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WandaVision appears to be hiding clues to Wanda’s dark past everywhere – including within in its cryptic commercials.
The first two episodes (released on Friday 15 January) see the couple living in domestic bliss within a 1950s sitcom, which in reality is an alternate world constructed by Wanda using her superpowers – you can find out more about her reasons for doing so here.
Although everything looks idyllic on the surface, viewers soon come to realise that nothing is as it seems when disturbing intrusions threaten to puncture Wanda’s picture-perfect alternate reality.
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As well as being shot in black-and-white and featuring a laugh track, WandaVision’s sitcom-style also includes fake ad breaks that take inspiration from Fifties commercials. These brief moments contain references to Wanda’s personal history in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Toaster commercial in episode one
WandaVision’s first episode features an advertisement for a toaster created by Stark Industries, a reference to the company founded in 1940 by Howard Stark – father to Tony Stark aka Iron Man.
In addition to the commercial’s ominous tagline: “Forget the past, this is your future!” that hints at Wanda’s inability to acknowledge her history, eagle-eyed viewers have also spotted a link between the commercial and her character’s childhood trauma.
As the people in the advertisement showcase how the toaster works, the appliance begins to blink red and beep in a similar fashion to a bomb on the verge of detonating.
As revealed in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it was a Stark Industries-created bomb that killed Wanda’s parents when it unexpectedly hit their apartment building in Sokovia when Wanda and her twin Pietro were 10 years old.
Although the twins survived, the two children spent the following days trapped under rubble with a dud bomb that did not detonate but tormented them with its incessant blinking.
Strücker watch commerical in episode two
Episode two features a second advertisement for a watch made by a company called Strücker. In a close-up shot of the watch, viewers can discern the logo for HYDRA, confirming suspicions that the company’s name is a reference to Wolfgang Von Strücker.
Von Strücker had been the leader of the HYDRA cell – a fictional terrorist organisation – that had used the Mind Stone to experiment on Wanda and Pietro, torturing the twins while doing so.
Although audiences have seen just two commercials so far, it is clear that the Marvel series is using these brief moments as another way to hint at Wanda’s repressed memories, which threaten to bubble up to the surface at any moment.
What could this mean for WandaVision?
In another of its many easter eggs, the series has hinted that it is borrowing from Marvel’s House of M narrative – and the hidden meanings behind these commercials definitely fit into that.
The House of M storyline sees Wanda eventually lose control over the alternate reality she has created in her imagination.
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