red flags along the way, several moments when it was determined that she was going down the wrong path, but the fact is that Wanda was designed to suffer for a while, and at this point, it’s tough to think that she could come back.
There’s always hope, and with the multiverse, in play, there are always more versions of an individual that can be used for one story or another. But the investment that people have placed in this character since Age of Ultron makes it feel as though accepting another version wouldn’t be as possible simply because she wouldn’t have been through the same hardships. It’s an odd idea to think that another version of this character might have had a better life, but the many different choices and courses that other characters might have experienced would have given them a vastly different experience. It’s not exactly comforting to think that there are worlds in the multiverse where Wanda might have been even worse, where she might have proven that she’s one of the most destructive forces in the universe.
But with all that power came a lot of problems, not the least of which is that Wanda has shown very high susceptibility to being manipulated, first by Hydra, and then by Ultron. For a time, when she had taken control of Westview, her own vulnerabilities were her downfall since the grief she felt over losing Vision was so great that she lashed out without thinking, and in the process began a downward spiral that took her in a direction that many thought might have been getting better, at least until it was seen that she was studying the Darkhold while in seclusion. The scary part is that she was able to fool Stephen Strange’s senses for a short while when he came to visit her, as it appeared that she was living a peaceful life in seclusion, but in truth, the Darkhold had corrupted everything around her and had worked its dark magic on Wanda as well. Her need to retrieve her sons, whose existence still wasn’t given a satisfying explanation, other than that she had made them through the force of her will. was so strong that she allowed her depression and pain to manifest into a madness that had gripped her entirely.
Looking at the Doctor Strange sequel it’s fair to state that she was fully invested in the path she had taken, and was more than willing to keep moving forward without regard for the consequences since she eliminated Black Bolt, Reed Richards, Captain Carter, and Captain Marvel in combat, and killed Professor Xavier in a brutal fashion that will no doubt leave a lot of questions in the days to come. And to point out another fact, she dominated another version of herself while doing this, meaning that she was powerful enough to cross the dimensional barriers without having to be there. Wanda has suffered a great deal during her time in the MCU, but it’s not hard to see her as a monster at the moment, even if there were moments when her downward spiral might have been halted had someone taken the time to work with her. The grief and despair that she felt were very real, but the fact that no one was there to help her through it is even worse.
The Doctor Strange sequel made it appear that Wanda might have sacrificed herself, but the telltale red flash that occurred during the collapse of the temple she destroyed could mean that she’s alive and well, and trying to find her way back to sanity. Whether Wanda will be moving forward in the MCU or not is hard to say at this moment, but it does feel as though there’s plenty of material still to be presented when it comes to her character. There could be redemption on the horizon for the Scarlet Witch, but it does feel as though there will be plenty of trials and tribulations to endure first.
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