In Light Of WandaVision Hype... Let Me Crush Your Dreams
Wanda Maximoff is a wonderful character. Of course... in the comics where her heritage is still adamant to her existence. The Wanda Maximoff portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen in the MCU is anything but.
Wanda Maximoff; a character we all love and is known by many, a woman who is the face of one of the majorly important superhero team The Avengers, the daughter of the metal-bending holocaust survivor Magneto, a woman who does nothing but fights for what she most believes in even if goes against everything she knows. Wanda Maximoff; The incredibly powerful mutant that’s given the scarlet, or chaos magic that aids her in fighting major demons of her own and the rest of the Avengers, and gave her the name she’s built her entire legacy underneath -- The Scarlet Witch. She is known in the mcu (Marvel Cinematic Universe) verse as the blonde with the face of Elizabeth Olsen, an incredible actor yet incredibly wrong for taking the role. Why, you may ask? In the comics, her original form and where she initially came from, she is both Romani and Jewish-- completely separating her from Elizabeth Olsen, completely separating her from the character the MCU built off of Wanda Maximoff, a white, christian woman.
That is something referred to as whitewashing. Whitewashing is the act of making a POC, or person of color, a white person in movies or books or television shows. Some examples of typical whitewashing is the live action Goku - Dragon Ball: Evolution. Goku is an anime, making the characters Japanese; the last thing that they could be is white. But the man who was playing Goku was was white as could be. The same thing occurred with the live action The Last Airbender movie, where Aang, and the other major characters are white. Other examples are numerous Angelina Jolie movies, The Human Stain (where an originally African-American man is played by Anthony Hopkins, Tropic Thunder, the new Death Note, Gods and Monsters, Speed Racer, Prince of Persia, The Lone Ranger, the Peter Pan origin story, Pan, Ghost in the Shell, Kamar-Taj in the MCU’s own Doctor Strange, and even more. The problem with whitewashing is that it completely erases and appropriates the culture and backstory of a certain character, both ruining the story itself and the character that is being whitewashed. Not only that, but it is a lack of representation and inclusion, usually allowing them to only have villainous roles and roles that portray them as bad. This is also evident in Airbender, when Zuko, the villain, was portrayed by a middle eastern boy while the rest were as white as could be. It’s simple racism and adds onto Hollywood’s now easily noticed darker side.
Wanda Maximoff’s very first appearance, in a comic book, was released during March of 1964 underneath the name of The X-Men #4. It consists of her using her powers, calling on her brother Quicksilver, and the reveal that she is working for aforementioned Magneto. Simple things that would introduce her character and further develop her as time went on. Underneath the name of just X-Men, it was a major comic for The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants that consisted of she, her brother, Magneto, Toad and Mastermind (of those in that comic). This is where my first AND second points makes their evidence known. Wanda Maximoff is a mutant. The first difference between she and her MCU counterpart. She is not a mutant, simply someone who gained ‘superhuman’ powers after joining HYDRA. HYDRA is a known villainous operation in the Marvel universe; who yes, were not originally nazis, but after associating themselves with Johann Schmidt, aka Red Skull, and the scientists of the nazi party during The Second World War, they immediately became apart of nazis, and would go down with them forever attached to their name.
Wanda Maximoff, during the intensity of a country-wide disagreement took a major toll on her home country of Eastern Europe’s Sokovia, consensually joined and underwent experiments in Wolfgang von Strucker’s HYDRA cells with her twin, Pietro. The reason that there were riots in Sokovia in the first place was due to HYDRA and the hiding of their experiments, which makes absolutely no sense for the two to then join afterwards. The two consensually joined this nazi organization with the complete knowledge that they were the reason of the downfall of their own country. What’s even worse is that the comic version of Wanda Maximoff, the one who is actually sticking to being Romani and Jewish, has had major ties to nazism in the coming, recent comic books. After the reveal that Captain America had joined HYDRA, he started a HYDRA Avengers, and one of the included members was Wanda Maximoff, herself. She, of course, had been possessed by the 616’s Chthon, though it still reveals the poor use of jewish identities in the marvel universe's, whether it be the comics or the MCU. Other members of the Hydra Avengers that Captain America had initiated was Taskmaster, Odinson, Black Ant, Deadpool, the Superior Octopus, and the Vision. To do a character wrong is to turn them to HYDRA; especially comic Wanda Maximoff.
Now to delve into the fact that Wanda Maximoff is played by Elizabeth Olsen, and her entire character background had been absolutely erased in the MCU. Turning from a Romani, Jewish woman to a Christian, white woman that has absolutely no idea what a Romani woman probably is anyways. Evident in the scene of Captain America: Civil War where Steve Rogers approaches Wanda as she sits in her bedroom is a few different crosses all next to each other, flaunting the fact that she definitely embraces the Christianity she was ‘born into’. Wanda Maximoff in the comics has ‘significant’, and ‘typical’ jewish features where she embraced darker eyes and hair, mainly brown. She also had a darker skintone and spoke a different major language, where she actually aligned with her character backstory. Wanda Maximoff is not a white woman, she is not a Christian, she is not Elizabeth Olsen. She is not what everyone loves; something much different than that.
The thing is, Elizabeth Olsen is definitely a talented actor on her own time but she had no right taking the role of this woman, of Wanda Maximoff. But, it just shows that Marvel has no regard for her character and no good way of being able to do her right, being able to make things right with her character after messing it up so badly. She’s nothing that Wanda Maximoff is. She’s literally got absolutely no similarities to the original character except her name, and her relation to Quicksilver. Nothing else. She’s not Romani, she’s not jewish, she’s not a mutant, her entire backstory is different, she has absolutely no resemblance to whom Wanda Maximoff actually is. Her mother is a holocaust survivor. Her father is a holocaust survivor. This is an incredibly important part of her character and and her backstory but they did nothing to keep it the same.
People would gradually use the Fox VS MCU argument as a way to subtly cover up the fact that they changed the woman’s character so drastically, but not that much has to be changed. The Fox VS MCU problem is huge because basically, a bunch of characters that are evident and used in the Fox X-Men universe cannot be used in the MCU due to copyright problems. The thing is, anyone from the X-Men universe with a long history with the Avengers can be added to the MCU if they have 60/70 percent of their character changed, so since Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver already existed in the Fox Universe, they had to change her and Quicksilver for the MCU. But, they didn’t have to change the fact that she was Romani or Jewish. They didn’t have to change the country she came from or the ethnicity she was originally born with. Of course, her backstory had been changed because of that factor, as well as the fact Magneto does not exist in the MCU, but she didn’t have to be whitewashed and her character ethnicity did not need to be erased. This is just so unfair, and completely does the character unjust and wrong. It’s not something I’d like to see again in the MCU, but sadly it may have to happen again with the way that the rights work and that they’re literally so weary when it comes to making a character other than a white man.
Long story short, Wanda Maximoff had been completely and utterly whitewashed, she had been ridded of the religion her comic character was strongly based off, was forced away from the identity she once had and was swiftly hidden underneath the rug of ‘Fox’s rights’ and ‘MCU lies’ just as most other characters who had been done wrong. Wanda Maximoff deserves better than this, and deserves to be based off the original comic identity that she had. Wanda Maximoff is nothing of her original identity and needs to be bettered, needs to be done right-- needs to at least have the Jewish and Romani that were once so strong in her identity.