MOVIEPILOT – Now, I may be going out on something of a limb here, but I’d wager that – for all that Elizabeth Olsen was excellent in the role – the vast majority of fans came away from Avengers: Age of Ultron having more-or-less no idea how in the hell any of Wanda ‘Scarlet Witch’ Maximoff’s powers worked. After all, she seemed to be something in between a telekinetic, a telepath and a poorly-defined magic user – all traits that haven’t been previously explored in the MCU. Check out this Age of Ultron featurette, which introduced the variety of her abilities:
Of course, in Marvel comic book form, Scarlet Witch’s powers make a lot of sense, just so long as you’re willing to suspend your disbelief a little: depending on the era and writer, they’re some variation of mutation-enabled probability-distorting ‘hexes’ and a whole bunch of magical ability.
In the MCU, though, Wanda has been left with a mysterious – and subtly different – set of powers, that it seems neither she nor us fans really understand. That could, however, soon change. Y’see:
‘Captain America: Civil War’ Will Apparently Explain Scarlet Witch’s Powers
That, at least, seems to be the general implication of recent comments from two key creative components.
For one thing, Elizabeth Olsen herself has noted that the movie is set to showcase a whole lot of development for the young hero – including her burgeoning powers. As she recently revealed to SuperheroHype:
“We find Scarlet Witch without a home, without a family, and she ends up creating a surrogate family within the Avengers and making a decision to be a part of the team. I think a lot of that has to do with Jeremy’s character – like his attitude towards her and the speech he gives her at the end of the film. So we pick up with her having started a new life, but still trying to figure out what her abilities are and if using them causes greater good or greater damage.”
Or, in other words, there will likely be at least a little of the film’s running time spent focused on Wanda’s powers, and on the fact that they do, in fact, have some kind of limit.
Indeed, as the movie’s co-director Joe Russo revealed, those limits are firmly in the filmmakers’ minds:
“We like characters that have limitations to their powers, so there’s a cost for everything that they do…Wanda can’t fly, she can use her power to push herself off, launch and then bring herself back down. But she has to stop herself and it’s not the most graceful version of flying. It’s just using her power to create energy to push herself up and bring herself down, but she’s still subject to gravity.”
Which is a) good to hear from the standpoint of super-heroic realism, and b) quite possibly a hint towards just what her powers are actually based upon.