Marvel Could Be In Trouble For “Problematic”, “Antisemitic” Character

in Marvel

Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel is catching flak after new information surfaces.

Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Endgame
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Faces Backlash as ‘WandaVision’ Sequel Reportedly Adds “Incestuous Teen Relationship”

For many years now, Kevin Feige has held the position of President at Marvel Studios, where he has been in charge of supervising the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), under the ownership of The Walt Disney Company. The cinematic Marvel universe inspired by the eponymous Marvel Comics superhero franchise (originally Marvel Entertainment) has had a significant and lasting influence on the superhero movie genre as well as the entire film industry. Properties like the Avengers have left an unmistakable legacy — regardless of varying viewpoints on the matter.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) dying looking at Spider-Man (Tom Holland) in 'Avengers: Endgame'
Credit: Marvel Studios

The expansive narrative known as the Infinity Saga reached its grand finale with the impressive releases of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), signifying the conclusion of the MCU’s Phase Three.

Endgame itself left no ambiguity regarding the departure of two of Marvel’s most iconic heroes. Marvel Studios made it explicitly evident which characters would not be featured in upcoming films. This encompassed Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Iron Man/Tony Stark, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good, and Chris Evans’ portrayal of Captain America/Steve Rogers, who retired after passing on his iconic Vibranium shield.

A New Wave of Marvel Stories

Wandavision: Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: ‘WandaVision’ Spin-Off Actress In Trouble With Marvel Studios

Now, there is a clear opening for a brand new wave of superhero groups such as the Fantastic Four and X-Men to seize the spotlight. Already, the Multiverse Saga has begun to introduce several new favorites with the expansion of the MCU into the realm of television — Disney+ (Disney Plus) Originals like WandaVision (2021) and Loki (2021) expanding on movie characters’ stories.

Credit: Marvel Studios

One prominent example set to make a big splash (and hopefully bring more eyes to the MCU amid somewhat flagging public interest) is the fan-favorite character of Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) and her show Agatha: Darkhold Diaries (previously Agatha: Coven of Chaos and Agatha: House of Harkness). The witchy Agatha first debuted in WandaVision, the first Marvel Studios offering on Disney+, which captivated viewers by breaking the fourth wall to portray the seemingly perfect lives of Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and the deceased Vision (Paul Bettany) in the picturesque town of Westview, New Jersey.

Unfortunately, the upcoming Scarlet Witch and Agatha Harkness-centric Marvel plot will feature some potentially troubling details, if new reports are to be believed.

Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (left), Joe Locke (Heartstopper) (center), Agatha Harkness (right)
Credit: Marvel Studios, Netflix, Inside the Magic

A “Problematic” Future for Marvel Studios?

Recently, known Marvel and Hollywood insider source CanWeGetSomeToast shared a brand new Marvel character origin and plotline, set to feature in the upcoming Agatha Marvel series.

The source shared on Twitter (now X) that in accordance with previous reports, Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch’s lost son from WandaVision, Billy Maximoff, would find his way back to the main MCU-universe in a seemingly “problematic” fashion, seeming quite sure that Marvel Studios was set on this superhero origin for the character of Billy Maximoff/Billy Kaplan/Wiccan from the Marvel Comics:

This is correct. “Original Billy” is actually William Kaplan, who dies in the car accident. Billy’s soul (stuck in limbo after the hex was taken down) finds residence in William’s body as his soul leaves in #AgathaDarkholdDiaries.

Yes, it’s problematic. No, it won’t be changed.

Now, many Marvel fans wondered why this was “problematic” — to which the truth of the issue came to light, as detailed by Jewish fan @comicyehu, who called this Marvel Studios plot “legitimately insane”. They further explained that reincarnation (as the original Marvel Comics story origin follows) is a Jewish belief, and that “corpses are super sacred”:

@comicyehu: uhhhh like at least for Jewish beliefs and stuff like that, reincarnation is a thing we believe in but corpses are like super sacred. Plus in this origin its a nonjewish soul jumping into a jewish body which is even WEIRDER

@CanWeGetToast: Ahhh okay, I was ignorant on Jewish beliefs of reincarnation and how the comics origin actually works with those beliefs vs what’ll happen in the show. I see why a Non-Jewish soul jumping into a Jewish body is anti-Semitic. I’m sorry Marvel keeps dropping the ball on their Jewish representation.

Thank you for educating me! ❤️

This whole “jumping into bodies” conundrum isn’t the only contentious issue — as user Steven T adds, the “Jewish body” in question is also that of seemingly non-Jewish actor, Joe Locke:

I assume Joe lock is the body Billy’s soul jumps into ? And he is also a non Jewish actor who I assume will be playing Jewish

Overall, this seems like an issue that might turn into an even bigger controversy for the company, should Disney and the Marvel studio choose to proceed with this plotline.

Once more about the upcoming series comes to light, either through promos, trailers, or even the show itself, more WandaVision fans’ (and naturally, the general publics’) eyes will be drawn towards Agatha: Darkhold Diaries and its potentially insensitive character and story, should the reports prove true.

Do you think Marvel Studios will go through with the plan to introduce Wiccan in Agatha: Darkhold Diaries? Is this a bad idea? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

More on Agatha: Darkhold Diaries

Currently, two WandaVision spinoff series play a pivotal role in expanding the narrative for Marvel fans. These include Vision Quest, expected to premiere around 2025, and Agatha: Darkhold Diaries, centered on Agatha Harkness, portrayed by Kathryn Hahn.

While Kathryn Hahn reprises her role as Agatha and leads a witches’ coven in the upcoming Marvel TV series, it has been officially announced that several actors, including Aubrey Plaza, Ali Ahn, and Maria Dizzia, have been cast in undisclosed roles. Notably, Joe Locke (known for Heartstopper) will portray Billy Maximoff/Billy Kaplan, Wanda’s son and the superhero Wiccan from Marvel Comics. Sasheer Zamata will take on the role of Sorceress Jennifer Kale.

This creative direction appears to embrace a “musical theater” style for the Disney+ show, drawing inspiration from the unexpected success of songs like “Agatha All Along.” Adding to the intrigue, renowned lyricists and composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, known for their work on Broadway hits like Book of Mormon and Disney’s Frozen, crafted the memorable jingles featured in WandaVision. Additionally, Broadway icon Patti LuPone will play the role of an elder witch named Lilia Calderu within the central witches’ coven. Returning to the series are Debra Jo Rupp as Mrs. Hart and Fred Melamed as Arthur Hart.

Reprising their roles from WandaVision as Westview residents are Emma Caulfield Ford as Sarah Proctor (Dottie Jones in the WandaVision sitcom), David Payton as John Collins (Herb), David Lengel as Harold Proctor (Phil Jones), Asif Ali as Abilash Tandon (Norm), and Amos Glick as a pizza delivery man named Dennis. Kate Forbes returns as Agatha’s mother, Evanora Harkness, and Brian Brightman as the Eastview, New Jersey sheriff. Additionally, Ali Ahn, Maria Dizzia, and Okwui Okpokwasili have been cast in undisclosed roles.

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