During the CW press junket, Joe Russo said something about Wanda being on a journey away from her humanity to becoming a very powerful being in Infinity War. Do you think that will have something to do with her time in the RAFT?
Nah, he’s talking about her arc in Civil War (and beyond) more generally. This is the quote:
One character is searching for how to identify with humanity, another who is on a journey away from her humanity towards becoming a very powerful being.
I addressed this before in this tag quasi-meta. Basically, Wanda’s arc in the MCU, at least as imagined by Markus and McFeely, is about her becoming less connected to humanity as she grows more and more godlike.
Civil War introduces this idea in the kitchen scene.
I used to think of myself one way, but after this… I am something else. I’m still me, I think… but that’s not what everyone sees.
The first question is just how much of the Wanda from before is left. She wants to think all of her, but that’s too easy of an answer. A god is fundamentally different from a human. Some part of the person must have died so that the god could be born. The next question then is what does it take for a god to live amongst humans. What sacrifice must she make in order to feel like the person she was before?
At first, Civil War’s answer seems to be “hiding.” Hiding in the Avengers compound with Vision and waiting for things to “blow over.” But that ends up not being quite the right answer because, Due to Plot, she has to hide no matter what she chooses. The real answer then is denial. In order to be accepted in any way, she must deny the truth: that she is not the same, that her powers are what they are, that she is becoming a god.
Gods are dangerous. They destroy. Wanda has power that cannot be separated from her. It courses through her veins. It swirls around her like red ectoplasm. This is why Tony cannot understand that the problem of Wanda v. The Human Race will not be solved with a cooling off period and some good PR. His power comes from his suits, and as much as those suits come from him and as attached as he is to them, the are separate from his body. They are not literally him. Powers that come from tech are not the same as powers that come from your body.
The other thing Tony can’t understand (because Wanda isn’t telling anyone) is that she will only become more powerful. And I think she knows that. She knows she’s holding back, and at some point in the future, she’s going to have to embrace that fact. And then Thanos is in trouble.
I don’t think the set-up is 100% successful, if we only look at Civil War. Much of that movie deals with collateral damage and questions of sovereignty, so that stuff bleeds into Wanda’s arc too. But some people miss the stuff about enormous power and how it transforms you. They think Wanda’s arc is about collateral damage or guilt when Markus and McFeely are simply using those things to pivot to what her real arc – in this movie and overall – is about: Wanda becoming something other than human and how that affects her relationship with humanity.
So you get a lot of people claiming her arc and her choice to side with Steve “don’t make sense” because they’re misinterpreting what kind of character Wanda is and what themes and conflicts are at the heart of that character. The collateral damage is just the cost of being a god; it’s not the point in and of itself.
The problem is twofold: 1) telekinesis isn’t inherently dangerous in the way that Comics!Wanda’s powers are so the had to fudge the details and set up Everyone Thinks She’s Dangerous in a way that isn’t 100% logical and 2) this isn’t a one movie arc. It’s a piece of a larger multi-movie arc. All of this will become clearer as we go forward, but without understanding what they’re setting up, it’s easy to miss in CW.
If you look at what’s happened with Wanda so far and what will happen going forward, it’s all pushing her away from humanity. She has already lost her biological family and her home. She built a new family and home, only to be forced into hiding and cut off from other people. Even her choice of Vision as a romantic partner is something that separates her from normal people. It is her actively choosing The Other. I think Vision’s eventual death at the hands of Thanos will be the final straw. After that, who knows?
Couple of other things:
1. That quote is interesting to me because it shows they get the fundamental mismatch in Wanda and Vision’s relationship. They don’t understand each other, and that’s what makes it interesting. Vision, who has never known another life, is trying to connect with humanity. He wants to experience and be a part of the human world, to cook even though he can’t eat, to wear Banana Republic sweaters even though he doesn’t have to. Wanda is learning to accept that her old life and her old self are dead, as she drifts farther and farther into the realm of godhood. (See also: “We – you and I, we’re different than all of them.” / “I do not think that you understand. That you ever understood. I want to be like everyone else.”)
2. Wanda chooses Steve, but she is also choosing her truth (that she is something other than human). What Tony is asking is impossible. Staying in your house won’t keep you from getting deported and people won’t start loving dangerous, overpowered superheroes if they get put in time out for a while. Wanda answers the temporary ban from the human world with a more permanent one. She opts out altogether, better to live as a fugitive who embraces her powers than a captive who doesn’t.
3. And no, it’s not a plothole that having powers has caused her to forsake the goals those powers were supposed to help her further. She didn’t understand what her powers would mean when she got them and the fact that she has them has changed her worldview and priorities. She isn’t the same person. That’s character development, not a plothole.