No, WandaVision Isn’t Setting Up The House Of M
After a fairly slow and schmaltzy start, WandaVision has cranked up the pacing recently, merging Wanda’s Westview storyline with the military espionage and action thriller plots of the ‘real world’. There have been some big twists already – with the Fantastic Four possibly still to come – but by far the biggest curveball has been the reintroduction of Pietro Maximoff, Wanda’s brother who died in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
On top of that twist, it’s not the Aaron Taylor-Johnson Pietro we’ve previously seen in the MCU, but the Evan Peters version of the character from Fox’s X-Men movies. Well, kind of. In those films, he’s called Peter, and has no connection to Wanda, so there’s clearly been some kind of reality shift or multiverse shenanigans going on. This Pietro seems more like a funny combination of both, who doesn’t feel quite like either.
There’s already one layer of false reality in the show, with Wanda living in her sitcom themed Hex, and having Pietro there potentially adds an extra one. This has had some fans speculating that WandaVision might be setting up the House of M; a popular X-Men story from the comic which sees Wanda suffer a trauma-fuelled psychotic break, leading to her mind bending powers creating an entirely new reality. It’s basically what has already happened in WandaVision, but instead of one town in New Jersey, it’s everything in the universe.
Wanda definitely has trauma in the MCU through being snapped, not to mention the death of her husband Vision, as well as her brother Pietro. Their presence in WandaVision highlights that she’s not really dealing with it particularly well either. As for Wanda’s abilities, it still feels like we haven’t quite seen her consistently firing on all cylinders yet, although she and Carol Danvers were the only ones to go toe to toe with Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. Also, the House of M storyline starts with her giving birth to twins, just as she does in WandaVision.
The biggest flaw in this theory – though not the only one – is that we don’t have a Wolverine. In the House of M storyline, only Wolverine is able to remember the pre-House of M reality because his healing powers allow his memories to withstand reality shifts, or something equally comic booky. There are other characters missing too, but there are easy stand-ins available there. Magneto’s leading role could be played by Vision, Hawkeye’s role in the rebellion could be used to introduce Kate Bishop more fully, or could even be offered to any of the other supporting MCU heroes. The problem is that there just isn’t anyone to play Wolverine’s part.
It’s not just that Wolverine has the unique powers for the story to work. For one thing, Deadpool also fits the bill, while comic book movies write their way out of situations like that all the time. The problem is that Wolverine works in the comics as the House of M’s story driver because he’s an iconic hero in the X-Men canon. When you think about it, the MCU is surprisingly short on those right now. Captain America has retired and time travelled off, Iron Man and Black Widow are dead, and Thor’s up in space somewhere. I guess the closest then would be Ant-Man or Spider-Man, but both are too comedic and naive for something like the House of M.
You might ask why they couldn’t just bring in Hugh Jackman, like they’ve brought in Evan Peters. There’s a few reasons. For one, this big reveal only works once. Having one of the Fox X-Men cross the divide was a one-and-done shock, and it has nowhere near the same impact the second time around. Especially because – another reason they won’t pull the same trick twice – it probably won’t even be Hugh Jackman, but instead Taron Egerton, or whoever else they recast when the role is rebooted to a younger actor.
Wolverine can’t carry the House of M saga without a connection to the audience, and it feels unfair to the character to introduce him in a story that’s not his own. Besides all that, the House of M just doesn’t make sense for WandaVision. Despite being the MCU’s most creatively risky entry so far, it still clearly nestles in the continuity. We know it will be followed by The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, and then Wanda will play a major role in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, not to mention all the other upcoming MCU projects. It’s too late in the day for WandaVision to introduce the House of M now, when there’s no time for resolution and there are several other shows and movies before the next season, if there’s even going to be one.
I know House of M is a legendary comic book story, but to be quite honest I just don’t want to see it on screen. I know what happens, and a lot of time comic book movies tend to fall down when they lift stuff off the page verbatim. The loosely inspired stuff where they dig into the character’s personality, motivations, and worldview is much better than just trying to retell a story which has already been told to perfection. The DCEU’s attempt at The Death Of Superman mixed into the Justice League movie didn’t work – the jury’s still out on if the Snyder Cut can salvage it – while Fox has had two goes at the Dark Phoenix story now, and has somehow managed to mess them both of them up.
There are a few logistical reasons why House of M wouldn’t work, as well as a few narrative ones which suggest the MCU would be better off leaving it alone. To be brutally honest, I just don’t want them to make it. WandaVision, you quirky little middle child, I love you. But I don’t trust you with the House of M.
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Stacey Henley is an editor for TheGamer, and can often be found journeying to the edge of the Earth, but only in video games. In real life, she normally stays home. Find her on Twitter @FiveTacey
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