Warning - This article contains spoilers for WandaVision.
WandaVision is finding a way every single week to blow the collective minds of MCU fans with new reveals coming nearly by the second. The show’s fifth week was no different, mixing a '90s/'00s setting inside Wanda Maximoff’s Hex with the absolute madness going down outside those expanding walls.
The fantastic thing about this show being so interconnected into the MCU is getting some major character development for supporting heroes not named Wanda or Vision. Additionally, while the story is expanding on past MCU standouts like Randall Park’s Jimmy Woo and Kat Dennings’ Dr. Darcy Lewis, an almost brand new hero is coming to life before our eyes in Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau.
First appearing in Wanda’s bubble in "Episode 2" and "3," Monica has shown herself to be more than capable as a captain with S.W.O.R.D. by displaying incredible skills and smarts throughout her WandaVision appearances. She is also the only person in this show to have gone in and out of the bubble on more than one occasion.
In light of that fact, one particular line is standing out as sign pointing to Monica’s near future.
LINES THAT MATTER
When Monica sneaks around the S.W.O.R.D. base with Dr. Darcy Lewis and Agent Jimmy Woo in "Episode 6" of WandaVision, Captain Rambeau is hell-bent on getting back into the Hex to try to help Wanda any way she can. During this covert mission, Darcy reveals that S.W.O.R.D. Director Tyler Hayward has Monica's bloodwork after she found it by hacking into his system. After revealing this, she tells Monica some very telling information in this quote:
"You’ve gone through the boundary twice already, Monica. The energy inside has re-written your cells on a molecular level twice. It’s changing you."
Monica is making her second appearance in the MCU after she was shown as an 11-year-old child in Captain Marvel. She is also already confirmed to play a role in Captain Marvel 2 alongside Brie Larson’s titular hero and Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel.
Fans have wondered since her initial announcement as a part of this series whether Monica would have her powers or not, since this series is setting her up for the Captain Marvel sequel. While she’s shown no signs of powers yet, Darcy’s comment about her cellular makeup changing before their eyes is as telling of a sign as any that this evolution is imminent.
It seems very likely that Monica will find a way back into the Hex at least one more time in the next three weeks of this series. At some point during this mission, it wouldn't be surprising if Captain Rambeau comes out of WandaVision as the super-powered hero Photon.
WHO IS PHOTON IN THE COMICS?
Photon has gone by a few names and variations in the comics, first appearing as a version of Captain Marvel in "The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16" from October 1982. Her powers include energy absorption and manipulation, the ability to travel up to the speed of light, and the ability to convert her body into any form of energy within the electromagnetic spectrum.
Monica Rambeau's other superhero mantles include Photon starting in 1996, Pulsar starting in 2005, and Spectrum starting in 2013. Spectrum came into play around the same time as Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel, but it seems most likely that Photon will be adapted in the MCU in the near future.
Due to Photon’s history in both the comics and the MCU, there is one obvious character to whom she connects most deeply: Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel.
CAPTAINS RAMBEAU AND DANVERS: ONE AND THE SAME?
Monica’s connection with Carol Danvers’ goes back even before the Avenger’s first MCU solo movie due to Carol’s deep friendship with Monica’s mother, Maria. There is clearly a history that needs to be explored more deeply in its own right, with nearly 30 years in the timeline between the events of Carol's first MCU appearance in Captain Marvel and her second in Avengers: Endgame. This is especially the case with quotes like the one from acting S.W.O.R.D. Director Tyler Hayward during the events of WandaVision:
"Captain Rambeau, you have become an impediment to this mission. Constantly advocating on behalf of super-powered individuals. Yes, I know your history with Carol Danvers."
There are a couple of interesting points to make a note of when taking Monica’s history with Carol Danvers into account, especially as Monica becomes a superhero in her own right eventually.
Monica and Carol end up with quite similar powers in the comics, largely including flight and energy manipulation. Due to these two women having skill sets that are nearly one and the same, it feels like a necessity to look into exactly how they earn their powers assuming Teyonah Parris' MCU character follows the path of her hero from the comics.
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
During the events of Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers is shown to have an accident with the Tesseract while trying to keep Dr. Wendy Lawson/Mar-Vell safe. As fans are well aware by now, the Tesseract was merely a vessel for the Space Stone, one of the six Infinity Stones in the MCU.
The Hex which Monica wants to get back into was created by none other than Wanda Maximoff. Wanda's powers were initially gained (or unlocked) after experiments with Loki's scepter. This was revealed in Avengers: Age of Ultron to be the vessel for the Mind Stone, another of the six Infinity Stones.
The similarities between the two women are undeniable looking at their superhero origin stories, despite the fact that Monica hasn't displayed her abilities quite yet. Carol's genetic makeup was altered dramatically by the energy from the Space Stone, and, as Darcy pointed out, Monica's cells were changed by the energy barrier of which Wanda's Mind Stone-based powers created. With this parallel, it's not unlikely that the MCU's Monica Rambeau will exhibit a similar cosmic power-set to Carol Danvers' Captain Marvel, abilities that already similar to Monica's comic counterpart.
Clearly, messing with two of the six most powerful objects in the universe does not come without super-powered consequences.
Wanda Maximoff and Carol Danvers are regarded as two of the most powerful individuals in the MCU. Due to the fact that Monica keeps going in and out of a reality created by Infinity Stone-level powers, there is a very good chance that the MCU is setting up Monica's origin story as a superhero in WandaVision.
When Monica was first announced to be joining the story of WandaVision, MCU fans were curious whether she would already be a powered individual or not. Monica has shown no signs of having powers through the first five episodes of this show, but Darcy's comment could be the key to all of it.
Should Monica continue to be affected by the Hex, it should only be a matter of time before her incredible powers are unlocked. While there are still no signs pointing to whom the big bad of WandaVision will be with only three episodes left, count on the S.W.O.R.D. Captain to play a major role in the foreseeable future.
When all is said and done, here's what is being laid out for the MCU very soon. Monica Rambeau will be in Captain Marvel 2 after her run in WandaVision is finished. She will be a superhero alongside Carol Danvers and Kamala Khan. With Darcy's quote and so few episodes remaining in the MCU's first Disney+ series, it's only a matter of time before Teyonah Parris' Photon comes fully to life as a Marvel hero. None of us can wait for that to finally come to fruition.