The long-awaited Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness finally hit the big screens. Helmed by Sam Raimi, Multiverse of Madness follows Benedict Cumberbatch's titular hero in his journey to the cataclysmic multiverse while being hunted down by Elizabeth Olsen's villainous Scarlet Witch.
Olsen's Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch is one of the fan-favorite characters in the MCU with a massive number of fandoms around the world. However, the Doctor Strange sequel reveals a surprising twist with Wanda's character, as she officially develops into her comics counterpart, the Scarlet Witch.
Solid Marvel fans know that Multiverse of Madness offers just a tiny glimpse of what the new Sorcerer can actually do. In the Marvel Comics, the Scarlet Witch is a complex character with a vast variety of abilities and tremendous power that nearly wiped out all the mutants on Earth with just a single word.
Although Wanda’s transformation as the sinister Scarlet Witch might be soul-crushing for some of the fans, this MCU arc for Wanda is essential due to Marvel Studios originally taking inspiration from their source material, the Marvel Comics. But how accurate is it from its comic book counterpart?
According to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron, Scarlet Witch's arc even before joining the Doctor Strange sequel was already heading to a villainous turn and the film only emphasizes the Scarlet Witch's villainous transformation when she made a heel turn. In a new interview, Michael Waldron discussed the relevance of Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch is the villain, and how it's tied to her comic book origins.
In an interview with The Rolling Stone, Waldron explained, "Well, first off, it's true to who the comics' version of the character is and what she does in the comics. It was always where Wanda was headed in the MCU, even as I inherited the movie."
The writer went on, "The question just became, when would it happen? Certainly, there was a version of this movie where Wanda was part of the ensemble that ended, I guess, with her turning bad, and then she could have been an antagonist of another movie. But I feel like in that case, you would have had a watered-down version of Wanda going bad because it's still Dr. Strange's movie. She wouldn't be the protagonist, and she wouldn't really be the antagonist. You'd have to have a [different] antagonist throughout the entirety of most of the film."
Waldron then looked back on the events of WandaVision, where Wanda developed into a villain with the influence of the Darkhold. "You know, she's doing bad stuff throughout WandaVision. She does make the heroic choice to let go of all those people. But it's also revealed to her that the family she's built is not real," Waldron said. "Then she gets the Darkhold at the end of the series and learns that there is a real version of her children out there. And if you've got the Book of the Damned whispering in your ear long enough that your kids are out there and you could go get 'em, maybe that can push you to do some terrible things."
Thankfully, Multiverse of Madness' ending shows a sudden character development with Olsen's Scarlet Witch. Seeing her kids in another universe who were terrified of what she become, Wanda realized how far and monstrous she transformed. After that, she destroyed the Darkhold and vowed that no one will ever be corrupted by the book again. Wanda then destroyed the temple where the Darkhold originated, in the process, Wanda seemingly ends her own life by allowing herself to be crushed by the crumbling.
Surely, Marvel wouldn't kill the Scarlet Witch just like that. Just when Wanda had the change of heart, the character absolutely deserves a redemption arc that would regain her title as an Avenger. Nevertheless, Marvel certainly did justice with Olsen's Scarlet Witch and followed its source material, giving viewers and fans a roller coaster ride of the ruthless Scarlet Witch.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now showing in theaters worldwide.