Wanda tells us, again and again, “I’m not a monster, I’m a mother.” While recent endeavors into feminist horror have worked to critique this trope of mother monster, Wanda’s representation in Multiverse of Madness only serves to replicate this archetype—that there are good mothers and there are bad mothers, that women’s entire sense of identity and moral rectitude comes from their relationship to and orientation around reproduction and motherhood, and that one of the greatest threats to society, and indeed the multiverse, is an unhinged mother.
2021 gave us new ways to think about virtual presence and digital connection through Minecraft; the role of a mediated and mediatized grief in Wandavision; the Marxist politics underlying GameStop stock; the ongoing importance of centering repatriation in the practice of archaeology; and the bureaucratic magic of Loki.
“Wanda has unwittingly cast her own tribunal of witnesses, those who are forced to not only see what she’s gone through (the nightmares), but to also quite literally embody and feel the physical pain of her grief. Rather than relying on the story of the traumatic event itself, these residents-cum-performers must experience haptic grief, a kind of sensory solidarity with Wanda. They are the only ones available—though not necessarily willingly—to bear witness to her pain without demanding it be told through a careful and convenient narrative.”