WandaVision is better for Monica Rambeau’s superhero origin story than Captain Marvel 2. First introduced as a child in Captain Marvel, the Disney+ series brought the audience up to speed about what Monica (Teyonah Parris) has been up to in the years since Carol Danvers abandoned Earth for space. With her mother, Maria (Lashana Lynch), founding S.W.O.R.D., Monica is all set to lead the agency in the wake of her mother’s death. While Monica is most closely tied with Captain Marvel and will appear in the superhero’s sequel film, WandaVision unexpectedly sets up the perfect superhero foundation for the character and it’s all the better for it.
When fans are reintroduced to a now-adult Monica, she doesn’t have any powers yet. In fact, she isn’t even known by her real name at all. Rather, Monica has been swept into Wanda Maximoff’s sitcom reality, transforming into Geraldine, a kindly neighbor in Westview who helps Wanda deliver twin boys before being expelled from the hex altogether. However, going through the anomaly’s barrier twice affected her molecular makeup to unknown degrees. Darcy Lewis warns Monica that it would be dangerous to go back into the hex for a third time because there’s no telling what kind of effect it would have on the S.W.O.R.D. agent. Darcy isn’t wrong; when Monica does return to the world of Westview, her molecules are rewritten and energy sparks are emitted from her body, with her eyes even turning blue to signal that she now has superhuman powers.
While it has long been assumed that Monica would receive her powers to become a superhero like she does in the comics — Monica’s superhero alter ego is known as Spectrum — the expectation is that it wouldn’t happen until later on in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the announcement that Monica would be in Captain Marvel 2, the sequel set up the opportunity for her to have a superhero origin story there. Monica and Captain Marvel are intrinsically connected and share a history, so it makes sense. However, by making Monica instrumental to WandaVision, fans get to know the character before establishing her as a superhero.
Monica is wonderfully portrayed as a grieving daughter, a competent, capable, and sympathetic leader long before she gains her powers. This is important — the series showcases her humanity and how she can be a hero without necessarily having superhuman abilities. She gets things done and is committed to helping Wanda and the citizens of Westview because she genuinely cares. What’s more, Monica’s character is carefully developed, with every episode peeling back a layer of who she is. In this way, WandaVision lays the groundwork for a more well-rounded superhero origin and it works because it’s one of the unforeseen aspects of the show.
If Monica’s superhero origin story had been established in Captain Marvel 2, it’s possible that her arc might’ve been overshadowed by the titular hero, taking away the time needed to properly flesh out Monica’s story. With Monica’s superhero abilities forming in WandaVision, Captain Marvel 2 won’t have to spend any time establishing her character or explaining how she got her powers, leaving plenty of time developing Monica’s story beyond its basic parameters. The Disney+ series also laid the foundation of Monica’s obvious anger with Captain Marvel. Now, the sequel can instead delve further into the emotional core of both characters and further their relationship without barriers.