Among the various positives of WandaVision’s success has been allowing new fans to see the Vision and Scarlet Witch’s unique history.
It was always an odd pairing: the mutant with the “magical” power to affect reality falling in love with an android who learns humanity. While it seemed offbeat, the pair were soon a great couple who found love and happiness for a time.
Sadly, events would tear them apart, with each undergoing massive changes.
Despite that, the Vision and the Scarlet Witch are mainstays for the Avengers, and the series did a great job showcasing not just them but also Agatha Harkness, Monica Rambeau, and even sons Billy and Tommy.
Over the decades, there are scores of great stories involving all these characters, but several stand out from the pack.
In many ways, they’re not just good tales but also clearly influenced the TV series, allowing the writers to pay homage to Marvel history.
Honorable mentions include Avengers Vol 1 #16 (Wanda and Quicksilver join the team), Avengers Vol 1 #57 (The Vision’s debut), Giant-Size Avengers #4 (the pair married), and Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 (Monica Rambeau’s first appearance).
Vision & Scarlet Witch Miniseries (1982, 1985)
After time in the Avengers, Vision and Scarlet Witch finally got their turn in the spotlight in this pair of mini-series.
It includes superhero fights against the Grim Reaper and other villains and includes Wanda and Pietro’s discovery that Magneto is their true father (which turned out years later to be a lie).
But it also shows the love the pair have pushing them on and the key moment of Wanda giving birth to twin sons.
Seeing these two hanging out in suburbia was a fun sight for fans and this happy period is critical given all the troublesome stuff that would happen to the pair down the line.
Agatha vs Scratch (Fantastic Four #182-186)
Agatha Harkness is much nicer in the comics than she is in the TV show.
This elderly lady has a good aura as a centuries-old witch who often aids the Fantastic Four. In this storyline, the FF head to New Salem, a secluded town, to track Reed and Sue’s kidnapped son, Franklin.
They discover too late that the town is packed with witches, led by Agatha’s twisted son, Nicholas Scratch.
It’s a fun tale as the scientist Reed has trouble handling real magic, and the FF put through a wringer.
Agatha has to step up to save the day at great personal cost and to show how she’s the heroine here.
Absolute Vision (Avengers #251-254)
This storyline explores how far a “hero” will go to help the world.
Influenced by an alien computer, the Vision decides the only way to fix humanity’s ills is to take over the planet. He commandeers all computer systems, bringing the world to a standstill and instills a new order.
The Avengers, especially Wanda, have to talk him down and make him realize forcing humanity into peace isn’t the way to go.
It’s a bold storyline that allows the Vision to show more emotion and Wanda’s bond. Sadly, his actions set up a more dramatic turn for the Vision down the road.
Monica takes command (Avengers #279)
When Monica Rambeau first joined the Avengers as the light-powered Captain Marvel, she was still a rookie hero and unsure she belonged.
She proved herself over time, and this spotlight issue pushed her into the limelight.
After defusing a hostage situation, Monica visits her parents to tell them how the Avengers want to make her the team chairperson.
She’s unsure at first, but after helping Captain America rescue some trapped children, Monica realizes she’s more than earned the honor of being Avengers leader.
It shows her tremendous growth as a hero and character and why she’s so popular with fans.
Vision Quest/Darker Than Scarlet (Avengers West Coast #42-62)
John Byrne completely upended the lives of Vision and Wanda in his stunning run on Avengers West Coast.
It starts with the Vision being taken apart by a government agency. Hank Pym rebuilds him into a new white body but minus his emotions, including his love for Wanda.
Then Agatha Harkness drops by to reveal that the duo’s children never truly existed but are merely magical constructs.
While Agatha wipes the children from Wanda’s memory, it eventually leads her to a breaking point for a darker persona, unaware she’s a pawn for a greater evil.
While she recovered from that, the effects on her and the Vision are still being felt and make these stories the most critical in both characters’ history.
Avengers Disassembled (Avengers #500-503)
Brian Michael Bendis rocked the Avengers with this wild 2004 storyline.
Avengers Mansion is attacked, killing several members, She-Hulk goes mad and tears the Vision in half, and further attacks rack up the casualties.
It’s all because of Wanda. After she remembers losing her children, it drives her mad and sends her over the edge.
A major battle shows how far Wanda has fallen with Agatha Harkness among her victims before she’s subdued.
The story was very controversial and important as it would set up the Young Avengers and shift Wanda and the Vision for years to come.
Young Avengers #1-12
This may end up being critical reading for the MCU.
In the wake of the Avengers splitting up, a young band of heroes gathers — magical Billy aka Wiccan, his boyfriend shapeshifting Hulkling, archer Kate Bishop who becomes a new Hawkeye, Scott Lang’s daughter Cassie who becomes the size-changing Stature, Isaiah Bradley’s grandson Eli aka Patriot, and the superspeed Speed.
Gathered by Iron Lad (a younger version of Kang the Conqueror), these heroes connect as the next-generation Avengers.
With WandaVision referencing it, it’s an essential story for Wiccan and Speed, who turn out to be Wanda’s twins, raised by different parents, and not knowing their origin or that each other existed.
House of M
This 2005 event marks the lowest point of Wanda’s life and a clear inspiration for the show.
As the Avengers and X-Men debate Wanda’s actions in “Disassembled,” Wanda is pushed to the breaking point. She once more uses her powers to remake reality into a world where mutants dominate in a world of peace.
While many heroes are living dream lives, others know reality can’t exist like this. A grand battle ends with Wanda resetting reality but also depowering ninety percent of all mutants.
The effects would be felt in the X-Men comics for years, and her harsh actions still haunt Wanda.
Avengers The Children’s Crusade
This nine-part limited series finally explains so much of Wanda’s darker actions in the previous tales.
The Young Avengers had long hinted that somehow magical Wiccan and super-speedster Speed were Wanda’s reborn sons.
This mini-series finally confirms it as the pair hunt Wanda to Latveria, where she’s about to marry none other than Doctor Doom.
As the Avengers, X-Men, and Magneto get involved, the truth of who was really behind Wanda’s behavior is revealed.
It ends in a bittersweet reunion of Wanda and her sons that changes a lot of lives.
The Vision (2015 #1-12)
This uniquely quirky series has the Vision deciding to test his newly found independence by settling into the suburbs with his own synthezoid family.
Even the dog is an android capable of phasing through walls.
At first, Vision, wife Virginia, and kids Viv and Vin get along okay, even with weird glances from the neighbors. But then things go badly as the family grows beyond their programming and takes some very dark directions.
It introduces Viv, who becomes a member of the heroic Champions team but the Vision’s surreal trip into suburbia is an eerie parallel to WandaVision.
WandaVision season 1 streaming on Disney+.