In case Marvel Studios hasn’t drilled this into your brain yet, allow me to do so: Everything is connected. Avengers: Age of Ultron and WandaVision? Connected! Doctor Strange and Spider-Man? Connected! So, if Geraldine’s (Teyonah Parris) introduction in last week’s episode of WandaVision on Disney+ made you go, Huh, she’s probably more important than she seems, then bingo! You’re catching on.
As of the airing of episode 3, “Now In Color,” this spunky Westview-dweller has yet to reveal her true identity. But virtually every fan has already checked IMDB to discover Geraldine is, in fact, “Monica Rambeau/Geraldine,” as confirmed by MCU overlord Kevin Feige. This means there’s an obvious reason why Wanda Maximoff gets so irked when Geraldine mentions Wanda’s deceased twin brother, Pietro, near the end of the episode: Geraldine is an imposter in Wanda’s sitcom-verse. And her inclusion in the series could have enormous ramifications for the next few chapters of the show—as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.
To make sense of the Maximoff vs. Monica debacle, here’s a quick primer on the powerful Miss Rambeau. Then, we’ll run through a few theories as to what Monica is doing in the Wanda-verse. Patience, MCU fans. It’ll all make sense eventually. Hopefully.
You’ve seen Monica Rambeau before.
Or, at least, you have if you’ve watched Captain Marvel. In the ’90s-set adventure, Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, frequently visits her bestie Maria Rambeau, a former Air Force pilot and single mother. Her daughter is named Monica—Carol sometimes calls her Lieutenant Trouble—and the two are super close. At this point in the MCU, Monica shows no clear signs of a superheroic future, though she obviously idolizes her “Aunt” Carol. At the end of the film, Nick Fury implies that if she wants to fly to space like Carol, she’ll need to get “glowy.”
Flash forward to WandaVision, which takes place after Endgame, and Monica has grown up. We can assume from the S.W.O.R.D. pendant Wanda notices around her neck that she’s working with the Sentient World Observation and Response Department, a subdivision of S.H.I.E.L.D. What we don’t know is if she has any superpowers (yet), or if she ever teams up with her aunt.
In the comics, Monica was actually the first female Captain Marvel.
Way back in 1982, comics writer Jim Starlin killed off the original Captain Marvel—a man by the name of Mar-Vell—in The Death of Captain Marvel. Monica, then a lieutenant in the New Orleans Harbor Patrol, had gained superpowers from a blast of extra-dimensional energy via a criminal weapon, and so she took up the Captain Marvel mantle. It wasn’t until 2012 that Carol Danvers assumed the role of Captain Marvel—she was previously known as Ms. Marvel.
If your head is spinning, don’t worry—in the MCU, Carol is indeed the first and only Captain Marvel, and we’ve yet to learn Monica’s superhero name (if she has one). But this comics backstory is important context to keep in mind: Rambeau has been a comics fan-favorite for decades, and that will likely contribute to her role in WandaVision and beyond.
She goes by many names.
Confusingly, Captain Marvel is far from the only alter ego Monica has assumed over the years. She changed her name to Photon when Genis-Vell, the son of the O.G. Captain Marvel, took up his father’s title. She changed it again, to Pulsar, when Genis-Vell, in a truly iconic display of masculine entitlement, decided he wanted to be Photon instead. Monica then changed her identity—again—to Spectrum, which she held onto when Thanos launched his attack on Earth.
All this is to say, we have no clue which name Monica will assume if and when she reveals her powers in the MCU.
In an interview with Variety, Parris explained, “Monica Rambeau has held many monikers over the decades, and I think they’ve all been really special in a very particular way. I don’t know how or who she will be in the MCU. Because when I tell you, she changes names and she kicks butt in all of them. So, I don’t know who she will be in her superhero form. But I am excited by the thought of many of them.”
She has a lot of powers, any one of which could shift the landscape of WandaVision.
Among Monica’s many accolades, she is also, arguably, one of the more powerful heroes in the Marvel universe. She can:
- Use her power over light beams to change others’ perception of her appearance, in effect shape-shifting
- Move at superhuman speed
- Phase through solid matter, much like Vision himself
- Absorb and blast energy through her hands
- Share a sort of “energy consciousness” with the cosmic universe, perceiving what is happening elsewhere without being near it
In the comics, she’s also…well, immortal. So that might be important!
We, of course, don’t know how many of these powers, if any, Monica might have in the MCU, but that last one in particular could open up major possibilities. If she can sense where something is wrong in the universe, she might be able to discern imbalances within the multiverse, thus allowing her to penetrate different realities—such as Wanda’s sitcom-verse.
She could be the key to unraveling the mystery of WandaVision.
At the end of “Now In Color,” we watch Geraldine crash-land from her comfy spot in Westview into a field in New Jersey, where she lies groaning in the grass. We can’t be positive who sent her away, though it’s probably safe to assume Wanda was involved.
Here’s where we start theorizing. If Geraldine is Monica, and Monica is a S.W.O.R.D. agent, she must have infiltrated the sitcom-verse somehow, whether intentionally or unintentionally. If intentionally, it’s likely S.W.O.R.D. sent her in directly—maybe via some sort of photon beam. (Don’t concern yourself too much with the physics of the MCU. You’ll hurt yourself.)
Why Monica? Well, if she does indeed have superhuman abilities, she’s probably one of the only heroes Wanda wouldn’t recognize, given Miss Maximoff’s adventures with the Avengers. If, say, Natasha Romanoff or Carol Danvers had suddenly appeared in Westview, that might have tripped one or two of Wanda’s alarms. But Monica might also have some of that “energy consciousness” I mentioned, which could make her more perceptive to Wanda’s irregular energy spikes.
But if Monica is just a mere human like the rest of us, she might have some sort of insight to the multiverse that the other S.W.O.R.D agents don’t, perhaps due to her connection with Carol. Regardless, now that Monica’s been sent spiraling back to, presumably, a S.W.O.R.D base in the “real” world, it’s likely we’ll start seeing more of the outside looking in. WandaVision is finally peeling back the curtain.
Lauren Puckett is a writer and assistant for Hearst Magazines, where she covers culture and lifestyle.
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