If you stuck around long enough during WandaVision‘s episode 8—as any post-credits Marvel aficionado likely does incessantly with every. single. movie, comic-book based or otherwise—you’ll have discovered the ghostly future: Vision, a white Vision, encased in a kind of clear cryogenic tube, ready for combat. Surely there will be some theories, perhaps rooted in the world’s rich Marvel Comics history, on what this white Vision could mean for the future (and, in particular, the WandaVision finale).
Like the sitcoms it so lovingly spoofs, Disney’s WandaVision was having a bit of a conflict problem—namely, there was no villain. While the antagonist gap wouldn’t be a problem for episodic sitcoms based on everyday familial struggles, the gap felt especially large in a comic franchise wherein threats are nothing short of existential and bad guys are literally the raison d’etre of all universal superheroes.
For most of WandaVision thus far, we’ve been led to believe our villain would yet again come in the form of a shadowy government corporation—SWORD and Director Tyler Hayward—before then realizing the antagonist might actually be Wanda herself, before then realizing it was Agnes—who turned out to be evil Salem witch Agatha Harkness—before then re-re-realizing it was in fact also the shadowy government corporation and Hayward all along. So it turns out there are a lot of bad guys.
At the end of episode 8, during the credits, we see Hayward pumping into a white, Westworld-looking Vision energy gathered from “The Hex.” It turns out that drone Hayward sent into the Hex to cruise-missile Wanda—which she then spat out of the Hex—was simply a strategy for extracting whatever energy Wanda was using to zombify Westview.
The scene—and the Agatha-induced flashbacks during the episode—also reveals Vision’s body never actually left SWORD HQ. We were led to believe that Wanda had somehow kidnapped Vision’s remains and performed some sort of phantom resurrection on Vision’s Vibranium corpse. This theory Hayward also pedaled to Monica Rambeau, Darcy Lewis, and Jimmy Woo, showing them video footage of Wanda breaking into SWORD.
Throughout the series, Hayward has been primarily concerned with Vision—tracking him throughout the Hex and commenting incessantly about his Vibranium. Hayward, however, never parted with Vision’s body, or, as he monikers it for Wanda, “the most sophisticated sentient weapon ever made.” But what is Hayward trying to do with white Vision?
The white Vision has to do with “Project Cataract”
While hacking through Hayward’s computer, Darcy discovered the codename for whatever project Hayward was running—and hiding from members of the SWORD team. Project Cataract (“cataract,” the condition wherein one’s eye becomes blinded and opaque—get it? because Vision is now white) apparently exists to resurrect the weapon that is white Vision. Woo puts it best in episode 7: “Hayward wasn’t decommissioning Vision. He was trying to bring him back online.”
But then what is the Vision in the Hex? The Marvel comics don’t offer a lot of insight, aside from “anti-Vision,” which participated in a kind of multi-verse Freaky Friday moment during Avengers #359.
The white Vision we see on Disney+ is likely something new. Some theories focus on the color of the energy which Wanda uses to create her Westview Vision. The yellow energy is the same color as the mind stone, the same stone HYDRA used when experimenting on Wanda—and what Wanda sees during the test in episode 8. Perhaps Wanda has been able to recreate Vision’s mind using her powers. If Hayward has recreated Vision’s body, then a synthesis might bring Vision back—though, that kind of optimism seems antithetical to the themes of loss and grief so far in the series.
Another theory is that Marvel is setting up a final confrontation between Wanda and White Vision—during which she will have to use her powers to finally destroy him and, therefore, accept the finality of his death.
Either way, we’re in for a big finale.
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