Welcome to our first-ever Women’s History Month Series! Throughout the month of March, we will be highlighting different women in pop culture — fictional characters, celebrities, and activists alike — who we think exemplify accurate and honest portrayals of women in the mainstream media and use their voices to empower and uplift.
When Wanda Maximoff was officially introduced in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (after a brief post-credits scene tease), it was clear her story would be based around loss and grief. Orphaned as a child, Wanda and her twin brother turned to HYDRA to try and improve the world; the world that had taken so much from them. They just happened to go about it the wrong way at first. But, Wanda quickly understood the error in her ways and teamed with the Avengers against Ultron, ultimately defeating him. However, she lost her only remaining family member in the process.
With nowhere else to go, Wanda stayed with the Avengers and became an asset to the team, falling in love with the synthezoid The Vision in the process, but of course, all good things must end for Wanda, and after being forced to kill Vision herself in an attempt to save the universe, she disappeared in the Blip. When Wanda returned five years later, while others celebrated reuniting with their loved ones, Wanda was still left utterly alone.
WandaVision showcased the effects of the culmination of years of trauma and grief for Wanda Maximoff. As her grief overcame her, her power became uncontrollable and Wanda was forced to come to terms with these unknown extents of her ability as well as losing her entire world yet again.
Despite the tragedy that follows her every waking move, Wanda perseveres and most importantly, she’s never let it completely consume her (she solved the Westview anomaly, she gets credit for her self-reflection there.) She’s always there for the next fight, the ongoing battle, and she owns up to her mistakes, even if that means exiling yourself in the mountains for a bit away from everyone.
I can’t control their fear, only my own.Wanda Maximoff, Captain America: Civil War
Wanda is proof that there is power in overcoming your darkest times and your trauma. Despite her already impressive magical abilities, her resilience is her greatest strength. She’s looked tragedy in the eye and come out of her battle with it stronger than before. She’s accepted who she is, mistakes and all, and owns it without waver, uncaring of what the world thinks of her.
Plus, I think it’s pretty great the strongest Avenger is a woman. (And yeah, that fact was absolutely confirmed by the man himself, Kevin Feige.)