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The WandaVision Episode 5 Moment That Mirrors An '80s Marvel Comic

Contains spoilers for WandaVision

The delightfully weird and unexpectedly dark WandaVision continues to captivate audiences in its freshman season. What began as a wacky and mildly unsettling riff on the sitcoms of yesteryear has slowly devolved into a complex study of morality, mortality, and the process of grief. It's no understatement to say that the series is a showcase for Wanda Maximoff's (Elizabeth Olsen) slow descent into madness after suffering one loss after another throughout her life — leaving everyone to only hope that she isn't too far gone. At the same time, she isn't the only Avenger in the spotlight, as the revenant Vision (Paul Bettany) has plenty to do in this story, as well.

Originally thought killed by Thanos (Josh Brolin) per Avengers: Infinity War, everyone's favorite synthezoid has returned for another run in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While this is arguably a good thing, it's high time to address the elephant in the room: How exactly is he still alive, especially without the Mind Stone? The first few episodes of WandaVision hinted at what's really going on here, but it's the fifth, entitled "On This Very Special Episode...," that really starts supplying the answers we're all seeking. 

Through this slow process of revelation, the show called back to a moment from a classic Marvel Comics arc from the 1980s.

WandaVision meets Vision Quest

During a S.W.O.R.D. meeting about how best to deal with Wanda and her control over Westview, New Jersey, Director Hayward (Josh Stamberg) pulls up a recording from nine days prior. The footage shows the telepathic and telekinetic mutant tearing through a S.W.O.R.D. facility, making her way to the room where the organization housed Vision's corpse. The synthezoid lay dissected, with parts strewn about on different tables so that he could be examined to unknown ends. The content of this scene, as well as the layout, greatly resemble the above panel from the 1989 comic book story, Vision Quest.

In this brief yet powerful multi-issue arc, Vision has gone missing, leading an enraged Wanda and her fellow heroes (including Hawkeye, Tigra, Wonder Man, and a handful of other notable names) on a journey to find him. When she and Mockingbird finally track down Vision and attempt to rescue him, however, he's completely disassembled and sprawled out across a large table with his skin discarded in the corner. Scientists surround him, their work interrupted as Wanda breaks into the laboratory.

The parallels between these two interpretations of a similar event are impossible to ignore, and longtime comic fans surely took note of this Vision Quest Easter egg. Moments like this speak to the attention to detail WandaVision's creator, Jac Schaeffer, and her team strive for, as well as their reverence for the source material. After all, this is hardly the only reference to Wanda and Vision's history in print. The show has played like a greatest hits collection of Wanda and Vision stories from classic Marvel Comics, including nods to House of M, the miraculous birth of Billy and Tommy, the appearance of Sparky the dog, and many more. 

If the first five installments are any indication, it may be in everyone's best interest to brush up on their Marvel reading to ensure they get the most out of their weekly WandaVision viewings.