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How Marvel's Black Panther Movie Restricted WandaVision's Runes

WandaVision Scarlet Witch runes
By Russ Milheim

The draught of content after Spider-Man: Far From Home was agonizing for many fans. The pandemic certainly didn’t help. However, once that wait came to an end, the finish line was well worth it. The first MCU project out of the gate was Disney+’s WandaVision, which was met with massive success, both with fans and critics—the show even won Marvel Emmys.

One of the unique new elements introduced in WandaVision was the magical Runes. Thanks to Kathryn Hahn’s Agatha and her wicked witch ways, Wanda learned about the magical incantations they contain.

While they were first used to contain the Scarlet Witch, by the final, Wanda had learned how to use them against Agatha. In the big climactic action sequence, glyphs created by the heroine can be seen glowing against the bright scarlet sky.

Now, thanks to an interview with a member of the VFX team on the show, it’s been revealed that the design of those new glyphs was actually hindered by Black Panther.

Black Panther Restricted WandaVision

The Art of WandaVision book is set to hit shelves in a few days, but it has already made it into the hands of a few lucky people. Amongst the many secrets, the book contains, there's one snippet that revealed how Black Panther impacted some of the visual languages seen in Elizabeth Olsen's Disney+ series.

In the show, the concept of magical runes is introduced into the MCU properly for the first time. An example of this can be seen in the WandaVision still below that showcases runes cast in the sky thanks to the Scarlet Witch herself.

WandaVision, Runes, Marvel, MCU, Glyphs
Marvel Studios

In the book, Jana Schrimer, a senior artist on the Visual Development team at Marvel Studios, mention how some of their concepts were "said [to have] looked a bit too inspired by the Wakandan-style language."

"It was very much a back and forth as to what kind of runes they wanted," Jana Schrimer says:

The first symbols I did I remember them saying looked too much like snowflakes. Other concepts they said looked a bit too inspired by the Wakandan-style language, so they didn't choose those. In the end, the final symbols had more of a traditional, witchy look."

WandaVision, Runes, Marvel, MCU, Glyphs
Marvel Studios

As seen below, the written Wakanda language appeared on screen from time to time during Black Panther as the movie introduces different locations.

Black Panther, Wakanda, Runes, Marvel, MCU, Glyphs
Marvel Studios

 

The Restrictions of Continuity

Working within the confines of an expansive continuity such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe certainly presents a lot of complications to keep in mind and work with. Especially when it comes to introducing new characters and ideas.

This instance of Black Panther's Wakandan language influencing Wanda's new magic is far from the first time something like it has happened. For instance, in regard to the same show, WandaVision, when designing Agatha's magic, the VFX team had to make sure the color they chose didn't cross-pollinate with any other MCU project; so it couldn't be green like Loki's, or in the reds like Wanda's.

The teleportation method that Harry Style's Eros used in Eternals had to specifically make sure to distinguish itself from the portals seen in Doctor Strange, and with their type of magic in general. Shang-Chi had to make sure its various magical weapons didn't give off similar effects to others seen throughout the MCU, such as Eternals.

The longer the MCU goes on, the more complicated it will be to maintain consistency across all the projects. It'll become especially difficult when the X-Men and mutants become involved. Someone like Magik will need to have her limbo-based powers be visually unique, and Nightcrawler's teleportation will need to find a new look that isn't an orange spark portal.