The Character Progression of Wanda Maximoff: Or Tony Stark’s Blame Game and the Story of the Failed Redemption Arc
I was asked the other day what I thought about Wanda Maximoff. Obviously, I have many thoughts about her. I’ve spoken bits and pieces of it. But I’ve never actually put together a coherent timeline, to point out exactly what bugs me - or rather, the exact point where Wanda’s character ultimately became completely irredeemable.
Wanda is an important character for me, because I’ve always had a bit of a girl crush on the version of her in the comics. Her reality bending powers were awesome and as a child, I would imagine having them too. As such, you will have to forgive me for the EXTEMELY LONG POST - because I have a lot of feelings about her very flawed portrayal in the MCU.
Wanda starts out as the girl on a quest for revenge for the deaths of her parents.
We are told that she and her brother are traumatized by the deaths of their parents, who were killed in an explosion created by a Stark missile.
They inexplicably blame Tony for it.
I’ve already spoken on separate occasions on how much of a logic fail that is, and so have @lady-may-driu and @alethiaii and @thealextheshipper and other beautiful people of the TSDS. For more, see this excellent post (by @lady-may-driu). I won’t dwell on it further. The problem is that, instead of saying this idea is wrong, the MCU JUSTIFIES it - a feeling which ultimately showed up in the fandom. They justify this.
It’s totally super okay, because Tony Stark is a murderer *insert Tony-hate rant.
Nope - it’s not okay. Wanda and Pietro have a problem of perception, which becomes very clear even back in AoU. In Johannesburg, the twins and Tony meet faces to face plate for the first time, and Pietro makes a sarcastic comment about this being just like old times.
In other words, the twins equate this man:
with this man:
Yes, I deliberately picked an image of Afghanistan Tony, at the fateful weapons demonstration that would later change his life. Because you know what? That weapons presentation was at an US MILITARY BASE. It was for a LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENTAL CONTRACT. The Jericho is obviously a very dangerous weapon - but Tony is there legitimately, encouraged by the authorities of his country.
He is not a black market weapons smuggler, twirling his mustache and making profit over illegally sold weapons.
In case you’re wondering, that’s this guy:
Remember him? Tony’s father figure who double-dealt behind his back and then tried to kill him? This is Tony’s Klaue. But apparently, a big part of the fandom, and of the MCU have forgotten, never found out or deliberately ignore it. This is the bad guy - the true Merchant of Death.
“This was never my life”, Tony says - and that’s completely true, because it wasn’t. He was a weapons’ manufacturer. At most, he was irresponsible. That doesn’t make him a murderer. The fandom and the twins disagree.
Let me explain what everything is wrong with this one sentence.
First of all, no characters except the characters that actually are involved in this relationship have something to do with the relationship itself. Is the relationship unhealthily from both parts there’s no other character who can fix this.
Another thing is, other characters shouldn’t be used as arguments in serious discussions, especially when they have nothing to do with it. Have fun with your headcanons but when you want to argue in a way that someone can take it seriously keep them out.
Finally, a character can’t ship anything except he says it. When he don’t say anything, then it’s fanon and should be keep fanon. Having facts and headcanons mixed up is a dangerous thing to do. When it comes to ss it mostly ends up in glorifying abusive elements that shouldn’t be glorified (but that’s nothing new….)
But you know what? A character can actually support another relationship with his actions and words. And that’s what Itachi did.
Let’s make it clear. Itachi wanted Sasuke happy. He was never pro-”insert-shipname-here”, he was only pro-”Sasukes-happiness”.
“But Itachi never said anything about another person who could make Sasuke happy!!!”
I have faith in the teens of today that they will not take dating tips and life advice from fanfiction. I didn’t go out and date a middle aged librarian because I read Giles/Xander Buffy fic, and I trust the intelligence of modern teens to follow a similar trajectory with fandoms like Overwatch and Voltron and Marvel.
Fanfiction is fantasy. It’s a safe way to travel the twisting paths of desire and sexuality and need and identity. It is not reality.
It’s important to emphasize this and be diligent with warnings, and yes, discuss and criticize in some cases, but let’s not assume that people writing fantasy relationships are actively harming real teens without sitting down and thinking hard and long about whether it’s true or not.
Painting every creator with such a broad brush does a disservice and makes it harder to identify the truly egregious issues.
Even if you believe every morally ambiguous piece of fiction, from dirty One Direction fic to Twilight, should be shunned, censorship almost never works. Better to engage with their readers and again emphasize that these works are purely fictional than to try and restrict them.
How could Tony keep a thing like Ultron from us????? Tony you're so out of line!!! WE'RE SUPPOSED TO MEAN A TEAM THAT MEANS NO SECRETS.
Steve Rogers also:
I didn't tell Tony about my friend killing his parents because clearly Bucky who is still dangerous must be protected over this man's feelings which I don't really care about even though him finding out later rather than sooner is gonna blow up in my face.
I’m always sick of seeing people constantly comparing the Republic’s corruption/hypocrisy to the Empire.
Yeah, I am too (obviously!).
If people prefer the Imperial stories or aesthetic or whatever, there’s nothing wrong with that. But the arguments that get made to support the idea it’s somehow the more equivalent to the Republic (or even morally superior) are so poorly supported that it comes across less like a legitimate argument/discussion point and more like the fans wanting to have their cake and eat it too (I.e. they want the Empire to be more interesting/cooler/whatever and be the “good guys”).
The two main problems I have with the people making these arguments are:
1. They make a borderline insulting claim that things like genocide, slavery, xenophobia and fascist totalitarianism are tolerable flaws in a society while some corruption and self-righteous hypocrisy are not
2. They almost always try to pretend like the Empire isn’t also corrupt or hypocritical.
I’ve seen some interesting theories on why people would feel the way the first point suggests - one being that the more mundane evils of the Republic are more realistic/hit home more than the overarching/overwhelming evils of the Empire, so people find it harder to separate their “real world reaction” from their reaction to the fictional SWTOR universe. It seems somewhat plausible, and I’d certainly prefer that to people actually believing the Empire’s system and principles is genuinely more moral. Regardless, it drives me insane that people try to sit there with a straight face and say that bureaucratic corruption and hypocrisy are the same or worse as mass killings and slavery and what not.
The second point annoys me a lot, though, because there’s massive double standards regarding the criticisms of the Republic compared with the whitewashing the Empire often gets. Some examples:
People don’t like Garza experimenting on soldiers in SoR. I agree with them. But Empire has multiple examples of them experimenting on people (i.e. Needles and his rakgoul virus, the doctor on Nar Shaddaa, trying out a new virus on rebelling slaves on Dromund Kaas). Or, say, how the support staff in Imperial Intelligence functions. Only one of these gets referenced as an unforgivable sin.
People criticize the superweapons from the JK storyline (I do too!). But they ignore the Sith influence on that program, the fact the Republic was mothballing them and wasn’t going to use it and (most importantly) it’s the Empire that actually uses them, including murdering millions of people on Uphrades.
People constantly complain about how the Republic’s actions don’t perfectly match its ideals. Sure, I get that (even if that’s an impossible standard). But neither does the Empire - for all of the speechifying about how the Empire brings law and order and peace (like from General Rakton after the Gauntlet), we see time and again that those “principles” mean absolutely nothing if the get in the way of political or Sith goals, which is exactly how you end up with the society the Empire is.
People really hate Belsavis and what it represents (I do too). But the Imperial reaction is twofold. First - “Why didn’t we think of this ourselves?” and second - “Now that we’ve seen it in action, let’s do it on an even bigger/worse scale”
People complain about the Republic’s corruption but corruption exists on both sides. Quinn’s entire reason for having his career sidelined is because a single Moff has a vendetta and can’t be removed. Imperial and Sith commanders regularly undermine each other and the Empire for their own petty interests. The entire organizational structure is basically a mass of corruption, backstabbing and self-interest.
People hate Saresh (I hate how she was written post-Makeb, so I blame the writers) for being a warmonger/etc.. But what’s one Saresh compared to multiple Sith deliberately undermining the peace treaty (i.e. dear old Baras who wants to plunge the galaxy into another massive war for his own gain and advancement)? The entire Sith Order is basically run by warmongers (except the “not insane” ones are somehow treated like progressive icons by some in the fandom. Not to mention the Empire was headed by an omnicidal Vitiate for years without objection.
In general, each failing of the Republic gets treated as some damning and unforgivable transgression against the moral fabric of the SWTOR galaxy. Meanwhile, Imperial flaws are either papered over/ignored or shrugged off.
All this would be bad enough from my point of view, but then you throw in other stuff the Empire is doing:
Doing the Hutts a “favor” by using a biological agent to commit genocide against the Evocii on Nar Shaddaa. The Imperial commander there also speaks of having multiple such facilities to continue their work against other non-humans
Slavery on a massive scale
Massive amounts of xenophobia. Even “progressive” Darth Malgus was more interested in allowing aliens to serve to bolster the Empire’s ranks, not out of some moral objection to how the Empire treated them. Also note the Imperial attitudes toward the “animals” on Taris (aka the Cathar)
Basically everything about the Sith - murdering fellow initiates. Murdering people above you in the ranks. Murdering people below you in the ranks. Ordering war crimes and having no one care about it. Murdering family members and other targets tied to your rivals (i.e. why Malgus killed Eleena so she couldn’t be used against him)
Deliberate targeting of civilians (i.e. Trooper Tatooine, Imperial Balmorra and Taris, etc.) both in general and to test new weapons or to terrorize them
Torture/mistreatment of prisoners portrayed as normal procedure rather than something wrong (i.e. there’s those soldiers on Ord Mantell beating up the suspected separatist but the player is allowed to intervene)
Other war crimes, both ordered by Sith and institutionalized by the Imperial hierarchy
Suppression of free speech, reform, etc.
And so on.
The Republic isn’t perfect and that’s a good thing. It’d be boring if it was some pristine institution unblemished in any way and made up entirely of perfect heroes with no moral dilemmas. I have no problem with that - that’s how fiction should be.
But I wish people would stop pretending the Empire isn’t far, far worse. Like I mentioned at the start of this rant, it’s like people don’t want to admit that the Empire is still the bad/worse side and want to portray themselves as rooting for/supporting the good guys.
It’s something I’ve experienced before (try being an Alliance fan in WoW sometimes!), but it’s still frustrating.
I’d be a lot less annoyed with people just admitting they think the Empire is cooler/more interesting/whatever than I am with the mental gymnastics they perform to try to justify their fandom on a moral or ethical level. You’re not rooting for the good guys. And that’s fine, just be honest about it.
so u hate season 5 because “Felicity is reduced to a comic relief with almost no storyline” when infact her story has been a subplot for 9 episodes now and still not finished. But no in this “worst” season Felicity is sidelined as opposed to all those great storylines that she had in seasons 1 & 2 that u love so much.
tfw you check out a ficwriter’s blog all excited, only to discover that they’re one of those hateful shaladin antis who post in shaladin ship tags and harass the showrunners with age petitions and stuff
and you just kinda… unsubscribe from their fics. like. no. sure, i don’t ship shaladins, but i so do not need this kind of person in my life
I am honestly so tired of people trying to demonize things they don’t like to invalidate them. Just ignore the things you dont enjoy instead of writing whole essays full of judgement and assumptions trying to make people feel bad about their preferences just cause they’re not yours
They didn’t even wait to the end to fyck up the show. Stefan wanting to kill Elena and Damon doing all his best to stop it. STEFAN, really? Stefan was gonna kill the love of his life???? even though the writers had Cade say it was Caroline, are you kidding me?????. Stefan killed Enzo, now Stefan was injected with the cure??????????? Now Bonnie will hate Stefan. Fuc.k this show. All of this to do fanservice to the sh!tty delena fandom and justify their shittyy a$$ treatment of Stefan. I can’t. A fyck you to stelena fans, Bonnie and Stefan’s friendship, a fyck you to bonenzo. And a fyck you to Stefan’s character. Did the writers miss the first seasons where Stefan did Every thing to protect elena. I cant. I CAN’T.
Sometimes I think Sonic fans are too cynical and pessimistic when it comes to upcoming games.
Definitely. It’s cliche to say at this point, but the Sonic fandom really does have a habit of making mountains out of everything.
It’s one thing to be cautious or wary about a new game. I get that the franchise has been through some rough patches, that many fans have been unhappy with recent developments, and that it’s an uncertain time for the franchise and what the future has planned for it. I get all that. I’m not saying that no one is allowed to express reservations or dissatisfaction.
But let’s be real here. While some of the criticisms directed at it are far from justified, this fandom didn’t gain it’s unwelcoming reputation for nothing. Take the recent news about the presence of Green Hill in Forces for example. That’s a totally understandable thing to be disappointed about (though that said, I personally don’t mind it too much since the desert-y elements seem to be hinting at a twist), but already some fans have used this one thing as the reason to swear themselves off the franchise, or the reason to act as though Forces will definitely be the next Sonic ‘06.
And what about that new character? We have only heard a rumor - a rumor - that it might be a Create Your Own Character setup. We have been given absolutely no serious implication let alone confirmation that this is the case, and we’ve even been told that it won’t be until E3 until the character - whoever or whatever they are - makes their full reveal. Yet many fans have already decided that the CYOC route is definitely what’s happening, and are subsequently using it as the latest reason to go off on a tangent about how SEGA never listens. (Guess that’s why the Boost is back? Guess that’s why there seem to be higher stakes this time around?)
And of course, not even the tiniest thing can be revealed about a new Sonic game without ten hundred videos and rants from people who suddenly fancy themselves as the #1 expert on the franchise. Some of whom aren’t even Sonic fans.
I’m at a point in my life where I’m just done with people overreacting about video games. If you have your criticisms, no problem. If you want to leave the franchise behind you, go ahead. But if you keep wasting your life and energy by getting into serious arguments and heated moods over a blue hedgehog, you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and reevaluate your priorities.
the only situation i could understand devoting an entire blog to criticizing a show or movie or something is if it was horrendously offensive, like sexist or racist or something with hardly any redeeming value and few people realized it. then you’re sort of combatting the awful negativity of a show that has influence on people and pointing out what’s wrong, but in the case of steven universe, even with it’s flaws, it has so much positivity and good messages
in this case, it’s more that the fandom has become so entitled that they act as if any flaws in the show are some sort of direct insult and justify unchecked vitriol. this fandom just keeps getting worse and worse i swear
Here’s one reason I don’t spend much time on tumblr at the moment. I’m going to be blunt, and quite honestly hateful towards at least some of my followers (who can go ahead and unfollow if they feel uncomfortable or w/e).
The term problematic is a shitty measuring stick. It shouldn’t ever be used as though the term is self-evident and conclusive.
What do you even mean by problematic? And are you talking for a group (or an entire culture) to which you don’t fucking belong? Do you really think that “problematic” is where it ends, no discussion?
Listen, 1 + 1 doesn’t equal 2 here. When you’re talking about society, people, basically structures that rely on subjectivity, you sound naive and lost when you say something like, “Liking [___] promotes/excuses/normalizes [___].” How the fuck. Have you ever learned about audience reception? Cause textual analysis doesn’t fucking cut it.
You can pretend that you like or do not like things based on the morality/problematics you perceive in them, but every single person I’ve known who did this would twist themselves in knots to write off their own hypocrisy.
Hey, I don’t care, I’m gonna say it: in fiction, I like noncon, dubcon, some level of guro/abuse, manipulation, abusive relationships, incest, and some other things that probably would earn me one of those ridiculous callout posts. Someone once told me they felt weird seeing me have opinions about fic plots because they knew I like noncon. Apparently liking noncon bans you from having opinions, ever, or at least expecting anyone to treat you as anything more than a Bad Person who has to be Silenced.
It’s not like I don’t know they’re problematic; I fucking like them because they are. That doesn’t mean I’m not critically engaging at all. I honestly think that I probably engage more critically than the majority of the high-horse, pure-as-crystal people who like to throw shit without reflecting. There’s so little [room for] thought with that mentality.
Hey, let’s talk about how ending it at “this is problematic and bad, and so are you,” is intellectually pathetic. I’m personally interested in thinking about why something is problematic, why it appeals to people, and how they interact with it. And of course, enjoying it in spaces that don’t involve perpetrators of those things. Liking it doesn’t mean excusing it in real life.
Cause, y’know, 1 + 1 can’t equal 2 when the equation is being applied carelessly and to something it doesn’t fit.
Abusing entire groups of people for a ship, show, whatever they like that’s problematic, especially when they keep to themselves and are not denying the problematic aspects as what they are, is so much more vicious and unforgivable to me. When I try to figure out why they bother, it always comes down to the harasser wanting to fucking harass people and dressing that desire in terms that do not justify their actions in the least.
The act of liking and enjoying the ~wrong~ fictional thing doesn’t justify that vitriol. But some people hate fun, I guess. They’d rather delude themselves. Go ahead, but leave others the hell out of it.
Edit: There was something I saw on tumblr once that stuck with me in a good way. It ended with the sentence, “You gotta be kind.” That’s what I think of when I want to approach lots of these issues. It’s not all-or-nothing, and that’s a positive thing.
I can’t say this hard enough because I am so angry
UNFRIENDLY REMINDER THAT KIMBALL HAS ADMITTED TO WORKING AGAINST DOYLE AND BASED DECISIONS ABOUT THE RUNNING OF THE ARMIES ON THE FACT THAT SHE DOESN’T LIKE HIM AND THEM
UNFRIENDLY REMINDER THAT OF THE TWO, KIMBALL IS THE ONE LIKELY TO MAKE A PETTY, SPITEFUL DECISION ABOUT DOYLE BECAUSE SHE HAS CANONICALLY BEEN MAKING THEM THIS WHOLE TIME
AND WHILE WE’RE AT IT
REMINDER THAT DOYLE WAS JUST A SECRETARY AND ONLY BECAME GENERAL BECAUSE LITERALLY EVERYONE ABOVE HIM BAILED BUT INSTEAD OF ALSO BAILING HE STAYED AND LED THE ARMY BECAUSE HIS PEOPLE NEEDED A LEADER, AND HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN BAD AT IT BUT HE HAS BEEN TRYING AND HE NEEDS TO BE GIVEN SO MUCH MORE CREDIT THAN HE IS
SO STOP FUCKING SHITTING ON DOYLE FOR A DECISION THAT HE HASN’T EVEN FUCKING MADE YET JUST BECAUSE THE FANDOM AS A WHOLE CAN’T ACCEPT THAT KIMBALL MIGHT ACTUALLY BE IN THE WRONG ABOUT SOMETHING
What are your opinion on the anti-bughead people that insist the couple has zero chemistry? I find it funny that beronica shippers (which I do ship as well) flip out over Betty and veronica just looking at each other and insist they're endgame, but even after countless scenes of bughead supporting and loving each other, they still say there's no chemistry between them... (Sorry for the long post, it's just that these antis are really bumming me out! :( )
no chemistry, forced, rushed, toxic, boring– those are the go to arguments for antis across all fandoms to justify their hate and somehow prop up their own ship
i know the hate is disheartening, but you just have to try and not let it get to you. i suggest using the block button and focusing on the bughead positive posts. we get a lot of hate, but we have a lot of support too!