WandaVision: Saying No to Reality
The Marvel Tv series streaming on Disney+ tells the story of Wanda and Vision as they settle into their 1960s sitcom life. Of course we know these characters from their battles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Wanda battles against big bad guys (and girls) with the powers of mind reading, waking nightmares, and even reconstructing reality. Vision on the other hand has superhuman speed and strength and what’s more is a living form of artificial intelligence.
The two however, seem to hang up their “superhero capes” as they settle into the events of suburban life. They participate in community fund raisers, they entertain dinner guests, and what’s more they enjoy the routine and beauty that family life can bring.
There is however a darker side to the show, that the writers are beginning to explore ever so discreetly. Wanda has the power to say “no” to certain parts of reality that she finds disagreeable. So if an individual shows up that she doesn’t like, she can simply “wisk” them away.
If something breaks down or falls apart, she can simply use her powers to recreate it again according to her own desires. Finally, it seems she may even have the power to escape grieving the loss of someone she loves since she can simply (in some ways that are unexplained) bring them back to life.
Here is perhaps where I see such a strange super power “bleed over” into the everyday life that each one of us lives. In many ways I think we all can reject reality and say no to it. The individual who is aging may try everything to remain young and vibrant in spite of the fact that time and biology exert their own effects.
The individual whose self esteem is based in their work, works continuously and negates their own body and even the advice of good friends who would help them to find greater balance.
Finally, the individual with an ego going through the roof probably negates all those experiences around them, which show them how truly normal and human they are. Reality negation seems to be a normal part of human life.
But oddly enough, this is precisely what the Gospel counters against. In fact, taking Mary as our example we can see how her “Yes” is a yes to all of life no matter what comes. Mary says Yes to the Child Jesus, even though welcoming this child will bring all sorts of pains and joys into her life.
She says yes to the isolation that comes from the community thinking that she had relations with a man before she was married. She must say yes to the pain that must come when she sees her Son crucified and killed. But what’s more, she will say Yes to the glory that comes through the resurrection of Jesus.
It is interesting then to point out how a seemingly uninteresting Tv Sitcom about superheroes could reveal so much about human nature, and I think the tremendously courageous response we all can have before reality.
We can say no and try our best to forget, distract, negate. Or we can say yes, and through grace and prayer, welcome it all into the story that our lives are a part of.