By Eammon Jacobs
Finally, the first two episodes of WandaVision have arrived on Disney+, introducing the idyllic, sickly-sweet sitcom prison that Wanda Maximoff and Vision have made their home. But with eerie transmissions filtering in from the outside world asking “Who’s doing this to you Wanda?” it’s clear that Marvel Studios is setting the stage for a powerful new villain.
Because head honcho Kevin Feige previously confirmed the series will directly tie into the Sam Raimi-directed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, an otherworldly villain is likely behind the dastardly plot. The prime candidate so far? Mephisto. His involvement mainly stems from the surprising revelation that Wanda is pregnant at the end of the second episode. But we’ll get to that later.
Who is Mephisto?
While Mephisto isn’t technically the actual devil of the Marvel universe, you’d be forgiven for thinking he was, especially with his red skin, pointy ears and fangs. He quite often poses as Satan and even calls his own pocket-universe “Hell” as a way of manipulating the human race. The trickster is an extra-dimensional demon who often persuades people to sell their souls to him and was even the creator of another hero, Ghost Rider.
Mephisto boasts a number of supernatural abilities which make him a formidable figure in the Marvel universe, and has faced off against the likes of Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Doctor Doom and Thor over the years. But he also has the ability of warping reality at will. During the controversial One More Day storyline, Mephisto offered to save Aunt May’s life after she’d been shot in exchange for erasing Peter Parker’s marriage to Mary-Jane Watson.
As part of that deal, the villain also ensured the entire world forgot that Peter is Spider-Man after he revealed his identity during 2005’s Civil War. Clearly, Mephisto has a talent for changing the world how he sees fit, much like the new reality Wanda and Vision are living in the Disney+ series.
How are Wanda’s children connected to Mephisto?
WandaVision is pulling from a number of different storylines published by Marvel Comics over the years, including the second volume of The Vision and the Scarlet Witch from 1985. The 12 issue series from Steve Englehart eventually saw Wanda give birth to twin boys, Billy and Tommy Maximoff.
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Unfortunately, it was later revealed that when the hero used magic to conceive her children (she has an android for a husband, after all) she unknowingly absorbed two fragments of Mephisto’s soul to create the boys. And when another demon called Master Pandemonium later reassembled the soul fragments, he essentially killed the children. And who says Marvel can’t get dark?
To avoid Wanda unleashing a cataclysmic wave of power out of grief, her witchy tutor Agatha Harkness wipes all the memories of Billy and Tommy. However, years later when those memories resurface, Scarlet Witch breaks down and rewrites reality – causing the House of M event, which turns mutants into the dominant race on the planet.
There’s been plenty of speculation over the other witch who helps the hero, with many assuming that Kathryn Hahn’s Agnes is the answer to Wanda discovering more about her powers. An exchange between Agnes and Dottie (Emma Caulfield) in WandaVision – "The devil's in the details." "That's not all he's in." – could certainly hint at the arrival of Mephisto, too.
What could Mephisto’s WandaVision role mean for the MCU?
Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe has only name-dropped the multiverse on a handful of occasions, Kevin Feige and his team still need to create a way of exploring the alternate realities by the time Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness arrives in 2022. Introducing Mephisto in WandaVision would be a solid method of slowly teasing the Sorcerer Supreme’s sequel and is just the type of thing the studio has done in its films for years.
Elizabeth Olsen is already confirmed to return as Scarlet Witch opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in the film, and having Mephisto toy with her reality would be a compelling reason for Wanda to play a role in the film. Perhaps Mephisto’s plan in the MCU is to create, ahem, a Multiverse of Madness since he genuinely hates the existence of happiness in the world. It’s even one of the reasons he messed with Spider-Man’s marriage.
But has he already been seen in the series yet? It’s possible he’s hiding in plain sight, being a trickster demon and all. But a role like Mephisto demands gravitas - and if he is the key to pushing the MCU down the multiverse route, it’s likely the studio would bring a notable star to bring the charismatic demon to life.
With only two episodes released so far, WandaVision has masterfully set up a number of pieces in the puzzle to Scarlet Witch’s new reality. If Marvel Studios does introduce Mephisto in later episodes, audiences are in for a wild ride.
Want more WandaVision content? Check out our latest WandaVision review, our guide to the WandaVision cast, the WandaVision release schedule, Agatha Harkness and the creepy WandaVision commercials. Plus, we ask: is Wanda pregnant? When is WandaVision set and how did Vision survive?
WandaVision releases new episodes on Disney+ on Fridays. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year.
Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.