Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) COULD end-up with a different name after WandaVision wraps-up — “Captain Marvel.” Although hardcore comic book fans know this, it’s safe to say that your average Disney+ viewer might not be aware that Monica Rambeau is ALSO Captain Marvel in the larger comic book lore. At one point in the comics, Monica actually becomes the leader of the Avengers. And, if squint just a little bit at WandaVision it seems possible that the series is setting up the MCU version of Monica to become an Avenger herself. Wild speculation and WandaVision spoilers through episode 5 ahead.
After episode 4 of WandaVision, we learn that Monica Rambeau was an agent of SWORD before being sucked into the kooky reality-bending anomaly of Westview. Her mom was Captain Marvel’s bestie, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and she grew up with a weird opinion of Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel. In episode 5, Monica snaps at Jimmy (Randall Park) and Darcy (Kat Dennings) after they chat about Captain Marvel’s ability to defeat Thanos. The metatextual reference here might be that in the comics Monica’s version of “Captain Marvel” actually pre-dates the Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel. Yep, in 1982, Monica Rambeau was the first female Captain Marvel, and it wasn’t until 2012 that Carol Danvers — previously known as “Ms. Marvel” — became Captain Marvel.
Back in 2019, several writers, including Courtney Anderson, pointed out correctly that the MCU film Captain Marvel actually gets the Captain Marvel lineage backward. In that film, Monica is a little kid and is inspired by Carol Danvers. As Anderson put it in this excellent essay: “The Monica Rambeau I know isn’t a child who grew up admiring Captain Marvel. The Monica Rambeau I know is Captain Marvel.”
Could the Marvel Cinematic Universe be gearing up to actually do something about this whitewashing? We’re being told that WandaVision is the story of Wanda and Vision in this wacky sitcom world (which now features a former X-Man) but because the currency of Marvel stuff is setting up even more Marvel stuff, it seems possible, even likely, that WandaVision is actually a narrative vehicle to make Monica Rambeau into a full-fledged Avenger. In episode 5, Monica points out that it’s pretty weird that Wanda even allowed her into her home. On some level, even subconsciously, Wanda trusted Monica enough to bring her on the inside. Maybe some part of Wanda’s brain is super-cosmic and timeless and sees into a future in which Monica is the leader of the Avengers, just like she was in the comics.
Unlike a lot of outlandish Marvel theories, the idea that WandaVision is setting-up Monica as a new Avenger isn’t just wishful thinking. If it happened, it would honor the show’s comic book roots, but also reassert Monica Rambeau as the superhero she was always supposed to be. Fingers crossed!