Did WandaVision just tease the Fantastic Four in the MCU?
Missing astronauts, cosmic rays and some familiar outfits have us wondering if Marvel's first family is already being teased.
They say two heads are better than one, so by that logic, four heads should be better than two – especially if they belong to Sue and Johnny Storm, Reed Richards, and Ben Grimm. With news that Jon Watts is tackling the seemingly impossible by introducing the Fantastic Four to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans are already on the hunt for even the smallest hint that Marvel’s First Family is out there somewhere.
With the Fantastic Four put on ice since Josh Trank’s box office bomb (aka Fant4stic) in 2015, there are hopes that Watts can rework his Spider-Man: Homecoming magic to bring them to life once more. And while some might expect the quartet to pop up in Watt’s upcoming Spider-Man 3, others think it’s WandaVision that’s already sown the seeds for the Fantastic Four.
WandaVision’s first three episodes were a truly trippy tour of television, homaging the likes of The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, and The Brady Bunch. Subsequently, viewers were warned January 29th’s “We Interrupt this Program” would be a change of pace, and with things taking place in the real world it was Teyonah Parris’ time to shine as Monica Rambeau. Various WandaVision teasers had previously hinted at Rambeau’s involvement with the Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division, and in the latest episode, she wasted no time coming back from the Blip and into action as a S.W.O.R.D. agent. And it was a particular exchange between Rambeau and S.W.O.R.D. acting director Tyler Hayward - we still don’t trust him - that should’ve caught your attention.
After Rambeau learned her mother had tragically passed during the five years she was dusted, Monica carried on the family tradition and returned to the organisation Maria Rambeau helped found. The Rambeaus have a penchant for outer space occurrences after their run-in with the Skrulls in Captain Marvel, meaning Monica had a particular interest in S.W.O.R.D.’s astronaut program.
However, space exploration wasn't on the cards, as Hayward grimly admitted he'd "lost half my personnel in the Blip and half of those remaining have lost their nerve". The implication for many fans is that the Fantastic Four was/is among those missing astronauts.
Looking to the Fantastic Four’s origin in the comics, Richards and co. were four astronauts who headed into space on an authorised mission. The rocket they were flying was blasted by cosmic rays that gave them their signature powers. It might seem like Reed Richards-worthy stretch to connect a seemingly throwaway line and the Marvel's First Family, but the evidence doesn’t end there.
Later in the same episode, Kat Dennings’ Darcy Lewis investigated the Westview anomaly and noted a massive spike in CMBR (cosmic microwave background radiation). This kind of energy is often connected to the Big Bang, and in this theory, could be tied to the energy given off by the Infinity Stones and the various snaps - as well as the "cosmic rays" that gave the Fantastic Four their powers.
Note that Hayward also said S.W.O.R.D. was “moving away from manned missions”, suggesting something might’ve gone wrong. Instead of being missing due to the Blip, it’s easy to imagine the Fantastic Four have gone full Scott Lang and are stranded out there in the cosmos. Hayward seemed to know exactly what CMBR is, teasing it’s not his first encounter with this kind of energy. It was also Lewis’ mention of cosmic rays that caused Hayward to dash back to S.W.O.R.D. HQ for a currently undisclosed reason. If the Fantastic Four aren’t bobbing around space in a giant tin can, is the team being kept prisoner in the facility until Hayward and his scientists can figure out what’s happened to them?
Another potentially subtle nod is those snappy S.W.O.R.D uniforms. Unlike the X-Men wearing a variety of brightly coloured spandex, the Fantastic Four are known for their black and blue uniforms, and it just so happens Rambeau and the rest of the S.W.O.R.D squad are kitted out in this exact colour palette. It could be a coincidence, or it could be a subtle sartorial shout-out to some S.W.O.R.D members who get stuck in their uniforms in space.
More generally, It’s clear the MCU is heading to the stars once more with the likes of Captain Marvel 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and remember, it was also Spider-Man: Far From Home (directed by Watts) that alluded to S.W.O.R.D thanks to Nick Fury’s space vacation with the Skrulls. Even though the MCU’s first three phases have largely been confined to Earth, any of these cosmic adventures, the Secret Invasion series, The Eternals and many more are primed to cross paths with the world of the Fantastic Four.
In other words, it all looks set to fit together quite neatly – but it's worth bearing in mind that not every MCU Easter egg turns out to be part of the bigger picture. Back when Doctor Strange was released, many thought the cryptic mention of a 22-year-old woman being struck by lightning was a tease of Captain Marvel. It's (so far) turned out to be a rare dead end.
Elsewhere, Spider-Man: Far From Home revealed the former Avengers Tower has been sold to a new owner, with a sign reading, “We Can’t Wait to Show You What Comes Next” alongside the numbers “1-2-3-?”. Whether Watts was nodding to his future as the Fantastic Four’s overseer, WandaVision is laying the groundwork for their imminent arrival, or it’s a bit of both, fans should definitely keep their eyes peeled for the slightest suggestion of the fan-favourite foursome.
This is Marvel, after all - we're sure they won't keep us in the dark for too long.
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:When is WandaVision set and how did Vision survive?
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