The way WandaVision subtly expresses blood and violence is one of the most impressive creative achievements in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for WandaVision Episode 5., “In a very special episode …”, now broadcast on Disney +.

Part of the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe lies in its ability to tell stories about superheroes battling evil evildoers within the limitations of a PG-13 or TV-14 rating. This allows the franchise to address more mature themes and ideas geared toward older viewers, while also offering action and humor that are considered acceptable to non-adults. Disney + WandaVisionHowever, it is unique in that it expresses blood and violence without being more explicit or graphic than most other MCU projects.

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Since the MCU exists within Disney’s family-oriented branding, the property doesn’t really have the creative license to show true blood, let alone be overtly artistic in its depiction of violence. The big exceptions so far are the Marvel Netflix live-action series, particularly Reckless Y The Punisher. Of course, because those shows were produced by the now-defunct Marvel Television, they’re not necessarily considered part of the MCU proper. Also, while those series were quite explicit in the way they depicted acts of violence and bloodshed on screen, WandaVision has shown that a little can go a long way using visual metaphors for gore.

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In a degree, WandaVisionThe overarching approach is the result of the show’s need to stay true to the tone of the classic sitcoms it pays tribute to, while at the same time operating within the same boundaries that they did. For example, in its first two episodes, WandaVision used tongue-in-cheek innuendo to show how horny Wanda and Vision are for each other, in ways that are reminiscent of the 1950s and 60s TV shows that inspired them. The first episode also featured a memorably disconcerting moment where Vision reached down his boss’s throat to prevent him from drowning, in the process conjuring up the image of him ripping out another person’s throat without showing a single drop of blood.

WandaVision Episode 2 featured another quietly violent image during its opening credits, in which Vision runs through the roof of his and Wanda’s house, revealing bones and what appeared to be Grim Reaper’s helmet in the house’s plumbing system. The episode then followed up with some royal blood in the scene where Wanda’s neighbor Dottie smashes a glass mug in her hand, her red blood vividly contrasting with the episode’s black and white setting. In fact, the shot of Dottie’s bloody palm wasn’t shocking because it was actually all of that graphic, it had more to do with how the episode used red to symbolize something terribly wrong in a monochrome world.

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Obviously, Wanda’s glimpse of a Dead Vision in Episode 4 is perhaps WandaVisionThe most blatantly violent images yet, but even then it managed to be haunting without including any royal blood. The opening credits of episode 5 were much more subtle in their suggestion of violence in comparison, showing a magically enchanted brush filling Vision’s head with red watercolor as he painted in the shadows of a portrait sketch of Wanda, Vision, and their children. The Lagos commercial for the episode also featured a bright red drink being wiped off with paper towels, once again implying the presence of blood without showing it.

Dead Vision Hallucination of WandaVision Episode 4

The most powerful images in WandaVision They have thus far expressed themselves through the prism of Wanda’s mind as she tries to come to terms with the events that led to her current situation. For that reason, it would be difficult for a more grounded MCU project to be almost as provocative in its use of violence. Even the next The Falcon and the Winter Soldier may have difficulty matching the impact of WandaVisionit’s “gore,” despite getting a rating closer to Netflix’s. Reckless. Simply showing Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes hitting bad guys with their fists won’t have the impact of WandaVisionvisual metaphors for the traumatic effects of violence.

Really, if there are any upcoming MCU titles that might match WandaVision in this sense, it would probably be Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness. Between the confirmed role of Wanda and the direction of Sam Raimi, the Strange doctor The sequel promises to deliver some truly haunting visuals through the lens of magic in the MCU. Even then, however, the film would build on the foundations laid down by WandaVision, which alone makes the show’s silent use of blood and violence perhaps the franchise’s most sublime achievement to date.

Written by Jac Schaeffer and directed by Matt Shakman, WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany as Vision, Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Kathryn Hahn like Agnes. New episodes air Fridays on Disney +.

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