This article contains WandaVision spoilers.
“I know an aerospace engineer who’d be up for this challenge.”
That single sentence spoken by Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau in WandaVision episode 5 has sparked a world of speculation for MCU fans. This doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that would just be casually dropped into the dialogue unless it wasn’t going to have some kind of meaning for the Marvel Cinematic universe sown the road.
So who might this mysterious “aerospace engineer” be? We have some theories…
“What I need is a 10,000 pound fallout shelter comprised of lead for photons, cadmium for neutrons, tantalum for seismic blasts…on wheels” Monica says.
In other words, she’s looking for something that is heavily radiation shielded and stress tested. The kind of material and vehicle that could, for example, withstand a barrage of cosmic rays in space. Monica is trying to avoid absorbing massive amounts of CMBR by heading back into “the Maximoff Anomaly.” You may note that the Fantastic Four gained their powers by…ok, by NOT properly shielding their spacecraft from cosmic radiation, but you get the point.
At this point, short of possibly various members of the X-Men (and no, Evan Peters’ cameo as the Fox X-Men universe’s Quicksilver in this episode doesn’t even count towards that), it’s hard to imagine that any characters’ arrivals are more anticipated in the MCU than that of the Fantastic Four. The FF have never had a good movie to their name, and the legendarily low-budget Roger Corman-produced one remains (I kid you not) the best of the bunch. If anyone can finally get Marvel’s first family right, it’s Kevin Feige and friends.
Anyway, that was a rather long way of saying that we’ll jump at any chance to point at the screen and say “they’re talking about the Fantastic Four!” Episode 4 had enough little hints to make us believe that SWORD will end up being the origin point for the MCU Fantastic Four. This line from Monica only adds to our enthusiasm.
But if it’s not Reed, what if it’s someone else who is Fantastic Four adjacent? Perhaps at this point in MCU history, Victor Von Doom is still a hard-working scientist and engineer, one who hasn’t yet realized his destiny as an armored sorcerer/dictator of a small Eastern European nation/all-around-pain-in-the-ass with mommy issues. Maybe a failure here in Westview is one of the things that drives him over the edge.
OK, fair enough, it’s a longshot. More likely, in the MCU reality, Doom has already been encased in a hi-tech suit of armor, building an army of robot duplicates, getting ready to challenge Stephen Strange for the mantle of Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, and doing his dictator thing in Latveria, just waiting to make his move. Still, the idea of seeing a pre-Doom, um…Doom show up doing freelance scientific work for SWORD is intriguing enough.
Anyway, we’re way more convinced that Doom is actually the secret villain of Loki.
If I had to guess (I know, I’m doing a lot of guessing in this article), I’d bet that long before we get an actual X-Men movie in the MCU, we’ll see the introductions of lots of mutants in their civilian identities, long before they take up adventuring. And one of the most brilliant minds in the entire Marvel Universe is none other than founding X-Men member, Hank “Beast” McCoy.
While I don’t quite remember if Hank has ever been described as an “aerospace engineer,” he’s certainly well-versed in a number of scientific disciplines from chemical engineering to quantum physics. A rather non-descript, pre-furry Hank McCoy could fit the bill of the kind of challenge-welcoming scientist that Monica is looking for here, and it would be yet another subtle step that WandaVision has taken towards bringing mutants to the MCU.
Here are a few other points in Hank’s favor: he’s one of the few characters in Marvel history who has served considerable time as a member of both the Avengers and the X-Men. Not only that, his best buddy is a certain Simon Williams, who in the comics has an extremely close relationship with Vision in more ways than one. In recent years, Hank even found himself as a member of SWORD!
We’re not saying it’s Hank McCoy but…that’s some quality circumstantial evidence.
The Blue Marvel
Maybe not as big a deal as the other names on this list, but Adam Brashear is exactly the kind of second-stringer that the MCU positively excels at turning into somebody that everybody loves. He’s an electrical engineer and theoretical physicist and functionally immortal thanks to energies absorbed from the Fantastic Four-friendly Negative Zone.
These days, he’s been serving as part of the Ultimates with Captain Marvel, and it’s easy to see elements of SWORD taking on the sci-fi heavy Ultimates mission statement from the comics.
UPDATE! A few folks have pointed out that the Spanish translation for the episode has Monica refer to the engineer as “ingeniera” which would mean she is referring to a woman. With the caveat that occasionally translations may or may not fully reflect the intentions of the writers (see: the recent Supernatural series finale controversy), this is still worth noting…especially since there’s nothing in Monica’s statement in the first place that indicates she could only be talking about a man!
(Update 2! In WandaVision episode 6, Monica refers to “my guy” bringing her technology to get back through the Hex, so make of this what you will)
So this calls to mind Abigail Brand, the first major character in SWORD comics history, a major player in their current series, and also a recent Alpha Flight member. She’s been known to pal around with Carol Danvers, too, which makes a kind of sideways Monica connection in the MCU seem sensible. However, to the best of my knowledge, she’s never been described as an “engineer” of any sort, let alone an aerospace one. There’s no reason she couldn’t/shouldn’t be in the MCU, though.
Or maybe this could turn out to be Toni Ho, the daughter of Ho Yinsen, who in the comics ends up adopting the Iron Patriot armor and moniker. Bringing in Toni could help lay the groundwork for her as a supporting character when Riri Williams gets introduced in Disney’s upcoming Ironheart series, as well as set up elements for Armor Wars down the road.
Or hell, since I was so intent on this being Reed Richards or even Victor Von Doom, there’s no reason that the aerospace engineer in question couldn’t be Sue Storm! Sue is a brilliant scientist in her own right, and there’s nothing stopping her from being introduced into the MCU before Reed. It just keeps coming back to the Fantastic Four, doesn’t it?
Who do you think the mysterious aerospace engineer could be? Let us know in the comments!